Tuesday, December 05, 2006

AT&T [BellSouth} Denies it Needs FTTH

AT&T, BellSouth's buyer, is continuing to refuse widespread suggestions that it should abandon its copper-based DSL strategy and move to a Fiber To The Home (FTTH) strategy, according to a Reuters report.

"Our view at this point is that we're not going to have go 'fiber to the home.' We're pleased with the bandwidth that we're seeing over copper," Chief Financial Officer Richard Lindner told a Credit Suisse conference.

"On average, at this point, we're producing about 25 megabits (per second). But in many many locations, we're producing substantially more than that."

Trouble is that 25 megs on the average is just not enough. 25 megs is just about the basement for providing the services they hope to sell a household. They need to be able to say that they are getting that consistently and with few exceptions. That they are not able to speak that way may explain why AT&T's commercial launch of its U-Verse cable TV product is still restricted to sections of its home town, San Antonio.

AT&T has been criticized for not following the path laid down by Verizon which is building a FTTH network--at considerable expense but without any real limit on the capacity of the network to expand cheaply. In Lafyette, once LUS is in play and BellSouth's acquisition is final, AT&T's "new" network will be the least powerful one around.

Speaking of BellSouth's acquisition; the same article reports:

Lindner said he hoped the BellSouth merger would be approved at a U.S. meeting on December 20.

"Certainly, from our standpoint, it would be our hope that the merger would get approved and we can close and move on at that point," he said.

"That's certainly our goal... to have an approval on the 20th. If it does not happen on the 20th, potentially it could slip into January."

The days of your getting a BellSouth bill are probably numbered. But just don't expect that you'll be getting a better plan for the future when BellSouth gets swallowed up by AT&T.

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