Fiber is a bright spot in AT&T's broadband story, and it appears that the telco is preparing to add a few more chapters to it.
Led by its fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) product, AT&T added 158,000 total broadband subs in Q3, extending that total to 14.1 million.
Additions of 357,000 net FTTP subscribers (for a total of 4.67 million) in Q3 offset losses of 29,000 DSL subs and 170,000 IP "non-fiber" customers in the period.
Speaking on Thursday's Q3 earnings call, AT&T CFO John Stephens said AT&T is on track to grow its fiber base by 25% this year and add 1 million total new FTTP subscribers for all of 2020.
Expect AT&T to stay aggressive with a fiber strategy that, so far, has built out an FTTP footprint of more than 14 million homes.
"My intent is to exit next year (2021) ... gaining subscribers, gaining share and growing the broadband business," AT&T CEO John Stankey said. "We still have a lot of fallow fiber that we can sell into. You saw that this quarter."
Stankey said AT&T will look to expand its fiber footprint but didn't elaborate on how broadly AT&T would go with FTTP and how much more capex it would shell out. But the company is keeping an eye on how the upcoming US elections might alter buildout incentives.
"We think policy in the country, where it stands right now, is attractive for investment in infrastructure and attractive for investment in fiber," he said. "I don't think we need policy to get better. We just need to ensure that the policy doesn't whipsaw back to some place that is inconsistent with incenting infrastructure investment."
For much more about AT&T's Q3 results, including an overall financial snapshot and an update on the company's pay-TV and streaming results, please see this story on Light Reading: AT&T sheds 627K pay-TV subs as HBO Max activations double in Q3.
— Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Light Reading, special to Broadband World News