Verizon knew in 1996
Still, AT&T was just licking it's wounds from the local & long distance wars of the 90's.. never expecting to get back into wireline. That doesn't excuse the path taken from 1997 - 2011 which evolved from about 70-85% VDSL overlay and 15% FTTP in so-called "GREEN FIELDS"... which is code for new residential high value housing. Nevertheless, VDSL is not a competitive product to docsis 3 and the cable companies know it. That gave them breathing room to tinker with an defective product (docsis 3) to get the upstream channels working. Now that they have, they're still cautious on putting high bandwidth in the upstream for fear of cannibalizing video even further. Cable companies fear their own customers more than they fear AT&T as a competitor.
AT&T and Comcast are just not committed to real competition and they have the *MOST* wireline customers in the country. When the tmobile acquisition is compete AT&T will have the majority of wireless customers too. Verizon and everyone else combined would still make up less customers than AT&T wireless with Tmobile.
The goalposts of the game have evolved in mergers and acquisitions. Lofty goals and gobbly speak about better value for the customer was *REQUIRED* to sell mergers to the public so that they wouldn't squawk. Today that's not the case. AT&T's merger speaks volumes about the big get bigger and screw the customer with higher prices in the process on justifiable investment. "We're gouging you to build fund a better network". It goes nicely with that "Rethink Possible" slogan. Businesses think they can do whatever they want and there are no negative consequences for the company.
The big oil companies, banks and wall street have opened this Pandora's box and YOU Joe customer will end up paying $$ MORE $$ for their failure AGAIN, and AGAIN, and AGAIN! AT&T's wireline deployment leaves Comcast with a MONOPOLY in at least 25% of their footprint. No, not a complete duopoly.. a MONOPOLY. AT&T's current policy is to NEVER upgrade 55% of their wireline business. Who knows how long NEVER will last..
RE: AT&T licking its wounds... I thought SBC bought AT&T. After, they changed their name to AT&T because the brand had national appeal.
Regarding cable being cautious on deploying faster upstream speeds, why do you think that they think it will cannibalize video?