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AT&T Piles the Hurt on Cable

Mari Silbey
4/24/2013

If Verizon Communications Inc. had a strong first quarter with its FiOS business, AT&T Inc. had a knock-out one with U-verse: The telco added a whopping 731,000 U-verse Internet subscribers and 232,000 TV subscribers during the first three months of 2013. (See FiOS Turns the Screw on Cable.) As cable providers continue to lose video service customers, AT&T and Verizon are scooping up market share with consistent subscriber gains. AT&T's wireline revenue numbers also reflect the telecom sector's improving fortunes in the pay-TV business: U-verse revenues grew 31.5 percent year-on-year -- a nice offset to the company's declining landline phone business -- and the average revenue per user for customers with a triple-play package has stayed above $170. On the broadband services front, AT&T is proving that the threat of Google Fiber and other gigabit deployments is still a weak one at present. Despite the company's fiber-to-the-node architecture, and the speed limits of its copper-based last mile, AT&T is still raking in new broadband customers. While Google and others are promising 1Gbit/s Internet access speeds, AT&T proudly reports that "more than 56 percent of U-verse broadband subscribers have a plan delivering speeds up to 10 Mbit/s or higher." At the end of the first quarter, AT&T had 8.4 million U-verse broadband subscribers and 4.8 million U-verse TV customers. For more on AT&T's first quarter, see AT&T Wireless Revs Up 21 percent in Q1 2013 and AT&T Says LTE Deployment Is Ahead of Schedule. — Mari Silbey, Special to Light Reading Cable

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Anonymous
Anonymous
4/25/2013 | 7:36:07 PM
re: AT&T Piles the Hurt on Cable
I love hos companies tout the term "Up to". Loosely translated, that would mean, LOWER THAN, thereby re-writing that statement, "56 percent of U-verse broadband subscribers have a plan delivering speeds lower than 10 Mbit/s." What they don't tell you is that your copper wire may only be capable of delivering 8Mbit/s, thus qualifying you for their "Up to 10Mbit/s" product. "Great!" you say, as the telco upgrades your 5Mbps service and ups your service charge.
Koda23
Koda23
4/24/2013 | 11:54:32 PM
re: AT&T Piles the Hurt on Cable
In Silicon Valley, we are barraged with TV ads by AT&T and Comcast, each touting the strengths of their service. AT&T emphasizes their U-Verse wireless TV receivers and other video services while Comcast states that their Internet service is the fastest since it uses cable technology and not DSL over twisted pair.

The San Jose Mercury News also ran a recent article about newer DSL technologies such as bonding and vectoring: http://www.mercurynews.com/bus...
Sarah Thomas
Sarah Thomas
4/24/2013 | 9:53:36 PM
re: AT&T Piles the Hurt on Cable
Haha. I started a trend! Actually, most of my neighbors didn't know it was an option. It's not clear on its website which areas get the service yet. What I really want is FiOS, to be honest. Saw it in NYC, and the UI is the best I've seen.
craigleddy
craigleddy
4/24/2013 | 9:41:50 PM
re: AT&T Piles the Hurt on Cable
Oh, so you're the one responsible for all this! I'll bet that as soon as word got out that you jumped to U-verse, legions of your neighbors followed. That's OK, I won't hold it against you, as I cling to my cable subscription, pay too much for my bill, and quietly sink into senility...blub, blub, blub.-á
Sarah Thomas
Sarah Thomas
4/24/2013 | 9:01:13 PM
re: AT&T Piles the Hurt on Cable
I am one of the those that switched to U-Verse in that past quarter. Not totally happy with the service, but it is cheaper, which was why I made the jump.
craigleddy
craigleddy
4/24/2013 | 3:29:17 PM
re: AT&T Piles the Hurt on Cable
Time Warner Cable announces its Q1 earnings tomorrow and the other public MSOs follow in short order. It'll be interesting to see if they post video gains too. If so, then the theory that the weak economy had softened the pay TV market will hold true. If not, then the telcos are making deeper inroads into cable's video business. What TWC and others really want is growth in broadband.
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