Danville Express

Newsfront - March 23, 2007

U-verse arrives in Danville

AT&T explains what its high tech line has to offer

by Jordan M. Doronila

AT&T Corp. celebrated the release of its U-verse in Danville last week.

The mega communications company had informational booths for the public at the Danville Area Chamber of Commerce last Thursday morning, March 15. AT&T has recently been launching its U-verse line in Danville and other areas of the Bay Area, including San Ramon.

U-verse is a Lightspeed Internet Protocol Television Service with more than 300 TV channels that can record four programs at once. It integrates digital video, AT&T Yahoo! High Speed Internet, high definition programming and other advanced abilities.

Danville Mayor Mike Shimansky, a former AT&T employee, said he and his neighbors on Redondo Way have replaced their previous television cable services with U-verse.

"I'm enjoying it right now," Shimansky said last week. "We can record any program we want. It's more convenient."

"A lot of neighbors have signed up for it," he added. "I love it. We are getting 300 channels. We can record four different programs at once."

At the Chamber, dozens of people inquired about U-verse with AT&T marketing representatives. An AT&T truck was parked outside the Chamber and displayed television demos about its new product. Inside, company marketers offered green cookies and hung balloons in honor of St. Patrick's Day.

"Danville is among the first (to receive U-Verse) because we were able to reach an agreement with city officials," said Ted Carr, AT&T spokesman. "We plan to expand to additional areas on an ongoing basis."

"We think Danville residents are going to love it," he said, adding that Saratoga, Cupertino, Foster City and East Palo Alto are the other California communities that have U-verse.

Other product features include a video-on-demand library, digital video recording, its fiber optic texture, Web remote access, instant channel changing, and a search that customers can use to inquire about a program by a title or an actor's name.

Currently, Texas, Indiana, Connecticut, Wisconsin and Missouri also carry U-verse.

Last year, the Danville Town Council gave its approval for AT&T to begin installing U-verse in the community. Danville customers have said they want more TV service choices, and AT&T's Internet Protocol would appeal to youth.

The company made its U-verse pitch to San Ramon before heading to Danville.

"It's much, much faster," said Town Councilwoman Candace Andersen. "Our residents are receiving high speed Internet. Danville is tech savvy."

The Town of Danville will receive 5 percent of AT&T's gross revenue annually, said Town Attorney Rob Ewing. Comcast also pays 5 percent of its gross revenues to Danville.

Andersen said having competition between television service companies may make prices lower for customers. Comcast also provides service in Danville.

"We felt competition is good," said Andersen. "It (U-verse) provides options for residents."

Contact Jordan M. Doronila at jdoronila@DanvilleWeekly.com

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