AT&T's (NYSE: T) deployment of bonded VDSL--one that's seen various delays dating back to 2007--now appears to be on track.
Designed to be a response to cable's DOCSIS 3.0 drive, a Broadband DSL Reports post reports that AT&T will start rolling out pair bonded VDSL this week in certain markets and eventually throughout its entire 22 state territory. With bonded VDSL, AT&T will be able to reach more customers because they will be able to extend its U-Verse service an additional 1-2,000 feet from the Video Ready Access Device (VRAD).
This extended reach will enable AT&T to pass 30 million homes-a goal it previously missed because of modem chipset issues--by the end of next year. Even though AT&T made a recent claim that it could deliver 80 Mbps service, it looks like its bonded VDSL deployment is focused on expanding the reach of U-Verse not bandwidth speeds. VDSL with bonding can theoretically expand broadband data speeds, but chances are the enhanced bandwidth will be used for video with broadband speeds holding 24/3 Mbps for customers that are eligible for the service.
But even if AT&T is moving forward with its bonded VDSL plans, cable will still have the advantage over AT&T in terms of broadband speed. By comparison, Comcast's 50 Mbps DOCSIS 3.0 service is already available in 80 percent of its markets and it has been rolling out a 100 Mbps DOCSIS 3.0 service in select markets. To compete with cable's speeds, AT&T will likely have to consider leveraging new DSL innovations such as Dynamic Spectrum Management (DSM) and vectoring.
- Broadband DSL Reports has this post
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