AT&T boosts Uverse speeds for some Californians


High potential for an earthquake. Broadband, not so much.

California and Nevada are the next stops on AT&T’s deployment of its pair-bonded VDSL2 Uverse upgrade. The company announced the roll out of 45 Mbps service here in a carefully worded press release, and also held out the eventual prospect of delivering up to 100 Mbps to homes and businesses via copper wires.

It’s part of a plan announced last fall to focus on upgrading “high potential” cities and neighborhoods to maximum speed levels that are on a par with what cable companies claim to provide. Which is why the press release doesn’t actually say that all AT&T Uverse customers, let alone subscribers in legacy DSL service areas, will be able to get the higher speeds. If your street looks like a low potential kind of place, Uverse at any speed or even new DSL service, might not be in your future at all.

If you can get it, it could be a very good deal. Jumping from 12 Mbps to 45 Mbps service costs an extra $25 per month ($51 versus $76) once the $50 promotional rate expires. Assuming it’s actually delivered, that’s enough bandwidth to do pretty much anything most residential or small business customers want to do, including streaming multiple channels of high definition television. Presumably, bandwidth caps still apply, but there’s no indication that AT&T has started enforcing those limits on Uverse subscribers.

I tried entering addresses in several different cities in AT&T’s California footprint, and couldn’t find 45 Mbps actually offered anywhere. Which either means the roll out is limited at this point or the website hasn’t been updated. I’ll keep checking though. It would be nice to find out whether I’m living in a high potential neighborhood or not.

About Steve Blum

Steve Blum is president of Tellus Venture Associates, a management, planning and business development consultancy for municipal and community broadband initiatives. He is a 30-year industry veteran and an expert in developing new broadband infrastructure and services, including wireless, fiber optic and satellite systems. His career includes playing key roles in the launch and growth of DirecTv in the U.S., as well as other satellite broadcasting platforms around the world. For the past ten years, he has helped build municipal wireless and fiber optic broadband systems. His client list includes many California cities, such as San Leandro, Palo Alto, Oakland, Los Angeles, Lompoc and Folsom. He’s a member of the executive team for the Central Coast Broadband Consortium and has worked with other regional consortia in California. Steve is the author of seven books on the Internet and satellite broadcasting and is a frequent contributor to professional journals and industry events. He holds an A.B. in History from the University of California, Berkeley, an M.A. in East Asia Studies from the University of Washington, and an M.B.A. from the University of St. Thomas. He is a triathlete and multiple Ironman finisher, and is currently ranked in the top 100 of the Challenge Triathlon world rankings, out of more than 30,000 athletes.