Published: Thu, March 21, 2019
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

Mobile launches invite-only home internet pilot in rural areas

Mobile launches invite-only home internet pilot in rural areas

According to T-Mobile, 76 percent of rural households either don't have access to high-speed internet service or only have one provider to choose from.

T-Mobile today said it is starting "an invitation-only pilot for in-home Internet service on LTE" and will connect up to 50,000 homes this year in rural and underserved parts of the country.

Yep, you read that correctly - T-Mobile is about to become a home ISP, just like Verizon and AT&T.

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It's the first step in the carrier's ambition to disrupt what it describes as one of the most uncompetitive industries in the U.S.

"During congestion, Home Internet customers may notice speeds lower than other customers due to data prioritization", T-Mobile said. T-Mobile also promises the home connections will be unlimited. If you're selected, T-Mobile will reach out via email or snail mail. To set it up, T-Mobile says that setup is simple and should require you, an app, and a few minutes of your time. For many of these households, getting home internet in the 50-megabit range could be many times faster than what they had previously. T-Mobile plans to cover more than half of the United States by 2024 with the capacity for 9.5 million households to cut the cord, according to the release. Immediately after announcing their merger, T-Mobile and Sprint claimed that "Neither company standing alone can create a nationwide 5G network with the breadth and depth required to fuel the next wave of mobile Internet innovation in the USA". There are no data caps, no contracts, and no equipment costs.

Still, if T-Mobile is genuinely able to provide more customers real options when it comes to home internet, at a minimum the added competition could help drive high prices in many captive markets down. T-Mo is sending invitations to a "limited group" of customers that it says are in "rural and underserved markets".

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