AT&T this week initiated a 45 Mbps speed tier for U-verse broadband customers in California and in Nevada.

The speed bump had been telegraphed last year with AT&T’s announcement of its Project Velocity IP (VIP), a $14 billion capital improvement program that included $8 billion of updates to AT&T’s wireless network, with the balance dedicated to upgrades of the wireline network.

AT&T said it will make the new 45 Mbps downstream / 6 Mbps upstream tier, called U-verse Power,  in additional market on an ongoing basis. 

The company said it is available to “eligible” residential customers at introductory rates as low as $49.95 per month for up to 24 months. Current eligible customers can upgrade their service and receive $10 off their bill for 12 months. The company has also prepared packages for small business customers with different pricing.

At the end of the second quarter of 2013, AT&T said it had expanded its wireline IP network build by a total of 1.8 million U-verse broadband customer locations, including 500,000 U-verse video customer locations. The company said it is currently on track to reach its goal of approximately 57 million customer locations by the end of 2015.

AT&T plans to upgrade top tier U-verse speeds to up to 100 Mbps in the future.

Separately, AT&T is now offering new U-verse TV customers HBO and HBO GO for 24 months at no additional cost when they sign up for the U-verse TV U200 package and U-verse High Speed Internet Max Plus, giving extra value when they bundle services.

When new customers choose U300 and Max Plus, they will also receive HBO, Starz (including Starz Play), Encore (including Encore Play), Showtime and The Movie Channel for 24 months.