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AT&T Will Increase U-verse Speeds to 75Mbps and Beyond In Major National Upgrade

Phillip Dampier November 7, 2012 AT&T, Broadband Speed, Consumer News, Rural Broadband, Wireless Broadband 4 Comments

Will be available to 8.5 million additional customers by the end of 2015

AT&T will spend $6 billion over the next three years to upgrade broadband speeds across its 22 state operating service area and further expand its U-verse broadband platform to reach suburban and exurban customers stuck in the DSL broadband slow lane.

AT&T today announced existing U-verse customers will be able to buy upgraded speeds as high as 75Mbps by the end of 2013, with speeds increasing to around 100Mbps further out. AT&T’s current U-verse platform is currently constrained with maximum speeds of around 24Mbps.

Customers currently bypassed by AT&T U-verse may still have a chance to get the service in their community. AT&T announced plans to expand the fiber to the neighborhood service by more than one-third, with an additional 8.5 million customers able to sign up by the end of 2015.

AT&T also announced an eventual replacement for its existing ADSL platform, which currently offers speeds ranging from 768kbps to around 12-15Mbps in certain areas. The company’s lighter version of U-verse, dubbed U-verse IPDSLAM, will be introduced to 24 million AT&T customers in smaller communities by the end of 2013. Customers will be offered phone and Internet service over the network — but not television — with broadband speeds up to 45Mbps.

About 25% of AT&T’s rural customers will not see any upgrade to their current landline service. Instead, AT&T announced it will seek to gradually decommission rural landline networks and transfer those customers to its 4G LTE wireless service for both broadband and voice service, pending regulator approval.

Short on specifics, AT&T did not say whether rural customers will face the same broadband usage caps that are familiar to other AT&T wireless customers.

AT&T plans to upgrade its broadband speeds using a combination of technologies:

  • Pair bonding existing copper wiring to get additional bandwidth;
  • 17MHz: Devoting six frequency bands to broadband, up from the current four;
  • Vectoring: Using technology to reduce or eliminate speed-robbing crosstalk noise on existing lines;
  • Additional Copper Wire Reductions: Bringing fiber further into neighborhoods to reduce the distance of copper wiring between your home and AT&T’s network;
  • Using “rate-adaptive” technology to let equipment select the fastest possible speeds with a tolerable error rate.
AT&T also announced it is dedicating fiber to the building service exclusively for business customers. AT&T said it will expand its fiber network to reach one million more business customer locations — 50 percent of all multi-tenant business buildings, over the next three years. That fiber growth is expected to help facilitate the installation of small cell technology in the years ahead to offload wireless traffic on existing cell towers.

Currently there are 4 comments on this Article:

  1. Larry says:

    Without a matching increase in data cap, it just means you’ll being paying for data overages that much faster.

  2. Ian L says:

    I predict that AT&T’s fixed LTE service will pretty much mirror Verizon HomeFusion in pricing when it comes out. You’ll soon have a choice between four providers for low-cap, higher-speed broadband in rural areas: ViaSat exede, HughesNet, AT&T LTE and Verizon LTE. Or something like that. The choices are very much pick-your-poison, but who ever thought that AT&T would invest any more money into its rural landline base anyway?

    And…to be fair…it’s a lot easier to deliver a relatively high-bandwidth data service for residences over three miles of air than three miles of copper.

    • Two lousy choices and two expensive ones priced about the same. It’s a raw deal.

      If AT&T wants to sell their little landline retirement plan, they should be compelled to offer U-verse service in ALL of their service areas or no deal. No customer should be forced to use AT&T’s wireless service as their primary phone line.

      This is bait and switch. They are not really investing much in their rural customers because those investments in wireless are actually offset by massive savings dumping landline infrastructure overboard. If I was an employee working on AT&T copper in a rural area, I would be very worried right now.

      So should customers.

  3. siouxmoux says:

    How about faster upload speeds. 3 up speeds is way to slow. And for now ATT can’t figure out how to fix the Internet Bandwidth Meters. Lets hope it stay that way. Right now I still have unlimited Internet U-Verse 12/1/.5.

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