AT&T customers in Arlington Heights, Libertyville, North Aurora, Wilmette and Westchester now have the company's higher-speed Wi-Fi and internet services with a just-completed network upgrade.
AT&T says the new 1-gigabyte internet speeds are about 20 times faster, allowing downloads of 25 songs in 1 second or a 90-minute HD movie in 34 seconds.
The five new towns bring the total to 30 towns plus parts of Chicago that are on the high-speed fiber network, with more planned, said AT&T spokesman Phil Hayes. Rollout began in 2015, he said.
Customers can buy an internet-only package, called AT&T internet 1000, for about $80 a month with a 12-month commitment. Another internet-only package costs $40 per month for 45 megabits per second, or 20 times slower than the new fiber speed. This slower package price is expected to change soon, but Hayes declined to say by how much.
The local market is one of 51 markets nationwide where the ultrafast internet service is available.
AT&T provides internet service to about 4 million locations nationwide and plans to reach 12.5 million locations by mid-2019, the company reported.
Locally, AT&T is in 175,000 Chicago area locations. Besides homes and small businesses, AT&T has connected about 5,700 apartment and condo buildings in the area.
The upgraded network is in Chicago, Des Plaines, Elgin, Aurora, Elgin, Hampshire, Pingree Grove, South Elgin, Oswego, Plano, Yorkville, Mundelein, Volo, Crystal Lake, Huntley, McHenry, Bolingbrook, Channahon and Manhattan. The company plans to expand into Berwyn and Oak Lawn in the future.