Twenty million of AT&T’s 50 million customers live beyond the reach of its high-speed U-verse fiber-optic network. But unlike Verizon -- which sold off its rural lines in 18 states in various transactions – AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson told investors that the company is planning to upgrade the copper lines to handle enhanced DSL.
Stephenson estimates that about 15 million of those can be served by an enhanced DSL technology. It’s possible that as many as five million homes are too far away from network hubs to receive DSL, and will need a wireless broadband solution.
Stephenson also noted that AT&T is prepared to “go deeper with fiber" in residential areas to increase speeds, and to use improved technical solutions as well.
AT&T Mulls Upgrading Rural Lines Instead of Selling Them (Bloomberg.com, June 1, 2012)