AT&T U-Verse Fiber Service First LookS

Fiber to the home is on the horizon, and it's even being rolled out in some areas such as San Antonio. A tipster saw a demo of AT&T's U-Verse service, which that company calls FTTN (fiber to the node), and he reports that the cable television service is going to be nice and quick, with channels changing quickly and the program guide popping up without delay.

However, the demo used a Tautung 80GB set-top PVR (pictured here) that was woefully rudimentary, with just composite and S-Video out along with digital audio. But that's just a placeholder until the real set-top box gets here, a Motorola PVR to be released for the service in September or October.

The report didn't include any information about the upcoming U-Verse broadband service, which will be offered in three tiers, Express (1Mbps), Pro (3Mbps) and Elite (6Mbps), where all have upstream speed of 1Mb per second. Looks pretty stingy to us, especially considering how much bandwidth is possible with fiber optic connections.

More about a competing fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) service after the jump.

AT&T's not the only one jumping into the fiber fray, with Verizon slowly beginning to roll out its competitive broadband service it calls FiOS. Verizon has actually posted prices for its service: if you sign up for a one-year agreement, 5Mbps service is $34.95, 15Mbps service is $44.95 (both those have 2Mbps upload speed) and 30Mbps service (5Mbps upload) is a steep $179.95.

This is just the beginning, with both these services holding out tons of bandwidth on us. Fiber to the home is on its way, closer than many of us might have thought, and this is starting to look good.

What is AT&T's U-verse? [U-verse Users]