AT&T Announces IPTV Plans

AT&T has announced that the initial buildout of its fledgling IPTV service will begin soon in a Texas suburb. Initially dubbed "Project Lightspeed," when it was announced in 2004, the new service, called "U-verse," is similar in scope to Verizon's "FiOS fiber-optic video service now being deployed in a number of states nationwide. The buildout is a part of AT&T's $4 billion initiative to compete with cable and satellite.

General Growth Properties, a Chicago-based real estate investor group, signed an agreement with AT&T to build a fiber-to-the-premises network to deliver AT&T's triple play services (voice, video and broadband at speeds up to 20-25 Mbps), to Bridgeland, a 20,000 home master-planned community near Houston. The agreement, AT&T's largest such contract to date, is part of hundreds of "AT&T Smart Move" deals the telco has signed in newly planned communities representing more than 270,000 homes to date.

"Many of today's home buyers are embracing the digital lifestyle and want advanced communications and entertainment options as soon as they move in," said Ed Cholerton, AT&T vice president and general manager for the Houston market area. "The AT&T Smart Moves program at Bridgeland is one strategic way that we are connecting customers with our next generation of services -- while providing builders and developers with added value that helps differentiate their planned communities."

The first Bridgeland model homes are to open this summer with construction of the remaining residential and commercial properties to continue through 2020.