AT&T (NYSE: T) is giving its small and medium business (SMB) customers that reside in its Missouri serving areas up to 12 months of free 6 Mbps AT&T U-verse Internet service.
Through this new program, companies located in 11 communities, including St. Louis, Kansas City, Cape Girardeau, Moberly, Mexico, Springfield, St. Joseph, Joplin, Kirksville, Poplar Bluff and Hannibal, will be save up to $420 on service over the next year.
Perhaps not surprisingly, there are a few catches to this promotion.
Besides being relegated to only 6 Mbps, customers have to meet three criteria: be new AT&T wireless business customers adding Mobile Share Value 10GB or higher plans; be existing AT&T mobility business customers migrating to AT&T Mobile Share Value 10GB or higher plans; or be existing business customers on Mobile Share Value 10GB or higher plans.
SMB customers that want a higher connection beyond 6 Mbps will be provided a monthly credit of $35 for up to 12 months or up to $420 per year.
Regardless, the pricing for the higher priced speed tiers are relatively competitive. A 12 Mbps is $10 a month, while the 18, 24 and 45 Mbps tiers are priced at $40, $50 and $60 a month, respectively.
Missouri overall has been one AT&T's key investment targets. Over the past four years, AT&T spent $2.55 billion to upgrade its last mile network to bring U-verse services to 40,000 new customer locations and is delivering fiber-based connections to 7,700 business locations at 400 multi-tenant business buildings and business parks.
Available through April 30, AT&T said the promotion is available to small businesses in parts of several states including California, Kansas, Texas, Missouri, and South Carolina.
Bundling U-verse with its wireless service, particularly its Mobile Share Value plan, makes sense.
SMBs can now rely on one source for their wireless and wireline services, which could translate into a simpler bill. At the same time, AT&T can deepen its relationship with a segment that's been easy prey for cable operators to pursue.
Interestingly, SMBs were another key driver in the U-verse revenue and subscriber addition mix during the fourth quarter of 2013. The service provider added 78,000 business U-verse high speed broadband subscribers, which it said was a growing trend.
- see the release
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Updated article on March 18 with information that the free promotion is available in 5 states.