AT&T Puts Its ‘21 State Footprint’ in Its Mouth.

AT&T put its 21 state footprint in its mouth.
  • AT&T has added the term “21 State Footprint” to their discussions with the public and investors. But AT&T never told the public that these core networks are 21 state telecommunications public utilities that are hiding in plain sight.
  • AT&T has admitted that it failed to properly upgrade and maintain this critical copper-based wired infrastructure of each state, and that it now wants to shut off half of these networks in these territories by 2025.
  • What no one remembers is that each state, such as AT&T California, was supposed to be upgraded to fiber optics, starting in the 1990’s, and AT&T left the infrastructure of 21 states to deteriorate since it was not maintained or upgraded.
  • Worse, no one knows that the billions that were supposed to be spent on the fiber to the home in each state was diverted to build the company’s wireless service.
  • These actions worked to create the Digital Divide — on purpose. Worse, AT&T has been rewarded with state and federal government subsidies, and will continue to do so. Instead, the states and the federal government should be conducting audits of the financial books and each state and the federal government agencies should be getting billions in overcharges and cross-subdies back per state.
  • Not one attorney general, state auditor, state broadband agency or public utility commissioner or even a state or federal politician has called for an investigation of what happened in their state.
  • AT&T’s mergers were based on the company competing ‘out-of-region’ with the other companies, with voice and data services,
  • AT&T’s plans were never to upgrade the entire footprint with fiber but leave at least 25% in rural areas on wireless.

Not one state, not one broadband agency, no state legislature or even investigative reporter is examining the 30 year record or asking what happened to the billions of dollars that was previously supposed to be spent (or was charged to local phone customers), or the bait and switch with the wireless company or even acknowledging that AT&T’s footprint is based on a collection of state utilities.



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Bruce Kushnick

Bruce Kushnick


New Networks Institute,Executive Director, & Founding Member, IRREGULATORS; Telecom analyst for 40 years, and I have been playing the piano for 65 years.