AT&T Underwhelms With U-Verse Upgrade

AT&T will deploy pair bonding throughout its DSL network as a means to bring U-Verse to more subscribers in 122 of its markets in 22 states. I spoke with Randy Tomlin, senior vice president of U-verse field operations, who confirmed that the improvements to the network were being implemented, and AT&T would be turning them on over time in its fiber-to-the-node network. Pair bonding can reduce the noise and boost speeds on copper networks by combining a second strand of copper at the customer home, but AT&T doesn’t seem to be using it for improved speeds or services, just to reach more homes.

Tomlin noted that the deployment will take advantage of the existing network and is an economical way to expand the reach of the network.

But for those who think that their U-Verse will get faster: It won’t. This isn’t as exciting as the 80 Mbps that AT&T’s John Stankey spoke with me about in May. And for those who don’t already have U-Verse via fiber to the node in their neighborhood, y’all aren’t going to get it. It will extend the range of U-Verse services by somewhere in between 1,000 and 2,000 feet. Basically, this is an incremental upgrade that will help AT&T reach about 6 million more homes before the end of 2011 with the service to hit its goal of 30 million homes passed. Given that AT&T said it would do this by late 2008, and cut back on those plans. I suppose this upgrade is better late than never.

Image courtesy of Flickr user Eddie~S

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