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Review by goillini See Profile

  • Location: Madison,Dane,WI
  • Cost: $30 per month (12 month contract)
  • Install: about 3 days
  • Telco party AT&T
Good "speed, reliability"
Bad "phone-in tech support is so-so, privacy policy (or, lack-of-privacy policy)"
Overall "Rock-solid reliability at a nice price"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

(Updated 12-23-2008)

We had AT&T DSL for a little over 3 years before we recently switched to AT&T's Uverse DSL. We had the Elite DSL package and were very happy with the reliability -- over the course of 3 years we only had 2 outages, and those were within a couple weeks of each other. The only bad things I can say about AT&T's standard DSL is that the speed is not that great (6 Mbps was nice 3 years ago, but we were happy to switch to Uverse's 18 Mbps tier ... we are, admittedly, not typical home users as my wife works from home and requires a fast Internet connection) and their phone support is not always real helpful, either.

The first outage involved intermittent PPPoE disconnections. The first AT&T tech I talked to was pretty clueless -- I knew more about the modem than he did. Granted, I work in IT and kinda geek out on this stuff, but AT&T's techs should know their product better than the customers. So, he didn't have a full understanding of the different modes the modem can be in (in terms of where the connection is) and he also didn't seem to care/understand about the problem being 'intermittent.' The fact that it was working when I called in meant that everything was fine. I apparently needed to more carefully time my call so that it happened during one of the times when the PPPoE link went down (the connection would stay up for 10-15 minutes, then go down for anywhere from 2 to 30 minutes, then come back up for another 10-15 minutes).

I had to call back a 2nd time and spend close to another hour on the phone, eliminating any remote possibilities of problems on my end (tech: "how about we swap out every DSL filter in your house, in case one of them died") ... good thing I had spare filters from my previous DSL installs, or they probably would've used it as an excuse not to have someone check AT&T's end, which SURPRISE, was the problem afterall.

The second outage was similar, except that this time all PPPoE authentications failed, so the connection was completely down, not just intermittently. This time, when I called in to AT&T, there was already a trouble ticket open for my area, so I at least didn't have to spend another two hours jumping through hoops for their phone techs. The outage lasted almost the entire day (1 am to 11 pm).

But, those are the only two outages I had in over 3 years, so not too bad.

My only other problem with AT&T is their "privacy policy" -- if you can call "you have no privacy" a privacy policy. See »www.eff.org/legal/cases/att for some interesting reading.

Unfortunately, here in Madison, voting with your wallet and going with a company that doesn't let the NSA sift through your online data would mean using Charter cable (expensive, poor reliability, poor customer service and endemic billing problems) or TDS. I signed up for TDS phone & DSL when we moved to Madison, but after waiting for over 3 weeks and through several missed deadlines, we couldn't wait any longer and signed up with AT&T instead.

member for 8.9 years, 2032 visits, last login: a few hours ago
updated 4 years ago