AT&T shaves the Uverse cord

14 August 2015 by Steve Blum
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AT&T is moving its Uverse television platform into legacy status, and will use DirecTv technology to deliver video to new subscribers in the future. That’s according to a story in Fierce Cable by Mike Dano. In comments made to analysts on Wednesday…

AT&T executive John Stankey said that the carrier is moving to “one consistent architecture” that is a “derivative of the DirecTV in-home architecture.” He said the company will begin selling the platform across all its channels by the beginning of next year. He said the platform will include “very thin hardware profiles,” likely indicating a cloud-based approach to a set-top box.

That doesn’t mean that AT&T will stop delivering video via landlines in the foreseeable future, but it clearly intends to favor satellite delivery going forward. AT&T’s press release makes it clear that if you’re on a system that supports broadband but not television, your only option will be to get an AT&T/DirecTv bundle…

AT&T now has the ability to broadly offer TV service to its 57 million broadband customer locations; previously, the company could offer U-verse TV and broadband to only about half of these customer locations.

Translation: AT&T won’t spend money to upgrade substandard broadband systems. Instead, it’ll try to offload as much linear video traffic as it can onto DirecTv’s birds, and hope that any bandwidth savings realised will mollify enough customers (or would be customers) to keep regulators off its back for another few years.