AT&T pushing broadband to 57M locations by 2015

AT&T (NYSE: T) has set an ambitious goal to expand its U-verse broadband to about 57 million locations by 2015 by upgrading its last mile network with more IP DSLAMs and VDSL2.

U-verse broadband has become one of the telco's key wireline growth engines and a viable competitor to cable MSOs in the markets where it offers the service. 

The telco recently reported that as of the end of the third quarter it had 10 million U-verse broadband subscribers in its 22-state footprint, a factor it says is largely due to its $14 billion Project VIP network upgrade plan. Since launching Project VIP last November, the telco has enabled 2.5 million new broadband customer locations.

During the quarter, total U-verse high speed Internet subscribers represented about 60 percent of all wireline broadband subscribers, compared with 43 percent in the year-earlier quarter. As of the end of this period, it had a total of 9.7 million U-verse Internet subscribers and 5.3 million TV subscribers.

Total U-verse high speed Internet subscribers represented about 60 percent of all of AT&T's wireline broadband subscribers, up from 43 percent in Q3 2012.

The telco is not resting on its laurels, however. AT&T now offers a 45 Mbps speed tier, which is available to nearly two-thirds of its U-verse customer base and has plans to offer a 75 Mbps and a 100 Mbps speed tier sometime in "the future."

U-verse growth has gotten the attention of Zacks Equity Investment.

In a recent report, the financial analysis company said that they "believe the expansion of U-verse services will continue to boost data revenues and ARPU (average monthly revenue per user) in the wireline segment."

Interestingly, AT&T's U-verse growth came at a time when two of the largest cable operators, Cablevision (NYSE: CVC) and Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC), reported that they lost broadband subscribers during the quarter. Cablevision lost 13,000 broadband customers while Time Warner cable lost 24,000.

A new MoffettNathanson report said that while cable still commands a dominant 78 percent flow share (share of net adds) of the terrestrial broadband market, during the third quarter it declined year-over-year.  

Despite this downward trend, Time Warner Cable isn't sitting pat. The cable MSO said during its Q3 earnings call that it is going to launch an aggressive marketing campaign aimed at 4.5 million DSL homes in its footprint, which could have an impact on AT&T particularly in areas where it does not offer U-verse yet.

For more:
- see the release
- see this report

Special report: Grading the top 13 wireline service providers in Q3 2013

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