AT&T ups spending on IPTV service

US telecommunication group AT&T says it will spend up to an extra $1.4bn on its internet protocol television (IPTV) service, U-verse. The telco, which is America's largest, said that would take total spending on U-verse to between $6bn and $6.5bn by the end of 2008.

By that time AT&T said it hoped to have passed 18m US households in 13 states. That expectation is down from an earlier forecast of 19m homes.

"This additional investment will further strengthen our service, which already has numerous advantages over cable," an AT&T spokesman told The Wall Street Journal. "We're very happy with the progress we're seeing with U-verse."

Last month AT&T said it had around 18,000 U-verse subscribers. Launched last summer in San Antonio, AT&T is now launching the digital TV, high-speed broadband and telephony triple-play in Los Angeles.

U-verse was developed by SBC Communications, which last year merged with AT&T and took its name. U-verse's fibre network stretches into residential neighbourhoods, and competes head on with US cable operators such as Comcast and Time Warner.

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