Light Reading
AT&T's fiber-enabled broadband service boosts top download speeds to 45 Mbit/s across the US.

AT&T U-verse Steps on Gas

Alan Breznick
8/26/2013
50%
50%

Still playing catchup ball on the broadband field, AT&T Inc. is hiking its top broadband speeds in 40 more markets across the US, including such major metro areas as Atlanta, Chicago, Cleveland, Columbus, Detroit, Indianapolis, Miami, New Orleans, and Orlando.

AT&T announced Monday that it’s rolling out its new, high-speed U-verse Internet service tier, known as Power, to all these markets after introducing it in parts of California and Nevada late last month. The new Power tier offers downstream speeds as high as 45 Mbit/s, nearly twice as fast as U-verse’s previous top service, and upstream speeds as high as 6 Mbit/s. (See: AT&T Boosts U-verse Speeds in 40 Markets.)

Even with the increase, U-verse still trails badly behind the top speeds of Verizon Communications ’ fiber-enabled FiOS service. In a bold bid for broadband bragging rights, Verizon boosted FiOS’s fastest speeds to 500 Mbit/s downstream and 100 Mbit/s upstream last month, putting it second only to Google Fiber’s symmetrical 1 Gbit/s service in the Kansas City area.

Further, U-verse still trails well behind most of the largest US MSOs, which have all rolled out DOCSIS 3.0 throughout their regions. For instance, Comcast, Cox Communications, Charter Communications, Cablevision Systems, Suddenlink Communications, and Mediacom Communications all offer top downstream speeds of at least 75 Mbit/s, and nearly all of them offer 100 Mbit/s or more.

But more speed increases are on the way for U-verse. In its announcement, AT&T said it aims to boost U-verse’s top download speeds as high as 100 Mbit/s sometime in the future.

“We know customers want more speed,” said an AT&T spokesman, noting that the telco will keep extending the speed increases to other U-verse markets “on an ongoing basis” over the coming months. “That’s why we have plans to continue increasing speeds and expand availability of our U-verse offerings as part of our three-year, multibillion-dollar Project Velocity.”

Under Project Velocity, AT&T also aims to expand U-verse’s broadband reach by another 8.5 million homes, increasing its total footprint to 33 million households. The telco ended the second quarter with 9.1 million U-verse Internet subscribers, far more than Verizon’s 5.8 million FiOS Internet subscribers, after bagging a whopping 641,000 new customers in the spring, mainly by converting over more of its rapidly dwindling DSL customer base.

To entice consumers, AT&T is offering the new U-verse Power tier for an introductory price of $49.95 a month when the service is bundled with U-verse TV and voice products. Customers must also agree to two-year contracts. After that introductory period ends, the price will rise to $76 a month.

Current, eligible U-verse Internet residential customers can also upgrade their packages to the new service and receive $10 off their monthly bills for the next year.

— Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading

(8)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
albreznick
50%
50%
albreznick,
User Rank: Blogger
8/27/2013 | 1:01:27 PM
Re: Still Lagging Behind
So it sounds like we could end up with a new digital divide, but this time in the wireless rather than the wireline space. Just what the nation needs, eh? How far do you think Google Fiber will go with its FTTP networks? think they'll be a real nationwide threat to the cable ops and telcos? Also, do you think AT&T and Verizon might overbuild each other someday? 
Carol Wilson
100%
0%
Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
8/27/2013 | 10:22:08 AM
Re: Still Lagging Behind
Excellent point. Especially when you consider that the areas still dependent on DSL and phone lines are the exact same areas where LTE is not pervasive and will be more expensive to deliver. 
KBode
50%
50%
KBode,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/27/2013 | 10:17:00 AM
Re: Still Lagging Behind
Well, the push to deregulate is ever present, but they've been taking a slightly new deregulatory strategy in many states over the last year or two with a focus on killing rules that require they continue to provide DSL and POTS in areas they no longer want to:

http://www.muninetworks.org/content/kentuckians-once-again-fighting-keep-landlines

Both AT&T and Verizon want to kill DSL in huge swaths of markets, arguing that LTE will be good enough for those users. Granted a Netflix-gobbling household running face first into a 5GB cap with $15 per gigabyte overages is great for AT&T and Verizon, but not so great for consumer wallets. These are already mostly financially troubled areas they're targeting.

It's an issue that's kind of flying under the radar as we all get focused on how exciting LTE is, but forget it's not really a fixed line replacement -- in large part because of cost.

 
Carol Wilson
100%
0%
Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
8/27/2013 | 10:09:39 AM
Re: Still Lagging Behind
That's what they are doing here - promoting somewhat smaller VRADs and free landscaping. My little village was ahead of the game, bringing in a second cable competitor back in the 90s, so there wasn't as much pressure here to enable competition. 

Sooo, the regulatory thing -- AT&T is encouraging these new regulations with the intent of using to justify an exit?
KBode
50%
50%
KBode,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/27/2013 | 10:07:02 AM
Re: Still Lagging Behind
I still think company claims that 80% or more will be able to get speeds up to 100 Mbps are generous. I know from years of listening to AT&T customers complain that loop lengths and line quality issues are going to make that a jumbo order. 

Granted it's also worth noting that AT&T's going state to state gutting regulations that require they continue offering DSL and POTS across huge swaths of markets (so they can exit them), so I really do think "Project VIP" is somewhat theatrical in nature.

I know the biggest remaining expansions for U-Verse will be in San Francisco and Indianapolis, which both I believe (like you) had issues with locals not appreciating the massive VRAD cabinets that suddenly pop up on their lawns.

I think AT&T's making progress on that front after offering to pay $1-2k for landscaping and beautification.
Carol Wilson
100%
0%
Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
8/26/2013 | 5:12:57 PM
Re: Still Lagging Behind
I think they do well in some areas by being the lower-cost option. I can't get AT&T U-Verse, because my suburb didn't give in on free placement of the VRADs, but there are now rumors that AT&T is once again in negotiation on that topic.

It made me think they are taking further expansion seriously. I'd agree they still need short, clean loops to make the speed thing work but continuing to push copper to its limits does seem to be paying off for them.
SarahReedy
100%
0%
SarahReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
8/26/2013 | 2:23:53 PM
Speed v. reliability
This is good news. I'm paying $32 for "Internet max," so the extra speed would only cost $8 per month during the promo period. May have to look into it. I haven't had much of a problem with the speed so far though, just the Internet going in and out, which is frustrating for us work-at-home types. Sometimes speed can be just good enough, but reliability is most important.
KBode
50%
50%
KBode,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/26/2013 | 2:21:19 PM
Still Lagging Behind
Even with these upgrades (which require clean lines and short loop lengths, so won't be available to many) AT&T's still lagging on the competitive front. I noticed the other day that even when they deploy U-Verse fiber to the HOME service at new greenfield deployments they're capping those users at 24 Mbps. You'd think this would damage AT&T more than it does, but at last look I think they still owned something like 55% of the United States broadband market all by themselves.
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Custom TV
The WiFi Road to Riches – 1

10|21|14   |   10:15   |   (0) comments


SCTE Director of Advanced Technologies Steve Harris discusses WiFi deployments, drivers, challenges and advances, including 802.11ac, carrier-grade WiFi, community WiFi, Hotspot 2.0, Passpoint, WiFi-First and voice-over-WiFi.
LRTV Custom TV
Advantech Accelerates 100G Traffic Handling

10|17|14   |   7:56   |   (0) comments


Paul Stevens from Advantech explains why handling 100GbE needs a whole new platform design approach and how Advantech is addressing the needs of equipment providers and carriers to give them the flexibility and performance they will need for SDN and NFV deployment.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Holland's Imtech Traffic & Infra Discusses Huawei's ICT Solution and Services

10|16|14   |   4:49   |   (0) comments


Dimitry Theebe is from the business unit at Imtech Traffic & Infra which delivers communications solutions for transportations. His partnershp with Huawei began about a years ago. In this video, Theebe speaks more about this partnership and what he hopes to accomplish with Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Comprehensive Storage Solutions Vital for SVR

10|16|14   |   6:16   |   (0) comments


SVR Information Technology provides cloud services for academic and special sectors. With Huawei's support, SVR and Yildiz Technical University has established Turkey's largest and most advanced High Performance Computing system. CSO Ismail Cem Aslan talks about what he hopes Huawei's OceanStor storage system will bring for him.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Mexico's Servitron's Impression of Huawei at CCW 2014

10|16|14   |   6:35   |   (0) comments


Servitron is a network operator in Mexico that has been in the trunking industry for the past 20 years. Its COO, Ing. Ragnar Trillo O., explains at Critical Communications World 2014 that his company has been interested in the long-term evolution of LTE technology and its adoption for TETRA.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Building a Better Dubai

10|16|14   |   2:06   |   (0) comments


Abdulla Ahmed Al Falasi is the director of commercial affairs, a telecommunications coordinator for the government of Dubai. Their areas of service span across multiple industries, including police, safety, shopping malls and more. In this video, Abdulla talks about his department's work with Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Lights Up Malaysia Partner Maju Nusa

10|16|14   |   1:59   |   (0) comments


Malaysia's Maju Nusa is an enterprise partner to Huawei in networking, route switches and telco equipment. At this year's Critical Communications World in Singapore, CTO Pushpender Singh talks about what Huawei's eLTE solutions mean to his company and for Malaysia.
LRTV Custom TV
Evolving From HFC to FTTH Networks

10|15|14   |   2:19   |   (0) comments


Cisco's Todd McCrum delves into the future of cable's HFC plant, examining how DOCSIS 3.1 and advanced video compression will extend its life and how the IP video transition will usher in GPON and EPON over FTTH.
LRTV Custom TV
Exploring the Future of Cable Access

10|15|14   |   6:23   |   (0) comments


Cisco's Brett Wingo looks at where cable access architectures are heading, discussing the impact of DOCSIS 3.1, CCAP, Remote PHY, SDN, virtualization of cable networks and related technologies.
LRTV Custom TV
Optimizing & Monetizing WiFi

10|15|14   |   5:53   |   (0) comments


Cisco's Vince Pandolfi outlines the reasons for cable WiFi's rapid growth, lays out the issues with the technology and explains the new Cisco tools that can help operators monitor and improve their WiFi delivery.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Emulex & Huawei Collaboration Mutually Beneficial

10|14|14   |   4:17   |   (0) comments


US company Emulex collaborates with Huawei in areas such as blade servers and workload documentation. Mike Heumann of Emulex believes that Huawei has done incredibly well moving from a telecom company into servers and networks, working closely with customers to realize their needs.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Chile's VZION Looks Forward to Seeing More of Huawei

10|14|14   |   4:43   |   (0) comments


VZION is a systems integrator company in Chile with a focus on virtulization technology. In this video, Cesar Alcacibar talks about the challenges in virtualization and how Huawei helps his company to achieve the best results possible. Alcacibar is expecting more adoption and integration of Huawei technologies in Chile.
Upcoming Live Events
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
WhoIsHostingThis.com presents six of the world's most extreme WiFi hotspots, enabling the most epic selfies you can imagine.
Hot Topics
Forget the Internet, Brace for Skynet
Stephen Saunders, 10/15/2014
HBO Will Go OTT in 2015
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 10/15/2014
Google: Carriers & Cloud Providers Need to Cooperate
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 10/16/2014
Could Data Be the New 'Currency'?
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 10/16/2014
CBS Takes OTT Plunge
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 10/16/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed