by Mark R. Potter

Regional Editor

Competition just got tighter among television providers in Northeast Ohio.

On June 25, AT and T launched U-verse TV , a program company officials say utilizes new "fiber-rich network to offer cutting-edge television and high speed Internet services."

The Akron area launch, which is the first U-verse market to come to Ohio, offers services to Cuyahoga Falls, Fairlawn, Kent, Munroe Falls, Silver Lake and Stow. These are some of only 24 cities in the Northeast Ohio to be able to access U-verse.

Officials say the company will work to continue increased availability throughout the area.

"AT and T U-verse TV delivers great television, unmatched features and superior value," said Kevin Petersen, company vice president and general manager for Ohio. "Ohioans now have a choice for their video provider."

Peterson said the Akron/Cleveland market is the 23rd market opened to the service since June 2006, when the company opened the first of its nationwide markets in San Antonio, Texas. Petersen added the company is prepared to compete with the major cable providers long established in the region.

According to information provided by the company, the service offers access to more than 320 channels, including 26 high definition channels as well as high speed Internet.

The packages can run from around $44 up to $129, depending on the selected programming and Internet packages.

Some of the other features that Petersen said sets U-verse TV apart from other cable providers includes the ability to record up to four programs at once; a built-in picture-in-picture function; Web and mobile remote access to DVR, which allows customers to schedule recordings from a PC or AT and T mobile phone, and faster channel changing, reducing the delay experienced with other digital video services.

For more information about AT and T U-verse, visit uverse.att.com.

E-mail: mpotter@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-688-0088 ext. 3154