Readers: This is part of an ongoing series of updates on what happened to the U-verse rollout in Orange County. So keep checking back!
So close, yet so far off. The city of Dana Point was targeted by both AT&T U-verse and Verizon FiOS for TV service, but neither have made it inside to offer residents an alternative to the area’s cable company.
Verizon. which launched its fiber-optic-based TV and Internet service in Orange County two years ago, had listed Dana Point as a targeted city back in late 2008, but still does not offer service there.
Meanwhile AT&T said earlier this week that Dana Point was one of 7 Orange County cities it has stopped seeking permits to offer TV service (read “AT&T U-verse comes to a halt in Irvine, 6 other O.C. cities“).
An AT&T spokesman said cities were caught up with the aesthetics of the street-hogging U-verse nodes, which look like large white boxes. They act as the neighborhood’s connection to AT&T’s fiber-optic-based TV service and send the broadcasts to nearby houses over more traditional wiring. H. Gordon Diamond, with AT&T public affairs, also mentioned that U-verse has successfully been rolled out in 230 communities in California.
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As far as Dana Point is involved, said John Tilton, the city planner, AT&T seems to have given up.
“They gave us an application for maybe a dozen or so sites where they wanted to install equipment for the public right of way and we just gave them a list of additional information we needed,” Tilton said. ”Mostly, it was so that we could understand their long range plans since they indicated that this was the first in a phase. What does that mean? How many phases were there?”
That was about a year ago.
Like Newport Beach, Cypress and a few other cities I contacted, Dana Point says the ball is in AT&T’s court and AT&T isn’t rolling. But Tilton added that a sticking point could be that AT&T doesn’t know itself how to make those large boxy nodes less obtrusive.
“The city’s primary issue is aesthetics. If they wanted to put dozens and dozens of these boxes in the private right of way, we want to know what they look like and put some underground. We just want to know. … We weren’t denying (AT&T’s permit application), we were just saying we wanted to know more.”
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