Thursday, September 01, 2016

A refreshingly honest assessment from AT&T: Building advanced telecom infrastructure is "tough."

AT&T rips Google Fiber - Business Insider: Google's service has been a big threat to AT&T and other telcos since it promised to offer faster internet speeds at lower prices. But a series of recent reports noted that Google's broadband service has garnered disappointing subscription numbers and is scrambling for a new wireless-based model as it cuts back the size of its staff. The two corporate giants have clashed before, including ongoing legal battles over access to utility poles. But the latest salvo by AT&T, which reads as part take-down, part tantrum, stands out for the undisguised derision and sarcasm it heaps on Google, while touting what it says is its own $140 billion investment in broadband.

"Moral of the story," writes AT&T VP of federal regulatory Joan Marsh, "Building reliable, ubiquitous high-speed broadband connectivity is tough."

A refreshingly honest assessment here. AT&T certainly knows it's hard building ubiquitous advanced telecommunications infrastructure, particularly when it like other legacy providers is hamstrung by a vertically integrated, "bill and keep," subscription-based business model that requires selling one customer premise at a time. The evidence: the widespread infrastructure gaps in its nominal "service territory."

If the United States continues to rely on this impaired business model, it will continue to suffer from inadequate infrastructure and disparate service access for decades to come.

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