AT&T Fiber is one of the more coveted services from the telecommunications giant, but it’s largely limited because of the cost and time required to roll out the infrastructure. CEO John Stankey said there’s an opportunity to connect a lot more people than previously expected.
The Dallas company previously projected reaching 30 million homes by the end of 2025. But Stankey said during a UBS investor conference on Tuesday that he sees an opportunity to reach an additional 10 million to 15 million homes in its existing geographic footprint.
“If I were to look at our current performance right now, rate of penetration, the average revenue per user we bring in kind of where we get on share,
ultimately, steady state, all those things, there’s probably 10 million to 15 million more homes in our existing footprint that clearly, economically,
are as attractive as the ones we’re building right now,” Stankey said.
The comment bodes well for anyone in an existing AT&T market, but stuck with its slower DSL service as an option. The company largely decides its fiber rollout based on market opportunity or the complexity to install new fiber, meaning some customers may not get that option right away — if ever. Having the possibility of as many as 15 million more homes with fiber means additional opportunities for consumers to get higher speed internet.
Stankey hedged a bit on the number, saying that range could change to 12 million to 17 million, and noted that factors like regulations could determine how many people the company can ultimately reach.
While AT&T is slowly rolling fiber out, it sees 5G home internet as the more immediate solution to switching customers out of slower DSL lines. The company only began expanding its service in a notable way this summer, and is playing catch-up to Verizon and T-Mobile, which have both seen their 5G home business explode with popularity.
Stankey, however, sees 5G home internet as a temporary measure — a bandage until it can get customers on a faster, more reliable fiber line.
“I’m very measured about how we use the technology, but a very appropriate way for us to use it,” he said during the conference.