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TMCNet:  AT&T U-verse: Company gains ground

[January 03, 2013]

AT&T U-verse: Company gains ground

NATCHEZ, Jan 03, 2013 (The Natchez Democrat - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- As city leaders explore options for cable franchising, a new digital TV service is slowly making its way into Natchez.

AT&T Spokesperson Sue Sperry said the company rolled out its AT&T U-verse TV service approximately a year ago and it is available in select parts of Natchez now.

Sperry said AT&T did not want to reveal in which neighborhoods U-verse TV service is available because it hurts the company's chance to compete with cable and satellite providers.

"We've learned from experience that if they know what our footprint is, they go in and do retention offers and pretty much give their service away for next to nothing and then we can't compete," Sperry said.

U-verse is a digital service that works using the Internet and fiber optic technology and computer networking to provide TV, Internet and phone service.

"It works different than cable," Sperry said. "It's interactive and works on a different platform and is price competitive with cable and satellite." One of the main advantages of the service, Sperry said, is that it does not experience outages like cable and satellite.

"That was one of the things during the hurricane, U-verse didn't go out," she said. "It's delivered through a phone line, and the phones are the last to go out." Residents can find out if their house is eligible for U-verse TV service by visiting att.com and checking availability using their address.

If the service is not available now, Sperry said, it could be later. The company sets up AT&T U-verse TV service in sections, she said, then works to get subscribers in that section.

Once the company gets subscribers in that section, it moves on to the next section, Sperry said.

"It's in a measured and slow way, but we make the investment before we get a single subscriber," she said.

U-verse TV service communicates using high-speed fiber optics to a video hub office, Sperry said, and allows AT&T to add programming and features without adding cost, unlike cable, she said.

"There's an unlimited capacity," Sperry said. "We look forward to continuing with U-verse in Natchez. When people see it, they're pretty loyal to it." ___ (c)2013 The Natchez Democrat (Natchez, Miss.) Visit The Natchez Democrat (Natchez, Miss.) at www.natchezdemocrat.com Distributed by MCT Information Services

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