TelcoTV Interview: Jeff Weber of AT&T

AT&T's Jeff Weber is the vice president of product and strategy and is responsible for the new data and video services the carrier is rolling out, including Homezone and U-Verse. Jeff and I sat down for a quick chat in the press room yesterday to discuss Microsoft middleware, the need for both Homezone and U-Verse, the rumored Verizon-YouTube deal and content security. Here are a few excerpts from our chat:

Microsoft Middleware
FierceIPTV: So, Microsoft is not exhibiting or attending TelcoTV. Any idea why not?
Weber: You know, you're the second person that told me that. I didn't know that and no, I don't know why.
FierceIPTV: Some are saying they are not here because they don't want to hear anymore about their middleware delaying IPTV rollouts.
Weber: Well, I don't know about that, but everything is on track. I can tell you, no one is more excited about [the ongoing AT&T U-Verse] launch than Microsoft. They are excited to prove their technology works.

Homezone vs. U-Verse
FierceIPTV: Why the need for a Homezone service when you have U-Verse?
Weber: Great question. By the end of 2008, we will still have 50 percent of our subscribers (that's 19 million homes) left unpassed for U-Verse service, but right now we have 90 percent of our customers Homezone-ready. And Homezone offers TV from Dish, photo applications as well as music. It's going to be around for a long time.
FierceIPTV: Five years?
Weber: You can't see five years ahead in this business. Can you imagine answering that question five years ago. Homezone will be around for as long as the eye can see.

For Weber's thoughts on Verizon-YouTube and content security:
- read the rest of the interview