AT&T Halts Fiber Network Rollout Until Net Neutrality Decided - Update

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AT&T Halts Fiber Network Rollout Until Net Neutrality Decided - Update

ATT Death Star 310x

AT&T's fiber internet plans start and end with Austin, Texas...for now.

Update: The FCC, seeing that AT&T's is hitting Pause on its fiber network rollout, has sent an official Request for Information over to the telecom/broadband giant.

AT&T has stated that it will bring fiber to some two million homes that are part of the not-yet-official DirecTV acquisition, but that would be it for now. Future fiber rollout wouldn't be committed to until after the federal government settled on the future of net neutrality/open Internet regulations.

In response, the FCC's letter requests that AT&T send figures over related to the companies current fiber network, details pertaining to its original fiber network rollout strategy, and finally information related to AT&T's "new" fiber rollout plans.

The FCC also wants to know if the decision is tied to AT&T's views on fiber being profitable or not, along with any and all documents related to this week's developments.

AT&T has one week (until November 21st) to respond to the FCC. We will keep tabs on the information request over the coming days.

Original Story: AT&T is pressing the pause button on its fiber-based high-speed broadband network until the net neutrality debate is settled.

The telecommunications giant has plans to bring fiber internet (think Google Fiber) to 100 American cities, but those plans are being shelved until Tom Wheeler and the FCC make a definitive move on Open Internet policies.

"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," said AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson. "We think it is prudent to just pause and make sure we have line of sight and understanding as to what those rules would look like."

The move comes after President Barack Obama requested that the FCC reclassify broadband Internet as a utility under Title II of the Telecommunications Act.

AT&T offers some sort of broadband Internet access across the United States. DSL service is available almost anywhere, while FiOS-like U-Verse service is widely available as well. The U-Verse "GigaPower" network is only available in Texas -- Austin, and Dallas-Fort Worth -- with expansion planned in 100 cities over the next several years. Those expansion plans are now on hold, assuming this isn't a politically-charged bluff.

This is not the only government crossroads AT&T is involved in, as Ma Bell is going through regulatory hurdles to buy DirecTV for $48 billion.

Source: Reuters

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"That's a nice little Internet you've got there." (*snort* *crack knuckles*) "Be a real shame if something were to happen to it..."

In all seriousness, I can't entirely blame a company for wanting to know more before they move forward, but it's hard not to see a bit of the above in such a statement.

Callate:
"That's a nice little Internet you've got there." (*snort* *crack knuckles*) "Be a real shame if something were to happen to it..."

In all seriousness, I can't entirely blame a company for wanting to know more before they move forward, but it's hard not to see a bit of the above in such a statement.

Google has been pushing for net neutrality and they don't seem to mind pushing out Gigabit networks. I think your top statement is a bit more true than you think.

Ugh, this is one grueling slog. Someone wake me up when we finally have a functional fiber-optic infrastructure that isn't throttled or held hostage by telecom companies.

"We can't spend money to make our services faster for our customers until we know for sure how much long term gouging we can perform... and get away with it."

Real swell, ATT. I'm thinkin' about switching to my local cable services, but I'm also too lazy to go through the motions. Bah, humbug.

In other words "We're not going to put down fiber unless the FCC says we can throttle it."

What they mean, of course, is "We're not going to put down fiber until Google continues to eat our markets."

I'm for net neutrality, but it's awful childish to blame AT&T for not spending money how you want them to spend money.

"Oh, other people are doing it, why aren't you?"

Give me a break.

crimson5pheonix:
In other words "We're not going to put down fiber unless the FCC says we can throttle it."

What they mean, of course, is "We're not going to put down fiber until Google continues to eat our markets."

^Exactly that.
Upgrading infrastructure is costly, and without Wheeler's New Old Deal for the cable company oligopoly, they have no incentive to upgrade. Or even provide the rates they advertise for that matter.

Fappy:
Ugh, this is one grueling slog. Someone wake me up when we finally have a functional fiber-optic infrastructure that isn't throttled or held hostage by telecom companies.

This is America, son. Free market. Don't like it, don't buy it. Vote with your wallet, even amongst monopolies.

Zachary Amaranth:

Fappy:
Ugh, this is one grueling slog. Someone wake me up when we finally have a functional fiber-optic infrastructure that isn't throttled or held hostage by telecom companies.

This is America, son. Free market. Don't like it, don't buy it. Vote with your wallet, even amongst monopolies.

but voting with your wallet is censorship!

OT: Living in Texas I can safely assure people that Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth would actually have a use for fiber-optic internet due to populations.

Though it's still a bitch to dig up and install the actual lines due to city ordinances.

What I'm surprised about is AT&T decided to skip San Antonio all together for now.

I'll be more interested when us people that live out in rural areas are able to get DSL without the stupid data limit. It's sad, for example, that our current service offers at maximum 2Gb data, costs more than regular DSL, and top speeds during the best weather [as in no clouds within 5-10 miles of the wifi tower our antenna is focused on] of around 100 kbps.

of course, Internet companies obviously speak for me when they say "Americans don't want high speed internet."

Kalezian:

but voting with your wallet is censorship!

Only, apparently, when boob plate is involved.

Zachary Amaranth:

Fappy:
Ugh, this is one grueling slog. Someone wake me up when we finally have a functional fiber-optic infrastructure that isn't throttled or held hostage by telecom companies.

This is America, son. Free market. Don't like it, don't buy it. Vote with your wallet, even amongst monopolies.

Not having Internet is literally not an option in this day and age. Far too much of the economy and job markets heavily depend on it for someone to look at their only ISP in the area and say "No". Not having Internet access is on par with not having a car or phone.

....... Hehe..... Haha..... BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHA!!!!!!!

Oh shit they are serious? Um well then.... You are going to purposely fall behind the (better already) competition? Really? That is your whole plan?

Apparently At$t has not lost enough money yet for the CEO to be successful.

It would also help if Wheeler/the FCC/the government/whoever is in charge of this sort of thing could work on some of the protectionist laws the telcos have in around half the states to limit competition from municipalities. (Telcos with monopolies: Surprise! They don't actually love the free market.) Not sure what impact the possibility of the whole "utility" vs "information service" question currently on the table has on this.

Clearly, I hope this all works out for the side of good and right, but I am a little bit glad that my city is currently building out a municipal fiber network and counting the months until we can cancel our not-so-snappy DSL. (Not even a year and half to go!)

So it's come to hostage taking, and extortion?

AT&T: If we don't find the terms in our favor we won't roll out this fiber line!

That's fine. I was waiting for Google anyways. No one was expecting AT&T to actually roll out anything. We were expecting them to announce they would, but drag their feet waiting for Google to fail. This is just a convenient excuse for them since Google hasn't stopped.

Devin Connors:

AT&T offers some sort of broadband Internet access across the United States. DSL service is available almost anywhere, while FiOS-like U-Verse service is widely available as well.

sorry, have to clarify. U-verse is still DSL. Fios is fiber, and existed before Google fiber. Big difference.

Atmos Duality:

crimson5pheonix:
In other words "We're not going to put down fiber unless the FCC says we can throttle it."

What they mean, of course, is "We're not going to put down fiber until Google continues to eat our markets."

^Exactly that.
Upgrading infrastructure is costly, and without Wheeler's New Old Deal for the cable company oligopoly, they have no incentive to upgrade. Or even provide the rates they advertise for that matter.

Competition is the key here. If AT&T had to worry about another provider offering better service then they would drop those lines in. The problem is that you have basically 1 maybe 2 providers in a given area. This is a power play by AT&T to get what they want, and then not give us what we want in return.

This whole thing is terrible. The government is going to allow cable and telecommunication companies to determine how fast they can provide their direct competition to us (i.e. streaming of Hulu, Netflix, Amazon, Skype, etc...) Cutting the cord from cable companies becomes impossible, because they're the ISP too.

Ickabod:

Competition is the key here. If AT&T had to worry about another provider offering better service then they would drop those lines in. The problem is that you have basically 1 maybe 2 providers in a given area. This is a power play by AT&T to get what they want, and then not give us what we want in return.

You're preaching to choir there; I have roughly 6 work-years of experience doing contract and consulting with all manner of ISPs, including some of the biggest.

I've had a taste of that culture, and seen how they operate.
It's why I rail against them as much as I do.

(I work the Chicagoland region; Local businesses west of the big city had to pool for their own fiber business loops, since AT&T and Concast abjectly refused to improve infrastructure DESPITE the huge demand for it. Why? Because they're making fat stacks of cash gouging old cable clients.

Contrast to regions where Google Fiber has tried to set up. Cable companies have friends in Congress, and boy oh boy, have they been calling in favors to keep fiber out of the ground in the heartland.)

V da Mighty Taco:

Not having Internet is literally not an option in this day and age.

I was parodying libertarian sociopathy. No need to instruct me. A good chunk of my livelihood relies on the interwebs.

I work for At&t tech support, fucked up place. If you get your account suspended, you get slapped with a 30$ restoral fee, per service. Oh sure we'll help you pay in increments, but as long as your full balance isn't paid, you get an 8$ late fee every month! The sales agents are 80% outsourced, a lot of them suck at their jobs, they tell the customer they will give them 79$ a month before taxes, but then make it 100$... If you miss a payment, your account gets put into treatment status for an undetermined amount of time, and when that happens, not only can't you upgrade your services, but you can't even get a fucking remote if you need one, the system will not let us ship you anything, no swaps at all.

Sales offers 100-200$ reward cards for new customers, but the catch is, they have to call the rewards team within 4 weeks of install to get those cards, and if you don't, well too bad, expired. And it's only in the small print of the contract. Sales actively prays on the elderly when it comes to voip. They NEVER tell them that if the internet or power goes out, their phone is out. A lot of these people do not have cell phones and their line is everything they have. And as we all know, being old comes with disease and emergencies.

We have a workflow engine that tells us what to troubleshoot and how. Recently, they added a tab for "Netflix" and it says to call Netflix if their movies are slow and everything else is normal. Red fucking flag is obvious. Not throttling Netflix my ass.

There is one type of internet called IPDSL, the RG for that is an NVG510, I have never seen one last past 2 years, NEVER. These cost 100$ to the customer to replace, as it is considered their equipment due to no rental fees. Guess what happens if we send a tech to fix it and it needs replacing? The following is our dispatch script:

"I can dispatch a technician to resolve this issue, there is no charge if the trouble is found in the AT&T network or equipment."

So far so good!

"IF the trouble is found INSIDE your premises, and the technician fixes your issue, you will be charged a 99$ flat rate for the repair, however, any charges will be discussed by the technician."

So if you have an NVG510, you have a potential 200$ charge for an RG swap. Of course the techs are mostly good people and don't do shit like that, but the potential is there.

There are areas with 12 hour windows for techs, but they only go out for the first 8, no new appointments after that.

This is not to say that the customers are not partially to blame, when the number 1 call driver is not being able to change the fucking tv input, we have an education problem. But seriously, if you think these companies aren't all about the money at the expense of the consumer, you are kidding yourself.

I can truly understand not wanting to sink a lot of money into an investment if the rules about that investment are still in the air, BUT fiber optics is just a smart play no matter what the rules are. So ok, lets say NN does get passed in a way that makes it so ALL internet has to be the same price regardless of speed (so long as it meets the min req). If your competitor is offering un-throttled services on the old infrastructure and you're offering un-throttled services on a fiber optics infrastructure you are going to have more customers. Yes the price will be the same, yes the initial cost will be high, but you'll be offering a better service meaning more customers and more customers means more revenue. So with all that in mind all I can see this as is an attempt to scare people who don't actually take the time to think into submission.

Wow, nice scumball hostage taking tactic there, AT&T. Maybe next time you should be a little more blatant about it though.

There really needs to be laws that require these companies to provide quality service, as others have said the net is becoming a necessity now adays not a luxury, atleast if you intend on working and paying your bills etc.

I can imagine America being a pain in the ass to get decent net to, I mean the cities are one thing but suburbs must require hideous amounts of cable per X amount of houses relative to say Europe, where a less space requires houses to be closer together.

Not surprising a company doesn't want to run up that kind of investment without assurances of the market.

Zachary Amaranth:

V da Mighty Taco:

Not having Internet is literally not an option in this day and age.

I was parodying libertarian sociopathy. No need to instruct me. A good chunk of my livelihood relies on the interwebs.

Ah, that explains it. Poe's Law strikes again, I suppose. I retract my earlier statement.

GOOD. This will just give GOOGLE Fiber more momentum.
https://fiber.google.com/about2/
I agree with CNET, AT&T IS the devil. We would all be better off without them existing in the long run.
image
I love my interent company, No automation, I just have a person answer the phone, and this person lives in the same area as I do and all they ran was fiber here. Other companies hopefully will take this opportunity to cut them off at the pass as they did where I live.

RicoADF:
There really needs to be laws that require these companies to provide quality service, as others have said the net is becoming a necessity now days not a luxury, at least if you intend on working and paying your bills etc.

The first thing we need to tackle is having the same laws that apply to fiber and cable as they do to copper. We need to have the same line sharing law apply increasing competition. They are currently in a loophole that allows them to monopolize areas without the necessary regulation that applies to the utilities. Even some of the utilities here are forced to compete, but not ISPs due to no line sharing laws? It is far past time for this to be addressed.

Zachary Amaranth:

Fappy:
Ugh, this is one grueling slog. Someone wake me up when we finally have a functional fiber-optic infrastructure that isn't throttled or held hostage by telecom companies.

This is America, son. Free market. Don't like it, don't buy it. Vote with your wallet, even amongst monopolies.

96% of Americans have two or fewer companies to choose from. That's not a free market, its a monopoly on basic services.

Timedraven 117:

Zachary Amaranth:

Fappy:
Ugh, this is one grueling slog. Someone wake me up when we finally have a functional fiber-optic infrastructure that isn't throttled or held hostage by telecom companies.

This is America, son. Free market. Don't like it, don't buy it. Vote with your wallet, even amongst monopolies.

96% of Americans have two or fewer companies to choose from. That's not a free market, its a monopoly on basic services.

In MANY areas in the US, you only have ONE. With as bad as satellite internet is, I do not think it should even be considered an option.

Come on FCC, the good guys could really use a win right now.

Ickabod:
This whole thing is terrible. The government is going to allow cable and telecommunication companies to determine how fast they can provide their direct competition to us (i.e. streaming of Hulu, Netflix, Amazon, Skype, etc...) Cutting the cord from cable companies becomes impossible, because they're the ISP too.

I'm lost as to what people expect to watch if everyone cuts the cord? Where do they expect the new shows to come from once the cable companies stop making them? I skip netflix now because it already has nothing current. If people stop subscribing to cable and watch all the shows streaming, so broadcast ad revenue is decimated, there won't be any new shows.

Yeah, I know netflix has some original programing. What 4 shows? 5? Thats not even enough to make up 1 channel let alone the dozen or so channels I actually watch.

Devin Connors:

"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," said AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson. "We think it is prudent to just pause and make sure we have line of sight and understanding as to what those rules would look like."

are you taking a piss here? fiber should have been present in all those cities a decade ago regardless of regulation. your excuses for staying even more barbaric are irrelevant. there is no excuse for not rolling out fiber regardless of whether we have net neutrality or not. you are acting against the best interests of the nation and as such you should be stopped.

Then again i heard your still using bandwitch caps so it looks like your thinking is stuck in 20th century as well.

Baresark:
I'm for net neutrality, but it's awful childish to blame AT&T for not spending money how you want them to spend money.

"Oh, other people are doing it, why aren't you?"

Give me a break.

No its not childish to expect a service to be up to date with the rest of the world if it does not want to be slapped by everyone into bankruptcy. There is no excuse for these companies to not roll out fiber optics there as any half-decent company would have had them there a decade ago. the ONLY reason they have is greed and that should never be tolerated.

Ickabod:

Competition is the key here. If AT&T had to worry about another provider offering better service then they would drop those lines in. The problem is that you have basically 1 maybe 2 providers in a given area. This is a power play by AT&T to get what they want, and then not give us what we want in return.

they dont because they can just sue anyone trying to compete for "unfair competition" and win the court, even against google, thus essentially banning all competition by law.

mattttherman3:

There is one type of internet called IPDSL, the RG for that is an NVG510, I have never seen one last past 2 years, NEVER.

hate those. i try to make the ISPs get rid of them whenever i can. RGs in general. I personally got fiber line going straight to my desk (literally, i got fiber optics cable sitting on my desk) that then gos through fiber to Ethernet converter thats literally just a 3CMx3CM chip housed in plastic so it wont get damaged and then the cable goes to my router (that i bought on my own and ISP got nothing to do with it. altrough they do offer rental for one, i know theirs and they are shit so i bought a decent one instead)

RicoADF:
There really needs to be laws that require these companies to provide quality service, as others have said the net is becoming a necessity now adays not a luxury, atleast if you intend on working and paying your bills etc.

there was attempt to pass the change to the "good high speed service standard" to raise it to a whooping 11mbps (which in itself is extremely slow nowadays and users were furious and wanted it to raise more), however the companies managed to lobby it down. IMO there should be minimum standards required by law. Here it is slightly self regulated. our contracts actually got uptime claim of 99% and if the uptime is lower we can actually take the ISP to court and win, so they try hardest not to do that. actual competition (can choose from at least 4 ISPs almost anywhere) takes care of the rest. There was monopoilistic asshole one (it owned all landlne phone lines, so it had acess weverywhere by default) however once the others rolled out the fiber in 00s they pretty much were forced to offer good service or be outcompeted, and now they are one of the best ones (im even thier costumer now).

Lil devils x:
GOOD. This will just give GOOGLE Fiber more momentum.

unlikely considering google lost court cases for "unfair competition" and was banned from actually competing with those monopolies in some states.

Raziel:

I'm lost as to what people expect to watch if everyone cuts the cord? Where do they expect the new shows to come from once the cable companies stop making them? I skip netflix now because it already has nothing current. If people stop subscribing to cable and watch all the shows streaming, so broadcast ad revenue is decimated, there won't be any new shows.

People will want to watch stuff. They will watch them online, with ads placed around or by playing directly. thuse the same companies that made TV shows will make Internet shows, but in essensce it will be the same, just the medium changes. the difference will be is that the end user will be able to pick what and when to watch, but they will still be paying for these shows directly or indirectly (via ads) and people earning that money is going to be making shows.

You do realize that people wont just Stop watching TV and thats it. they will go on watching the same stuff online. that being said, Games market was eating movie industry for over a decade now, it is possible that TV industry will shrink as its userbase shrinks. it wont go away though.

Raziel:
I'm lost as to what people expect to watch if everyone cuts the cord? Where do they expect the new shows to come from once the cable companies stop making them? I skip netflix now because it already has nothing current. If people stop subscribing to cable and watch all the shows streaming, so broadcast ad revenue is decimated, there won't be any new shows.

Yeah, I know netflix has some original programing. What 4 shows? 5? Thats not even enough to make up 1 channel let alone the dozen or so channels I actually watch.

I think, this is a change, that needs to happen. Old school television broadcasting is an outdated concept and needs to be replaced. This can only happen step by step, so it has to start somewhere. As Strazdas already said, there is a market, there is a need, so someone will eventually step up to fill it.

The more I look at it the more it seems those companies are going to get what they desire, it is America after all. My condolences friends.

If all this ultimately derives itself from politics/culture than you're just going to have to accept it until those politics/culture changes (which...yeah, good luck).

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