News tagged: AT&T DSL Service
The Lansing State Journal
notes that Michigan legislation backed by AT&T would allow phone companies to discontinue landline service -- and the DSL service that runs over it -- with just 90 days' notice beginning in 2017. This is just one of dozens of similar pushes in states around the country as AT&T and Verizon lay the groundwork for hanging up on users they refuse to upgrade to next-gen services
and no longer want.
AT&T and Verizon lobbyists are going state to state
, selling the gutting of remaining POTS regulation as an amazing, necessary evolutionary step into a modern "all IP age" where somehow more connectivity will flourish
. But as we've recently seen with Verizon Sandy victims
, terminating POTS and DSL services -- and then just hoping
wireless fills in the gaps -- has a decidedly unsexy underbelly:
(Bill Wayland) wants to keep the landline phone in his Chesterfield Township home. He can’t get service on his cell phone in the workshop in his basement and said he often loses calls when he uses his cell phone in his office. His 21-year-old disabled son doesn't have the fine motor skills to use a cell phone, and his security alarm is wired to his landline.
Yeah too bad, sorry Bill. While it's true that people are walking away from POTS at a quick pace, many aren't. Regardless of AT&T's claims wireless isn't a panacea: caps make it far more expensive and restrictive than DSL, and it won't reach many corners (see above). Worse perhaps is that as AT&T and Verizon pull DSL and POTS from a market, incumbent cable operators will see even less competition than they see now, raising prices for the remaining hostage fixed-line customers accordingly.
It's a complicated conversation that's going to require patience and intelligence. What we're getting instead is AT&T and Verizon bull rushing their own agenda with a lot of false promises
, with state lawmakers nodding dumbly because ye olde copper networks are just "so yesterday." You'd be hard pressed to find government officials or regulators anywhere
asking what happens to broadband quality and pricing when you decide to completely eliminate one of frequently just two fixed-line options.
Netflix has updated their rankings of ISP Netflix streaming performance
with October data. The Netflix ISP Speed Index pulls data from more than 37 million Netflix members viewing over 1 billion hours of TV shows and movies streaming from Netflix per month.
AT&T is getting only slightly more specific about the company's plan to offer 1 Gbps service to select portions of Austin ahead of Google Fiber's launch there. AT&T's fiber to the press release announcement has been rather ambiguous so far
, the company only noting they'll first offer 300 Mbps, then 1 Gbps to "tens of thousands of customer locations" after several years.
Before there was Edward Snowden there was AT&T whistleblower Mark Klein
, who revealed in 2007 that AT&T was effectively letting the NSA clone every shred of data (AT&T's or anybody else's) that touched their network. While AT&T has been rather quiet during the recent NSA kerfuffle, there's likely not a company around that has been more cooperative with the government's wholesale surveillance ambitions, going so far as to even advise government on how best to break wiretap and privacy law
AT&T has released the company's third quarter earnings
, which show AT&T saw a net income of $3.8 billion on revenues of $32.2 billion. AT&T added 989,000 wireless subscribers in the third quarter, 363,000 postpaid, Still, just 178,000 of those were smartphone additions suggesting a saturated market and continued price pressure from T-Mobile.
AT&T has been working hard to gut regulations governing traditional phone service so they can exit the landline (DSL & POTS) business in numerous areas and focus on the real money maker: wireless. To do this, they've been going state to state, promising locals a cornucopia of broadband upgrades
-- if only locals agree to eliminate all pesky remaining regulations.
AT&T has yet to offer a single customer 1 Gbps service, but that didn't stop AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson today from hinting at additional
1 Gbps market launches that may or may not happen. To counter media excitement created by Google Fiber's move into Austin last April, AT&T issued an ambiguous announcement
one day later proclaiming they were "prepared to build" networks with "advanced fiber optic infrastructure" under select circumstances.
AT&T is sending warning letters to copyright offenders threatening service disconnection, despite the fact that ISPs have repeatedly made it clear disconnections are not part of the "Copyright Alert System" (aka "six strikes) program. The CAS system, launched back in February
, does include copyright infringement penalties imposed that vary by ISP, ranging from temporarily blocking Internet access until the user acknowledges the receipt of "educational" material
to throttling a user's connection
for a limited amount of time.
While there's absolutely no doubt that Google Fiber has been a positive thing for the industry, critics have singled out two problems with Google's ultra-fast offering. One, the company backed off of open access promises
that would have allowed multiple companies to come in and truly compete over the infrastructure.
AT&T West employees in California and Nevada are currently reporting to work, but have threatened to strike if they can't strike a new deal with AT&T. According to Southern California Public Radio
, the 18,000 workers and CWA members rejected a new contract proposal from AT&T last week over wages and benefits. As is usually the case, AT&T says they have a "contingency workforce of well-trained managers and vendors" to handle the workload disruption if a strike happens, though a strike will of course mean major delays in DSL and U-Verse installs and repairs.
AT&T appears poised to begin offering new U-Verse speed tiers that should offer a belated speed increase for bandwidth-hungry users. Earlier this year AT&T promised users
they'd eventually see 75-100 Mbps using line bonding, though the company was somewhat murky on deployment time -- or upstream speeds.
AT&T broadband users continue to claim there's something not quite right about the way AT&T calculates data usage for their capped DSL and U-Verse users. As Broadband Reports
was the first to exclusively report last year, AT&T began imposing 150 GB caps on DSL users and 250 GB caps on U-Verse users -- with $10 per 50 GB overage fees.
AT&T has announced their long-awaited plan to address the upgrade path for the company's DSL networks. According to AT&T's plan
, the company will spend $14 billion on a new network expansion initiative that will include upgrading some current DSL users to U-Verse, but will also involve pushing many DSL users in outlying areas to their LTE network.
Last year we were the very first to report AT&T was planing to apply caps and overages to their U-Verse and DSL services. More than a year later and the effort appears to still be a rather ham-fisted affair. story continues..
Last week we noted that AT&T is now forcing customers with DSL to upgrade to AT&T U-Verse
if it's available in their area -- or face disconnection. While normally you might argue that being upgraded to next-gen is a good
thing, in this case the upgrade is resulting in some major price hikes for DSL users -- many of which have had the same pricing for many years.
Like Verizon's FiOS, AT&T has frozen all U-Verse expansion, meaning that if you didn't get upgraded on the first go round, you're out of luck. These freezes leave millions of customers on last-generation DSL lines that the carriers (whose focus is on wireless and $10 per gigabyte overages) don't feel like upgrading. story continues..
Stop The Cap! story continues..
has gleaned some interesting information from their source inside Frontier noting that Frontier's next-generation plan for many users will be -- AT&T U-Verse? According to documents obtained by the website, Frontier is in talks with AT&T to license AT&T's U-Verse technology and offer it to select portions of Frontier's footprint sometime in the latter part of 2012.
The 100,000 FiOS customers (or what's left of them after extensive price hikes
) will still be supported, but any new "next gen" expansion will be AT&T U-Verse.
We recently noted how AT&T's U-Verse expansion is essentially over
, and if you haven't seen your market upgraded yet you probably aren't going to. So what happens to a little less than half of their current customers still on older DSL technology? Like Verizon -- who offloaded millions of users in somewhat ugly
deals with Frontier and Fairpoint, it appears that AT&T is looking to sell off many DSL markets and keep their focus on wireless.
In May of last year AT&T confirmed
that at the end of 2011 they'd effectively be stopping their deployment of U-Verse upgrades, with 30 million homes passed (not necessarily served), leaving about 40-45% of their footprint on older, slower technologies. On their recent earnings call AT&T again confirmed
that the U-Verse build is "largely complete," and the focus now is on ramping up adoption in deployed areas.
In March of last year we were the first to exclusively report
that AT&T would be imposing caps on DSL (150GB) and U-Verse (250GB) users, with consumer having to pay $10 for every 50GB over the cap they travel. Our leak caught AT&T a little by surprise, as the company wasn't quite ready to announce the plans yet.
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