AT&T, Verizon Top Annual Domestic Investments on Equipment

Of all U.S.-based non-financial corporations, AT&T and Verizon last year led domestic spending on plants, property and equipment with a combined investment of $36.3 billion, according to a report from the Progressive Policy Institute.

In the list of “U.S. Investment Heroes of 2014,” AT&T ranked No. 1 with an annual spend of $20.9 billion, followed by Verizon ($15.4 billion).

Rounding out the top five were Exxon Mobile (11.1 billion), Chevron ($10.6 billion) and Walmart ($8.7 billion). 

“On the whole, telecom companies plowed an estimated $46 billion last year into their operations, leading all other industries,” wrote Libby Jacobson, Verizon’s director of digital policy communications, in a blog commenting on the report.

The report said AT&T spent money on expanding its U-verse fiber-optic network while Verizon concentrated its investment on building out its 4G LTE wireless network.

Citing Verizon’s 4G LTE network and fiber-to-the-home network known as FiOS, Jacobson said, “Verizon has been a big part of the investment and innovation story.”

Comcast moved from the 10th position to No. 7, thanks to investments in its X1 cable platform equipment, wireless gateways and network capacity, the Progressive Policy Institute reported.

“The continued strength of domestic investment by telecommunications and cable companies is apparent,” wrote Diane Carew and Michael Mandel of the Progressive Policy Institute.

Other cable, Internet and tech companies in the top 25 included Intel (No. 6; $8.4 billion), Google (No. 12; $4.7 billion), Apple (No. 15; $3.8 billion), Time Warner Cable (No. 21; $3.2 billion), Microsoft (No. 23; $3.1 billion) and Amazon (No. 25; $2.6 billion).

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