AT&T Plans HD Rollout

Oct 26, 2006  •  Post A Comment

AT&T is moving forward with plans to offer high-definition video service by the end of the year, the company announced this week.
The nation’s largest telecommunications company said it will debut an HD version of its U-verse video service in 15 markets by the end of the year. The HD service will debut in test markets San Antonio and Houston, where the 3,000 subscribers will be upgraded next month.
U-Verse launched in June in San Antonio, where the company has been working out the bugs in the new fiber-optic video technology system—and competing with Time Warner Cable.
The service is bundled with high-speed Internet and costs $69 to $124 per month. It’s not yet clear whether HD will require an extra charge.
“It’s pure upside because they’re starting from zero subscribers,” said Bruce Leichtman, president of Leichtman Research Group, whose new survey found only about 10 percent of cable or satellite subscribers would opt to get HD programming from their phone company. “The challenge for AT&T is that they have to prove they have a viable video and HD service. Competition doesn’t really start until there is true wide-scale deployment.”
Verizon already has its FiOS TV video service up and running in several markets, with HD. Verizon does not charge extra for HD, but consumers do have to pay for a higher-end receiver.
This article is part of TVWeek.com’s High Definition newsletter, a weekly source of breaking HD news, articles and interviews written by Senior Reporter James Hibberd.


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