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AT&T to FTC: I'd like to see YOU install 1Gbps fiber across the US. Which we're still doing

Telco tells regulator to step off after demand for homework

AT&T has told the FCC to mind its own business after the US watchdog started poking around the ISP's threat to halt its fiber broadband rollout.

The phone giant, in a strop over proposed net neutrality regulations, announced it was freezing its program of high-speed internet expansion in America. Execs at the company said it was too financially risky to invest in new infrastructure what with neutrality rules still way up in the air.

The FCC called out AT&T, and demanded to see some figures backing up those claims.

Today, AT&T responded by saying the FCC's got it all wrong: the telco is still rolling out all of the fiber broadband it promised to in April, as well as cable to the homes of two million DirecTV customers. AT&T is awaiting approval from the FTC to gobble DirecTV and its subscribers.

In April, the telco vowed to install gigabit broadband in more than 100 US cities. So, it seems, by saying it will freeze its fiber expansion plan, AT&T really meant all future, unannounced rollouts.

"AT&T is not limiting our FTTP [fiber to the premises] 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," AT&T said in its response to the FCC.

"In addition, as AT&T has described to the Commission in this proceeding, the synergies created by our DIRECTV transaction will allow us to extend our GigaPower service to at least 2 million additional customer locations, beyond those announced in April, within four years after close."

AT&T said that because it is not limiting its announced fiber rollout plans, it will not hand over the details of costs that the FCC had requested as part of its review process of the AT&T-DirecTV merger.

Additionally, the telco said it won't necessarily be killing off its fiber expansion plans long-term should net neutrality rules be enacted by the FCC.

"To be clear, AT&T has not stated that the President’s proposal would render all of these locations unprofitable," the company said.

"Rather, AT&T simply cannot evaluate additional investment beyond its existing commitments until the regulatory treatment of broadband service is clarified." ®

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