To fix service and speed issues, AT&T could add more boxes in underserved areas to provide more ports for customers. It could also expand its network of upgraded Internet services, like U-Verse, that provide much better speeds than existing DSL.
However, expanding those networks is expensive and unlikely to happen anytime soon. AT&T is proposing a fixed wireless Internet service that would reach parts of 48 states. AT&T claims its fixed wireless network could provide Internet speeds between 15 and 20 Mbps. But, it only plans on building out this service if the DirecTV merger is approved, and it likely won't help existing customers currently struggling to get DSL access.
By adding the 13 million new fixed wireless locations to the 57 million where it plans wireline IP service, AT&T says it will bring "high-speed fixed broadband" to 70 million locations. Since only about two million of the new wireless locations will be inside the copper footprint, that means 59 million of the 76 million wireline locations will get access to something approaching modern broadband. The other 17 million includes people with AT&T's slowest DSL as well as those who can't get any AT&T Internet service at all.