ATT.com Answers: What Is U-Verse?
U-verse is a type of bundled service available at ATT.com that integrates High Speed Internet with other services in a multimedia package. Here are the basics: U-Verse offers you High Speed Internet, TV, and Phone capabilities like other bundles, but unites them all in one system, originating from one source, using high speed materials like fiber optic cable. Depending on what you buy, it can give you Internet connections and digital TV at the same time.
So Is It Internet or TV?
Yes. U-verse is both Internet and TV, along with VoIP Phone Service. AT&T uses phrases like Fiber-to-the-Node (FTTN) to describe it, but essentially, all your services that usually come from separate sources (like a cable box, a modem, and a phone line), arrive at your house through only one type of connection — a High Speed Internet cable with enough power to offer multiple features at the same time. This limits where U-verse is available, although you can enter your street address in our services locator to see if U-verse is available and find deals in your area. You can choose to purchase one, two, or three U-verse features at once.
Why Should I Consider U-verse Over Others?
U-verse offers integration and some truly great TV bonuses, including a cutting edge DVR package and effortless Wireless Internet. Since all your services are running through the same type of connection, there is also an excellent chance you can save money.
Do I Still Need Cable?
No. U-verse replaces both Cable TV and Satellite TV, so you do not need to buy an extra service. This does not necessarily mean U-verse will be less expensive for you, but it does make your service options much more simple. The format is called IPTV, or Internet Protocol Television. TV data flows through your High Speed Internet connection and is translated by AT&T technology to images on your computer screen — just like streaming video online, except you are streaming entire channels.
In addition to replacing older Cable TV options, U-verse offers you several extra Internet features that can make watching TV more enjoyable and informative. ATT.com also has iPad apps that let you watch your favorite shows online or browse the channels available through your subscription. Remember, since your channels come from your Internet data connection, you are only a button away from Internet sites like Facebook and Flickr, too.
What Speeds Does U-verse Offer?
U-verse began as an attempt by AT&T to incorporate the highest quality Internet services into daily life, but speeds are still limited by infrastructure. A primary purpose of U-verse is to realize the potential of fiber optic Internet lines — glass threads that use light to communicate very efficiently. Fiber optic lines are only installed in limited areas across the United States, but they are spreading…and U-Verse services are spreading with them.
There is a complete list of Internet speeds possible at ATT.com. The highest speeds reach 24 Mbps, while the lowest speed package offers 3 Mbps. These are examples of the top speeds reached for either package, but gives you a good idea of the difference between the high-speed and low-speed options. Prices likewise range from $60-plus a month (for U-verse Internet alone) to $38 per month. You can get faster Internet speeds (up to four times faster than 24 Mbps in some areas) by using traditional cable options, so if speed and lots of multimedia use is the most important factor, go with a cable operator. Fiber optic lines have tremendous future potential, but are weighed down by AT&T’s current infrastructure. If you have no problem with average Internet speeds and love the idea of full-service integration, look into U-verse options.
Is There a Wireless U-verse?
Yes. When you first buy U-Verse, you receive a Wireless Gateway which delivers all your U-Verse services, include Internet access throughout your house. If you choose to add U-Verse TV, AT&T will connect you with a HDTV DVR receiver that allows you to record up to four shows at the same time, along with a wireless receive that gives you greater flexibility for where you place your TV.
How Do I Get U-verse Installed?
First, see if U-verse is available at your home or office. Typically U-Verse services are only available where fiber optic cables are in place. Second, you choose between ordering an installation kit and choosing a professional installation. If you are only interested in Internet TV and have installed Internet in your house before, the self-installation option will help save money. If you want U-Verse TV, too, AT&T requires a professional installation to ensure the DVR is working properly.
Check to see if U-verse is available in your area by entering your street address in the top right corner of this page. You’ll also see which deals are available — and which other providers service your location.
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