AT&T will slash $3 billion off its capital investments in 2020

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AT&T is planning to spend just $20 billion on capital investment in 2020, down from $23 billion in 2019. The company is under pressure from investors to control spending, in part because its TV business is tanking and because of AT&T's giant debt load stemming from the purchases of DirecTV and Time Warner. AT&T increased capital investment between 2018 and 2019, but its 2020 outlook would push the company's spending to lower than its 2018 total of $21.8 billion. AT&T has also mostly stopped its fiber-to-the-home broadband construction even though large portions of its 21-state territory still have only copper-based DSL service. Fiber deployment isn't stopping completely, as CEO Randall Stephenson said that "5G requires us to continue deploying fiber."

AT&T's capital investment has an outsized influence on the industry numbers as a whole. As Stephenson said, the $20 billion AT&T plans in 2020 is "the most aggressive investment in the industry" even though it's low by AT&T's recent standards.

AT&T will slash $3 billion off its capital investments next year