AT&T just cut its forecast for the number of homes that will have access to U-verse, the service that sends TV through home phone lines.
Now, AT&T expects U-verse to be available to 17 million homes at the end of 2008, down from a previous estimate of 18 million. According to AT&T this delay is due to preparing for U-Verse rollout in the former BellSouth territory, which AT&T acquired last year. As this is preparatory work, it will not result in U-verse being available to additional homes by 2008.
AT&T has delayed U-verse rollout several times, so no surprise here. IPTV so far hasn’t been a big hit in the U.S., with Europe and Asia leading the U.S. in terms of IPTV subscribers. Nonetheless, service providers see IPTV as a key component in providing bundled services and “three-screen” services (i.e. mobile screen, desktop screen, and TV screen).