Enlarge / An AT&T specialist servicing a fiber job.

AT&T today stated it will certainly bring fiber Internet to a couple of million even more houses and also services by the end of this year. “In 2021, AT&T plans to increase its fiber footprint by an additional 3 million customer locations across more than 90 metro areas,” AT&T stated. This would certainly elevate AT&T’s fiber release to around 18 million houses and also services.

AT&T supplied a checklist of the 90 city locations right here. The substantial bulk of them currently have AT&T fiber accessibility, as seen in this AT&T fiber map.

This most likely indicates the 3 million brand-new areas will largely include houses and also services near AT&T’s existing fiber setups rather than houses and also services in totally unserved locations. We asked AT&T for even more information on the prepared fiber release and also will certainly upgrade this post if we obtain even more info.

The fiber statement is a little a turnabout from mid-2019, when an AT&T exec stated, “We’ll continue to invest in fiber, but we’ll do it based on the incremental, economic case. We’re not running to any household target.”

Most of AT&T area still does not have fiber

While 3 million areas is a significant buildout, there are 10s of countless houses without fiber in AT&T’s 21-state wireline solution location. There were 52.97 million homes in AT&T’s house-Internet solution location and also 14.93 countless them had fiber-to-the-home accessibility, the Communications Workers of America (CWA) union informed Ars in October 2020 when AT&T revealed the discontinuation of tradition DSL solutions over copper phone lines.

Of the 38 million homes in AT&T area that did not have fiber-to-the house during that time, 22.6 million had accessibility to VDSL (also known as fiber-to-the-node), and also 13.9 million had the older DSL modern technology that is no more used to brand-new consumers, the CWA stated. Poor individuals have actually been overmuch left out from AT&T’s high-speed Internet upgrades, study by the National Digital Inclusion Alliance has actually discovered.

AT&T was needed to bring fiber to 12.5 million areas by mid-2019 under problems troubled its acquisition of DirecTV and also wound up striking 14 million around the very same time as that due date.

Network disregard

AT&T has allow its copper phone network degrade with disregard over the previous years, causing inadequate solution top quality and also prolonged blackouts, a record appointed by the California state federal government discovered. AT&T consumers in low-income locations and also locations without significant competitors got on the most awful, the California record discovered.

AT&T has actually been swiftly giving up staff members the previous couple of years regardless of guaranteeing to utilize a company tax obligation cut to produce work. AT&T had 230,000 staff members since January 31, below 268,000 2 years formerly. The discharges are one large factor that AT&T has actually stopped working to correctly keep huge sections of its copper network or update even more of that network to fiber.

AT&T’s prepared fiber-to-the-home upgrades this year will obviously target locations that at the very least have the semi-modern fiber-to-the-node network, leaving individuals in various other components of AT&T area with out-of-date modern technology.

“We’ve got the opportunity to convert our VDSL… to fiber-to-the-home” in areas where AT&T currently has fiber in your area, AT&T CFO John Stephens stated at a capitalist occasion a couple of days back (see Seeking Alpha’s records).

AT&T fiber has actually been prominent with consumers in locations where cable television firms formerly used the fastest solution. While cable television and also fiber both offer quick download rates, cable television networks are still much behind fiber on upload rates. “In areas where AT&T has deployed its fiber network, the company has 10 percent higher market share than its competitors,” AT&T stated today. But in several locations where AT&T does not deal with an affordable danger from cable television broadband, the business has actually been much less going to update its network.

At year-end 2020, AT&T had 4.95 million fiber-to-the-premises Internet consumers, 8.74 million fiber-to-the-node consumers, and also 407,000 tradition DSL consumers.

Wireless strategies

Fiber builds are necessary both for wired Internet and also for backhaul to AT&T’s cordless network, Stephens kept in mind. Today’s statement from AT&T invested even more time on AT&T’s HBO Max and also 5G mobile strategies than on the fiber-to-the-premises building. In a current range public auction, AT&T sent winning quotes for across the country accessibility to 80 MHz of “C-Band” range in the top component of the 3 GHz band.

“The company plans to begin deploying the first 40MHz of this spectrum by the end of 2021,” AT&T stated today. “AT&T expects to spend $6-8 billion in capex deploying C-band spectrum, with the vast majority of the spend occurring from 2022 to 2024.”

AT&T’s capital investment were $15.7 billion in 2020, below $19.6 billion in 2019 and also over $21 billion each year in previous years. AT&T stated it prepares “capital expenditures in the $18 billion range” in 2021.

Source arstechnica.com