Monday, March 26, 2007

Analysts question AT&T broadband strategy

Analysts aren't the only ones questioning Ma Bell's broadband strategy, one that can't deliver any broadband services at all let alone IPTV to large portions of her service area.

But there is potential downside for AT&T too, analysts said, particularly when it comes to its closely linked broadband and television strategies. Some analysts assert that AT&T has set itself up poorly to compete in those areas, which are considered essential to the telecommunications product bundle.

In the case of TV, the strategy is called Uverse, and it entails delivering programming over the Internet, called IPTV. But the service has been plagued by delays and glitches and, even now, takes on average more than six hours to install in a home.

"If it cannot be called a complete failure, it's at least struggling," said Phillip Swan, president of, a Web site that tracks the television technology industry. He said that if things did not pick up soon, AT&T might have to get back into the acquisition game to buy a TV distributor, like a satellite or cable company.

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