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I’ve written in the past about the drawbacks of Project Lightspeed, AT&T’s (T) program to provide video and broadband services to the home. In short, I think it’s a half measure at best and provides no competitive advantage over cable.

It looks like this opinion is starting to be echoed within the financial community. AT&T also neglected to offer any details on Lightspeed in their recent quarterly earnings call.

Investment pundits love to point out that Verizon (VZ) is being ‘punished’ for overextending themselves with FiOS capital expenditures, and praise the measured investment being made by AT&T with FTTN.

The reality of the situation is Verizon is purchasing infrastructre usable for the next 100 years with 6% long term credit. AT&T has chosen to delay an inevitable infrastructure upgrade. It’s hard to see how AT&T’s financial position will be significantly better 5 years down the road without making the upgrades now. Just like most homeowners refinanced their houses in the last few years, AT&T (to be fair, SBC) should have taken the cheap money and done the same with their residential network.

This is short-term, Wall St. driven thinking at its finest.

Source: AT&T's Project Lightspeed -- Too Little, Too Late (T, VZ)