November 14, 2014 / 7:25 PM / 5 years ago

UPDATE 1-U.S. FCC seek details of AT&T's plan to pause fiber spending

(Adds AT&T comment, details from letter)

By Marina Lopes

WASHINGTON, Nov 14 (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Communications Commission on Friday asked AT&T Inc to provide specifics of its plan to stop investing in high-speed Internet connections in 100 cities until the agency sorts out new “net neutrality” rules.

Earlier this week, President Barack Obama called for stricter rules governing the way Internet service providers manage their traffic. AT&T responded by saying it would stop investing in high-speed Internet connections in 100 cities until the Web rules were settled.

In the letter, Jamilla Ferris, head of the FCC’s review team, asked the No. 2 wireless carrier to detail its plans to limit fiber deployment and to turn over all documents on the decision by Nov. 21.

The FCC is reviewing AT&T’s proposed $48.5 billion bid to buy satellite operator DirecTV. As part of the merger proposal, AT&T agreed to provide high-speed fiber Internet to 2 million homes if the deal is approved.

“We are happy to respond to the questions posed by the FCC in its review of our merger with DirecTV,” said AT&T spokesman Michael Balmoris. “As we made clear earlier this week, we remain committed to our DirecTV merger-related build-out plans.” (Reporting by Alina Selyukh and Marina Lopes; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli and Lisa Von Ahn)

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