AT&T’s $55 5G Home Internet Air Service Expands to 16 Markets and Features No Data Caps




, , ,

AT&T is finally getting into the 5G home internet business in a significant way with AT&T Internet Air, and there’s a slightly higher likelihood you’ll actually be able to sign up for the service.

The telecom giant said on Tuesday that Internet Air is now available in 16 markets. It costs $55 a month plus taxes after a $5 discount for AutoPay and paperless billing. 

AT&T is the last of the big three wireless carriers to enter the so-called fixed wireless broadband business, which Cord Cutters News refers to as Cord Cutting 2.0. The launch comes amid heightened interest as consumer hunger for different ISP options grows. With these services offering lower rates and less installation hassles, it’s easy to see why.

“One could argue that (fixed wireless access) has emerged as the first killer consumer use case for 5G given its speed, latency and device support advantages over 4G and legacy copper and cable,” said Will Townsend, an analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy. “AT&T should be well capitalized to take FWA share in consumer and continue to do so in enterprise.” 

The company is playing catch-up to Verizon and T-Mobile, which have been offering 5G service for a few years, but says it has worked for a while to understand where to deploy the service and how to differentiate itself. 

“We’ve taken our time to really thoughtfully look at our network to see where we have capacity,” said Erin Scarborough, president of broadband and connectivity initiatives at AT&T. “We didn’t want to go out broadly and pull that back.”

You can check out whether you’re eligible here

AT&T quietly launched Internet Air in a handful of markets this summer, including parts of Los Angeles and towns in Pennsylvania and Ohio, as part of a trial. The company targeted customers who were running DSL service off of old copper lines. Internet Air served as a way to get them off the older infrastructure. 

Tuesday, however, marked its first big expansion and official launch of the service. 

A big appeal of 5G home broadband is the ease in setup. There isn’t a need to schedule an installer. Instead, you receive the modem in the mail and can set it up in five steps. Customers can scan a QR code in the box to access the instructions.  

Angela Wilkin, an assistant vice president for product management and development for Internet Air, said the app and the Internet Air modem will offer customers more guidance on where to place the device for maximum coverage. It uses the same Smart Home Manager app as AT&T Fiber customers, and there’s AT&T’s ActiveArmor security alert to detect whether devices on the network are running safely. 

Townsend said the ability to help customers find the right location for their modem is a big plus, since these installations are typically do-it-yourself. 

The service doesn’t have caps or metering limits, a relief to anyone with extensive bandwidth needs. But the company said in the fine print that it does reserve the right to temporarily slow the service if the network is busy. 

Scarborough noted that where people can actually get Internet Air – even in the markets it launches in – will also depend on how well it can coexist with mobile service. That means some areas with busy smartphone traffic may not ever get 5G home internet. Both T-Mobile and Verizon have employed similar balancing acts between their 5G home service and core wireless business.

Beyond checking online, you’ll also be able to see if you’re eligible at a local AT&T retail store. The service is also eligible for households on the Affordable Connectivity Program, offering a benefit of $30 a month or $75 a month for qualifying tribal lands.

Where AT&T expands is based a lot on where its existing service is located. The company is looking to Internet Air as a way to get older DSL customers on copper lines to upgrade, which would enable them to more quickly shut down that older network. Scarborough said much of the marketing would target customers not in its AT&T Fiber territory, as well as regions where its home internet service isn’t available. 

Wilkin added that AT&T plans to launch its service in a second batch of markets later this year. 

The markets are:

  • Areas of Los Angeles
  • Philadelphia
  • Cincinnati
  • Harrisburg-Lancaster-Lebanon, Pennsylvania
  • Pittsburgh
  • Las Vegas
  • Phoenix (Prescott)
  • Chicago
  • Detroit
  • Flint-Saginaw-Bay City, Michigan
  • Hartford-New Haven, Connecticut
  • Minneapolis-St. Paul
  • Portland, Oregon
  • Salt Lake City
  • Seattle-Tacoma 
  • Tampa-St. Petersburg (Sarasota), Florida

Disclaimer: To address the growing use of ad blockers we now use affiliate links to sites like, streaming services, and others. Affiliate links help sites like Cord Cutters News, stay open. Affiliate links cost you nothing but help me support my family. We do not allow paid reviews on this site. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

* indicates required

Please select all the ways you would like to hear from :

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp’s privacy practices here.