AT&T to FCC: We Aren't Limiting FTTH to 2M Deal Pledge

AT&T says it is not pulling the plug on all its fiber build-outs if the FCC reclassifies broadband access under Title II, but reiterated that it will have to pause consideration of further investments beyond its April announcement about expanding its GigaPower fiber to the home (FTTH) initiative to 25 cities and the DirecTV deal pledge.

The FCC wrote AT&T Nov, 14 asking it to explain its fiber plans, based on reports of AT&T Chairman Randall Stephenson's warning that common carrier regs would cause the company to pause its high-speed fiber buildouts.

AT&T says the premise of the letter is incorrect.

In its response to the FCC Nov. 26, AT&T said it is not limiting its FTTP deployment to 2 million homes. "To the contrary, AT&T still plans to complete the major initiative we announced in April to expand our ultra-fast GigaPower fiber network in 25 major metropolitan areas nationwide, including 21 new major metropolitan areas," as well as the 2 million additional as part of the DirecTV deal. Here is a more granular view of AT&T's GigaPower market commitments. 

At a Wells Fargo conference earlier this month, talking about the threat of Title II, AT&T Chairman Randall Stephenson said: "We made some commitments in the DirecTV announcement that we will build fiber to 2 million additional homes. We will obviously commit to that and once the DirecTV deal is done, we'll keep going. But what we have also announced on top of that is that we're going to deploy fiber to 100 cities. And we can't go out and just invest that kind of money, deploying fiber to 100 cities other than these two million, not knowing under what rules that investment will be governed. And so, we have to pause, and we have to just put a stop on those kind of investments that we're doing today."

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.