Wednesday, April 25, 2007

AT&T residential broadband on back burner?

Some observers including your blogger have questioned AT&T's commitment to the residential wire line market in the wake of the company's recent acquisition of BellSouth, giving Ma Bell a 100 percent stake in Cingular Wireless. Indeed, AT&T chief Ed Whitacre told The Wall Street Journal after the deal closed "We're about to become a company with wireless at its heart.'' That likely means investment in AT&T's wire line infrastructure has been bumped down to a lower priority.

A personal experience today reinforces that scenario. I walked by a Cingular store and noticed a sign in the window "AT&T/Yahoo High Speed Internet Sold Here." So I dropped in and asked the manager when it would be available in my neighborhood. He didn't have a clue and suggested I come back in a couple of days and talk to the "techie guy." I headed out the door before he could ask me if I was interested in a wireless phone.

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