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.