As much as I hate to admit we are big AT&T users in my house. We use Ma Bell for local and long distance, all of our cell phones, our internet DSL connection and even get a discount on DirecTV with the bundle deal. I rant and rave mostly about my cell phone service, but on the other stuff, generally they are no better or worse than other providers.
For years we have been getting AT&T “Extreme DSL”. It was so extreme that I was getting a whopping 1.6 or 1.7 mbps download and about 375 kbps upload speeds all this time. When I would call AT&T and complain they would tell me they would be upgrading soon and would let me know. In the meantime they would lower my fee for DSL, since it really wasn’t worth the $37 dollars a month they were charging me at the time. Eventually they were charging me like 21 or 22 dollars a month for the DSL service.
Since at home we mostly only do email and some web browsing, it really wasn’t critical. But now we have new TVs, wireless Blueray, and on demand video. The only thing extreme about the AT&T DSL was that it was extremely slow. We could barely watch 720p movies over the net, let alone 1080p. With both boys on line and occasionally my wife, my web experience was a crawl too. It felt like I was back on dial up.
In spite of all this, I stuck with AT&T. I just didn’t want to bother with a change. That all changed this week when we received the following email from my friends at AT&T:
Dear AT&T Internet Service Customer:
We are updating the AT&T High Speed Internet Terms of Service. We are making these changes to provide greater clarity around the terms of your service and to help us deliver a consistent, high-quality service experience for all of our customers.
We’ve reinforced this notice with additional links providing answers to frequently asked questions. Of course, we are ready and available to answer any questions you may have and to discuss individual account needs or concerns.
Here's a summary of the updates:
• Introduction Revision: We have added email as a separate service because
we now offer customers without our high speed Internet service the ability to have
an att.net email.
• Changes to this Agreement: We have changed the acceptance provision so that
you are now deemed to have accepted the changes to the agreement after the
30 day notice has passed, rather than immediately after receipt.
• AT&T High Speed Internet Service: We have moved the speed tiers to a link
within the agreement, www.att.com/speedtiers for easy reference.
• Service Availability: We have added language to clarify that service is not
available in all areas, and may not be available at certain speeds (or at all) at
• Service/Site Changes: We have added language stating that AT&T may need to
modify or discontinue your service, either temporarily or permanently.
• Conversion from DSL to U-verse High Speed Internet: We have added
language to this agreement that will allow us to convert customers from our DSL
network to the AT&T U-verse High Speed network, where available.
• Usage: We've added a link at www.att.com/internet-usage where customers can
go to get information about AT&T's data usage policy and managing their data
• Dial-up Access Options and Toll Charges: We have added language to clarify
specific charges that may be incurred. Such charges are your responsibility to pay.
• Collection Agency Fees: We have added language that you are responsible for
paying collection agency fees AT&T incurs when recovering any money owed to us.
• Email and Termination or Cancellation of Service: We have added language
explaining that you will keep your email address if you choose to terminate service.
• Abusive Treatment: We have added language that allows AT&T to terminate the
service of customers who repeatedly harass or abuse our employees.
• Equipment & Software: We have added language to address U-verse equipment
that is not owned by the customer, and needs to be returned after termination of
• Restrictions on Use & Network Management: We have added language
to make clear that the AT&T Acceptable Use Policy is incorporated into the terms
of service. Also, to protect our network from harm and to help us ensure a high
quality Internet experience for all of our customers, we have added language
about reasonable network management practices that AT&T may adopt. We will
provide you with advance notice and details if we implement new network
management practices that directly impact your service.
• Content: We have added language about mobile data charges for forwarding
content from the att.net web site to a mobile device.
We encourage you to review the revised terms and acceptable use policy. Please visit:
Please note, that by continuing to use the Service, you are agreeing to the terms and conditions set forth in the Terms of Service document.
When I looked up the bandwidth limits, I saw that if we watched about 10 movies a month, that alone would put us over the bandwidth limits. The good news was that our connection was so slow it would probably be very tedious to watch 10 movies a month. But with my kids, it was certainly possible. I was not about to pay bandwidth overage charges. They were only signing up to deliver about 1.56 mbps to my house and were going to add mobile data charges for forwarding content to a mobile device.
So I went to Comcast, my cable provider. We get basic cable from our HOA. We were eligible for the new Xfinity service. I would get 12 mbps minimum, $19.99 a month for 6 months and then $39.99 a month. I set up a service call for Friday, but went out and bought my own modem and router (my AT&T DSL modem/router wouldn’t work).
Today I called Comcast, told them I had my own equipment and asked to just plug it in and set it up. Inside of 15 minutes I was up and running. My speed tests show me downloading at about 21 mbps, uploading at about 4 mbps.
Everything is all hooked up and working great!
I just hung up with AT&T DSL customer service and told them Buh, BYE. Maybe they will get a clue.