Randall Stephenson, chief executive officer of AT&T Inc., speaks during a House Judiciary Subcommittee hearing in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, June 24, 2014. (Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)

AT&T is pausing its plan to roll out high-speed fiber optic Internet service to 100 cities while federal regulators decide how to regulate broadband providers.

According to Reuters, company chief executive Randall Stephenson told investors Wednesday that until the Federal Communications Commission develops clearer rules surrounding net neutrality, "We can't go out and invest that kind of money deploying fiber to 100 cities not knowing under what rules those investments will be governed."

AT&T's warning that it could take its ball and go home is a potential setback to the FCC's goal of promoting Internet access to all Americans. And it's all taking place in the context of Google Fiber's unclear long-term plans to build out its own networks. I've written before about Google's strategy with Fiber, and how it may be trying to scare other broadband providers into thinking there's a race going on. But AT&T's announcement Wednesday is a hint that perhaps the company has bigger concerns on its mind.