Nate Anderson wrote a pretty good article AT&T's U-verse negotiation troubles. U-verse is the AT&T marketing name a hybrid fiber/copper Internet transport system that relies on lots of distributed miniature DSLAMs that are within 3000 to 5000 feet of the homes that each mini-DSLAM serves. Instead of spending a fortune on running fiber the entire way to millions of homes, AT&T merely installs a mini-DSLAMs every 8,000 feet apart. The short range copper connections from the mini-DSLAMs to the homes permit very high speed DSL service at 20 mbps. This allows AT&T to offer "triple play" telephone, DSL, and HDTV IPTV services to compete with the Cable companies many of whom already offer voice, data, and TV.
But there seems to be a big hold up on U-verse partly because of the size of these mini-DSLAMs called "52B" boxes which some people have aptly renamed "B-52s". A lot of towns have started putting moratoriums on them and the Cable companies are threatening to sue to try and classify U-verse service as a Cable service to force AT&T to abide by the same build-out rules especially when they're installing these massive 52B boxes on public right-of-ways. The few towns that didn't object to them were towns that didn't have any existing cable service.
I might have a solution for the merged SBC-AT&T company and here is a letter I typed up on behalf of residents that want U-verse service. The letter can easily be reversed and sent out to customers that are sitting near the locations that AT&T wants to put a 52B.
To whom it may concern at AT&T,
I hear AT&T is running in to some roadblocks on U-verse in many of the suburbs it's trying penetrate with because of public right-of-way issues with the 52B miniature DSLAMs. Why bother with those pesky city councils and lawsuits? Why don't you park that DSLAM in my backyard inside a small cage out of the public's sight? I'll let you park it there RENT-FREE if you'll just run a short CAT-5e cable from that mini-DSLAM in to my house and we'll call it even. You only need to abide by the following house guest rules.
- Put a secure fence all around it so the kids won't play with it.
- Make sure it's less than 30 dB noise at 6 feet away.
- I'll take my burst bandwidth at full duplex 100 mbps.
- Hook me up with your premium IPTV service.
- You can even use my electricity so long as you pay for the extra power it draws.
I'd say this is a pretty fair exchange to bypass all those right-of-way problems you've been having. Give me a call any time.