Blog Post

Ready or Not, AT&T Sells Uverse

It is hard to get a grip on AT&T’s IPTV efforts. Dubbed Uverse, some say AT&T’s television service it is still stuck in neutral, plagued by technical problems. AT&T, however feels otherwise, and has started making a strong marketing push for the service, according to a report in San Antonio-Express News. The company claims that it has ironed out all the technical glitches and is now ready to take on the cable operators.

“We’re ready to take our foot off the brake and step on the accelerator,” John Stankey, AT&T’s group president for operations, said Tuesday. “By the end of the year, we will be up and running in every significantly sized market where we operate.”

Fascinating, since it was only a couple of months ago that the company’s tech troubles were highlighted in the Wall Street Journal, pointing to the problems with Microsoft IPTV software. The company was supposed to launch in 15-to-20 markets last year, and could not make the number despite its best efforts.

Anyway, the company has announced Uverse availability in four new markets – Milwaukee and Racin, WI starting today, and Dallas-Fort Worth and Kansas City in March 2007.

AT&T has about 7,000 users, up from 3,000 at the end of 2006. That works out to about 100-subscribers a day, though the company thinks it is going to hit 300 new subscribers a day by March 2007, thanks to some aggressive selling by “door-to-door salespeople.” UBS estimates with those kind of numbers, the gross additions per quarter could be around 23,000, and 93,000 by end of 2007.

UBS’s John Hodulik in a note this morning writes: “management’s confidence suggest that we may be reaching an inflection point with regards to Lightspeed and investors’ perception of the residential strategy.”Something tells me the costs of rolling this service are just going to be too high, and that John is being a bit too optimistic. The risk of losing voice customers is just too high, as pointed out earlier.

According to a report from Pike & Fisher’s Broadband Daily, indicates that despite having fiber deployed in much of the region, ‘AT&T does not plan to launch IPTV service in the Southeast territories it acquired through its BellSouth merger until late this year, CFO Richard Lindner said Feb. 28.’

Bonus: Alan Weinkrantz is blogging his U-Verse experiences, and has posted this video of IPTV in HD and Internet TV over Vista, all on one screen. One of our readers didn’t think too highly of the Uverse service.

7 Responses to “Ready or Not, AT&T Sells Uverse”

  1. Uverse is great. It actually meets my expectation. Exactly what I need. I don’t know but I guess AT&T is the only provider who offers TV program packages like for sports addict, movie buffs, family oriented…etc I think it could really be a big savings.

  2. Rob Keesee

    You guys must be living on a different planet! In August 2007, I moved to Redford, MI, from Detroit Hell. In Detroit, with the exception of several competing and poorly functioning satellite services, we were saddled with Comcast Cable. It was overpriced, slow, spotty — pretty much everything I wanted to get away from.

    When we bought out new house in Redford, MI, I learned that I had potentially stepped from the frying pan into the fire because, again with the exception of the same ‘iffy’ satellite services, I was stuck with something worse than Comcast cable that goes by “Bright House.” Fortunately, I had done my homework and was aware that not only was ATT’s U-verse available at my new residence but it was ‘alive and well.’

    Let me tell you, I have NEVER experienced better ‘cable’ (if you want to call it that) and high speed internet than I have with ATT’s U-verse. I got totally free installation that included a DVR for one of the drops as well as two other drops at no additional charge (I paid Comcast extra for just one extra). Then I was offered up to a total of SIX drops (only four can function at one time) for an additional $5.00 per month FOREVER, including the boxes, remotes, etc.

    I almost forgot to mention that their ‘modem’ includes free Wi-Fi for hundreds of feet around my property AND there are thousands of free Wi-Fi hot spots (almost every McDonalds in Michigan)!!! What is NOT to like???

    The wiring job in my basement ceiling is perhaps the most professional I have ever seen – even surpassing the work the electricians did when they upgraded my breaker box to 100 amp.

    I only have one HD TV, but when I opted a few days ago to activate the service, I had incredible phone support followed by someone at my door the next morning to explain tweak and fine tune the whole shebang and even advise me how to hook up my video players and recorders.

    I can’t say enough good things about this service. Please feel free to contact me with any questions, as I am seriously considering having them put me on their payroll for all the positive PR I am giving them.

    Thank GOD for U-verse…and may all the cable and satellite companies dies a rapid and painful death.

    • I hope I have the good experience you’ve described, Rob; I just signed up for ‘AT&T’s ‘U-verse’, having been saddled with BrightHouse and their monopoly over Cable TV here in Redford for years! I just couldn’t take their latest price increase – and I HATE monopolies!
      I don’t think the ‘AT&T’ rep offered me quite as good a deal as you got more than 18 months ago – but close. I get a ‘new user’ discount for the first 6 months that will probably give me more channels, for considerably less money, than ‘BrightHouse’ was giving me.
      I’ll do a review later for others in the area here for others who want another option – hopefully I’ll sing praises, too!
      – Greg, of Redford, MI

  3. Mary Allen

    I have frozen screens,transmissions frequently. Cancellations of movies without notice. Have repeatedly asked for At&T Uverse to add the “Reminder” programing screen to their service for the last eight months. This suggestion has fallen on “deaf” ears. Time-Warner has this feature and it is “great”! Maybe if the powers that be at the helm would take the time and effort to view the entire operations of “Time-Warner’s” channel line-up and the “Remind” or “Do Not Remind” or “Cancel” screen they would have more viewers or subscribers. I’m getting tired of missing certain movies or programs because uverse doesn’t care about their subscribers. Help!!