AT&T Slices 09 Capex, Downshifts U-verse Deployment

In an expected move that could have sobering implications for the firms it uses to bring products and service to market, AT&T Inc. (T) today cut capital spending in 2009, announcing it expects a drop of 10 percent to 15 percent as opposed to its outlays last year – and pushed out its U-verse goal by one year.

The capital spending cuts could represent well over $2 billion as the Tier 1 telco says it spent more than $20 billion on capital expenditures in 2008.

It’s unclear whether AT&T will rely less, or perhaps more, on third parties as a result of the capital spending cuts.

AT&T stressed that it expects to make “continued good progress on its U-verse network build in 2009.” Deployment currently reaches 17 million living units, says AT&T, adding it expects to reach its previously announced target of 30 million living units in 2011, a year later than its original plan.

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