AT&T says it now markets its AT&T Fiber (fiber to the home) service to more than seven million locations across 67 metropolitan areas and 21 states.
AT&T plans to reach at least 12.5 million locations by mid-2019. In part, some will argue, that deployment is driven by terms of the Federal Communications Commission clearance of the AT&T acquisition of DirecTV.
Deal approval includes the obligation to deploy optical fiber to 12.5 million new homes. Some might argue (rightly, perhaps) that AT&T will have to stretch to hit that target.
Iit has taken roughly four years to add seven million locations. AT&T has to add 5.5 million more connections in less than two more years. What that means for AT&T’s capital investment
budget is clear: it has had to boost capex beyond prior years.
Some have argued that reaching that level of fiber-to-home household coverage would be difficult. But AT&T has boosted its capex beyond former levels, now spending about $6 billion a quarter on capex.
AT&T has allocated as much as $22 billion in 2017 annual capex, in part to build out the FirstNet emergency responder network.
Some observers will worry about what that level of capex means for overall financial performance, including debt load. But, so far, AT&T seems to have handled it.