Bloomberg item shows how the nation's largest wireline telecom player continues to struggle under the burden of its outdated legacy infrastructure. According to the article, AT&T is trying to decide whether to sell off wireline plant where it does not offer its DSL-based U-Verse triple play product.
At issue is whether to upgrade field distribution equipment to extend the reach of U-Verse to more premises. But doing so still relies on AT&T's decades-old, legacy copper cable plant to bring the service to residential premises. That plant is less than optimal for transporting the higher frequency and more interference-prone VDSL protocol utilized by U-Verse, boosting the volume of customer service calls and increasing operating expenses. The technical limitations of the copper plant also bar AT&T from reaching about 5 million residential premises that remain disconnected from the Internet, as noted in the article by Barclay Capital analyst James Ratcliffe.