As telecommunications companies spend billions on wireless, where does that leave the wired?

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A Q&A with Angela Siefer, executive director of the National Digital Inclusion Alliance. 

Telecommunication companies are spending a lot of money on wireless infrastructure to support their 5G networks. In a Federal Communications Commission auction announced recently, Verizon spent $45 billion on acquiring new spectrum. AT&T spent $23 billion. But wired infrastructure is not seeing the same kind of love. AT&T has stopped connecting new customers to its DSL network, and a report out last fall by NDIA and the Communications Workers of America found that it has deployed high-speed fiber to only about a third of the households in its network. Siefer said, "What we’re seeing is the lack of investment in the lower-income neighborhoods by AT&T. With Verizon, we see skipping of whole cities. So they’re each making their own choices as to where they go with their fiber investments. And for the rest of us who end up in any of these places where those investments aren’t happening, we need to say, are we OK with that? Or do we need to somehow be influencing either their decisions or coming up with our own solutions?

As telecoms spend billions on wireless, where does that leave the wired? AT&T's Digital Redlining | Leaving Communities Behind for Profit (NDIA/CWA Report)