FCC: You, AT&T. Get over here and explain this 'no more gigabit fiber' threat

Guess you're not interested in that DirecTV merger either, huh? HUH?


The US Federal Communications Commission is calling out AT&T for throwing a hissy-fit over net neutrality and halting its gigabit-a-second fiber rollout.

The watchdog said in a letter to AT&T execs that it wants the telco giant to explain why it thinks it will lose money if it expands its fiber broadband network.

AT&T said earlier this week that it was going to put a hold on plans to lay more fiber for its gigabit internet service across the US until the FCC straightens out its net neutrality policy.

The company's CEO Randall Stephenson said that AT&T did not want to invest money in expanding its network if the FCC hasn't put forward its plans for handling classification and regulation of broadband services in the US.

"We think its prudent to just pause, make sure we have line of sight and understand to what this process will look like," Stephenson said of the decision.

AT&T does plan to continue the expansion of its 1Gbps fiber service to 2 million DirecTV subscribers, should the telco get permission to acquire the satellite TV provider.

The FCC, however, is not so convinced of AT&T's arguments that it could lose money from the wider rollout of gigabit fiber, should FCC enforce net neutrality rules, and so the commission wants to check AT&T's math.

The commission is asking for information on number of subscribers the broadband biz had planned to add to its gigabit network, and how many it will now be abandoning, as well as a geographic breakdown of the areas where expansion is to be halted.

AT&T has one week to comply with the FCC's request. ®


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