AT&T ditches DSL

Oct. 5, 2020
The change, effective October 1, was communicated to subscribers in a billing notice this past summer.

AT&T (NYSE: T) has informed subscribers that it will no longer accept new orders for DSL-based services. The change, effective October 1, was communicated to subscribers in a billing notice this past summer (a copy of which was posted on in August). The company has posted a confirming statement on its website among its service descriptions.

In a statement sent to Fierce Telecom, AT&T said that existing customers could retain their service or switch to a fiber-backed service, where available. Service based on fixed wireless access also may be available, depending upon the service area.

While AT&T has consistently emphasized its plans to invest in its broadband networks, those plans center on 5G and fiber-optic network infrastructure. “Priority #1 is to make sure that we're investing in our core businesses, and that's fiber and making sure that we have broadband connectivity on 5G,” said John T. Stankey AT&T CEO and director at a virtual Goldman Sachs conference in August. “And when you think about it, those two aren't dissimilar. When you have a great 5G network, you're deploying a lot of fiber, and that's something that we think are married well. And we think we're in a very unique position because the fiber that we deploy, not only powers our wireless business, but it helps our consumer business and fixed broadband. It helps our enterprise customers and how we deal with them as well, and so we strategically want to make sure we're doing that.

AT&T reported 469,000 DSL customers at the end of its fiscal second quarter (June 30, 2020), a drop of 23,000 from the previous quarter and nearly 300,000 less than totals on June 2018. The company reported 4.3 million fiber internet users in the most recently reported quarter.

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