AT&T Slowing U-Verse Deployment? [Broadband Reports]
Financial analysts pouring over AT&T's U-Verse broadband and video product have discovered a significant slowdown in the telephone company's roll-out of the product. According to UBS Research analyst John Hodulik, AT&T initially planned to pass 11 million new homes with U-Verse this year. Now Hodulik estimates that the number may only be 4 to 5 million homes, down from 9 million in 2008.
So, what's the reason that AT&T isn't rolling out broadand and video at anticipated levels? Om Malik, writing at GigaOM, indicates that the economic recession could be one factor. However, Broadband Reports isn't buying that as an explanation. Cable operators are announcing plans to upgrade their plant to provide up to 50 and even 100 Mbps DOCSIS 3.0 broadband service, far faster than what AT&T's U-Verse is technically capable of. Broadband Reports speculates that AT&T is slowing down its U-Verse expansion because its 18 Mbps speeds won't compete with the next generation of cable broadband, and the phone company's engineers are having a tough time figuring out how to get additional speed from old copper phone lines.
In fact, in addition to slowing down U-Verse expansion, Broadband Reports points out that AT&T recently revised their U-Verse terms of service to "manage customer expectations" when it comes to broadband speeds, clarifying the technical limitations that the phone company's wires have when it comes to delivering broadband.