As a direct result of a new state law that encourages statewide video competition, AT&T Inc. on Tuesday announced plans to offer video services in communities across Tennessee.
AT&T said it plans to invest approximately $400 million during the next several years in fiber network upgrades, further broadband deployment and Internet-based technologies to bring new services, including "cutting-edge IP-based television," to Tennessee consumers.
These upgrades are a direct consequence of House Bill 1421 passed by the Tennessee Legislature and signed into law in May by Gov. Phil Bredesen, officials said.
Comcast and satellite providers already offer cable TV in Chattanooga, and now local residents will apparently soon be able to choose from AT&T and EPB as well.
“The Legislature and the governor have created a competitive environment for video services, and consumers are the real winners,” said Gregg Morton, president, AT&T Tennessee. “We commend Gov. Bredesen, Speaker Naifeh, Lt. Gov. Ramsey, Comptroller Morgan, Chairman Curtis, Chairman Jones, Rep. McDaniel, Sen. Ketron, Sen. Jackson, Sen. Finney and all of the members of the Tennessee Legislature for their vision.”
He said the Competitive Cable and Video Services Act of 2008, HB 1421, "brings a new world of communications and entertainment for consumers. HB 1421 will also encourage investment in next-generation broadband network infrastructure and will help bring new technology to Tennessee.
"On the first day that HB 1421 became effective, AT&T filed its initial application for a state-issued certificate of franchise authority to offer video services in communities across the state.
“We look forward to bringing Tennesseans not only choice and competition but also advanced video, voice and Internet service technology. It will take time to enhance our network to offer these exceptional services, but we will move as quickly as possible to compete for Tennessee customers.”
AT&T’s planned infrastructure and investment will include "a new world of communications and entertainment through AT&T U-verseSM services. AT&T is the only major U.S. provider to offer a 100 percent Internet Protocol (IP)-based television service, and that makes AT&T U-verse TV one of the most robust and feature-rich services available today."