Review by Rekrul
Good "Good speeds, reliable service"
- Location: Milford,New Haven,CT
- Cost: $90 per month
- Install: about 7 days
Bad "Usage caps coming soon!!!"
Overall "It was nice while it lasted..."
I first signed up with AT&T's DSL service about 5 years ago. I'd been using dialup before that and decided it was time for a change. I was sent a kit in the mail containing the modem, DSL filters for the phone line and a setup CD. Instead of installing the software, I followed the manual setup instructions on the disc and was online within an hour. At first the speed was terrible, but then I discovered that my system wasn't optimized for broadband. Once I used a program like TCP Optimizer to adjust the receive window, the speeds greatly improved. I always got the speed I had signed up for and the service was reliable.
After having it for about a year, a U-Verse salesman came to the door and convinced me to sign up for U-Verse internet and TV. At the time, the price was cheaper than I was paying for regular cable and they'd give me all the pay channels for the first year. The install went smoothly with the tech using the existing cables to hook everything up. The whole thing took maybe two hours. I had signed up for 3Mbs service, which is what I had with DSL. The speeds were a hair faster, but not enough to matter. When the promotional period was up, I dropped the tv package to a much lower tier to save money, but also upgraded to 6Mbs speed. Again, I always got good speeds, usually averaging 700K/s. A couple months ago, there was a price increase and I was thinking of dropping the TV service. When I told them this, they gave me several new discounts and the channel Starz free for six months. At the time I also upgraded the internet service to 12Mbs.
I have only had a handful of service interruptions and they were usually resolved within an hour or two.
Before signing up with either service, I asked every employee I spoke to if there were any usage limits at all on the service. Not only was I assured that there no current limits, but that since AT&T was constantly upgrading their network to stay ahead of demand, they would never need to impose usage limits, or throttle speeds.
Now, as you all know, AT&T is imposing a 150GB usage cap on DSL users starting 04/21/11, with 250GB caps for U-Verse to follow.
They claim that they need to do this because 2% of their users are causing congestion on the network. It is my carefully considered opinion that this is an outright lie.
If congestion exists, trying to cure it is like trying to cure traffic jams by limiting how many miles each person can drive each month. It does nothing to stop them from all getting on the road at the same time. Just look at the electric companies; Every summer when the heat rises in the city and people start running their ACs 24/7, the electric companies have trouble keeping up with demand. Do they ask people not to use more than X amount of electricity each month? No, they ask people to try and limit electrical use during peak hours.
If this were really about congestion, AT&T wouldn't allow people to go over the usage cap by simply paying more. They also wouldn't continue to sell faster accounts which will only cause more congestion.
Here's another thing to consider; Every account already has a practical usage cap which is determined by the speed. If your car has a top speed of 50MPH, you have a practical limitation of 1,200 miles a day and around 36,000 miles per month. Now imagine if you were told that you couldn't drive more than 2,000 miles per month. Well, that's exactly what usage caps are like. They sell you an account capable of transferring XX amount of data per month and limit you to a tiny fraction of that amount.
The prevailing opinions, which I happen to agree with, are that this is nothing more than a cash grab to squeeze more money out of subscribers for using bandwidth hungry services like Netflix and online games, and to protect their TV service from people who would "cut the cord" and rely completely on streaming sites for their TV and movie fix.
Up until a couple weeks ago, I would have recommended U-Verse to others based on my own experiences with it. Now that AT&T is imposing usage caps, I'll be taking my business elsewhere. I've already put a call into Optimum Online and for what it's worth, I've been assured that there are no usage limits. I'll have a month to decide if it's worth the switch. If it delivers what they promise, AT&T has lost a customer.
DSL Reports sent me a message asking me to update my review, so here it is;
I dropped AT&T U-Verse and signed up with Optimum Online. So far there have been no usage limits and the speed, especially with the boost service is much higher than AT&T offers. I don't miss U-Verse and wouldn't consider going back unless they drop the caps, increase the speed and lower the price.
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updated 2 years ago