Q. I read today that AT&T is shutting U-verse down because they have a new TV service. I have had U-verse for several years. Am I going to lose my service today or this week? How will this happen? Will I get a refund? — Helena, town not given.
Helena, you can calm down. Let me try to explain what is going on.
AT&T today launched a TV service called AT&T TV, which offers programming packages similar to DIRECTV over an Internet-based set-top. (See our article for more information on AT&T TV.)
With the launch of AT&T TV, the telco also announced that it would no longer take orders for U-verse online. If you want to order U-verse, you will need to phone AT&T.
Because of the change, there have been a few news reports saying that AT&T is ‘shutting down’ U-verse. However, that is not the case. U-verse still has four million subscribers and AT&T certainly doesn’t want to pull the plug on so many customers at the same time.
The only thing that’s different now is AT&T has stopped online ordering for U-verse. However, you can still get it by calling. So, obviously, it has not been ‘shut down.’
That said, it’s clear that AT&T longs to go to an all-Internet TV business at some point, including shifting DIRECTV’s customers from satellite to streaming. But considering that there are still nearly 20 million U-verse and DIRECTV subscribers combined, that may not happen for a few years. And it certainly isn’t happening today, no matter what you might read.
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— Phillip Swann