AT&T Backs Off From Delays To Fiber Deployment, Following FCC Investigation

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson made some controversy a few weeks ago — claiming all fiber deployment had been postponed — following President Obama’s support of Title II reclassification for broadband companies.

Title II reclassification could harm AT&T’s core broadband business, by imposing regulations that would stop things like fast-lanes, price-hikes and underdevelopment.

It may also promote municipal broadband, developed by city leaders or small businesses. AT&T has been pushing hard in several states to make sure municipal broadband is illegal, even if states they do not offer broadband in.

To make the government scared, AT&T announced due to the FCC net neutrality law being postponed until 2015, it will not work on any other fiber networks, until the decision had been settled.

The statement, made by the CEO, was quickly jumped on by the FCC. In the acquisition for DirecTV, AT&T said 2 million homes would get fiber as part of the deal, something the FCC was quick to note.

The FCC also questioned what sort of financial issues AT&T spoke about, if the commission was to enable Title II reclassification.

In a 180 turn of events, AT&T has not only said the 2 million homes will receive fiber in the DirecTV acquisition, but also all “100 cities” will be getting fiber down the line.

Even though it is more like 20 cities getting a small fiber update — mostly coming to high-end developments — it is still a major step for AT&T to establish itself as 1Gbps Internet provider.

AT&T was not able to hold its bluff long and we wonder what CEO Randall Stephenson was thinking when announcing the postponement of any future fiber deployment.

It seems like the CEO almost forgot about the DirecTV acquisition. This sort of decision making could harm AT&T in the long run, especially since now the company is making promises they will bring fiber to “100 cities”.

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