AT&T Hurt by Slowdown on Domestic Service

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AT&T Chief Executive Randall Stephenson says his company cut service to a number of landline and home broadband customers. He wouldn't say how many had stopped paying their bills, but he blamed the weak economy. Stephenson says wireless customers are hanging in there.

STEVE INSKEEP, host:

NPR's business news starts with what your phone bill tells you about the economy.

The head of the nation's largest phone company says the slowing economy is hurting his business. AT&T's chief executive, Randall Stephenson, yesterday said his company has cut off service to a number of landline and home broadband customers. He wouldn't say how many people had stopped paying their bills but he blames the weak economy.

Excuse me a moment.

(Soundbite of dial tone)

INSKEEP: I just wanted to make sure we still had our service.

Stephenson said wireless customers are hanging in there because cell phones are the last thing that consumers would surrender. His comments add to the growing talk of a possible recession, and his company's shares took a hit on Wall Street.

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