Wednesday, August 15, 2007

AT&T launches high-definition Internet TV in the US

True E2E IPTV finally gets going in the US

AT&T launches high-definition Internet TV in the US
04/05/2007 - by Andrew Beutmueller

Despite the hype from others, the only players in the US market that actually were anywhere close to triple play over the last few years have been the cable operators. However, times are finally changing with AT&T’s announcement of its new IPTV offering. The new services comes on top of, and will add to, the telco’s hegemony in the local, long distance and mobile telephony sectors.

According to AT&T, the company is now the only national provider to offer a 100 per cent Internet Protocol (IP)-based TV service. And the claim could be true as the system comprises a national head end, regional video serving offices and AT&T’s own private “fibre-rich” IP network. The network was built exclusively for video transport and to deliver “cutting-edge” TV and high speed Internet services.

The new AT&T U-verse, TV service offers a combination of next-generation digital television, HDTV channels and three tiers of high speed DSL Internet access. These are: Elite: Downstream up to 6.0 Mbps, upstream up to 1.0 Mbps : Pro: Downstream up to 3.0 Mbps, upstream up to 1.0 Mbps and Express: Downstream up to 1.5 Mbps, upstream up to 1.0 Mbps.

The U-verse product is premiering in the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana metropolitan area and surrounding region as well as in the San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont and San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara markets.

AT&T’s expansion into California is the result of new laws passed by the California Legislature and signed in September 2006 by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The new laws liberalise access by telecoms companies into the California TV market.

Since January 2007, with approximately 18,000 TV and Internet subscribers already in service, the company’s average installation rate has ramped to approximately 2,000 a week. Before arriving in California, U-verse services had been launched in Milwaukee, Kansas City, to 200,000 households in the Dallas-Fort Worth area in Texas."

Our video strategy is showing strong momentum as we add new subscribers at an increasing rate," said Ralph de la Vega, group president of AT&T’s Regional Wireline Operations. He added, "Consumers are clearly hungry for an alternative to the cable companies, and AT&T U-verse is a very attractive choice.”

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