A couple of weeks after AT&T announced that it would pause the rollout of its high-speed fiber network amid the uncertainty surrounding net neutrality rules, the company has clarified that the plans related to new commitments, not the existing ones.
AT&T's clarification comes after the FCC wrote to the company last week asking to provide information related to its plans for fiber deployment, as well as a detailed explanation on how it could lose money from the wider rollout, whether the fiber to the 2 million homes following acquisition of DirecTV would be unprofitable, and all documents related to this decision.
AT&T's announcement to halt the additional fiber-rollout investment had come in the wake of President Barack Obama's call for strict net neutrality rules – a couple of weeks ago, Obama publicly came out in support of net neutrality, asking the FCC to reclassify Internet service under Title II of the Telecommunications Act, although the regulator quickly responded, saying that it is not directly answerable to the government.
"AT&T is not limiting our FTTP deployment to 2 million homes," the company said. "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."
In its response to the FCC, the company also touched on Obama's proposal, saying that it injects significant uncertainty into the "economics underlying our investment decisions," as a result of which the company cannot evaluate additional investment beyond its existing commitments until net neutrality rules are decided.
AT&T recently announced that it has agreed to buy Mexican carrier Iusacell in a deal worth $2.5 billion.