AT&T has been forced to delay 500,000 of its FTTP (Fibre-to-the-Premises) builds due to an industry-wide fibre shortage.
Fibre is in high demand following a year when people were forced to appreciate the need for fast and robust connectivity. Unfortunately, the pandemic also played havoc with supply chains.
During a virtual conference, AT&T Senior Executive BP and CFO Pascal Desroches said:
“Through the second quarter, we hadn’t really experienced any impact from the supply-chain disruptions that are happening across the industry.
But, since the start of the third quarter, we are seeing dislocation across the board including in fibre supply.”
AT&T originally expected to complete FTTP builds to three million homes this year. However, Desroches said: “We’re probably going to come in a little bit light, probably around 2.5 [million].”
Given the buying power and relationships that AT&T has, the company is in a better position than most to acquire what fibre is available.
“We’re the largest fibre purchaser in the country and we have prices that are the best and most competitive in the industry,” explained Dosreches.
“We feel really good about the ability to secure fibre inventory at attractive price points and the ability to execute the buildout at scale, something that many others don’t have.”
AT&T expects to catch up with its FTTP rollout and remains confident in achieving its target of 30 million customer locations passed by the end of 2025.
Across its business in 2021, AT&T expects gross capital investment to be in the $22 billion range, capital expenditures in the $17 billion range, and cash content spend of approximately $19 billion.
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