AT&T says that if it's allowed to buy satellite broadcaster DirecTV, that means it can afford to pull fiber connections into more homes, for additional superfast broadband Internet coverage.

DirecTV's board of directors agreed last month to sell to AT&T for $48.5 billion, but the deal needs approval from federal regulators. Expanding access at higher speeds is a federal policy goal, so AT&T's offer could raise its chances of getting approval for the deal.

AT&T said in a regulatory filing Tuesday that the DirecTV deal would enable it to upgrade 2 million additional locations to "Gigapower" fiber connections, and expand high speed broadband coverage overall to 13 million locations. AT&T hasn't said how many homes it was already planning to reach with fiber.