SAVANNAH,Speaking to shareholders at AT&T’s annual meeting on Wednesday, David Dorman touted the firm’s deployment of its Internet Protocol based network and outlined plans to expand offerings of local telephone service in more markets.

Dorman also said AT&T should cut its debt to under $10 billion from $12 billion.

In his address, Dorman said AT&T was investing $500 million in upgrades. Its offering of bundled local services should be expanded to as many as 22 new markets by the end of the year, up from 11. He cited business services, IP offerings, and managed services as areas of growth.

“From an operational standpoint, the challenges of the last year and the downturn in the industry overall have made AT&T a better company,” Dorman said in remarks released by AT&T. “We have
become more focused and more efficient – improving processes and setting a very specific, simplified vision for our future.

“We are continuing with a sustained investment in our business that is projected to be four times greater than that of our two largest competitors combined.”