& cplSiteName &

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        ADD A COMMENT
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.
Sarah Thomas
100%
0%
Sarah Thomas,
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
Light Reading’s Upskill U is a FREE, interactive, online educational resource that delivers must-have education on themes that relate to the overall business transformation taking place in the communications industry.
NEXT COURSE
Wednesday, August 3, 1:00PM EDT
The Central Office Re-Architected as a Data Center
Guru Parulkar, Executive Director, Open Networking Research Center, Open Networking Lab
UPCOMING COURSE SCHEDULE
Wednesday, August 10, 1:00PM EDT
Telcos & Open Source 101
Phil Robb, Senior Technical Director, OpenDaylight
Friday, August 12, 1:00PM EDT
The Role of Open Source in NFV
Jim Fagan, Director, Cloud Practice, Telstra
Wednesday, August 17, 1:00PM EDT
Using Open Source for Data Centers and Cloud Services
Roz Roseboro, Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading
in association with:
From The Founder
In the first episode of a four-part series, Light Reading Founder and CEO Steve Saunders and Calix President and CEO Carl Russo drive around town discussing the disruptive mega-changes in the communications industry and where hope lies for service providers to meet the escalating demands of the cloud.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Fujitsu Sales Leader Shares Lessons Learned

7|27|16   |   5:12   |   (0) comments


As Fujitsu's only female sales leader, Annie Bogue knows the importance of asking for what you want, being flexible (she's been relocated five times), keeping a meticulous calendar, 'leaning in,' working harder than everyone else around you, being aware and more.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
VeEX Test & Measurement Solutions

7|25|16   |   08:57   |   (0) comments


Cyrille Morelle, president and CEO of VeEX Inc., talks test and measurement with Light Reading's Steve Saunders at BCE 2016. This includes innovative products such as VeSion Cloud-Based platform for network monitoring; MTTplus Modular Test platform for Access, Business, Carrier Ethernet, Transport and Core services; and OPX-BOX+ for Fiber Optics.
LRTV Custom TV
VeEX: Live From BCE 2016

7|25|16   |   03:20   |   (0) comments


VeEX's Senior Director of Business Development, Perry Romano, explains how VeEX provides tools to help install, maintain, monitor and manage network infrastructure efficiently and effectively. The portfolio of products on display include the RXT-6000, MTTplus and TX300s.
LRTV Custom TV
Real-Time Telemetry & Analytics for Intelligent SDN Orchestration

7|25|16   |   03:09   |   (0) comments


Packet Design CEO Scott Sherwood discusses how real-time network telemetry and analytics are enabling a new breed of SDN orchestration applications.
From the Founder
The Russo Report: Driving Disruption

7|25|16   |   07:44   |   (0) comments


In the first episode of a four-part series, Light Reading Founder and CEO Steve Saunders and Calix President and CEO Carl Russo drive around town discussing the disruptive mega-changes in the communications industry and where hope lies for service providers to meet the escalating demands of the cloud.
LRTV Custom TV
NetScout: Maximizing Enterprise Cloud for Digital Transformation

7|20|16   |   04:53   |   (0) comments


Light Reading Editor Mitch Wagner talks to NetScout CMO Jim McNiel about maximizing the benefits of enterprise cloud and digital transformation while minimizing potential pitfalls with a proper monitoring and instrumentation strategy.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Ciena's VP Offers a Career Crash Course

7|20|16   |   4:14   |   (2) comments


How did Ciena's Vice President of Sales, Angela Finn, carve out her career path? Simple, she tells WiC. She stayed true to her company, customers and principles. She shares her advice for women on how to be authentic and credible, as well as for companies that want to make a real change to their culture and practices.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV in 2016: Part 2 – Climbing the Virtualization Maturity Curve

7|19|16   |   06:56   |   (0) comments


Many of the initial use case implementations are single-vendor and self-contained. The industry is still climbing the virtualization maturity curve, needing further clarity and stability in the NFV infrastructure (NFVi) and greater availability and choice of virtualized network functions (VNFs). Interoperability between NFVis and VNFs from different vendors ...
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Versa Networks' Kumar Mehta on SD-WAN Managed Services

7|19|16   |     |   (0) comments


In Silicon Valley, Steve Saunders sits down with Versa's Kumar Mehta for an interview focused on why service providers are building SD-WAN managed services, and how Versa's telco customers are innovating.
LRTV Custom TV
Juniper Networks & The Evolution of NFV

7|19|16   |   06:01   |   (0) comments


Senior Juniper Networks executives talk to Light Reading Founder & CEO Steve Saunders about NFV developments and the recent independent evaluation by test lab EANTC of Juniper's Cloud CPE solution.
LRTV Interviews
CenturyLink Goes Beyond Managed WiFi

7|19|16   |     |   (0) comments


CenturyLink's managed WiFi allows enterprises, such as retailers and resorts, to track guest WiFi usage in order to help them better communicate with customers.
LRTV Interviews
AT&T Launches Network Functions on Demand

7|17|16   |   05:26   |   (0) comments


Roman Pacewicz, Senior Vice President, Offer Management & Service Integration, AT&T Business Solutions, discusses the operator's launch of its Network Functions on Demand service.
Upcoming Live Events
September 13-14, 2016, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
September 27, 2016, Philadelphia, PA
November 3, 2016, The Montcalm Marble Arch, London
November 30, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 6-8, 2016,
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Five of the Top 10 most targeted countries in Check Point Software Technologies' global Malware & Threat Index for Q1 2016 are in Africa.
Hot Topics
Verizon Sports Big Plans for Yahoo
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading, 7/26/2016
Verizon's Next With VNFs
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 7/21/2016
Yahoo Signing Off in $4.83B Sale to Verizon
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 7/25/2016
Ericsson Board Has Been Asleep at the Wheel – Consultant
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 7/25/2016
Ericsson Ejects CEO Vestberg
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 7/25/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
There's no question that, come 2020, 5G technology will turn the world's conception of what mobile networking is on its head. Within the world of 5G development, Dr. ...
I've enjoyed interviewing many interesting people since I rejoined Light Reading, but William A. "Bill" Owens certainly takes the biscuit, as we say where I come from.
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Our world has evolved through innovation from the Industrial Revolution of the 1740s to the information age, and it is now entering the Fourth Industrial Revolution, driven by technology. Technology is driving a paradigm shift in the way digital solutions deliver a connected world, changing the way we live, communicate and provide solutions. It can have a powerful impact on how we tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems. In this radio show, Caroline Dowling, President of Communications Infrastructure & Enterprise Computing at Flex, will join Women in Comms Director Sarah Thomas to discuss the impact technology has on society and how it can be a game-changer across the globe; improving lives and creating a smarter world. Dowling, a Cork, Ireland, native and graduate of Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program, will also discuss her experience managing an international team focused on innovation in an age of high-speed change.