AT&T ups U-verse speeds to 45 Mbps in Texas

AT&T (NYSE: T) is getting ready to extend its higher speed DSL offerings using a mix of pair bonding and VDSL2, and will reportedly begin a trial of 45 Mbps service in Dallas this month. But this first wave of speed upgrades initially won't include the 75 Mbps speeds it has promised through its Project VIP initiative.

Later speed increases, including their much-talked-about 75 Mbps offering, will leverage a mix of line vectoring and increasing the DSL frequency band to 17 MHz.

Citing an anonymous employee who posted in its forum, a Broadband DSL Reports article said that the telco will begin a trial of the new speed tiers beginning later this month in Dallas. To minimize truck rolls to each home requesting the new services, AT&T will begin using bonded copper pairs for all new U-verse installations.

Under the new plan, the telco will offer a new 45 Mbps tier with faster options coming later in the year. Meanwhile, the current 6 Mbps users will be "grandfathered" on their existing plans unless they ask to be upgraded to the new tier, while current 12 Mbps and 24 Mbps users will be upgraded to 24 Mbps and 30 Mbps, respectively.

An AT&T spokeswoman told FierceTelecom they could not comment on any the proposed speeds "at this time."

In January, John Donovan, senior executive vice president of AT&T Technology and Network Operations, said that "90 percent of our U-verse customer locations will have the capability to receive what we project to be 75 Mbps--and 75 percent will have the capability to receive up to 100 Mbps."

He added, "Almost 80 percent of the IP DSLAM customer locations will have the capability to receive 45 Mbps, with about half of those having the capability to receive up to 75 Mbps."

However, the delivery of these higher speeds come with two glaring realities.

One, the delivery of these speeds depends on how close the customer is to the nearest CO (central office) or RT (remote terminal) and the quality of the copper plant. Two, even with a 45 Mbps offering, AT&T will still trail the higher speed tiers such as 50 and 100 Mbps that its cable competitors Cox and Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) can offer on their existing HFC-based DOCSIS 3.0 networks.

For more:
- Broadband DSL Reports has this article

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