AT&T Brings Homezone to San Diego


Homezone, AT&T’s hybrid direct-broadcast satellite/broadband Internet service, is coming home to San Diego.

The service, which combines satellite television with digital-subscriber-line Internet access via a beefed up digital set-top box, will be unveiled in San Diego next. The service debuted in July in AT&T’s hometown of San Antonio and several markets in Ohio.

Based on a hybrid DBS/DSL box provided by 2Wire, Homezone offers a lineup of advanced TV and interactive services, including digital-video recording, on-demand movies and the ability to set up a home network to share photos and music to devices throughout the house.

AT&T’s strategy is to roll out Homezone as a companion service to its U-verse TV service, which is based on its Project Lightspeed fiber-to-the-node network buildout. At final buildout, Project Lightspeed will reach only one-half of AT&T’s 36 million-customer base, while DSL-backed Homezone will reach 80% of its customers.

Plans are to roll out Homezone in additional markets where the telco offers its AT&T Yahoo! DSL service.

Homezone is being offered for $9.99 per month in addition to whatever package of DSL and EchoStar Communications Dish Network satellite service customers choose.

In a related move, AT&T and Yahoo! also launched a Web-based photo-sharing service that will allow customers to share pictures with family and friends.

AT&T Yahoo! Photos provides customers with Smart Albums, an online catalog of photos, and a tagging feature allows the system to recognize newly uploaded photos and add them to the user’s online albums. Customers also can order professional-quality prints.