AT&T announced last week that their new lightning fast 5G internet service will now cover 190 new markets, providing service for over 120 million people including Duluth, Virginia, St Cloud, Owatonna, Waseca, Mankato, St Peter and Albert Lea.
Private industry is responding to the COVID-19 crisis by rapidly expanding networks that enable customers to work from home, patients to receive care via telemedicine and students to learn via remote teaching. This is happening because of customer demand rather than government mandate.
This is important to recall every time you see a television news story about kids who must drive and park their car near a Wi-Fi hotspot in order to participate in a school lesson. Stories abound about the lack of service but ignore the fundamental issue: high speed wireless service currently is available to those who subscribe across almost every section of the entire state. And for those parents who can’t afford wireless service, there are abundant private plans to help them out during times like the COVID-19 crisis.
Our internet debate has changed rapidly and for the betterment of all Minnesotans. Our conversations in 2020 should focus on providing state-of-the-art wireless service to those who choose to subscribe rather than slowing building government-run systems that more closely resemble life during the last pandemic 100 years ago.
You can see a map of the AT&T 5G coverage HERE.