Tuesday, April 9, 2013

AT&T Counters Google with Offer to Build 1 Gbps Fiber Service in Austin

AT&T is prepared to build an advanced, residential fiber network in Austin, Texas to rival Google's planned deployment.

AT&T said it expects the city of Austin will grant it the same terms and conditions as Google on issues such as geographic scope of offerings, rights of way, permitting, state licenses and any investment incentives.

“Most encouraging is the recognition by government officials that policies which eliminate unnecessary regulation, lower costs and speed infrastructure deployment, can be a meaningful catalyst to additional investment in advanced networks which drives employment and economic growth,” said Randall Stephenson, AT&T chairman and CEO.

AT&T does not expect such an investment to materially alter its anticipated 2013 capital expenditures.


In November 2012, AT&T unveiled Project Velocity IP (VIP) -- its plan to invest $14 billion over the next three years to significantly expand and enhance its wireless and wireline IP broadband network. The plan adds $8 billion for wireless initiatives and $6 billion for wireline initiatives. It also makes a distinction between areas where the company believes are better served wirelessly rather the through a traditional copper network or deploying a fiber infrastructure.

 The wireline upgrades would include speed enhancements to the company's copper-based Uverser broadband infrastructure to deliver download speeds in the 75 - 100 Mbps range for many subscribers.

Total capital spending is now expected to be approximately $22 billion for each of next three years. The company said a stronger balance sheet has provided it the financial footing to invest. AT&T is also increasing its quarterly dividend 2.3 percent and is predicting EPS will grow by mid-single digits for the next 3 years with opportunity for stronger growth going forward.