Why Directv ?and what happened to U-verse.
Long story but we’ll shorten it as best we can.
I’ll copy excerpts from Wiki and offer comment as we go forward. At the bottom are the Wiki excerpts.
Your author worked for AT&T as a u-verse installer shortly after the technology was launched.
Prior to this time AT&T was trying to make a comeback having survived Judge Green breaking up the monopoly and busting the company up into many little ‘Baby Bells’. The Big Bell had P’od the people with their lousy arrogant very lacking customer service..and Judge Green handed them a huge bundle of “Karma’. Does At&T still remember it …You bet!
But wait , that’s not all…
Along came the cell phones which quickly became affordable making the need for a ‘landline’ phone a thing of the past. AT&T began to bleed again profusely as millions of expensive landline services were dropped. But AT&T had one little ace up its sleeve, that being the U-verse TV/Internet service and VOIP phones.
The word was out to the shareholders, union installers (already P’od that AT&T was outfitting and well training thousands of installers ) that we’re going to bring back all the AT&T Baby Bells…into one company again and deliver HD TV though all the service areas over the old , substandard ancient copper telephone wires and save that investment.
It was a great idea, worked fairly well if you had a good installer and a good lineman making sure the Arial wires and house wires were pretty much ‘perfect’…..but….(there’s always that little word ‘but’)
….In a perfect world…you MAY get a good Arial pair of wires….but probably not. Houses were another challenge.
At first the coax could be used …and the install was reasonable. But the engineers threw the wrench in on that one and required all house installs to have the coax ripped out and Cat5 or 6 Ethernet cable installed . This required 2-3 times more hours to install than a normal coax-utilized installation….but if it was all done correctly, it would work well.and could compete with cable.
It wasn’t working well…sometimes it would…but people want their stuff to work.
Along came the loss of Hallmark channel etc…
U-verse was dying a slow death. As far as the internet was concerned , AT&T was hard-pressed to get 25 MBPS to each of the subscribers unless they were sitting somewhere near the V-Rads (those creme colored equipment cabinets you usually see AT&T trucks sitting at.beside the road) in the various neighborhoods.
So AT&T had to do something different…and quite radical.
They decided to buy Directv to get the best picture/service to the masses over their superior satellite system.
Your author was installing for Directv when AT&T bought ’em
This was great for both AT&T and Directv….but….(there’s that little ole word ‘but’ again)
First, even though the ‘rain fade’ (a plague of the early satellite systems that were usually not installed correctly),
Second, One still had to have a decent view of the Southwest sky which eliminated many homes in wooded and/or hilly areas. U-verse was not going to reach many of these homes either.
Then along came better mobile phones, great “hotspots’ on those phones, better cellphone coverage and finally those little Roku, Kodi and Firestick media boxes.
At&t answers OTT streaming with their own app ‘Directv Now’
AT&T was already running fiber like crazy in rural areas (something that Congress mandated if it were to be given permission to buy Directv)
The fiber was needed to be able to supply fast internet to 95% of the general population by 2020…which is a HUGE task….so that is what that little wire that is being run in rural and other areas. It has a red tag between it and the pole that designates it as fiber.
So, until AT&T fires up their new huge fiber system its been working on for years, we will only have their mediocre 25 MBPS u-verse service for internet.This also has a LOT to do with the new 5G service that is just coming out in limited areas. Its called ‘millimeter wave’ cuz the antenna for such a device is only about a millimeter in length…yep reeeeally short…like a thick piece of paper.
All of the major companies are clamoring to get their 5G presence going soon, and folks , this will be the next ‘game changer’ so keep an eye peeled for info on it.
AT&T U-verse, commonly called U-verse, was an AT&T brand of triple-play telecommunications services, although the brand is now only used in reference to the IPTV service. Launched on June 26, 2006, U-verse included broadband Internet (now AT&T Internet or AT&T Fiber), IP telephone (now AT&T Phone), and IPTV (U-verse TV) services in 21 states.
In September 2016, AT&T announced that the “U-verse” brand would no longer apply to its broadband and phone services, renaming them “AT&T Internet” and “AT&T Phone”, respectively.
At the end of 2011, U-verse was available to more than 30 million living units in 22 states and U-verse TV had 3.8 million customers. By mid-2012, AT&T had 4.1 million U-Verse TV subscribers, 2.6 million Phone subscribers, and 6.5 million Internet subscribers.
By the third quarter of 2012, AT&T had 4.3 million TV subscribers, 2.7 million Phone subscribers and 7.1 million Internet. This represents 7% growth quarter on quarter. The actual number of customers is lower, as most customers subscribe to a bundle (such as TV and Phone) and so are counted in both categories.
At an analyst meeting in August 2015, following AT&T’s acquisition of satellite provider DirecTV, AT&T announced plans for a new “home entertainment gateway” platform that will converge DirecTV and U-verse around a common platform based upon DirecTV hardware with “very thin hardware profiles”. AT&T Entertainment and Internet Services CEO John Stankey explained that the new platform would offer “single truck roll installation for multiple products, live local streaming, improved content portability, over-the-top integration for mobile broadband, and user interface re-engineering.”
In February 2016, Bloomberg reported that AT&T was in the process of phasing out the U-verse IPTV service by encouraging new customers to purchase DirecTV satellite service instead, and by ending the production of new set-top boxes for the service. An AT&T spokesperson denied that U-verse was being shut down and explained that the company was “leading its video marketing approach with DirecTV” to “realize the many benefits” of the purchase, but would still recommend U-verse TV if it better-suited a customer’s needs.
Some interesting milemarks for AT&T
On March 29, 2016, AT&T announced that it will increase data caps on its Internet service on May 23, 2016.The integration of AT&T and DirecTV is set to begin by the fourth quarter of 2016.
On May 16, 2016, AT&T announced that it will acquire Quickplay Media, a cloud-based platform that powers over-the-top video services.
On September 19, 2016, AT&T announced that the “U-verse” brand would no longer apply to its broadband and phone services, renaming them “AT&T Internet” and “AT&T Phone”, respectively.
On October 4, 2016, it was reported that AT&T had adopted “AT&T Fiber” as the new brand name for its fiber-based internet service, with the “AT&T Internet” brand continuing to be used for its DSL internet service.
On April 25, 2017, it was reported that AT&T dropped over 230,000 U-verse subscribers.
On March 13, 2018, it was reported that AT&T has filed a trademark for “AT&T TV” with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, a possible signal that the telco company will finally eliminate its current brand names DirecTV and U-verse.
Latest Huge News from ‘Ma Bell” (AT&T)
Well, was this any surprise?
Congress told the Big Cable and Telecom conglomerates to ‘get rid of those expensive proprietary set-top boxes way back around 2000…but did they?
they loved those insane profits they made on all that overpriced and very limited bundle/tier packages …..
…….AT&T offered some more details about its new set-top box and streaming DirecTV product while also spelling out how it will eventually end its satellite service and cut costs.
AT&T CFO John Stephens spoke Wednesday morning at the Morgan Stanley European Technology, Media and Telecom Conference and discussed DirecTV’s new premium streaming TV process.
“It’s a device that allows us to, instead of rolling a truck to the home, we roll a UPS or FedEx truck to the home and deliver a self-install box. This allows the customer to use their own broadband. We certainly hope it’s our own fiber but it could be on anybody’s broadband. And they get the full-service premium package that we would normally deliver off satellite or over our IP-based U-verse service,” Stephens said………………..
But that’s what we’ve known (along with millions of Cord Cutters for several years now)
Get the Internet service you want, Plug in your favorite media player and get LOTS more content for LOTS less money, and find something better to do with that extra $500 to $1500 you’ve been forkin’ over to those ISP’s for waaay too long.!