AT&T will phase out its fiber-optic and satellite-based video platforms within five years in favor of its planned DIRECTV Now streaming service, according to sources familiar with the strategy. AT&T has taken another step toward that streaming future by signing a distribution deal with Scripps Networks Interactive -- whose holdings include Food Network and HGTV -- across multiple platforms.
The Federal Communications Commission has asked AT&T to provide details on how the telecom plans to proceed on its fiber-optic deployments as well as the program's profitability. In a letter sent to AT&T on Friday, officials also asked for information about its stated commitments related to the pending purchase of DIRECTV. The request came after AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said uncertainty about Open Internet rules could slow the company's fiber expansion investments.
The Public Utilities Commission yesterday began a probe into SBC Pacific Bell's planned job cuts to ascertain whether the downsizing would affect telephone service in the state negatively or positively. SBC said it planned to cut as many as 3,000 jobs from its California division.
SBC Ameritech yesterday said it is withdrawing its request to charge rival companies higher fees to use its phone network. Separately, AT&T asked the FCC to eliminate fees levied by local phone companies for competitors to use their phone lines.