Monday, September 22, 2008

ATT Backs Off in San Francisco

ATT has run into problems bringing IPTV to San Francisco. It withdrew its proposal to place 850 VDSL systems onto San Francisco's streets after a hearing at the Board of Supervisors that concluded that the project did not meet environmental review exemption requirements. The proposal had been previously agreed to by the city's Planning Department.

Each of the VDSL would be placed on city sidewalks and are 4 feet high, 4 feet 2 inches wide, and 2 feet 2 inches deep. Ten neighborhood associations objected and appealed Planning board's ruling to the Supervisors.

I live in San Francisco, so this affects me personally. These are big boxes and would impede pedestrian traffic on many sidewalks. Two years ago ATT sent me and my neighbors letters asking if they could put one of these boxes in my front yard. I thought that would be cool but my wife said, "you have to be kidding!" None of my neighbors agreed either.

San Francisco is always an exception, but I expect that ATT may receive similar objections in other dense cities. This may also be a problem with other VDSL deployments, especially in Europe, if the residents of the cities involved have any say about it.

Since I will not be able to get U-verse any time soon, I will move ahead with my plan to set up an 802.11n network in my home so that I can start using over the top Internet TV content. I really have no interest in subscribing to cable or satellite service.

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