AT&T said that it is going to invest $250 million on upgrading its networks in Connecticut in 2008; the sum aggregates spending on both extending its third-generation (3G) network and continuing its rollout of U-verse.
Meanwhile, AT&T has filed for a statewide video franchise in Tennessee and expects to invest $400 million there, largely on a network upgrade to support U-verse.
The bulk of the spending in Connecticut will be devoted to AT&T’s expansion of its high-speed 3G network to 210 additional cell sites in the state, now largely complete. All of the state's major population centers are now covered by the company's high-speed network, AT&T said.
The company plans to finish building 21 new cell sites in the state, however. Five of the 21 are already live, including a new cell site in Hartland, two sites in Ledyard, boosting coverage in and around Foxwoods Resort Casino, and two sites in Greenwich – one of which provides enhanced in-building coverage at the Greenwich Hospital.
And now that AT&T has state permission to rollout U-verse, the company continues to expand the reach of the service.
The introduction of U-verse in Connecticut was delayed by a regulatory imbroglio that chewed up most of 2007 and the early part of this year. A new issue has popped up, however, that should represent a temporary hiccup in the rollout schedule.
U-verse requires neighborhood nodes called V-Rads that are likened in size to refrigerators. AT&T is putting the boxes in places where it has right-of-way, but people are complaining that they’re too large, and the state and AT&T are now wrangling about that.
Meanwhile, AT&T will begin rolling out U-verse in Tennessee. Following Tennessee state law, AT&T was compelled to file for a state franchise, despite having insisted from the moment it first conceived of providing video that since it’s not a cable company, it does not have to apply for video franchise contracts.
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