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You are here: MacNN Forums > News > Tech News > AT&T could shelve gigabit fiber investments over net neutrality rules

AT&T could shelve gigabit fiber investments over net neutrality rules
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Nov 12, 2014, 10:17 PM
 
During an analyst conference on Wednesday, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said that the company is considering putting a hold on its build-out of gigabit fiber networks for select cities in the US until a decision is made on net neutrality rules. The company announced in April that it would be bringing high-speed fiber to 100 cities and municipalities.

Twenty-one "candidate cities and municipalities nationwide" were identified as expansion points for AT&T U-Verse with GigaPower, with a number of large metropolitan areas under consideration. Cities like San Francisco, Chicago, Nashville and Los Angeles were among the cities that AT&T said it would work with in an effort to bring the high-speed services to communities.

It appears that this project could now be put on hold, as Stephenson said the company is contemplating holding off on additional capital investments until net neutrality rules are in place. According to a report from CNet, Stephenson said that it is wise to pause the investments in order to make sure the company has "line of sight on this process and where these rules could land." The company would then re-evaluate its investments.

"We can't go out and invest that kind of money deploying fiber to 100 cities not knowing under what rules those investments will be governed," said Stephenson, in a report from Reuters.

Stephenson's comments fall only days after President Barack Obama proposed called on the FCC to institute a plan that regulated the Internet like a public utility. AT&T voiced its opposition against the plan, stating it "would be a mistake that will do tremendous harm to the Internet and to US national interests."

"We feel the actions called for by the White House are inconsistent with decades of legal precedent as well as Congressional intent," said Senior Vice President, External & Legislative Affairs Jim Cicconi. "Moreover, if the government were going to make such a momentous decision as regulating the entire Internet like a public utility, that decision is more properly made by the Congress and not by unelected regulators without any public record to support the change in regulation. If the FCC puts such rules in place, we would expect to participate in a legal challenge to such action."

During the conference Stephenson said that any rules crafted under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934 would take years to adopt. He believes that it could take two or three years at most to change, but only a year in a best case scenario. The time doesn't take into consideration any amount added for legal challenges it would face.
     
SierraDragon
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Nov 13, 2014, 01:49 AM
 
AT&T can keep their Gigabit and we should make AT&T into a bunch of new Baby ATTs while we are at it.
     
jdonahoe
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Nov 13, 2014, 03:20 AM
 
AT&T, where the customer comes first.

Wait, we can't gouge them, well never mind then.
     
JackWebb
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Nov 13, 2014, 04:51 AM
 
I'm actually surprised that the gov and AT&T are not crony partners. AT&T and Comcast compete in my neighborhood and I'm glad for that. Customer service from AT&T has gotten a bit better. Frankly I don't know that there's any problem for the gov to solve here and I have zero confidence that the gov would do anything but add new problems to the few if any that I can think of that we have. Let it go. The benefits of widespread internet have come a long way without the gov so far.
     
prl99
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Nov 13, 2014, 09:24 AM
 
Comcast and Frontier try and fight in my city but there's no way Frontier can win. Large cities have the ability to cost-justify the installation of fiber while small cities don't. Frontier tops out at 6Mbps DSL. In order to install fiber, they'd have to dig up streets and front yards. Only recently did they require builders to install cable in conduit so any fixes of Comcast cable requires digging and people don't like that. Some areas in town still have overhead wiring so these could be upgraded but any areas newer than 20-30 years old have underground utilities. WaveBroadband has the same problem and isn't going to invest in our city either. You can only have competition when companies want to compete, that's the fallacy of competition. I know too many people don't like government control of anything but they quickly forget that in most cities there's only one company handling water, sewer, and electricity so why not include internet services? Can't do that because there wouldn't be any competition. (sarcasm) I'd rather see broadband cable or fiber installed in new cities and have these lines rented by ISPs. That's where the competition would come from. Of course, having two ISPs run services on the same backbone cable won't work. I don't, however, want to see Google fiber come to our town because Google's only reason to provide cable is to tap into those lines and read all the data going across them. People want just the cable/fiber installed by a service-less company.
     
iBricking.com
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Nov 13, 2014, 10:27 AM
 
JackWebb, please do yourself a favor and watch this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpbOEoRrHyU

WARNING: It MAY contain profanity. (I haven't seen it in a long time.)
     
pairof9s
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Nov 13, 2014, 11:45 AM
 
The proverbial "take your ball and go home".
     
iBricking.com
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Nov 13, 2014, 12:29 PM
 
My thought exactly, pairof9s.
     
Grendelmon
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Nov 13, 2014, 12:55 PM
 
...aaand the rest of the developed nations in the world shake their heads at the United States.
     
mgpalma
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Nov 13, 2014, 01:43 PM
 
Good for AT&T. With all of the evil corporation mantras floating about, why the government (an armed evil corporation) gets a pass all of the time is the real head scratcher. It's amazing how well the government has gotten people to believe their 'neighbors' are the bad guys and the government is the good guys.
-
Michael
     
Flying Meat
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Nov 13, 2014, 03:36 PM
 
Many false generalities you have there, mgpalma.
     
   
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