AT&T Broadband & Internet Services has been
actively preparing its cable systems in recent weeks to move away from the TCI
(Tele-Communications Inc.) name as they adopt the new AT&T consumer brand for cable,
which has not yet been publicly announced.
AT&T Broadband spokeswoman LaRae Marsik said the
consumer brand has been identified internally, and it will be an "AT&T"
"We're still dotting the I's and crossing
the T's," Marsik said, adding that the company has not yet finalized the artwork
for the new consumer logo.
TCI systems will need to adopt the new AT&T brand for
everything from employee uniforms, to bills, to signs, to the way customer-service
representatives answer the phone. Public-affairs executives at the system level also need
to revisit how they brand their local community sponsorships.
Marsik said the transition to the new brand is expected to
take six months.
While no public date has been set for the launch of the new
brand, Marsik said it may be unveiled publicly in late June or the first week of July.
"All systems will begin the process at the same
time," she said. Because AT&T has a nationwide presence, she added, it's
important that all of the systems work in concert to roll out the new brand.
In the meantime, AT&T has begun testing cable-modem
retail sales through trials with CompUSA Management Co. stores in Spokane, Wash.
Marsik said it was too early to talk about results. But the
MSO plans to expand the retail trials both within Spokane and in other markets, depending
on the level of consumer acceptance, she added.
"This is a heavy testing phase for us," Marsik
said, "not just for bundled service packages, but also for retail."
In a few select markets, including Salt Lake City, AT&T
has started to market digital cable through AT&T Wireless stores. Hardware is not
available for sale at retail, but consumers in the right service areas can sign up for