AT&T plans to roll out high-speed DSL to rural Texas

AT&T Inc., the state’s largest communications company, is on track to introduce high-speed Internet service to every community in Texas by year’s end.

Working under a mandate set by Senate Bill 5, San Antonio-based AT&T (NYSE: T) plans to equip every switching location served by the company in Texas with the capability of providing high-speed Digital Subscriber Line Internet service. This includes rural communities in Texas.

Since the bill’s passage, AT&T announced plans to invest $800 million in new technology in Texas over the next three years. TXU Utilities Inc., a division of Dallas-based TXU Corp. (NYSE: TXU), also announced previously that it plans to invest $150 million to deliver broadband over power lines.

Gov. Rick Perry, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and Texas House Speaker Tom Craddick say Senate Bill 5 will ensure broadband services are available to all Texans.

State lawmakers passed Senate Bill 5 last year during a special session of the Texas Legislature. More than 90 percent of legislators voted in favor of the bill.

“When I asked the Legislature to update Texas’ communications laws in my State of the State address before the 2005 session, this is exactly the outcome I knew we would see if we did the job right,” Perry said. “This is a perfect example of how good policies lead to good things for Texas.”

State Sen. Frank Madla, D-San Antonio, agreed.

“The ability to communicate is the key for our communities and businesses to compete in the 21st century economy,” he added.

Published in Dallas Business Journal.

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