de la Vega hints at faster speeds...
AT&T's U-Verse currently locks users down at around 6Mbps, despite the fact that the FTTN system should be capable of offering users a bit more bandwidth. Faster speeds are coming in '08 through pair bonding and compression tricks, but so far, the company hasn't been specific. AT&T's Ralph de la Vega (now the company's wireless boss) talked briefly to the Dallas Morning News
about U-Verse, hinting that the company's 6Mbps "elite"
tier will become 10Mbps:
"When you look at what we can provide with that technology, it's not just a great TV service based on Internet protocol, but we also provide you with the fastest broadband that you would ever want to have. Today, we offer a 6-megabit-per-second broadband connection, and we think that's going to go to 10 next year." [emphasis added]
While 6-10Mbps might be plenty for standard users, it's still not going to be enough to battle cable on the marketing front. We've seen reports of U-Verse gateways syncing at nearly 100Mbps, though we're talking about only 1,400 feet from the DSLAM. It seems that 25Mbps is working well at distances of 3,000 feet; distances higher than 5,000 feet are where the trouble starts.
Even AT&T's select FTTH customers are being capped at 6Mbps, with the company telling us they are aiming for "a consistent user experience across the board."
Hopefully, in addition to the 10Mbps elite tier, they'll be willing to offer a little extra juice to VDSL customers close enough to the CO, or FTTH customers with ample bandwidth to spare.