AT&T U-verse and U

AT&T's U-verse service became available February 2008.

Astonishingly, the famously standoffish company sent three different door-to-door sales people to the neighborhood within this first month. The first fellow showed up the day the service was ready.

AT&T has motivated every employee with commissions. Every contact for whatever reason with AT&T during the last six months has included a plug for U-verse. A newly installed phone line has rung weekly with U-verse cold calls, and U-verse pitches have cluttered billing statements, customer email, and paper mail.

Evidently, AT&T wants into the TV business.

The numbers said "no", however. The cheaper Time-Warner Roadrunner Internet service tops out at 6 Mbps downstream, 768 Kbps upstream with averages of 4.5Mbps/430Kbps during load times. This is the basic service. More, TWC television signals feed directly into TiVo (Series 2 with lifetime subscription carried over from a Series 1) and a Westinghouse 1080i flat-panel television, no extra boxes required. HDTV is available in real-time (no HD on TiVO), and the only real-time HD programming need is college football.

The comparable U-verse U200 Elite package (6/1Mbps, basic television) costs more. HD service is an additional charge, but offers more HD channels. And TiVo has been really, really good; switching DVRs loses the lifetime subscription, worth $12.95 per month.

So thanks, but no, thank you.

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