AT&T Unveils 3 Mbps Service

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AT&T Broadband is following merger partner Comcast Corp.'s lead in introducing a new higher-speed cable-modem tier — and the MSO is hinting it may add a lower-data-rate tier some time in the near future.

Englewood, Colo.-based AT&T Broadband's new UltraLink service, offering up to 3 megabits per second downstream and 384 kilobits per second upstream, is now available in Dallas; Denver; Salt Lake City; the San Francisco Bay Area; Seattle; St. Paul, Minn.; and communities in the AT&T Broadband's Michigan and Rocky Mountain markets.

The service will cost $79.99 per month for customers who own their modems and $82.99 for those who lease modems.

AT&T Broadband plans to launch the service later this summer in Atlanta; Florida; Pittsburgh; Portland, Ore.; Richmond, Va.; and Southern California.

The Chicago, Central California and the Northeast markets will roll out UltraLink later this year.

The delay for the Central California and Northeast markets is the result of the migration of former MediaOne Group Inc. cable system customers over to AT&T's cable-modem network, according to AT&T spokeswoman Sarah Eder. Other upgrade issues are a factor in the Chicago rollout.

The MSO's original 1.5 Mbps down, 256 kbps up offering is priced at $42.95 monthly for customers owning a modem and $45.95 for those leasing a modem.

Offering a higher data speed is designed to give customers even more options, according to Karl Ossentjuk, AT&T Broadband's vice president of Internet services.

"It serves the higher bandwidth needs of consumers who have set up home networks, send or receive large files such as when downloading software or enjoy other bandwidth-intensive applications," he said in a release.

There is a plan afoot to trial a lower data rate offering later this year that will target cost-conscious dialup customers looking to upgrade to broadband. AT&T has not yet determined a price point or data rate for that offering, according to Eder.

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