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

Includes: T, VZ
by: Andrew Schmitt

I’ve written in the past about the drawbacks of Project Lightspeed, AT&T’s (NYSE: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 (NYSE: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.

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Tagged: , Telecom Services - Domestic
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