On November 7, AT&T will formally announce its strategic direction going forward, including its plans for its rural wireline properties.
While there had been speculation that AT&T was looking to sell off its rural landlines, it now appears that they are looking at a combination of wired and wireless solutions to bring broadband to these areas. In mid-October, FitchRatings issued a report which concluded that selloff was unlikely. "There are signs," said a news story, "that AT&T is looking at various technologies to enhance rural broadband speeds, changes in regulation and modifications to labor agreements, which, in Fitch's opinion, point toward the retention of its rural lines."
And another report, this one from Jefferies & Company, predicts that AT&T will announce on November 7 that it will update 3 million subscribers to its Fiber to the Node (FTTN)-based U-Verse, and the rest will be connected through high-speed 4G LTE wireless service.
AT&T's November 7 announcement will be videocast. Speed Matters will be following the announcement closely for its impact on rural customers and workers.
FitchRatings: AT&T Unlikely to Sell Rural Lines (telecompetitor.com, Oct. 16, 2012)
AT&T could bring U-verse to another 3M users, says analyst (fiercetelecom, Oct. 19, 2012)