AT&T CEO John Stankey shared that investing in fiber and broadband connectivity on 5G is the #1 priority for the company.

On  Sept 15, John E. Waldron, President & COO of the Goldman Sachs Group interviewed AT&T CEO John Stankey at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference asking direct questions on AT&T’s plans for fiber and broadband service.

When asked about key priorities as AT&T navigates near-term challenges to better the company for growth opportunities in the mid to long term, Stankey answered:

“And I would tell you, from our point of view, what we think is important is we have a great franchise and connectivity, specifically broadband connectivity.

So anything that we can do to put more fiber out into the network, serve both our consumer and business segments and use that to power what over time is going to become a much more dense and distributed wireless network.

And that’s, first of all, one of our key focus areas and something that we see as being very important to us.”

Stankey’s answer related to fiber when asked about company investment to drive value creation for AT&T: 

“But look, as I just indicated, 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. 

And when you think about it, those 2 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.”


When asked if there is there actually a business case for materially expanding AT&T’s fiber footprint, Stankey’s answer was:

The answer is yes to that. 

There is clearly an easy path for us to think about a substantially larger fiber footprint than what we have today with returns that are as good as the great returns we’ve gotten from the first tranche of homes that we’ve built. 

And we’re — our confidence level is — it was high before COVID. I would tell you right now with the used patterns and characteristics we’re seeing, it’s even higher.”


You can find the full transcript of the interview here.