AT&T is putting the brakes on its gigabit fiber internet service. CEO Randall Stephenson revealed this morning that the company will halt the rollout of the network, which launched in Austin last year, until it has solid net neutrality rules to follow. “We can’t go out and invest that kind of money deploying fiber to 100 cities not knowing under what rules those investments will be governed,” he said.
Stephenson’s statement almost feels like a threat. If AT&T — one of the companies that’s lobbied the hardest against net neutrality since 2005 — can’t get its way, then the dream of blazing fast fiber will jut have to wait. And it’s not the first contentious statement from AT&T this week: It swiftly came out against President Obama’s pro-net neutrality remarks on Monday and threatened to sue the FCC. AT&T senior executive vice president Jim Cicconi, ever the dramatist, said that if the FCC followed Obama’s suggestions it would be “a mistake that will do tremendous harm to the internet and to U.S. national interests.”
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