AT&T gets Wheaton, Ill. city council approval to provide U-verse service

AT&T (NYSE: T) has cleared another hurdle to extend its suite of U-verse TV and Internet services to customers in Wheaton, Ill., after the city council voted to let the telco place more above-ground utility cabinets throughout the city, reports the Daily Herald.

Council members voted 5-2 to amend a local ordinance related to the size and placement of above ground utility cabinets.

To date, the telco has installed four utility cabinets in the city. It is now looking to install 11 smaller cabinets that house Video Ready Access Devices (VRAD) and associated electronics that deliver U-verse services to homes and businesses on residential rights of way.

As seen in other cities, including San Francisco and Greensboro, N.C., there has been considerable debate about the placement of these boxes.  

This disagreement has pitted consumers who want an alternative to satellite and incumbent providers such as Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) against residents who don't want an obtrusive utility box in front of their house.

Interestingly, Wheaton's approval of AT&T's move into their city comes as the carrier ramps up wireline network investments throughout Illinois to fulfill the goals of its Project VIP plan. In the first six months of this year, the service provider said it had invested almost $625 million in upgrading its wireless networks to support 4G LTE and wireline networks to support business customers and U-verse.

The telco said the investment was used in the deployment of advanced wired IP broadband connections (U-verse broadband and IPTV) for nearly 32,250 customer locations in the state.

For more:
- Daily Herald has this article

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