November 14, 2014 / 6:38 PM / 3 years ago

U.S. FCC seek details of AT&T's plan to pause fiber spending

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Communications Commission on Friday asked AT&T Inc to provide specifics of its plan to stop investing in high-speed Internet connections in 100 cities until the agency sorts out new “net neutrality” rules.

An AT&T logo and communication equipment is shown on a building in downtown Los Angeles, California October 29, 2014. REUTERS/Mike Blake

Earlier this week, President Barack Obama called for stricter rules governing the way Internet service providers manage their traffic. AT&T responded by saying it would stop investing in high-speed Internet connections in 100 cities until the Web rules were settled.

In the letter, Jamilla Ferris, head of the FCC’s review team, asked the No. 2 wireless carrier to detail its plans to limit fiber deployment and to turn over all documents on the decision by Nov. 21.

The FCC is reviewing AT&T’s proposed $48.5 billion bid to buy satellite operator DirecTV. As part of the merger proposal, AT&T agreed to provide high-speed fiber Internet to 2 million homes if the deal is approved.

“We are happy to respond to the questions posed by the FCC in its review of our merger with DirecTV,” said AT&T spokesman Michael Balmoris. “As we made clear earlier this week, we remain committed to our DirecTV merger-related build-out plans.”

Reporting by Alina Selyukh and Marina Lopes; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli and Lisa Von Ahn

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