FCC asks for info on AT&T fiber pause

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) wants more information about AT&T's recent pause on plans to deploy high-speed fiber optic Internet in 100 cities. 

AT&T announced the delay this week, days after President Obama’s recommendations on tough net neutrality rules. 

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The FCC on Friday sent a letter to the company asking for information detailing how many homes will now be fitted with the fiber Internet connections, which can bring speeds of 50 to 100 times that of normal connections. 

The FCC also asked if the company's former plans were found to be unprofitable.  

AT&T's CEO Randall Stephenson on Wednesday announced the company would put its plans on hold to expand the super fast Internet connections until it can determine how broadband will be governed, referring the FCC's rule-making on net neutrality.

“We think it is prudent to just pause and make sure we have line of sight and understanding as to what those rules would look like," Stephenson said at the time. 

President Obama recommended using strong authority to enforce open Internet rules by reclassifying broadband  as a utility, something AT&T has opposed. The company has threatened litigation if the recommendations are adopted.

The FCC letter Friday was sent as part of the commission's review of the company's nearly $50 billion merger with DirecTV. AT&T has said it would follow through with a previous commitment on fiber connections, which was part of the DirecTV announcement.