AT&T is the world’s largest telecommunications company. As the owner of WarnerMedia, it is also the world’s largest entertainment company. Its roots go right back to the creator of the telephone system, Alexander Graham Bell, making AT&T also one of the world’s oldest telephone companies.
With its size and long history of innovation, AT&T has a lot of power in the field of internet provision. Creating and maintaining any network that delivers the internet to homes across America requires a lot of infrastructure and that needs a lot of money and expertise.
A downside to its size and history is the risk of complacency. The company’s established position in the internet industry means it has the skills and procedures in place to supply a reliable service but it can be set in its ways. It can be reluctant to cut prices down to the levels of the mean and hungry new players in the market.
Nonetheless, the nature of the internet market in the United States means that AT&T cannot rest on its laurels. Small, competitive internet providers can’t challenge AT&T nationally, but there are many rivals in local markets all across the country. Internet provision is a patchwork in the United States with some providers fighting vigorously for market share in the rich urban markets, while rural areas find themselves with few options. In many areas of the country, AT&T is the only business offering internet services.