Simple-Minded Columnist C.W. Nevius Weighs In: “Is HDTV competition worth 4-foot U-verse boxes?”

So let’s see here, U-Verse (short for universe, or universal, or whatnot, manifestly) is a weird name, apparently, but “Nevius,” that’s not weird at all. That’s one lesson you can learn today from the most simple-mindedest writer on staff at the Chronicle.

And you can get some quotes from one of the horrible, money-hungry NIMBYs over at SF Beautiful.

Now, the Comcast monopoly sucks, non? (And actually, you can live without cable or satelite TV, anyway, if you want.)

All right, here’s a retread from before. Enjoy:

Here’s what you do, just surf on over to to see what AT&T has in store for San Francisco. They want to bring fiber optics closer to your house so that you can join the 21st century, access-to-data-wise. They call it U-verse and a couple thousand people in town already use it for high speed internet and wireless and television and phone and whatnot.

The thing is that AT&T needs to put “street cabinetry” all over the 415 to make it all work and they only put in 14 boxes before giving up the effort in 2008. But they’re back now  for another try. They told me all about it over turkey samwiches the other day at that building they share with the Twitter in the SoMA. But everything they talked about is on the new website, they’ve even got a blog.

The site allows recent arrivals to SF to vent:

We’ll do whatever it takes to get U-Verse to our neighborhood here in the Outer Sunset. Every single night, we shake our fists at our current Comcast DVR and yell, “WE MISS OUR U-VERSE!”

O.K. then. Anyway, AT&T’s Marc Blakeman is standing by to hear what you have to say or schedule a meeting about where to put the boxes or whatever. He’s already met with 45 groups this go-around, so why not you or your group too?

(Oh, and don’t ask about what it takes to bury these things – you don’t want to know. The hole they have to dig and air-condition and whatnot is bigger than your apartment.)

We were supposed to be the first city to get this stuff and now we’re one of the last. Oh well.

Get all the deets at the special AT&T site.

And here’s the FAQ to get you started:

How does the system work today?
What’s new in the network upgrade?
What government approvals must AT&T obtain to install these additional cabinets?
What happens after the CEQA Review?
What is the scope of the build?
Why 726 cabinets and how does that compare to the last CEQA application AT&T made in 2008?
What is the size of the cabinets and what do they look like?
What color are these cabinets? Can they be painted a different color?
Can the cabinets be buried?
How will AT&T handle graffiti on the boxes?
What about permits that AT&T already had in process before withdrawing their CEQA application in 2008?
Will AT&T provide any landscaping or screening around the boxes to soften their appearance?
How will I know if a cabinet is being located near my home or business?
Do the cabinets make a sound?
How is it determined where to place the new cabinets?
How is AT&T informing the community of its network upgrade plans?
How does the DPW permitting process work?
When will AT&T begin applying for permits with the San Francisco Department of Public Works?

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3 Responses to “Simple-Minded Columnist C.W. Nevius Weighs In: “Is HDTV competition worth 4-foot U-verse boxes?””

  1. Erik says:

    They would need to coat these things with something that doesn’t allow spray paint or marker to stick.

  2. sfcitizen says:

    Sounds good to me…

  3. Elias says:

    I wouldn’t think that huge box would be worth it, not when DISH Network is recognized as having the best receivers in the industry. They have a dual DVR that can run 2 separate TV’s independently and at the same time, with U-Verse you’d have tog et two boxes. Also, as far as HD is concerned, I know as a DISH customer/employee I have access to the most HD channels in the industry. With U-Verse HD is 10$ a month, but with DISH you can get it for free.