Quantcast

$20 For 768Kbps Internet? AT&T "Deal" Shows Sad State Of US Broadband

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussion' started by CatfishRivers, Jul 2, 2013.

  1. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2011
    Messages:
    14,605
    Likes Received:
    877
    Trophy Points:
    113
    $20 for 768Kbps Internet? AT&T ?deal? shows sad state of US broadband | Ars Technica (via Mowser) (click for full article)

    by Nate Anderson - July 1, 2013

    "For many years, I was an AT&T DSL customer with a "top of the line" 6Mbps connection. Eventually, the company's inability to offer faster speeds in the Chicago area drove me into the waiting arms of Comcast, which was substantially more expensive but had the great virtue of at least offering speeds of 20+ Mbps.


    Now, AT&T wants me back. Having finally brought its fiber-to-the-local-node U-Verse system to my town, AT&T sent me a letter this week offering "great low prices" and "a whole lot more." The low price turned out to be $19.95 a month. The "whole lot more" turned out to be:


    A one-year term commitment Up to $180 in early termination fees $99 installation charge $6/month fee to rent a DSL modem/router, should I need one "Up to 768k" connection speeds


    Yes, you read that last point right. This incredible deal package provides Internet so slow that it is still measured in kilobits per second. (The upside? No real worries about burning through your 250GB/month data limit.)


    Adding insult to this already significant injury, $19.95 is only the promotional price. After a year, the "standard rate applies unless canceled by customer." The letter doesn't bother to explain what the "standard rate" actually is.


    Visiting AT&T's U-Verse website is, if anything, more amazing than reading this letter. The website says that, for my home, AT&T would prefer to bill me a shocking $28/month for 768kbps Internet, making the $19.95 a "discount" if certainly not a "deal." Of course, it's all a ploy. The real plan is to use the lowest possible price to get you to investigate U-Verse and then sign up for a higher priced tier. How else can you explain the fact that U-Verse offers me almost 25x the speed for twice the price (18Mbps for $56/month)?


    In a nutshell, the AT&T offer represents everything that's too often wrong with American broadband: high prices, modest speeds, extra fees, and time commitments (I know first hand Comcast has many of the same issues). To see what's truly possible, compare these abysmal speeds and prices to those available from three different providers who are building new fiber networks to avoid incumbents:


    Google Fiber: $70/month (1Gbps, no construction fee) City of Seattle: $80/month (1Gbps, one year contract required, no install charge) City of Chattanooga, TN: $70/month (100Mbps, some additional fees)


    768kbps is so slow that Google and the City of Seattle both offer (much faster) 5Mbps connections for free. Chattanooga doesn't even offer service under 50Mbps. But apparently, in my town, this is still "high speed Internet."


    Update: A reader points out that Google Fiber's free tier requires a one-time $300 fee to bring the fiber drop to your house, so it's not completely free (though the fee doesn't appear to be charged to any future users of the service at that location)."
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2013
  2. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
    Messages:
    3,846
    Likes Received:
    462
    Trophy Points:
    83
    I think $20/month for 768Kbps is a good deal. If you won't use the internet for streaming video or downloading files, only for email and reading news, that will work fine. I have U-verse up to 18Mbps because I do use the internet for streaming video, it costs $51/month now that the promotion has ended, which is expensive but the Comcast promotion was used before the switch to U-verse for that 1 year promotion and I don't think Comcast is any less expensive. I sure wish Google Fibre was available here but I can't imagine it will be in my lifetime. Both Comcast and U-verse have bundled service offers which are better deals but only if you want something other than internet access.

    As with most complaining articles I read, I see no real reason for complaint, if any price gouging or ripoffs were going on, competition will quickly fix it. I suspect U-verse has the same pricing structure in most markets, great deal for a year then expect a huge increase. I think our service was $30 for the first year. Both U-verse and Comcast service here in Little Rock is very reliable, Comcast was faster but had some downtime due to issues with their system but it wasn't frequent. U-verse just works, no downtime other than when a storm knocked out power for a week.
     
  3. guest

    guest Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2012
    Messages:
    756
    Likes Received:
    42
    Trophy Points:
    28
  4. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
    Messages:
    3,846
    Likes Received:
    462
    Trophy Points:
    83
    I think FreedomPop is available here in Little Rock although I am not sure how useful it would be for me. I think it includes .5 GB/month which I might find a good use for on the road to check messages. I might try to figure out how to sign up for the service, the brief visit to that site didn't tell me much.
     

Share This Page