AT&T has asked the FCC to accept a goal of 100% broadband penetration by 2014, but also wants the FCC to accept that a “private” approach (meaning not government-sponsored) is the best one to get there. Like most network operators, AT&T also rejects the notion that broadband should be defined as a specific speed and promotes the notion of embracing a lot of technology options, including wireless.
We think the most significant comment was that the FCC should focus on what consumers want and not what the FCC (or presumably various advocacy groups) thinks they should have. AT&T has a problematic territory for fiber deployment, and we believe it is concerned that FCC mandates for a specific level of broadband speed might force very expensive upgrades on them and validate a cable industry DOCSIS 3.0 offering. Comcast has just announced it is dropping the price of its 50 Mbps service to about $100 when it’s combined with other TV/voice offerings. That’s beyond the range of AT&T’s current technology (ADSL).