Is AT&T too big and scattered to succeed?

20 February 2019 by Steve Blum
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Att vans

With the acquisition of Time Warner’s movie and TV production companies, AT&T theoretically has the assets to become a vertically integrated content creation, packaging and delivery behemoth. But not all of its assets – including its management team – are necessarily well suited to the task.

AT&T’s challenge is to avoid outrunning its ability to manage three very different types of businesses: entertainment production, subscription-based linear video distribution and a huge heterogeneous telecoms network. Two of those businesses – subscription video and telecoms – are changing rapidly, and AT&T needs both vision and capital to stay in the game.… More

AT&T gets a contract with California landline, DirecTv workers

12 August 2017 by Steve Blum
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AT&T and the primary union representing its employees – the Communications Workers of America – finally crossed the finish line in their marathon negotiations in California and Nevada. The rank and file voted to approve the latest deal by a 58% to 42% margin. That comes after the first deal they struck was rejected by the membership in July, on a 53% to 47% vote.

According to Fortune, the deal was sweeter the second time around…

Like the original agreement, the revised contract included wage hike totaling 11% over four years and some job security promises, but also increased employees’ healthcare contributions to cover insurance premiums to 29% by 2020.


Landline, mobile and DirecTv workers walk out on AT&T

20 May 2017 by Steve Blum
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It’s a warning shot, not a full on strike, but even so thousands of AT&T employees left work yesterday and don’t plan to come back until Monday. According to the Los Angeles Times, 17,000 members of the Communications Workers of America, which is the primary union representing AT&T employees, walked off the job in California and Nevada, where they’ve been working without a contract for 13 months.

They’re part of a total of nearly 40,000 workers that went on strike Friday.… More

AT&T offers $10 service to low income homes lucky enough to have wireline service

27 April 2016 by Steve Blum
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Oops. There goes the $10 a month service.

AT&T is rolling out its low cost Internet access program for low income households. It’s one of the conditions attached to the FCC’s approval of AT&T’s purchase of DirecTv last year.

It only applies to homes where Internet access service “is delivered to a fixed location over a physical wire or cable“. In other words, the wireless service AT&T wants to use to replace wireline service in rural and inner city California isn’t eligible.… More

Satellite TV's special circumstances are history

27 February 2016 by Steve Blum
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For more than 20 years, satellite television companies have gotten a pass on many of the federal regulations that apply to their cable competitors. There was a lot of righteous rhetoric in those days about why Direct Broadcast Satellite was unique and should be allowed to live by different rules. But the underlying thinking was that satellite companies were small, cable companies were big and it was in everyone’s interest to foster a competitive alternative.

Those assumptions no longer hold.… More

AT&T tries to stop video bleeding with DirecTv tourniquet

17 February 2016 by Steve Blum
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AT&T is cutting off its Uverse video service, according to a story on It’s no longer making Uverse set top boxes and new video customers will be hooked up to DirecTv’s satellite service. With video customers fleeing to cable, AT&T’s move comes not a moment too soon…

The shift to DirecTV was reflected in fourth-quarter results. U-verse subscribers fell 4 percent, the worst loss ever, as 240,000 customers canceled service, the company said. And while DirecTV gains of 214,000 customers almost offset the loss, U-verse defectors helped pump up cable TV growth.


AT&T plans to push DirecTv aside

13 December 2015 by Steve Blum

The DirecTv brand will fade from the U.S. marketplace beginning next year. According to a story by Karl Bode in DSL Reports, AT&T will start the process of re-branding the service as AT&T in January, and will complete it when the company’s next generation television platform is launched. That also means that Uverse will begin to fade as well, positioned as AT&T’s “legacy TV offer”. The plan, according to Bode’s story, is to consolidate everything into a single architecture…

The company has previously stated that it’s developing a new gateway that will allow third-party broadband connections, LTE connections and AT&T broadband connections.


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.


Federal justice department has no problem with AT&T's takeover of DirecTv

3 July 2015 by Steve Blum
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Move along. Nothing to see here.

AT&T’s purchase of DirecTv is about to get the green light, without any inconvenient conditions, at least from the federal justice department. That’s the word from Bloomberg, which has a pretty good track record on this kind of reporting. According to a story by Todd Shields and David McLaughlin

Justice Department officials closed their investigation without demanding any conditions, such as promises about fair treatment of Internet traffic, or demanding the sale of business units, said the person who wasn’t authorized to speak publicly.


AT&T says its future is fiber, but that doesn't mean yours is too

30 April 2015 by Steve Blum
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Hanging out, but not hanging fiber.

With the Comcast mega-merger officially dead, the next big deal in line for federal review is AT&T’s proposed purchase of DirecTv. The buzz is that regulators don’t have the same concerns and the expectation is that AT&T will get a green light. The odd thing, though, is that the idea that the deal will improve rural broadband seems to have caught on in Washington.

AT&T sent a letter (h/t to the Eldo Telecom blog for the pointer) to the FCC claiming that consumers would see faster broadband speeds if the deal is approved because off-loading video delivery onto satellite will free up wireline bandwidth and that, somehow, the deal will make fiber-to-the-premise (FTTP) service economically feasible for two million more homes.… More