SAVOY – AT&T representative John Quinn answered questions from the village board Wednesday about U-verse – the company's new Internet Protocol network – which will be offered starting this summer to selected parts of Savoy as well as Champaign, Urbana and Danville.
The network will provide services, which AT&T said are a competitive alternative to cable, such as Internet-based TV, high-quality videos and games.
Trustee Jan Niccum asked about an option he had heard about, which was that residents could choose the channels provided to them a la carte.
"We want to customize (U-verse) for the viewer," Quinn said, but the option of choosing particular channels is only being considered at this time.
Niccum also asked about providing the service to everybody in Savoy, but Quinn did not comment on the specific areas that would receive U-verse.
He said some areas would not get it, noting that AT&T is working on areas that have existing fiber-optic service and will build out from there.
"Our goal is to eventually provide service to everybody," he said. "We can't commit to 100 percent build-out at this time."
Trustee Bill Smith said he did not understand why Quinn was unwilling to disclose where they were going to build out.
"We have to keep that edge," Quinn responded, noting AT&T did not want competitors coming in to take over that area.
Smith also asked about the quality of service and if there would be local service people available to residents who decide to subscribe to U-verse.
Quinn said local employees will be available to the public.
One video-ready access device – a box 4 feet tall and wide – can serve between 200 and 600 residences with U-verse, according to Quinn.