Written in partnership with the Communication Workers of America, NDIA is pleased to release the following report:

AT&T’s Digital Redlining: Leaving Communities Behind for Profit

AT&T is making the digital divide worse and failing its customers and workers by not investing in crucial fiber-optic buildout that is the standard for broadband networks worldwide. An analysis of AT&T’s 21-state network, an August 2020 survey of CWA members, and reports by local advocates in AT&T’s service area reveal widespread service below the Federal Communications Commission’s broadband definition of 25/3 Mbps and demonstrate AT&T’s disinterest in building fiber-optic cable.

In all, AT&T has made fiber-to-the-home available for fewer than one-third of the households in its network. AT&T’s employees — many of whom are Communications Workers of America (CWA) members — know that the company could be doing much more to connect its customers to high-speed Internet if it invested in upgrading its wireline network with fiber. They know the company’s recent job cuts — more than 40,000 since 2018 — are devastating communities and hobbling the company’s ability to meet the critical need for broadband infrastructure.

There is no dispute that internet service is essential. We, as a society, cannot be ok with families in lower-income households paying more for slower internet service than households in higher-income neighborhoods. We cannot be ok with a system that places the interests of AT&T’s shareholders before that of our communities.

Angela Siefer

Executive Director, NDIA