AT & T to invest $400M in La. if awarded statewide video franchise

Wed, 04/23/2008 - 8:20am
Traci Patterson

AT&T plans to invest about $400 million throughout the next several years in its Louisiana market, upgrading its fiber network and furthering its broadband deployment and Internet-based technologies, including U-verse TV.

But first, AT&T needs a statewide video franchise, and the Louisiana Legislature is currently considering the Consumer Choice for Television Act (Senate Bill 422 and House Bill 1009).

The Act will enable operators that want to provide competitive video services to obtain a state-issued franchise, rather than negotiate with individual municipalities.

"This legislation will give Louisiana consumers more choices and deliver the benefits of competition, including the opportunity for lower prices, better customer service and new products," said Louisiana Sen. Ann Duplessis. "I want my constituents and other Louisiana consumers to reap the benefits of competition as quickly as possible."

In part, the new technology upgrades being considered by AT&T will support IPTV, high-speed Internet and VoIP services, the telco said.

Meanwhile, AT&T’s U-verse TV and high-speed Internet services are now available to more than 200,000 living units in and around the Milwaukee, Racine and Sheboygan areas in southeastern Wisconsin.

AT&T introduced U-verse TV in Wisconsin in February 2007 and continues to make the service available to more southeastern Wisconsin customers.

In its Q1 2008 earnings report (story here), the company said that it still expects to exceed one million U-verse subscribers by the end of 2008.

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