Saturday, March 26, 2011

AT&T Internet - RIP DSL? Pony up for the changes

If you are an AT&T DSL user, I suspect you will be getting a notice before long telling you to pony up for new service under AT&T's U-verse.

AT&T has issued new terms of service making clear it can force you to convert to the costlier U-verse system when it wants to. It would appear to be part of the telco's larger strategy to pump some more growth into the higher-margin fiber networks and offset loss of DSL customers to cable operators.

So what do you get? Well, you do get higher speeds - AT&T touts 3 MB download speeds for its U-verse level that roughly equates to the same DSL level that's at 1.5MB. But it's also about 15 percent more expensive (after the 12-month discount), and you will get hit for a $100 bill for installation. See this from AT&T's pricing site.

All of this, of course, is part of a larger shift in phone service in which AT&T is playing "who blinks first" with the FCC and is preparing for the end of copper-wire service in favor of IP.

Not surprisingly, AT&T is putting some limits on usage as well (although it is fairly generous):

Are there any usage limits for my broadband service?
Yes.  As of May 2, 2011, AT&T's residential DSL High Speed Internet plans will have a usage allowance of 150 Gigabytes ("GB") per month, and its residential U-verse High Speed Internet plans will have a usage allowance of 250 Gigabytes ("GB") per month.  The usage allowance is the amount of data you can send and receive each month.

It's an extra $10 per 50GB.

For now, you'll be getting an e-mail telling you about the new TOS. It's probably worth sucking up the tendency to glaze over and spend the time reading it. (And AT&T has put up a site for you to monitor your usage:

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At 3/30/11, 1:35 AM, Blogger Galen777 said...

This is a problem? In South Africa we're paying (taps calculator) on average about $17 a gig... And that's for one of the cheaper (wireless) services at about 10 megs/second... You can get 'uncapped' DSL for about $50 a month if you're willing to surf at 384kb per second if you're patient enough (and that's what most people are getting. We live in a rural area and our wireless service is one of the first and fewest in the country (besides being one of the fastest). So rejoice America, it ain't so bad...

At 3/30/11, 1:50 AM, Blogger Doug Fisher said...


Indeed, and thanks for checking in.

In one of my day jobs, I'm executive editor of the Convergence Newsletter, so I know - and we have written - about how it "ain't so bad" here.

(One of my favorites of our stories was how in some African villages the cellphone hanging from the tree is the lifeline to the world, Internet, voice and all.)

Having said that, I was more interested in making sure folks knew their TOS were being changed and that they not get sandbagged.

Here's to better service everywhere.


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