halbert writes "ArsTechnica has a story about AT&T COO Randall Stephenson telling folks that there is 'no discernable difference' between AT&T's 1.5 Mbps service and Comcast's 6 Mbps, because the backbone is slowing everything down. The main argument from the article is that fiber to the home is not necessary. How about letting the consumer decide that?" From the article: "This is a direct response to the criticism that AT&T has suffered for deploying a fiber optic network that reaches only to the local node, not directly into a customer's home--which means that the 'last mile' connection is still copper wire. Verizon, by contrast, is deploying fiber directly into the home, making for much higher speeds. AT&T argues that its model is cheaper, faster to deploy, and just as capable as Verizon's, which currently uses much of its massive bandwidth to distribute RF TV channels."