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

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 …

  1. Shadow Systems Silver badge

    Brilliant plan: Piss off the Government.

    Government says it's considering reclassifying internet as a Title 2 Public Utility.

    You respond by saying you're "pausing" your fibre plans unless the Government stops that process, claiming "it's too expensive".

    Government calls your bluff & demands proof of your claims of expense.

    You refuse to comply, claiming it's none of their business.

    Kiss that DirectTV merger goodbye, and prepare for the Government to go full steam ahead with that reclassification.

    Pissing off the regulators in charge of deciding your future is a GREAT way to shoot yourselves in the head.

    1. fishman

      Re: Brilliant plan: Piss off the Government.

      You forgot about the part where AT&T dumps boatloads of cash on the politicians to get the FCC off their back.

      1. asdf

        Re: Brilliant plan: Piss off the Government.

        Yep just have to run out the clock for less than a couple of years for the next regime change. Sure worked for Microsoft when W came rolling in.

    2. cs94njw

      Re: Brilliant plan: Piss off the Government.

      I wish it really worked that way.

  2. jphn37

    They don't have the business acumen to do . . . What?!?!?

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

    It's beyond their business acumen to take the existing business environment, change one variable, and project an either/or scenario to their financial risk? What an obvious and disingenuous lie!

  3. Afterdrive

    Sod on

    I believe not one word emanating from the deathstar, as a loyal subject of the Empire emanating from the New Order. The USA is a boobular land that does not see fit to build out the future, as it sees NO future for itself.

    Hitler's autobahn was recognized as a valuable idea, as expressed in the US as the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways.

    Korea's hallmark intranetwork is expressed in the US as a poorly fertilized cow pasture.

    Commercial monopolies have NO interest in building infrastructure because that costs money. They make more money by doing nothing (in their mind), and just jacking up fees for increasingly less expensive services.

    A monopoly would make more money with an improved infrastructure, because it would have more customers. However, this isn't how a monopoly thinks. It thinks the opposite way, and there is no pressure to change its thinking because it's a MONOPOLY.

    Monopoly wants to do nothing but raise fees for cheap service (a la Ma Bell), and the Government has given up on the Future. So we go nowhere quickly. We deserve what we get I guess.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Sod on

      And the worst part is that, in a capitalist economy, monopolies and oligopolies are inevitable. Play the game long enough (like a poker tournament) and eventually someone comes out the winner and gobbles up everyone else. Eventually, it reaches a point that, barring some out-of-nowhere disruption, no one else can stand up to the giant in the playground.

      1. asdf

        Re: Sod on

        > no one else can stand up to the giant in the playground.

        Until Teddy comes along with his big stick. Seriously Standard Oil had a monopoly that made Microsoft's in the late 90s look puny and only worth chump change by comparison and we didn't end up with OCP running Detroit (although probably would have been better if they did). Too bad here in Gilded Age 2.0 the politicians are a bunch of pussies who bend over for the rich.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Sod on

          It's worse than that. The politicians in Gilded Age 2.0 were hand-picked by the big businesses themselves. They're less pansies and more peons. It's like crooked sportsmen having made sure their own officials are running the show. What's worse, the common public is not in a position to know or even care.

    2. roger stillick

      Re: Sod on

      ATT jumped the shark years ago on their fiber internet build out.. it is simply obsolete... companies like CenturyLink have quietly been building out fiber to the hub of new fiber and offer all services as an interface card and a net box / wireless hub at the home... we have it w /5 laptops n a desk work station along w / 2 Netflix boxes n Hulu to a laptop... no one interferes w/ each other... CL speed tests show 7mb down n 1.2 mb up... not bad for 35 bucks a month (cheap venison)...

      IMHO= it is simple when CenturyLink figured out that fiber to the node was way more cheaper than replacement of corroded out copper that exhausted fill 25 years ago w/ exchange T-carrier systems on powered copper T-spans that failed every rain storm, gell filled cable or not... Coax was never in the mix as fill was limited and the physical plant is unmanageable for anything other than what the cable folks currently offer (actually quite good TV and internet service)... my only attempt at a home Net Apache Server was on Cable that was never down other than ac power fails... RS.

  4. cs94njw

    And then, under TTIP, the new monopoly sues a government to maintain their dominance.

    There's a monopoly in a country giving shit service and costing too much for citizens.

    Government intervenes and tries to break up/force lower costs.

    Company sues government for lost profits.

    Government can't justify legal bill to defend.

    Monopoly continues.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      But what happens when there's existing antitrust/anti-monopoly law in the books? Last I checked, treaties are only enforceable at an equal level to national law, not above (due to the limits concerning sovereign power), meaning you now have two conflicting laws. It would be curious to see how a court would decide on the matter.

      1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

        "It would be curious to see how a court would decide on the matter."

        $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ --> Judge > $$$$$$$$$ --> Judge.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          But there is big business interest on both sides of the argument, so it's not so cut and dry.

          1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

            Sure it is. Whomever pays the most wins. This isn't rocket surgery. America has the best government (and judiciary) that money can buy.

            1. Charles 9 Silver badge

              Except that it's not so clear which side has the most money to spend. Sure you have big boys like AT&T and Verizon on one side, but then you have the likes of Google, Netflix, and Amazon on the other side. It's easy to SAY how to win it, but it's much harder to identify WHO is the bigger fish in this debate, and since both sides have lots of skin in the game, both sides are taking the fight seriously.

  5. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    There, fixed it. All done. We're a good monopoly.

    AT&T will run one Cat6 cable from each neighborhood VRAD box to the house next to it. Tens of thousands of customers have gigabit fiber to the home in record breaking deployment time.

    (I wish this was purely a joke, but it's what's already done with VDSL to make incredible "up to" speed claims.)

  6. Queasy Rider

    If they want to play poker, let's call their bluff.

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

    And in response to that, the FCC should tell them, okay fine, then the FCC simply cannot not evaluate AT&T's request to merge with Direct TV until they have met their existing commitments.

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