Rumor mill: AT&T U-verse eyes 60 Mbps offering

Updated: AT&T (NYSE: T)  is reportedly considering increasing its U-verse broadband speed to 60 Mbps downstream and 10 Mbps upstream sometime this summer. 

According to DSL Reports, citing an unnamed source from AT&T, the company is testing a new bonded modem/gateway that will provide faster U-verse broadband speeds.  The source did not confirm the 60 Mbps download speeds or the 10 Mbps upload speeds, but several posters on the DSL Reports forum claiming to be AT&T technicians said that the 60 Mbps down/10 Mbps up speeds were being trialed in "several markets with a rumored launch sometime this year." 

In addition, a poster on AT&T's community forum claiming to be an AT&T technician said that the carrier was testing upgraded speeds and service in his test area. The technician said that "July is the release for 48-60MB down and up to 10MB upload."   He added that U-verse will also be offering a new gateway and increasing its IPTV streams per customer from four to six in mid-July.

U-verse is facing competition in many of its markets from cable operators, whose hybrid fiber-coax systems can match the speeds offered by AT&T's hybrid copper/fiber to the curb-based network. Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC), for instance, offers a 50 Mbps/5 Mbps service as one of its top residential tiers.

In Austin, Texas, AT&T responded to Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG) announcement that the city would be the next to receive its 1 Gbps FTTP service by saying that it, too, would bring 1 Gbps to the area--without specifying a timetable to do so.

AT&T is looking to improve on its U-verse speeds. Earlier this year, CTO John Donovan said that 75 to 100 Mbps download speeds were in the works, with up to 90 percent of its U-verse customers eventually having the capability to receive up to 75 Mbps.

An AT&T spokesperson reiterated this strategy in an e-mail to FierceTelecom, but didn't confirm any current trials or specific speed increases. "We have plans to increase speeds and expand availability of our U-verse offerings as part of our three-year, $14 billion Project Velocity IP. Our investment plan includes upgrades for U-verse to speeds up to 100Mbps," the spokesperson said. "We also plan to expand U-verse to one-third more customer locations, bringing the benefits of our advanced IP wireline network to about 57 million customer locations by year-end 2015."

For more:
- see this DSL Reports article
- and this update
- and AT&T's community forum

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Update: Added comments from AT&T's spokesperson.