AT&T Friday said it plans to spend roughly $400 million over the next several years to upgrade fiber-optic networks throughout Alabama to expand broadband deployment and accelerate the delivery of its U-verse television service.
The investment is contingent upon approval by a variety of city and county governments.
“We commend the 213 city and county leaders in 34 individual Alabama communities for their vision in helping to ensure that Alabama is not left behind in efforts to give consumers more choices in the video services market,” Fred McCallum, state president of AT&T Alabama, said in a statement. “The local support shown most recently by the Birmingham city council, including council President Carole Smitherman, and Birmingham Mayor Larry Langford, and the Jefferson County commissioners, including commission President Bettye Fine Collins, will give consumers a new communications and entertainment experience.”
“We look forward to delivering advanced television, voice and Internet services to Alabama,” he added.
On July 8, the Birmingham city council, with support from the mayor, approved an agreement with AT&T that will enable AT&T to provide these new services to local consumers. That same day, the Jefferson County commission approved a similar agreement.
They join 34 communities across the state in approving similar agreements with AT&T, including Hoover, Bessemer, Midfield, Helena, Bay Minette, Vestavia Hills, Clanton, Tuscaloosa County, Jasper, Madison and Albertville.
AT&T officials said the new technology upgrades being considered will support its U-verse Internet Protocol (IP)-based television, high speed Internet and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services.
The telco has launched its U-verse service throughout the country as it attempts to take on incumbent cable television providers including the likes of Comcast, Cox and Time Warner Cable.
AT&T officials Wednesday said as of the close of the second quarter ended June 30, its U-verse IPTV service now serves more than 549,000 customers.