AT&T unleashed a spate of announcements that Om Malik reviews: They'll use satellite broadband (reselling WildBlue which in turn buys service from a satellite operator) to reach rural markets they can't serve with DSL. Project Lightspeed, which is fiber to the node (FTTN) technology, will pass 5.5m low-income homes in 41 markets within three years, which should buy them some credibility in the digital divide bridge building market. (Affording Lightspeed is different than having it pass by your home, of course.) And it's pushing out WiMax, too. Together, Om writes, this could add 11.5m potential homes to AT&T's reach.
WiMax and satellite will help AT&T reach the 20 percent of its existing customer base that they can't get DSL to yet. The Lightspeed service lets them push more heavily for bypassing local TV/cable franchise boards through federal or state legislation as they can show they won't redline poorer customers.