WI: AT$T still not definite on U-verse here

Posted on April 28, 2008 - 8:12pm.

from: Capital Times

AT&T still not definite on U-verse here

Jeff Richgels — 4/28/2008 11:26 am

AT&T is looking to hire 200 more technicians to install and service its U-verse TV service, which now is available to more than 200,000 homes in the Milwaukee, Racine and Sheboygan areas.

But even though the jobs include positions in south central Wisconsin, indicating that U-verse may be offered here in the near future, the company still isn't saying when the Madison area might get U-verse.

AT&T introduced U-verse TV in Wisconsin in February 2007, providing new competition to cable and satellite TV providers. The service is delivered to homes using Internet protocol over the company's fiber and copper network, instead of cable lines.

AT&T spokesman Howard Reifs reiterated that due to competitive concerns the company "can't pre-announce" the availability of U-verse.

"We ask that people remain patient -- as the service is worth waiting for," Reifs said.

Barry Orton, a UW-Madison professor of telecommunications who follows cable issues closely, has predicted that AT&T would make U-verse available in the Madison area late this year or early in 2009.

The company credited passage of the Wisconsin Video Choice Act, which created a statewide video franchising process, for boosting the expansion of U-verse.

Nationally, AT&T reported this month that it hit 379,000 U-verse TV users as of March 31, having added 148,000 subscribers during the first quarter. The company reiterated that it expects to hit 1 million subscribers by the end of this year.

The U-verse numbers "remain too small to matter much," Sanford Bernstein senior analyst Craig Moffett wrote in a research note, but he added that the service is continuing to ramp up "perhaps enough to finally quiet the claims that it simply 'doesn't work,' " Multichannel.com reported.

U-verse ran into numerous issues, including HD transmission woes, when AT&T was testing it.

Details on the technician job opportunities, including an online application, are available at www.att.jobs.

( categories: AT&T | State Franchises | WISCONSIN )