Real Estate Group Puts U-Verse Under Fire

Posted on February 19, 2008 - 6:40pm.

Note: See follow up below by Light Reading, NAREB has since backed down.

from: MultiChannel News

Real Estate Group Puts U-Verse Under Fire
NAREB Asks AGs To Investigate Fires Related To AT&T Equipment
By Linda Haugsted -- Multichannel News, 2/15/2008 12:52:00 PM

The National Association of Real Estate Brokers has asked attorney generals in the five states in which AT&T Inc. has launched its U-verse services to investigate fires related to AT&T equipment.

The trade group called for the action to “preserve the public's safety and prevent further harm to property.”

Earlier this year, AT&T acknowledged problems with lithium batteries in 17,000 equipment vaults around the country. The most recent incident was a cabinet explosion and fire on Christmas morning in Wauwatosa, Wisc.

AT&T is replacing the batteries as quickly as possible, according to the telecommunications company.

The real estate group believes sales of homes near AT&T vaults “will show a dramatic drop-off until their security is ensured,” according to the association. That drop-off will imperil the livelihood of African American real estate professionals, the group added.

“These large U-verse cabinets have been proven to be hazardous from their early roll-out stages,” said NAREB president Maria Kong in a statement.

from: Light Reading

NAREB Blinks
FEBRUARY 22, 2008

4:30 PM -- The National Association of Black Real Estate Brokers (NAREB) says it won't be filing complaints with the attorneys general of five states regarding the safety of AT&T's broadband equipment cabinets.

NAREB considered the complaints in response to the reports that four of AT&T's cabinets had either caught fire or exploded in the past two years. Yes, we have pictures.

A spokeswoman for Maria Kong, NAREB's president, tells Light Reading that Kong "has met with AT&T officials and discussed AT&T's plans to inspect the equipment currently in use, determine their operational worthiness, replace any batteries that are deemed defective, and AT&T's intent to ensure that all U-Verse batteries are safe as they roll out the technology into other communities, nationwide."

The NAREB spokeswoman adds that so long as AT&T continues with its plan, "NAREB will not be proceeding, at this time, with any formal complaints to the attorneys general."

— Phil Harvey, Editor, Light Reading

( categories: AT&T | State Franchises )