Tuesday, April 25, 2006

AT&T-BellSouth Plans Too Slow

If you were hoping that the silver lining in the AT&T buy out of BellSouth was that it's enormous resources would be used to boost the deployment of faster broadband, think again.

Analysts have recently been dissing AT&T's plan to roll out a triple play product (video, phone, and internet) over its "Fiber to the Node" plan. The gist of the complaints are that it simply won't work and that the bandwidth the technology they have adopted is not up to the task, especially with HDTV catching hold. The latest are remarks by Wahlman, an analyst with ThinkEquity Partners, who remarks:
Wahlman added that while AT&T will launch IPTV service in a handful of cities, it will only pass “perhaps one-half as many homes as originally planned...”

“AT&T may blame this on any number of reasons, including slow upgrade cycle to VDSL2, Microsoft [Corp.'s] unstable software, lack of working HDTV and probably the pending BellSouth [Corp.] merger,” Wahlman wrote. “Either way, we believe the fundamental reason is that AT&T is likely realizing that 25 megabits isn't going to do the trick, but rather that it needs to plan for 100 megabits or more to the home today, with a path to Gigabit Ethernet to every home in the next five to 10 years at the most.”
Hey, we've been saying the same for years. Don't go looking for AT&T to bring you up to speed. (And apparently, given the latest lawsuit, don't believe that they won't try and keep you from doing it yourself.)

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