AT&T Expands U-verse in San Antonio

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After months of testing, AT&T’s much-anticipated commercial rollout of its U-verse IPTV service is now under way in San Antonio.

On a related note, the regional Bell operating company also announced that it will bring the service to a green-field development in Houston.

In San Antonio, AT&T has been testing the U-verse service since the beginning of the year to a small number of customers. Now it is launching the service to a larger chunk of the city, offering a TV package with more than 200 channels including local, premium movies, sports and digital music. U-verse will also offer on-demand programming.

The U-verse service is priced at $69-$124 per month, depending on customers’ choice of programming and bundles with high-speed-Internet service.

In addition to the main TV package, AT&T will also offer a premium Spanish-language package for a special $5 monthly fee for the first three months.

Customers also can opt for family friendly programming as part of a package of services dubbed “U-family.” That package will offer family-oriented TV channels and on-demand programming, as well as three TV receivers and a digital-video recorder, with prices starting at $54 per month.

For hardware, AT&T is offering three digital receivers, including a DVR model at no extra charge. Customers can add additional boxes for $5 monthly.

A one-time $20 installation fee covers the set-top boxes and a tutorial by an AT&T technician covering how to use the service, access on-demand content and navigate the electronic programming guide.

As part of the rollout, AT&T is offering qualified San Antonio customers free TV service for the first three months, although other monthly charges for extra digital set-top boxes or programming packages will apply.

In the coming months, AT&T plans to add to the channel lineup, including HDTV channels. It will also add to its on-demand catalog and unveil a whole-home DVR feature along with other interactive features later this year.

Meanwhile, AT&T also announced it will expand U-verse to include a 20,000-home master-plan community under construction outside of Houston. That will put it squarely in competition with Time Warner Cable.

AT&T reached an agreement with General Growth Properties to build a fiber-to-the-premises network in the development. Residents will be able to order phone, Internet and video service as soon as they move in.

The first homes in the Houston development, named Bridgeland, will open this summer.

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