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Summary:

While I worry about buying gadgets there are plenty of people out there worried about buying far more important things like food and gas, which means that TV offerings such as those from AT&T, Comcast and Verizon might see the effects of the struggling economy. Daniel […]

While I worry about buying gadgets there are plenty of people out there worried about buying far more important things like food and gas, which means that TV offerings such as those from AT&T, Comcast and Verizon might see the effects of the struggling economy. Daniel Amir, a director and semiconductor analyst at Lazard Capital Markets, seems to think so. In a note on IPTV chip maker Sigma Designs, he maintained a hold on the stock, citing a European slowdown in IPTV growth and fears that AT&T’s IPTV deployments will slow.

From the note:

However, we are increasingly concerned by the possibility of AT&T missing its annual projection of 1M subs, and believe that unit expectations will need to be reduced further in light of the macroeconomic environment. We believe it is more likely that AT&T will reach 30K subs per week by year-end, rather than 40K.

So far AT&T has signed up 549,000 U-verse subscribers, and we’ll get the latest update on Oct. 22 when it reports its earnings. I wouldn’t be surprised if subscriptions did slow, given how quickly DSL subscriptions and even land lines have fallen. It’s a lot harder to convince a customer to switch over to a service when you no longer have a toehold in their home.

By Stacey Higginbotham

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  1. Perhaps a reason why they may miss their numbers is because they’re completely dysfunctional. It took me 4+ weeks and 3 techs to finally get U-Verse service installed. Each time I called them I had to call the national ATT hotline, be on hold for 15-20 minutes for the U-Verse team, and then be on hold again for another 15-20 minutes for the local dispatch. The onsite techs would have problems and would have to call the same number and be on hold for just as long as a normal customer. There were numerous problems with my account that had to be fixed at the central system, requiring calls back to the tier 2 desk.

    I feel like I was extraordinarily patient with them because I really wanted the service, but an average (non-techie) person would have just given up and gone with another provider. I was certainly tempted.

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  2. These people have it backwards, premium TV and broadband offerings are still far cheaper than outside the house activities. People concerned about saving money will go to movies, concerts, and restaurants less. I wouldn’t be surprised if there is actually an increase in broadband and premium TV uptake over the coming 12 months.

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  3. Maybe AT&T is spending U-verse’s engineering and CapEx budgets on advertising – they keep putting full-page ads in the San Francisco Chronicle, but then no (?) Bay Area phone numbers are ever eligible for the service.

    It’s kind of tough to get a million subs when you won’t let anyone buy your service. Tougher when they mistreat the few eligible customers like Victor Trac.

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  4. I just signed up for U-verse because it was an excellent value compared with the alternatives. Like Victor Trac, It took many technicians and two weeks to get running, but the service is really great.

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  5. No community access support in exchange for a refridge-sized box on a pole in the middle of the historic district in my town? Mmmm! that’s progress!? Competition these days is a butterfly you can’t catch no matter the size of your net.

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  6. My recent install took 6 hours most of which the tech was waiting for other people in the back office to fullfill orders. The uvoice order was not completed due to a paperwork screw up even though everything it was all ordered through the website at the same time. I had to wait another 10 business days for uvoice. Otherwise, I am happy with the results.

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  7. [...] Is the Economy Slowing AT&T s U-verse Down? gigaom.com UK: Broadband must be a spending priority computing.co.uk Web traffic jam as people search for financial news yahoo.com Wi-Fi integration is cutting the cost of calling itpro.co.uk Sequoia Rings the Alarm Bell: Silicon Valley Is in Trouble gigaom.com Freescale LTE strategy has zero defects – CEO Rich Beyer electronicsweekly.com Alcatel-Lucent aims to build broadband optical network ecosystem with Taiwan makers digitimes.com read comment(s) [...]

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  8. I have had Uverse for over a year. Yes the install took a full day, but it has not gone down once yet, and they have finally started adding the features they have long been promising (watching recorded shows from any box in the house). However, the only reason I have Uverse is because it is cheap. Uverse for TV and internet is way cheaper than what is offered through the cable company (I still have traditional phone service). Going into this downturn, this could actually be an advantage for them if they make the savings a clear selling point.

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  9. It will be interesting to see how many people renew on this when their first year of the contract is up.

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  10. Alex… there is no contract. Another reason we went with them, cheap and no contract.

    Oh man, I sound like Dvorak talking about Comcast!

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