Analysis: AT&T Expands High Speed U-Verse to 5 more cities + Digital Life Smart Home new markets

AT&T is expanding its Higher Speed U-verse Internet service to five more states. In addition to the 17 states where the new speeds have already launched, U-verse High Speed Internet Power will be available to eligible residential and small business customers in selected markets in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas.  High Speed U-Verse subscribers will get up to 45 Mbps downstream and 6 Mbps upstream, beginning 29 September 2013.  AT&T plans to upgrade top tier U-verse speeds to up to 100 Mbps in the future.

Comment:  Note that the "last mile"  (or last few kilometers) U-Verse transport is over 2 wire copper -with VDSL vectoring-  for all but greenfield build-outs. The greenfield - new buildouts- will get fiber to the premises, according to AT&T.  AT&T’s move forward with U-verse is another example of telcos leveraging existing, inexpensive copper lines, vectored VDSL technology, and fiber to the cabinet to achieve speeds up to 100 Mbps.


In other AT&T news, the telco is launching its Digital Life smart home service in Milwaukee, Charlotte, Hartford, Jacksonville, Oklahoma City and Tulsa. Including the new markets, Digital Life will be available in 45 markets, with plans to launch the service in up to 50 markets by the end of 2013.

With Digital Life, customers can use their existing home broadband provider, and any wireless phone service, and enjoy the security and convenience of a home management system with the flexibility to meet their unique needs.

-- Actively Protected & In Control: The foundation of Digital Life is complete home security with 24/7 professional monitoring that allows you to know what is happening at home, or where an event has occurred. Through AT&T-owned and operated, U.S.-based monitoring centers, professionals will respond to emergencies and alert police and fire authorities.

-- Seamlessly Connected: Digital Life is an all-digital, fully integrated, wireless home management system, giving customers flexibility to manage their home from their smartphone, tablet or PC. Our takeover module lets you easily extend your existing security system and investment. The Digital Life application is available on most web browsers. Apps are available for iOS, as well as Android, BlackBerry and Windows Phones. To ensure customers' privacy is protected, Digital Life has a secure log in system each time the app is opened from any Internet-connected device.

-- Amazingly Simple & Intuitive: A user-friendly application was designed to be as simple as possible, making it easier than ever to manage your home. The Digital Life application gives customers control over cameras, door locks, lights, thermostats, small appliances and more by setting alerts or programs to manage your home. It's all integrated into one simple system.

-- Personalized & Flexible: Digital Life provides total flexibility so you can personalize your home to adapt to everyday life -- with custom notifications and scheduled tasks. Add devices and solutions anytime, as your needs grow, or your lifestyle changes.

"AT&T remains committed to providing our customers with easy, fast and affordable ways that allows them to manage and secure their homes all from the touch of their smartphones, tablets and PCs," said Kevin Petersen, president, Digital Life, Inc. "With the launch of these six new markets, we're looking forward to making Digital Life available to more customers throughout the country." 

Comment:  AT&T (as well as VZ) can now offer a 5-play for residential customers:  high speed internet, VoIP, and video services using U-Verse (FiOS in the case of VZ) and wireless/mobile 3G/4G-LTE service using their cellular network.  Sprint can't make this claim as it sold off its local telco wireline operation to Embarq, which was acquired by Century Link several years ago.



U-Verse in Santa Clara, CA works great; Internet speed limited!

I've had AT&T U-Verse high speed Internet and TV for 1 1/2 years and am very satisfied with these services.  Customer care is another matter and has been awful.

-Not one Internet outage; downstream speed steady @12M b/sec.  However, there is a $6 per month HS Internet equipment rental fee for the combo VDSL modem/WiFi router.  You can't buy it to eliminate that recurring charge.

-Only 1 intermittent problem with TV which was apparently due to a STB software download that had bugs. STB  falsely reported an HDMI cable error and shut down audio/video to the TV.  Problem was solved when a tech installed a "Color Cable" between STB and TV.  Picture quality is terrific, especially in HD.

Despite advertising 45Mb/sec Internet in CA, that rate is not available in Santa Clara or any other place in the SF Bay Area as far as I can tell.  I'd like to have higher speed Downstream for higher quality OTT videos.



Alan J Weissberger

Content Manager-IEEE ComSoc Community Site 

North American Corrrespondent & FB Manager- IEEE Global Communications Newsletter

Manager of IEEE member email list (ComSocSCV)


Why isn't high speed U-Verse available in Bay Area/SiliconValley

In a July 29, 2013 press release: 

California and Nevada AT&T U-verse Customers Connect Faster with New 45 Mbps Internet Service


"For AT&T U-verse residential and small business customers in California and Nevada, U-verse High Speed Internet Power is the fastest Internet package available from AT&T. U-verse High Speed Internet Power is scheduled to launch in additional markets on an ongoing basis."

To find out if U-Verse is available in your area you're instructed to go to:

The fastest Downstream Internet speed I could find for the greater SF Bay area was 18Mb/sec via "U-Verse Max." That costs $56 per month + $100 set up fee for ONLY Internet service.  If ordered as a TV-Internet bundle -with U-verse U300 TV -it costs $45 per month + $6 per month equipment rental fee (+$59 per month for U300 TV).

So the higher speed U-Verse Internet (e.g. 45Mb/sec) is not yet available in Silicon Valley or the greater SF Bay Area, despite population density and reputation for being the hub of innovation and new technologies!!!

AT&T: Why not????