WASHINGTON, June 23, 2010 – AT&T has announced major wired and wireless network investment plans following Illinois’ new telecommunications law. AT&T’s investment plan for Illinois includes more than 80 new cell sites and upgrades to 3G for nearly 300 existing cell sites. AT&T’s network investments in 3G allow the company to keep up with demands, where smartphones drive up to 10 times the amount of usage compared to other mobile devices.
Public Act 96-0927, which was designed to attract private business investment in broadband, was signed into law by Gov. Pat Quinn earlier this month. This legislation updates Illinois’ existing 25-year old telecommunications law and is expected to help broadband service better meet consumer needs and attract jobs.
Gov. Quinn said, “Illinois has created more new jobs than any other Midwestern state this year, and we’ll continue putting more people to work by encouraging new investment in the latest broadband and wireless technologies.”
The updates to the law level the playing field for telecommunications providers by allowing more companies to compete, providers will make more investments into their infrastructure, create more jobs and develop innovative services.
The updated law also fits in with AT&T’s planned capital investment into wired and wireless connections of $18 billion to $19 billion this year nation wide. From 2007 through 2009, AT&T’s total capital investment in its Illinois wireless and wireline networks was nearly $3.6 billion. From 2007 through 2009, AT&T’s wireless network investment in Illinois was nearly $975 million. The firm plans to increase it’s spending by 10% due to the favorable environment created by this new law. AT&T Illinois President Paul La Schiazza lauded the new legislation, saying, “With the stroke of a pen, Gov. Quinn made Illinois an attractive place for AT&T to invest in broadband, wireless and emerging technologies.”
In regards to AT&T’s investment plans, Gov. Quinn said, “Today’s announcement ensures that more Illinois consumers and businesses across the state will have access to enhanced broadband technology, which is essential to expanding our 21st century economy.”