AT&t is planning to install its own wifi hotspots across its metro network in the Sydney CBD, with the goal of reducing its reliance on a third party.
The company will also use its new “smart” router to provide Wi-Fi access to other AT&ts network locations in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
In a statement to The Register, AT&Ts chief technology officer Mark Kelly said the network upgrades would help to meet the network’s goal of delivering 100 per cent internet service, and the hotspot would help meet the need for extra connectivity.
“We are always looking to expand our network in order to deliver better customer experience and to help customers meet their broadband needs,” he said.
It’s not the first time AT&s has gone the route of wifi hotspots.
Earlier this year, AT &t revealed that it had installed its own WiFi hotspots on the new National Broadband Network (NBN) at Sydney’s CBD.
A similar service has also been trialled in Melbourne’s CBD, but the project was a one-off and not the result of AT&tg’s investment in wifi.
Mr Kelly said that, while the project involved a number of additional facilities, the aim was to provide a hotspot service to all AT&thos customers, with no specific locations.
He said the company was also looking at the possibility of a hotspots network in other parts of Sydney.
As part of its investment in the NBN, AT was also set to spend $300 million in a new copper line to provide faster broadband service to its customers.
But while the copper line has been installed, the company is not yet committed to building any new wifi hotsps.
AT& t has been criticised for its investment into wifi hots hotspots, but it has defended the project saying the network upgrade would help the company meet its goal of 100 per head of population.
Its network upgrades were also criticised by some NBN Co board members.
NBN Co board member Nick Dyson wrote in the Financial Review: “I don’t think it’s a good idea to build more than one fibre to the premises [node] in a building.
You need a network that can be upgraded.”
We have a really good idea of how the NBN is going to evolve.
It’s not going to be like fibre-to-the-premises [FTTP], it’s going to go further and we need to be able to get to those people.
“It’s going be an expensive proposition for AT&tn.
AT&t has also said it would consider expanding the network beyond Sydney, but this would require another $500 million to build a network of its own.
And, while it has not made any announcements on the NBN project, AT says it is working with NBN Co on the design of the network.