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AT&T Revises U-verse TV Spending Estimate

AT&T revised higher the amount of money it will spend deploying its U-verse TV Internet-protocol-TV service and revised lower the number of households it will be available to by the end of 2008.

The company said it is increasing by $500 million the total capital-expenditure estimate for the period including 2007 and 2008 to $4.5 billion-$5 billion. According to AT&T, the new investment represents start-up costs in the Southeast that include new video-hub offices and other back-end systems. The homes-passed estimate was revised to 17 million by the end of 2008 versus 18 million expected previously.

AT&T will further outline its expansion plans at its analyst day, slated for Dec. 11.

U-verse TV is the telco’s effort to develop its own video service to bundle with its phone and data offerings to compete with cable companies that are increasingly adding phone subscribers. Last month, AT&T reported that it had added 51,000 subscribers to its U-verse TV service to bring its total to 126,000.

Because of the slow progress of the U-verse TV rollout, AT&T has been increasingly associated as a suitor of EchoStar Communications’ Dish Network to fulfill its video hole.