Review by dslwanter
Good "AT&T Direct, not much delay between order and live, consistent speeds & pings"
- Location: Niles,Trumbull,OH
- Cost: $15 per month (12 month contract)
- Install: about 7 days
Bad "Caps, lack of improvement to infrastructure"
Overall "Best DSL experience I've ever had"
|Pre Sales information:|
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)
Upgraded to "Elite" 6016/768 back in December 2011. Things have been remarkably smooth ever since. Pings are consistent around 35ms and speeds around 5mbps/700kbps. Attenuation 39, SNR fluctuates between 11-15. No complaints there. Still running my 6 year old Speedstream 4100 with no issues. Back last November before I upgraded, we had a decent storm that knocked out my dial tone for two days...ever since that was fixed my line has no static and my modem has not lost sync.
I would like to see AT&T display some interest in deploying Uverse. Uverse "Internet" is available, but not TV & Phone. My 1 year was in December and up until that point, I qualified for "Max" 12mbps. However, when going to order, all of the sudden I only qualified for "Elite" 6mbps $24.95/mo, plus I was to buy a specific modem/router for $100. I could get good ol' ADSL and keep my current modem and Linksys and only pay $19.99/mo for one year...only real benefit was a higher cap, so it was a no brainer. They initially weren't going to offer me that rate, so I threatened to switch to Time Warner, immediately I was offered the promo rate to stay so I bit. AT&T's website absolutely sucks for ordering. I can't tell you how many times I get redirected to a page I was already at.
If I can't get Max at my next renewal, I'll switch. I'm doing more and more online streaming with my Roku box, gaming, I download music from TM Studios on a weekly basis (I'm a DJ and yes I pay for it) instead of waiting for my weekly disc. This is around 1GB a week and takes about 45 minutes. Time Warner has some sexier deals with 10mbps bundled with TV & phone.
All and all, I've given AT&T a lot of heat over the years. When I lived in Coitsville, service sucked, mostly because of my distance. Now it's nice to live 1 mile from the Central Office in Niles and the overall performance shows.
***Resurrected due to move***
Moved to Niles, OH in January, wanted to have a couple months of service before reviewing.
Signed up for Pro, getting full pro sync rate: 3008kbps/512kbps. It was between this and Time Warner, chose AT&T for cost. I have 2 modems, cat5 cabling from NID split and NID Splitter. Installed splitter and rock and roll. A whole 5 feet from wall jack to NID, since jack is on floor panel and NID is directly on the outside wall.
Stats are OK. ATTN: 38.5, SNR fluctuates between 10dB and 20dB, this disturbs me a bit. I'm around 6,500 from CO, I think these stats should be a little better...I'm suspecting bridge tap somewhere. Also have steadily climbing CRC errors, up to a few hundred daily. Lost sync twice, suspect either modem overheat or DSLAM maintenance, but my SNR did drop to around 9dB and CRC errors shot up each time according to a little program I'm monitoring with: »www.vwlowen.co.uk/internet/files.htm. I have this monitoring my SNR, sync rate, and CRC errors.
I have the option to go Elite but I think my stats are a bit marginal plus I see no reason to desire better Netflix quality with the recently imposed caps.
Running a Speedstream 4100, plus have one for backup. Network controlled by Linksys WRT54G running Tomato firmware, which will aid in keeping tabs on my consumption since we'd rather give the customer less.
I'll stick with it for a while. If I start flirting with the 150GB cap or if Time Warner starts looking sexier, I might switch. Would like to see U-Verse but it hasn't hit this area at all yet.
Well it's been a nice ride since April of 2004 but the time has now come for me to move on. Saturday, Armstrong Cable will be here installing FTTH which connects to an omnibox on the side of my house and runs coax in.
First, to clear things up, I don't completely hate AT&T. The PPPoE stability was fantastic, the support I've gotten from AT&T Direct (Especially [user=david]) and tier 2 "ASI maintenance" was always second to none, and of course you can't beat anything "free" such as the modem provided with service.
There are many speculations about how "far" I am from the central office. You can follow the pairs straight down to the central office, street by street, with no bridge taps (or so I'm told these were cut when I first got service), and it'll come up to 2.6 miles on any given mileage counter. So, by my calculations, that should be around 13,728 feet, probably give it a few additional hundred feet to compensate for the cross box. But even with that, it shouldn't be much more than 14,000 feet. With the way ADSL technology works, that should still be within an acceptable distance and probably could go another 3 or 4,000 feet.
So what exactly is the problem? Well, I don't believe I'm "too far from the central office" like many techs thought when they came out here over the years. When they saw were I was located, they immediately assumed this and wrote the trouble ticket off as no trouble found, even when ASI techs would detect ground shorts clear as day on my line. There would be weeks at a time where I wouldn't lose sync but then there were times I've lost it several times a day. The biggest mystery is why would thunderstorms, within roughly 20 miles or so, have such a profound effect on my connection, and why just thunderstorms?
When I started the service in April of 2004, we were of course signed up for the basic package of, at the time, 384/256. It was the noticed by my line stats that my line could support upwards of about 4000-5000/800. So at that point between me and what was SBC Direct were figuring I could go to express 1536/256 (at the time, now 1536/384), or Pro 3008/512. We even tried both of those packages for a period over the years, the higher the sync rate, the more pronounced the thunderstorm problem became, for example I recall one particular time in summer of 2005 when a tornado warning was issued for Erie, PA, which is 60 miles northeast of here. A super cell thunderstorm blew off Lake Erie, yet it was perfectly clear here, I then realized my modem losing sync. And hence once the storm moved well away, the sync loss went away. So with all that said and with the need for stability with my internet radio station, I decided I can go all the way down to 384/384, just for stability purposes. And even to this day I still lose sync.
While I probably owe it to AT&T for having broadband, something better has come along and the time has come to switch. I dont know of too many areas that have a service that provides fiber optic cable straight to the premise, so I feel kind of blessed with that. AT&T has failed to see the potential up here and has no intentions of any remote terminals nor do I see any signs of U-Verse. I know U-Verse is likely a long way away but to be honest what this township now has from Armstrong would be strong competition against it. A racino as theyre calling it now (racetrack/casino) is due to be under construction soon just across the PA border on US 422, which 422 runs through our township and the construction site is about 4 miles across the PA border. When all the hotels, restaurants, strip malls, water park (I here thats one of the first things going in), gas stations, and more start to develop, maybe then AT&T will realize that if they wouldve built the infrastructure in 2008, like Armstrong did, they couldve cashed, let alone right now when people in this township really havent been exposed to broadband. Theyll realize someday, and itll be too late, Armstrong will have the hold.
This is my last review for AT&T, expect my first review of Armstrong sometime next week.
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updated 1.8 years ago