AT&T (NYSE: T) is apparently going ahead with plans to use bonded pairs to bring U-verse broadband speeds more in line with what other carriers are offering, although, according to DSL Reports, this doesn't necessarily mean the carrier will offer 75 Mbps this go-around.
The publication quoted an "anonymous employee" as a source for a proposed rollout of higher speed tiers that will begin "later this month" in Dallas for all U-verse users. Although not directly related to the U-verse IPTV offering, this speed boost will obviously allow AT&T to offer more options and flexibility in its Internet-connected TV packages.
Still, the speeds will be snail-like compared to what Verizon (NYSE: VZ) is delivering with FiOS and what most cable operators are now bringing to the table with DOCSIS 3.0.
"The slower tiers up to 45 Mbps will show up first with the faster options arriving down the line," Karl Bode wrote. "Current 6 Mbps users will be grandfathered on their current plans unless they want to switch. Current 12 Mbps users will be bumped up to 18 Mbps for free."
Continuing the trend, the report said that 18 Mbps users will be moved to 24 Mbps and then "grandfathered as the 24 Mbps tier will be eliminated" and current 24 Mbps users will be pushed to 30 Mbps. All tiers will be priced accordingly.
None of these speeds, of course, come close to the 75-100 Mbps that AT&T said it would deliver possibly as soon as this year, although the story called the exact timeline "murky." No matter when the higher speeds start to happen, though, the story noted that AT&T will be hard pressed to fulfill for the majority of its customers.
"To obtain anywhere close to these kinds of speeds users will need to have quality copper lines, actually have additional pairs to bond together, and must be on shorter loop lengths (around 2,000 feet or less from the VRAD)," Bode wrote of distances from the video-ready access device. "Many AT&T users struggle to see 3 Mbps, so suggesting that 80-90 percent of U-verse customers will qualify for these speeds seems like a Yoga-grade stretch."
- DSL Reports carried this story
AT&T sweetens U-verse bundle with free gifts
Verizon's Shammo: 50 Mbps is FiOS' sweet speed spot