It's not nice to make fun of Ma Bell

When it comes to its networks, AT&T has no sense of humor, apparently. First it went after Verizon for its 3G coverage maps and now it's going after Time Warner Cable's ad campaign that suggests the U-Verse network can't deliver both HD signals and quality broadband. In this instance, AT&T can't afford the mockery: U-Verse is carrying the day for the carrier's business.

Ma Bell filed a complaint with the National Advertising Division of the Better Business Bureau about a TWC commercial called "Bad Strategy" that features a football player representing the Internet who gets tackled by a bigger player representing HD as the announcer intones, "those high def TV signals can make mincemeat of your Internet service--no wonder your Internet can slow down." A radio commercial makes a similar claim that AT&T's network has a tough time providing both HD content and broadband services without an Internet slowdown.

The ads emphasize what cable engineers have been saying all along about U-Verse: They don't believe it's a threat to cable because it uses VDSL as the final link to the residence and twisted pair is just not a fat enough pipe. Engineers have always been more impressed with Verizon's FTTH FiOS--even though it costs too much--and have claimed that cable's existing HFC network infrastructure is more than sufficient to meet whatever demand is thrown its way.

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