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AT&T Debuts Homezone

After months of trials, AT&T launched its Homezone hybrid service, marrying direct-broadcast satellite television with high-speed digital-subscriber-line Internet connections, in its hometown of San Antonio and its Ohio broadband footprint.

Homezone targets AT&T customers in areas where the telco’s fiber-optic-based U-verse TV service won’t reach. Instead, Homezone uses existing copper phone lines to deliver a combination of interactive services via AT&T Yahoo high-speed-Internet and Dish Network DBS services, all funneled to a single digital-video-recorder set-top receiver supplied by 2Wire.

Homezone will allow customers to access pictures and music stored on their AT&T Yahoo Internet accounts and to tap a variety of Web-based information services including movie show times and reviews from AT&T Yahoo Movies. They will also be able to use the Internet connection to tap video-on-demand and to remotely program the 2Wire box’s DVR.

Customers who sign up for Homezone will pay $9.99 monthly in addition to their DSL and Dish service.

In the coming months, AT&T plans to expand the Homezone rollout in markets where it offers AT&T Yahoo high-speed-Internet access.

“AT&T Homezone combines the entertainment that consumers want most — including TV programming, video-on-demand and Internet content and services — in a way that goes well beyond anything our competitors offer today,” AT&T Consumer chief marketing officer Rick Welday said in a prepared statement.