The recent announcement by AT&T of its plan to invest an additional $14 billion to expand wired and wireless networks is a boon for Latino Internet users. With updated networks utilizing advanced Internet Protocol (IP)-based wireline and wireless technologies like high-speed 4G LTE, Latino consumers and businesses will realize greater education, health and professional development opportunities made possible by high-speed broadband connections.
AT&T’s investment initiative, known as Project VIP will expand AT&T’s high-speed 4G LTE network to serve and additional 50 million people, reaching a total of 300 million people by year-end 2014. Latinos will be among those to benefit from the wider availability of advanced wireless broadband technologies.
As we all know Latinos are going mobile at a rapid rate. Mobile phone usage by Latinos in the United States far outpaces people of other cultural backgrounds, according to a Nielsen report from earlier this year. This same report indicates that one of the reasons for greater Latino adoption of mobile technologies is that they actually have less access to home broadband connections, with only 62% subscribing to wired broadband services versus a 76% subscription rate for other consumers.
AT&T’s investment will also help address this disparity as well. AT&T will bring next-generation wired IP broadband to many Latinos in the 22 states that are part of AT&T’s wireline network, including states with high Latino populations like California and Texas. This network expansion and upgrade to IP technology will enhance communications and provide Latinos with access to the most sophisticated technology, enabling us to take advantage of e-learning, e-health and e-government services, to name a few.
This significant investment in Project VIP will also help put many Latinos to work as well. It will spur additional growth in the nation’s economy and allow the growing Latino population to contribute to the country’s economic well-being.
Most imortantly for Latinos Project VIP will make high-speed IP-based broadband Internet available to many, accelerating our productivity and enhancing our lives. LISTA applauds AT&T for making an added $14 billion dollar investment and committing to improving and expanding Internet connectivity options, so that the best and fastest wired and wireless Internet options are available to more Latinos than ever.