AT&T to Launch U-verse Near Houston

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AT&T will expand availability of its U-verse video product to a 20,000-home master-plan community under construction outside of Houston.

The telephone company reached an agreement with General Growth Properties to build a fiber-to-the-premises network in the development. Residents there will be able to order telephone, Internet and video services as soon as they move into the new homes.

Currently, AT&T has launched U-verse service to a small number of homes in San Antonio.

The telco forged agreements for access to new developments as part of its “Smart Moves” program. That initiative offers help, at AT&T’s Web site (att.sbc.com), to the estimated 42 million people who move each year.

Since research shows that consumers are ripe to switch vendors at that time, AT&T created what executives hope is a one-stop shop that they will use prior to their actual move to sign up for video, Internet and telephone services; to find moving companies and storage facilities; to send out change-of-address forms; to turn on utilities; and to subscribe to newspapers.

AT&T said it has 830,000 single-family homes now covered with Smart Moves contracts. Those include homes served by fiber-enhanced plant and areas offered more low-tech bundles.

The first homes in the Houston development, named Bridgeland, will open this summer. Time Warner Cable is the incumbent cable operator in the Houston area.

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