In response to the net neutrality kerfuffle currently being debated and discussed, the FCC is all ears to all sides. They are not, however, open to tactical positioning. In response to the yet-unresolved condition of reclassification for ISPs, which would provide the FCC with additional oversight, AT&T announced they would hold off on investing domestically, including their rollout of fiber-optic cable. Now, the FCC wants to know why AT&T is being pragmatic, and wants them to prove their point.
AT&T is currently making a bid to acquire DirecTV. As part of that purchase, AT&T promised to build fiber-optic lines direct to consumer homes. The FCC needs to sign of on the acquisition, and has not done so yet.
The FCC is now inquiring as to why AT&T is slowing and/or stopping their fiber build-out. Officials want to know if AT&T is able to prove “that fiber deployment is now unprofitable” for the two million homes they promised to connect. More to the point, the FCC wants to know if AT&T can prove it would be unprofitable to build fiber lines to homes.
FCC officials have requested AT&T send over “all documents” relating to the decision.
AT&T has said they will comply with “the questions posed by the FCC in its review of our merger with DirecTV”. AT&T also says they’re committed to all merger-related plans — but also seem to be moving forward with their scheme to stall on fiber.