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AT&T U-verse

AT&T U-verse (or simply U-verse) is an AT&T brand of triple-play telecommunications services in 21 states of the United States. Launched on June 26, 2006, U-verse includes broadband Internet, IP telephone, and IPTV services.[1][2]


AT&T Inc. announced its plans for a fiber-optic network and Internet Protocol television (IPTV) deployment in 2004 and unveiled the name "U-verse" for the suite of network services on January 6, 2008. Beta testing began in San Antonio, in 2005, and AT&T U-verse was commercially launched June 26, 2006 in San Antonio. A few months later on November 30, 2006, the service was launched in Houston. One month later in 2006 the product launched in Chicago, San Francisco, Oakland, Hartford, Indianapolis, and other cities in their vicinity. In February, 2007, U-verse was launched in Milwaukee. One month later service was initiated in Dallas and Kansas City. In May, 2007, U-verse launched in Detroit, Los Angeles, and surrounding areas. Launch continued in Cleveland, Akron, and San Diego in June, 2007. The Oklahoma City and Sacramento launch occurred in August, 2007. In November, 2007 service was started in Austin. In December, 2007 U-verse was launched in Orlando and St. Louis. A controlled launch was also initiated in Atlanta that month marking the first launch in the Southeastern United States.[1] On December 22, 2008 the product debuted in Birmingham.[3] On January 25, 2010, AT&T announced that U-verse was available to over 2.8 million households.[1]

U-verse Voice was added on January 22, 2008, and was first available in Detroit.[4] In 2008, U-verse availability approached 8 million households, and over 225,000 customers had been enrolled, with new installations reaching 12,000 per week.[1] By 2009, 1 million U-verse Voice customers and 2.1 million U-verse TV customers had been enrolled.[5]

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.[6] By mid-2012, U-verse TV had 4.1 million customers, U-verse Voice 2.6 million, and U-Verse High Speed Internet 6.5 million.[7]

By the third quarter of 2012, U-verse had 4.3 million TV subscribers, 2.7 million Voice subscribers and 7.1 million High Speed 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 voice) and so are counted in both categories.[8]

On November 7, 2012, AT&T announced plans to do the following:

  • Upgrade U-verse to up to 45 megabits per second and U-verse IPDSLAM to up to 24 megabits per second.
  • Offer U-verse IPDSLAM service to 24 million customer locations in its wireline service area by the end of 2013.
  • Expand and enhance its 454 IP network to 75% of all customer locations in its wireline service area by the end of 2015.
  • Expand U-verse by more than one-third or about 8.5 million additional customer locations by the end of 2015.

On October 1, 2013, AT&T announced that it had begun deployment of a 100 percent fiber Internet broadband network in Austin that will deliver speeds up to 1 Gigabit per second. AT&T plans to begin delivering AT&T U-verse® with GigaPowerSM, the city’s fastest Internet available to consumers, along with more advanced TV services and features, in December 2013.[9]

U-verse currently serves most of the former footprints of Ameritech, SBC, Bellsouth, Pacific Bell and Nevada Bell.


AT&T delivers most U-verse service over a fiber-to-the-node (FTTN) or fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) communications network. In the more common FTTN deployment, fiber-optic connections carry all data (internet, IPTV, and voice over IP) between the service provider and a distribution node. The remaining run from the node to the network interface device in the customer's home uses a copper-wire current loop that is traditionally part of the PSTN (public switched telephone network). In more recently constructed housing developments, AT&T uses an FTTP deployment—they run fiber-optic cable from their DSLAM all the way to an optical network terminal in the customer's home.

In areas where AT&T deploys U-verse through FTTN, they use High-speed digital subscriber lines with ADSL2+ or VDSL technology. Service offerings depend on the customer's distance to an available port in the distribution node, or the central office. To qualify for U-verse TV service (only available through VDSL2), the customer must be less than 1000 meters (3500 feet) from a VRAD, the VRAD must contain an available port, and the copper wire-loop must pass qualification. Where pair bonding is available, the maximum service distance can extend to 1600 meters (5500 feet). Pair bonding is also necessary for U–verse's fastest internet tier (Power Tier 45 Mbit/s down).

In fringe areas, AT&T provides U-verse HSI through IP-DSLAM ADSL2+, which does not require pair bonding or a VRAD and operates at slower bitrates than pair-bonded VDSL2.


AT&T delivers U-verse TV via IPTV from the headend to the consumer's receiver,[10] required for each TV. Transmissions use digital H.264 (MPEG-4 AVC) encoding, compared to the existing deployments of MPEG-2 codec and the discontinued analog cable TV system. The receiver box does not have a RF tuner, but is an IP multicast client that requests the channel or "stream" desired. U-Verse TV supports up to four active streams at once. The system uses individual unicasts for video on demand, central time shifting, start-over services and other programs.

U-verse packages

AT&T groups its general channels into progressive packages (U-family, U200, U300, and U450); each adds channels to the package before it, with rare exceptions. All subscribers receive at least the equivalent of the U-family package, which also includes 65 of the 75 Stingray Music channels. Many U-family channels were also available on the historical U-basic package.[11] The historical U400 package is identical to the U450 package, except that U450 automatically includes the HD Services package.[12]

Specialty channels are grouped into a la carte packages, which can be combined with the general packages: The Sports Package; ESPN FULL COURT and ESPN GamePlan; Fox Soccer Plus HD; NBA League Pass; HD Services; HD Premium Tier; Paquete Español; and Adult. Paquete Español can be combined with a higher-tier package and, is then called U200 Latino, U300 Latino, or U450 Latino. Additionally, channels grouped as Internationals are available À la carte in language groups or singly, and a number of premium movie packages are available to premium package or higher-tier subscribers. High-definition TV technology is required to access HD channels.[13]

Channel groupings

  • Time-delayed: Some channels have both East Coast and West Coast feeds, airing the same programming without a delay on the latter feed; the three-hour delay also represents the time-zone difference between Eastern (UTC -5/-4) and Pacific (UTC -8/-7). The west feed is specified by adding "- West" to the name of the east feed. For certain time-delayed channels, both the east and west feeds are available to all subscribers; otherwise only the east feed (for the Central and Eastern time zones) or only the west feed (for the Pacific and Mountain time zones) is available, even though two channel numbers are assigned to the feeds. With the exception of California, Nevada, and westernmost parts of Texas and Kansas, the U-verse 22-state availability region is available within the Central and Eastern time zones.
  • High-definition: With few exceptions, the numbers of high-definition TV channels are found by adding 1000 to the standard-definition television channel number, and HD callsigns are found by appending "HD" to the callsign of the SD channel (with or without a space). West feed callsigns typically append "-W" (or "HDW"). Most HD channels appear in the HD Services package, while the HD Premium Tier package contains approximately 25 additional premium channels.
  • Local: All local broadcast channels are identified by the station's callsign and over-the-air virtual digital channel number (e.g., "WDAF-4" for Fox affiliate WDAF-TV in Kansas City, Missouri), with a few exceptions (WDJT-TV, the CBS affiliate in Milwaukee is carried on its preferred cable channel 5/1005 slot on U-verse rather than its actual channel number 58 to keep it grouped with major network affiliates, for instance). Local stations appear in the ranges 2-69 and 1002-1069. A national channel may also appear as a local channel or affiliate in the minimum package in available markets; in some such cases, the national channel is not available in the market where the local channel or affiliate appears.
  • Sports: Channels in the 600s are national sports channels, available to varying tiers. The Sports Package is included with the U450 package or can be added onto a lower-tier package.
  • Regional: Channels in the 700s are regional (excluding non-premium movie channels in the 790s). Subscribers each automatically receive channels that are regional to them, based on geography, in standard- and high-definition. Subscribers who wish to receive out-of-market regional channels (typically for sporting) must subscribe to the HD Premium Tier package, which includes most of the other regional channels. According to league rules, sports blackouts do apply, but rebroadcasts of games may be available out-of-market. Chicago Cubs home games televised by WGN are provided to all subscribers, who are not blacked out even if their local teams are playing at Wrigley Field.[13]

Carriage negotiations

  • AT&T removed Hallmark Channel and sister Hallmark Movie Channel from AT&T U-verse effective September 1, 2010, due to a carriage dispute. An AT&T spokesperson stated, "Hallmark has refused to provide AT&T and its customers with a fair deal—one that is no worse than similarly-sized and smaller providers—and refused to adhere to key obligations under our current deal," while Hallmark Channels president and CEO Bill Abbott said he was, "...stunned by the apparent disregard for the facts .... If they are really serious, my team and I are ready for truly fair negotiations." After the removal, the channels temporarily provided free previews of Starz Kids & Family and Turner Classic Movies.[14] Crown Media Holdings operates the two Hallmark channels in the United States.
  • tlNovelas and Univision Deportes Network began on U-verse on May 11, 2012, after a carriage agreement was signed with Univision Communications.[15]
  • Just prior to the 2010 series premiere of AMC program Mad Men, AT&T and Rainbow Media resolved a carriage dispute without interruption to any channels. AT&T stated that Rainbow, "...had been trying to force the renegotiation of a contract for one of their other channels that is not yet expired." It was speculated that this additional contract renegotiation was for Sundance Channel and was successfully concluded, due to Rainbow Media's summation, "We're pleased to have reached an agreement with AT&T for AMC, WE tv, IFC and Sundance Channel that truly recognizes the value of our networks."[16]
  • HGTV, the Food Network, the DIY Network, the Cooking Channel, and Great American Country were temporarily inaccessible between November 5 and November 7, 2010, due to a carriage dispute with Scripps Networks.[17][18][19] U-verse vice president Brian Shay stated afterward that AT&T had received a "fair deal".[20]
  • U-verse picked up the Longhorn Network on August 31, 2012, increasing its availability to 12.9% of the Austin television market.[21]
  • On January 15, 2013 (2013-01-15), U-verse came to terms with Disney on a new wide-ranging multiple year carriage agreement for all Disney, ESPN and ABC Networks, which includes the addition of Disney Junior.[22]
  • On February 28, 2015 (2015-02-28), 46 Music Choice channels and MC Play were removed, by adding 75 Stingray Music channels.


U-verse provides Internet access to computers connected on-premises via Ethernet cabling or Wi-Fi from the included residential gateway or DSL modem.

AT&T announced Max Plus service (then called "Max 18") in November 2008,[23] and Max Turbo was announced in December 2009. Basic, Express, Pro, Elite and Max (VDSL) are usually available for self-installation. Max (ADSL2+), Max Plus, and Max Turbo can be self-installed if only one jack is connected for DSL (through a splitter installed by a technician), or splitter-free if no landline shares the pair. Conditions where higher speeds are still attainable through filters or quality wiring to more than one jack occur less often.

AT&T announced the Power service on August 26, 2013.[24] The power service required two conditioned line pairs (pair bond) and a Motorola NVG589 VDSL2+ Gateway.[25] AT&T charges a service fee to condition and pair bond the lines and install a new gateway, plus additional monthly charges.[26]

Upload speeds are VDSL connections - for areas that offer uVerse TV. ADSL2+ is limited to 1 Mbit/s upload - in areas that do not offer uVerse TV.

Name Download Speed Upload Speed Notes
Pro 3 Mbit/s 1 Mbit/s
Elite 6 Mbit/s 1.5 Mbit/s
Max 12 Mbit/s 2 Mbit/s
Max Plus 18 Mbit/s 2 Mbit/s
Max Turbo 24 Mbit/s 5 Mbit/s
Power 45 Mbit/s 6 Mbit/s Select markets (requires VDSL2 pair-bonding)
High Speed Internet 75 75 Mbit/s 8 Mbit/s Select markets (requires VDSL2 pair-bonding)
GigaPower 300 300 Mbit/s 300 Mbit/s Austin, Texas. Houston, Texas (April 2015). Greensboro, North Carolina. Raleigh, Durham, North Carolina.
GigaPower 1G 1 Gbit/s 1 Gbit/s Select Locations only.


Call history on U-verse TV

AT&T U-verse Voice is a voice communication service delivered over AT&T's IP network (VoIP). This phone service is digital and provides a voicemail service accessed by *98 from the home number. Customers who subscribe to both U-verse TV and U-verse Voice get features such as call history on channel 9900, which displays the last 100 missed and answered calls on the customer's TV, and "Click to Call" from the TV history. U-verse Voice includes Caller ID, Call Blocking, Anonymous Call Blocker, and many other calling features. U-Verse Voice was first available in Detroit, on January 22, 2008.[1]


Line equipment

U-verse uses the Alcatel-Lucent 7330 or 7340 Intelligent Services Access Manager (ISAM) shelf, also called a video-ready access device (VRAD), deployed either in a central office (CO) or to a neighborhood serving area interface (SAI). These models are both composed of circuit boards providing service, which are fed by fiber. FTTN (fiber to the node) systems use model 7330, which uses existing copper wiring to customers' homes,[2] leading to distance limitations from the VRAD cabinet to the customer's home. The 7330 ISAM is an internet protocol DSL access multiplexer that supports VDSL and ADSL protocols.[27] FTTP (fiber to the premises) systems use model 7340, mostly in areas such as new neighborhoods or large housing developments, where AT&T chooses to run fiber to the household, removing the distance limitations of copper. The 7340 then connects to a serving area interface, which distributes service to homes in the neighborhood, via a dual strand fiber, which then splits into 32 customer fiber pairs. The fiber pairs typically lead to a customer's residence at the network interface device.

The VRAD typically connects upstream to an Alcatel-Lucent 7450 Ethernet service switch in the central office hub, then to the headend video hub office.[2]

Customer equipment

AT&T provides the customer premise equipment (leased for a monthly fee, or purchased with a 1-year warranty), and includes a wireless router and modem, which they call a residential gateway (RG) or internet gateway. They also provide TV receivers made by Cisco and Motorola (including standard receivers, wireless receivers, and DVR receivers).

Those eligible for triple play (TV, Voice, and Internet) will use a VDSL2 transport link which uses one of the following modems:

  • 2Wire 3600
  • 2Wire 3800
  • 2Wire 3801
  • Pace 5031NV
  • 2Wire iNID (which comes with the 2Wire i3812V for the outside unit, the iPSU (Intelligent Power Supply Unit) which powers the i3812V, and one or more i38HG for internet access via wireless or ethernet connectivity inside the customer premise)
  • Arris NVG589
  • Arris NVG599 (currently available to GigaPower customers in Austin)

Those who are eligible for double play (Voice and Internet) only, will use an ADSL2+ transport type which uses one of the following modems:

  • 2Wire 2701HGV-B (the model number must contain a "V", otherwise it will not function with the U-Verse platform)
  • Motorola 2210-02-1ATT (the U-verse version of the 2210 and is black; the silver version is for PPPoE and not 802.1x)
  • Motorola NVG510
  • Pace 5168NV (Only RG that can support VOIP on a 1.5 Mbit/s profile and support bonded ADSL+2)

Currently only two devices support bonded pair: the 2Wire iNID and Motorola NVG589. The Motorola NVG589 replaces the 2Wire iNID for all bonded pair installs (and possibly all future single pair installs due to its support for both ADSL2+ and VDSL2).

All AT&T U-verse transport types use 802.1x authentication. This means only equipment on AT&T's approved list works with the U-verse service, as other (non-AT&T) equipment cannot authenticate with AT&T DSLAMs and GPONs. Another side-effect of U-verse's authentication protocol is the lack of bridge mode support (unlike standard DSL that uses PPPoE authentication, which is easily bridgeable). At best, the 2Wire/Pace routers support DMZ+ mode, while the Motorola devices support IP Passthrough. AT&T allows residential and business customers to pay for static IP addresses, which they support on all AT&T approved equipment (including the 2Wire/Pace and Motorola routers.)

When AT&T launched IP-DSL (ADSL2+, double play only), they installed connections with either the 2Wire 2701HGV-B or Motorola 2210 (pairing the latter with a Cisco Linksys E1000 for residential customers, or an EdgeMarc 250AEW for business customers). The 2Wire 2701HGV-B was limited to a top speed of 6Mbit/s, while the Motorola 2210 was capable of higher speeds. In later installations, AT&T standardized on the Motorola NVG510, phasing out the other routers for new service installation.

When AT&T introduced the "power" tier in 2013, installations were initially done with the iNID. AT&T later standardized on the Motorola NVG589, which supports pair-bonding for both ADSL2+ and VDSL2. AT&T also uses the NVG589 in some installations where the customer otherwise is too far from a node for service. Additionally, it is the only gateway that supports an internal battery for those who subscribe to the U-verse Voice service for battery backup during power failures. AT&T does not supply the battery to customers who subscribe only to internet service and TV service.

Device Transport Type Static IP Wireless Support Bridge Mode Type
2Wire 3600/3800/3801 VDSL2
Yes 802.11b/g DMZ+
2Wire 5031NV VDSL2
Also known to work on ADSL2+
Yes 802.11b/g
2Wire 270HGV-B ADSL2+ Yes 802.11b/g DMZ+
2Wire iNID VDSL2 Bonded Pair Yes 802.11b/g DMZ+
Motorola NVG510 ADSL2+ Yes 802.11b/g
IP Passthrough
Motorola NVG589 ADSL2+
ADSL2+ Bonded Pair
VDSL2 Bonded Pair
Yes 802.11b/g
IP Passthrough
Arris NVG599 ADSL2+
ADSL2+ Bonded Pair
VDSL2 Bonded Pair
Yes 802.11b/g
802.11n + Dual-Band 802.11 AC
IP Passthrough
Motorola 2210 ADSL2+ No None IP Passthrough

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e ["AT&T U-verse Timeline" (PDF). AT&T. 2008. Retrieved January 2, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c Post Alexander, Atlanta, Ga., p. 24.
  3. ^ AT&T U-verse TV Service Arrives in Birmingham
  4. ^ {{AT&T U-verse Timeline}}
  5. ^ AT&T U-verse Voice Digital Home Phone Service Reaches 1 Million Lines
  6. ^ Best-Ever Mobile Broadband Sales and Strong Cash Flows Highlight AT&T's Fourth-Quarter Results
  7. ^ U-verse Update: 2Q12
  8. ^ U-verse Update: 3Q12
  9. ^ AT&T to Deliver the First All Fiber 1 Gigabit Broadband Network to Austin
  10. ^ AT&T U-verse Total Home DVR
  11. ^ Channel Directory: AT&T U-verse [January 2014]
  12. ^ AT&T Channel Package List [June 2014]
  13. ^ a b AT&T U-verse 2012 Playbook [February 2012]
  14. ^ Hallmark Channels Go Dark On AT&T U-verse, Multichannel News, September 1, 2010.
  15. ^ Univision signs deal to launch cable networks on AT&T U-verse, Media Moves, May 11, 2012
  16. ^ UPDATE: Rainbow And AT&T Ink New Deal, ‘Mad Men’ Season Saved On AT&T U-Verse
  17. ^ "AT&T's U-verse Drops Food Network, HGTV and Other Scrippy-s Networks", Chicago Tribune. November 5, 2010.
  18. ^ Food Network, HGTV, Back on U-verse. Chicago Tribune. November 7, 2010.
  19. ^ "AT&T U-verse, Scripps Reconnect on Carriage Contract". Multichannel News. November 7, 2010.
  20. ^ AT&T & Scripps Networks Reach Agreement
  21. ^ "Longhorn Network hooks U-verse", from (September 4, 2012)
  22. ^ Farrell, Mike (January 15, 2013). "Disney Strikes U-Verse Carriage Deal". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved January 15, 2013. 
  23. ^ "AT&T Customers Connect Faster with New 18 Mbps U-verse High Speed Internet Service". News release (AT&T). November 6, 2008. Retrieved July 28, 2011. 
  24. ^ "45 Mbps U-verse Internet Service Arrives in 40 Additional Markets". News release (AT&T). August 26, 2013. Retrieved September 4, 2013. 
  25. ^ "45 meg tier...After Install Notes & Pictures, etc". DSL Reports forum posting. Bill Hamel. August 25, 2013. Retrieved December 17, 2013. 
  26. ^
  27. ^ Alcatel-Lucent 7330 ISAM FTTN ANSI

External links