For someone living in a rural Wisconsin area where high-speed Internet access has not arrived, the best chance for getting the service could come in 2017 from a technology called fixed wireless.

Starting next year, AT&T Inc. plans to offer fixed-wireless Internet connections to roughly 24,000 homes in Wisconsin — mostly in rural areas where it’s too expensive to install miles of fiber-optic cable or copper wire that carries an Internet signal.

Fixed wireless enables a customer to go online with a connection to a cellular tower instead of cables strung to the home. An antenna about the size of a pizza box, mounted on the customer’s house, receives the signal from the tower.

AT&T will get $54 million, or $9 million per year, from the federal Connect America Fund II to bring high-speed Internet service to rural Wisconsin through 2020. Read the full Milwaukee Journal Sentinel story here.