Ma Bell Gets Wired

For more than 110 years there were three things American investors could count on: death, taxes and a profit at AT&T.; Now they are back to two. For the first time since 1877, when Alexander Graham Bell founded what was then called the Bell Telephone Co., the telecommunications empire will post a loss for the year. The deficit, which could run as high as $1.7 billion, will be the result of AT&T;'s decision last week to scrap $5.6 billion worth of outdated equipment. In a drive to modernize, the company is replacing 2 billion miles of telephone connections with higher-capacity fiber-optic...

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