| WASHINGTON, July 21
WASHINGTON, July 21 An AT&T Inc (T.N) executive
said on Monday the company would modify the way it packages its
broadband Internet service, offering more precise levels of
service that promise minimum and maximum transmission rates.
AT&T Senior Vice President Robert Quinn told U.S.
regulators the company would offer "non-overlapping tiers" of
broadband service, rather than its current offerings which go
"up to" varying speeds of data transmission.
"When we provide broadband services based on speed, we will
do so in discrete tiers that are disclosed to our end-user
customers," Quinn said.
Quinn made the comments during a hearing held in Pittsburgh
by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission. He was among
more than a dozen executives and experts testifying at the
hearing on the future of digital media and broadband service.
Quinn said the changes were among "clarifications and
improvements" AT&T plans to make to its customer disclosure
policies, which the company hopes to roll out later this year.
The remarks come amid increasing competition between phone
companies like AT&T and the cable industry, as both sell
Internet along with voice and video services. Both sides
advertise fast Internet speeds.
AT&T ended the first quarter with 14.6 million Internet
users including DSL and its more advanced U-Verse service. The
company is due to report second-quarter results on Wednesday.
In a prepared statement given to the FCC, Quinn warned that
minimum speeds listed by the company may end up being different
than the speed actually experienced by customers because they
are also affected by factors outside AT&T's network.
"If we find that we are not providing service within the
ordered speed tier, AT&T will take action either to bring the
customer's service within the ordered tier or give the customer
an option to move to a different tier," Quinn said.
(Editing by Braden Reddall)