Net Neutrality uncertainty could derail AT&T fibre rollout

14 Nov 2014

AT&T Inc has claimed that it could halt its planned investment in fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) technology following US president Barack Obama’s unexpected call on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to regulate internet service providers (ISPs) more like public utilities. Earlier this week Obama called for new regulations to protect ‘Net Neutrality’ – the principle that all traffic on the internet should be treated equally – prompting consternation among ISPs and leading Republican senator Ted Cruz to call the proposal ‘Obamacare for the internet’, a reference to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) which was signed into law by the president in March 2010.

The development prompted AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson to comment: ‘We can’t go out and invest that kind of money deploying fibre to 100 cities not knowing under what rules those investments will be governed.’ Previously, in April this year AT&T said it would deploy its high speed fibre network in 100 cities, including Chicago and Los Angeles. The CEO’s statement came only days after AT&T cut its capital spending estimate for 2015.

United States, AT&T, Federal Communications Commission (FCC)