SBC accelerates network deployment in wake of FCC broadband rulings

October 14, 2004 San Antonio, TX -- SBC Communications Inc. said today it will dramatically accelerate its plan to build a new fiber-optic network into neighborhoods, providing 18 million households super high-speed data, video, and voice services in two to three years--rather than five years as previously announced.

October 14, 2004 San Antonio, TX -- SBC Communications Inc. said today it will dramatically accelerate its plan to build a new fiber-optic network into neighborhoods, providing 18 million households super high-speed data, video, and voice services in two to three years--rather than five years as previously announced.

The decision follows a Federal Communications Commission ruling today further clarifying that old rules designed for traditional telephone networks won't be applied to new, advanced broadband and Internet protocol (IP) networks and services. According to SBC, the ruling is the latest positive development and a victory for consumers, who soon will enjoy greater choice of services and a viable alternative to cable companies that have raised consumer prices faster than the rate of inflation.

"The shovel is in the ground, and we are ready to go," asserts SBC chairman and CEO Edward E. Whitacre Jr. "Rational rules promote innovation and investment in new networks and services for consumers. And so with this positive policy movement, the delivery of next-generation broadband and video services is no longer at some distant point in the future. The future is now."

Under Project Lightspeed, SBC will provide integrated IP-based television, ultra-high-speed broadband, IP voice, and wireless bundles of products and services. With today's announcement, SBC will significantly accelerate its previously planned deployment pace and now plans to reach 18 million homes by year-end 2007. The carrier will deploy 38,800 miles of fiber--double the amount used to build out the company's DSL network--at a cost of $4 billion to $6 billion.

"The path forward is much clearer," admits Whitacre. "This is the latest in a series of broadband rulings that demonstrate this Administration and the FCC understand that keeping outdated regulation off tomorrow's technology will boost jobs, investment, and innovation. It will be equally important at the state and local level that the path remain clear of unnecessary regulatory or legislative hurdles."

SBC claims it is leading the way to provide consumers with advanced IP services over new fiber networks. Project Lightspeed will bring customers the speed they need in one-fourth the time and cost of a fiber-to-the-premise-only deployment, say company representatives.

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