Remember AT&T’s threat that it would curtail broadband rollout if network neutrality were implemented?
Well that threat is is now inoperative:
AT&T now says it isn’t really going to halt a huge fiber investment because of net neutrality despite its CEO recently claiming the company would do just that.
Don’t celebrate yet—AT&T is making no promises to build anywhere.
AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson told investors on November 12 that “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.” Stephenson was referring to an April announcement in which AT&T said it would “expand its ultra-fast fiber network to up to 100 candidate cities and municipalities nationwide, including 21 new major metropolitan areas.”
Because of uncertainty about net neutrality rules, Stephenson said at the investor event this month that it would be better to “pause” instead of proceeding with the 100-city investment. Construction in all 100 cities was never guaranteed to begin with, as it was contingent on municipal cooperation with AT&T.
I’m not surprised that they’ve blinked.
Even the FCC wasn’t buying this as a credible threat.