Denver -- AT&T Broadband & Internet Services
officials said at press time that there were no immediate plans to announce significant
new orders for cable modems and digital set-top boxes.
The MSO was responding to unconfirmed media reports last
week that it was ready to announce orders of up to 2 million digital set-tops and 1
million cable modems from the soon-to-merge General Instrument Corp. and Motorola Inc.
Those reports raised eyebrows among some observers, who
questioned why AT&T Broadband would boost its commitments for such consumer gear at a
time when the cable industry generally wants to migrate to a retail-dominated environment
for the equipment.
The MSO said further orders were probable, although such
purchases would be spread out over years and would likely be aimed at fostering new
distribution channels such as retail.
"There aren't necessarily any needs in that
particular area," AT&T Broadband spokeswoman LaRae Marsik said last Friday.
"As we look to expand our distribution channels to retail, there will be
opportunities for additional equipment orders. It's just a matter of when, where and