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fiber optic coming to Edmond

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    a new fiber optic system will be deployed by Bell South in the Edmond area in the first quarter of this year. Better picture, more selection and probably a lower price than cable.


    UVERSE will launch in Edmond August of 2007

    Sooner Al


    Apparently Uverse is also launching in Norman in August also, at least according to a story in this mornings Transcript.

    Sooner Al

    From today’s Oklahoman…


    Tue August 7, 2007

    Neighborhoods get scoop on AT&T’s U-verse service
    By Jim Stafford
    Business Writer

    AT&T rolled out its new U-verse television service in the Oklahoma City area Monday and marked the launch not with a media blitz of advertising but with a simple ice cream truck rolling through neighborhoods.

    Officials with AT&T hope the familiar jingle of the ice cream truck will draw crowds of excited adults eager to learn about the service that can bring up to 320 video channels of entertainment into homes.

    The company launched the service in parts of Oklahoma City, Edmond, Moore and Norman, although residents will have to visit to find out if U-verse has been extended to their neighborhoods.

    The big question is why the telecommunications giant would limit their marketing of the programming service.

    The reason that an ice cream truck is promoting U-verse one street at a time rather than a metrowide ad campaign is simple, said Ryan Stafford, general manager for AT&T Oklahoma. The infrastructure to support the new service has not been built in enough neighborhoods in the area, he said.

    “Our build is not unlike DSL when it first came out,” Stafford said. “Our footprint is in its initial stages; it’s not as large as it could be. I don’t want to create demand I can’t satisfy.”

    Critics assailed the fiber project before it even began, claiming that AT&T would bypass low-income neighborhoods in favor of those with higher demographics. “I don’t see that as the case at all,” Stafford said. “It is certainly not cherry picking in those communities. We are very quickly building through the rest of Oklahoma City and expect it will have a bigger footprint.”

    The new U-verse service can provide up to 320 channels of programming and bundle it with DSL at prices that range from $44 per month in a stand-alone U-family package of about 60 family-focused channels up to everything offered along with Elite DSL — 6 megabit per second — service for $129 per month.

    U-verse comes with a slick operating interactive programming guide that has lots of features. The new service is likely to tap into some pent-up demand among cable customers seeking an alternative, Jupiter analyst Doug Williams said.

    But other potential customers are likely to pass on the service because AT&T chose to build its fiber network only into the neighborhood nodes and will rely on copper wire to take the information into homes of subscribers, he said.

    That limits the amount of information that can flow in, as well as the speed of the DSL Internet service that AT&T also provides, Williams said. He compared AT&T’s build-out with that of fellow telecommunications giant Verizon, which built fiber right into the homes of its subscribers.

    “There is a technical limitation with their ability to deliver a faster Internet connection with their U-verse service, and that’s because they are still relying on that copper connection,” Williams said. “They are sort of maxed out at that 6-megabits-per-second DSL connection.”

    Stafford said that the way that AT&T built its service provides plenty of bandwidth to bring the programming plus a consistent 6 megabits of DSL speed into homes. U-verse subscribers only access the programming streams they are watching at any one time, instead of the entire package of programming, he said.

    The best news for consumers, Williams said, is that the existence of another major video programming provider in the area should help hold down prices and make for more attractive packages from the U-verse competitor at Cox Communications.

    Cox spokeswoman Christine Martin said the company continues to upgrade its network and product in the Oklahoma City area. “We will continue to invest in our community and provide the best products and services available,” Martin said. “We are in the final stages of an additional $150 million upgrade in the Oklahoma City area which brought more technological advancements, higher Internet speeds and more high definition channels to our customers.”

    As for AT&T, its technicians began installing the service in homes Monday. “The response to the installations has been very positive,” Williams said. “The installations went very smoothly, and customers were excited to be installed on the very first day of U-verse.”

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