Review by gregamy
Good "Installed as promised. Self-install package complete. After some repairs the service has been good."
- Location: Middletown,Middlesex,CT
- Cost: $30 per month (12 month contract)
- Install: about 14 days
Bad "SBC/Yahoo CD slammed TONS of crap programs on my PC; initial DSL speed unacceptable."
Overall "Better do your own homework on the technology BEFORE ordering."
|Pre Sales information:|
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)
NOTE: This is a copy-paste, in reverse chronological order, of my ongoing reviews of AT&T service, which began as SNET service when I first subscribed a few years ago. Info still applies...
*****March 2010 Update*****
Unfortunately, I had to leave AT&T DSL. Not for customer service; as you can read below I was pleased. No, I had to leave simply because I needed something faster, and AT&T could not provide it in my area. I moved to Comcast cable access and took my phone number with me...
Some day I may go back, if they ever get faster speeds in my area.
*****10 November 2008 Update*****
The last several years have been pretty good. I've gotten consistent speeds, consistent service, and only a couple of calls for physical line probs (that were addressed promptly). As a result, I upgraded from basic (1.5MBit, $19.95) to Pro (3.0MBit, $30). After a couple of tech visits to fix physical line probs service has been good; I'm seeing ~2.5Mbit down and ~400k up.
Still with 'em after all these years...once again thanks to the tech support I get from this forum... - GA
*****01 September 06 Update*****
I re-subscribed again this year, except I chose to drop all unnecessary phone add-ons (voice mail, caller ID, call forwarding, etc) and subscribing to Express (I'm too far away from the CO for Pro) in order to get the costs down to ~$42/mo total.
My service over the past year has been good, and consistent. Despite the original teething problems, my transfer rates for the Express service has been a consistent ~380k upload and ~1300 download, despite the distance. I have to reboot the modem every month or so, but otherwise no issues. - GA
*******24 February 2004 Update******
It's been over 3 months since I repaired the outside wiring as described above, and my service has been excellent. Consistent max speeds, minimal - if any - noise problems, and minimal disconnects. The every-once-in-a-while new IP address still happens on occasion but it's manageable.
My 1-year anniversary is in May, and if this level of service is maintained - and they continue to offer the pricing packages that are competitive with Comcast Cable Internet - I will be re-subscribing to SBC DSL. - GA
*******19 November 03 Postscript******
Talk about your up and down relationship...
I've resolved the changing IP issue by adding a PC to my internal LAN, running a separate program that monitors the router's IP address and updates my DNS records automatically (DynDNS, see noeld.com). Not the perfect solution, but it works.
New problem: over the last 3 months I've been having connection problems: disconnects, extremely slow speeds, audible phone noise. It took 6 weeks and three technician visits (including an external wire replacement) to get rid of the audible phone noise but my DSL speeds were stuck at around 800. I finally got fed up and re-terminated all the outside wiring connections at the house and at the pole myself and cleaned up all the bits of insulation and corrosion that the telco technician left on the wires. Result: a very clean, consistent 1300/200 speed. While I'm not happy that I had to do this myself after three tech visits (the external wiring is supposed to be the responsibility of the telco) I'm glad it's fixed.
Frankly, if it wasn't for the help I got on this forum I probably would have canceled DSL long ago...I still can't imagine what the ordinary Joe is going through dealing without this board...
So, the relationship is "up" right now; let's see if it can stay that way for a few months...GA
*******22 July 03 Postscript******
Well, I'm unhappy again.
I've been watching my connection, and each and every night at approximately 12:54 AM my PPoE connection gets renewed and I get a new unique IP address. Every night.
I called tech support and was asked if I bought a static IP address. I told him no, and he replied that the system is set up to work this way intentionally "for your security".
One of my main intentions for buying SBC DSL was to be able to access my resources from outside my home. Since they are changing my IP address each and every night, and I have no way to determine what the update IP is from the outside, this "feature" has removed my ability to get there.
They offer you a "deal" to "fix" the problem; that awesome deal is $59.95 for eight IP addresses, despite the fact that I'm currently paying $29.95 and I only need one IP address. Given that the only reason I have a home phone line instead of using my cellphone for everything is that I wanted DSL, this whole schmozzle would cost me a total of about $120 per month for Internet access.
This new development is giving me great pause: I am seriously re-thinking Internet access alternatives, given the amount of money being spent.
*******18 June 03 Postscript******
Due to the work of the guys on this forum, my speed issue has been resolved to my satisfaction. My download speeds are within the expected range for a 1500k connection.
I was not aware that SBC connects at the slowest available speeds and monitors the connection for reliability. Once that's established it gets upped a notch and watched again. This is the 10-day "optimization process." Unfortunately, my SBC sales rep had signed me up for "192-1500" service, which meant that once I got within that range they stopped upping the speeds. Thanks to a gentle nudge it was upped to the 1500k level and now I'm getting speeds consistent with that (minus overhead).
In addition, the link provided below by DDAWG5150 gave me the info I needed to selectively uninstall the programs slammed onto my PC by the Yahoo! install disk.
I am satisfied now. A bit perplexed about the way the company works, but satisfied by the end result nonetheless. SBC owes you guys in this forum big time; you've saved them at least one long-term phone and DSL customer.
After a new move I had to decide on my broadband connection. I came from cable modem with limited satisfaction (Optimum Online). I had a cell phone so I didn't need a landline; I use DirectTV so I don't need cable TV. Both SBC DSL and Comcast cable promised 1500/128 speeds, but the price of the DSL/phone was cheaper than the Cable modem/TV.
I was assured on three separate phone calls to SBC reps that I could expect 1500k speeds for downloads. I gave them each the new address and the previous resident's telephone numbers. All three assured me the speeds I could expect. Based on this and pricing, I ordered a landline and DSL. DSL was installed precisely two weeks later as promised with the self-install kit arriving a couple of days in advance.
The first big hassle was the install CD. Not content to give me a simple PPOE client, this SBC/YAHOO monstrosity installed tons of craps software on my PC without asking me what I wanted installed. I got a new browser, it changed preferences, added default parental controls, add-on toolbars, desktop and menu icons, significant registry entries (enough to add two minutes to my boot time on Win2K.) It made a total mess of my PC, and I can't find anywhere wher eI could have kept it from happening. [EDIT: search the forums here for solutions to avoid this - GA]
Worst of all, when I finally got it all hooked up, I noticed that my download speeds were about the same as my dialup earlier that night. I went to three different sites and used various bandwidth testers to find that my speed was not 1500/128, it was about 150/100. That's right: one hundred and fifty. [EDIT: SBC was horrible about explaining this "optimization/learning" process. An accurate description of the system would have helped me to avoid this dissatisfaction. - GA]
A call to tech support resulted in nothing: the guy told me that I had to wait 10 days for them to "optimize" the line. I told him that I was promised 1500 speeds; could I expect the "optimization process" to increase my speeds tenfold? He gave me no response.
I then took it upon myself to do some research, and it appears that according to this web site and others I'm anywhere from 12,000 to 14,000 feet from the CO. This is info that they had prior to making these promises to me; they knew better and I'm the sucker for it.
Where I stand now is that I'm an unhappy customer after less than 24 hours. I'll give them their 10 days, and then I'll probably exercise my 30-day guarantee. Then I'll cancel DSL, I'll cancel the landline (with all the neat little attached toys) and buy cable modem service.
Hopefully this will work out, but right now I'm not too happy...
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updated 3 years ago