dslreports logo
site
spacer

spacer
 
    ISP Rolodex Intro Local ISPs Members U-Verse FiOS FiOS Soon
spc

spacer




how-to block ads



Pacific Bell - SBC page on DSLReports
Six Month Rating

Reviews:
bullet 1854 reviews (980 good) (463 bad)
bullet Submit a review by email click here
bullet login for new review notification feature

Review by NormanS See Profile

  • Location: San Jose,Santa Clara,CA
  • Cost: $33 per month
  • Install: about 7 days
  • Telco party SBC
Good "DSL support is very good. POTS is pretty good."
Bad "NNTP service is mediocre. Email service is only as good as Yahoo! Mail Plus."
Overall "Still needs improvment. And now, they need to ditch the caps, as well as Yahoo!"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:

My Other Reviews

·SONIC.NET
When I started, the name of the service was, "Pacific Bell DSL", which was allowed by SBC, even though they were the parent company. Seven years, and some changes later, the service is now called, "at&t Yahoo! HSI"; a legacy of the outsourcing contract between SBC and Yahoo! (BTW, the name change from "SBC" to "AT&T" reflects a corporate decision by the SBC managment team after they bought AT&T. The "new" AT&T is just the old SBC re-branded.)

Recent changes were made by Yahoo! to the way they hand email through their SMTP Message Submission servers. These changes were made unilaterally, and without prior notice to AT&T, leaving AT&T CSRs to field customer calls when things broke for the customers. These changes pretty much make their message submission servers useless for power users. I am reasonably sure that most ISPs don't force this limitation on their customers. Basically, using an email address different that the account requires prior "verification" with Yahoo! to avoid an SMTP error where email using that as the "From:" address being rejected.

As a result, I have downgraded my opinion of the quality of the services. I probably should have downgraded the "Tech Support" rating earlier, as well; primarily because deciding whether to take troubleto Yahoo!, or to AT&T, can be confusing. Technically, the DSL connecting (AT&T support) is fairly good. However, Yahoo! support for their Internet services is somewhat lacking.

Wish: That AT&T would reconsider their outsourcing conract with Yahoo!.

This is my last word about AT&T. When they announced that they would implement caps, I started re-evaluating my relationship with this company. Though I only, briefly, saw evidence of congestion in the last year, but mostly got my speed, the company as a whole seems more interested in buying legislative consideration than network capacity for their customers. I don't really care for the idea of caps on the service; even though my history shouldn't be a concern. Just the idea protecting content providers over customers isn't cool.

As of about noon, today, I have fired them.

(Updated to add my tested speeds, and their caps. Zip code reflects loation of service.)

member for 13.6 years, 5191 visits, last login: a few hours ago
updated 144 days ago

Comments:

Review by Ahuacamolli See Profile

  • Location: Riverside,Riverside,CA
  • Cost Contract price not specified.
Good "No longer relevant as AT&T has replaced SBC"
Bad "No longer relevant as AT&T has replaced SBC"
Overall "No longer relevant as AT&T has replaced SBC"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:

My Other Reviews

·Charter
No longer relevant as Pacific Bell and SBC have both become AT&T.

member for 12.8 years, 141 visits, last login: 124 days ago
updated 291 days ago

Comments:






Review by myosh See Profile

  • Location: Cupertino,Santa Clara,CA
  • Cost Contract price not specified.
  • Install: about 4 days
  • Telco party SBC
Good "Easy Installation, Consistent Download Speeds"
Bad "New 150 GB cap and possible overages... yuck!"
Overall "Sorry AT&T but you lost me when you implemented caps and overages"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:

I have been a cable internet subscriber since the late 90's when TCI was my local cable company and @Home was the service provider. Well, after a number of transitions (TCI@Home to AT&T@Home to ATTBI to Comcast HSI) and a number of price increases, I wanted to switch to DSL but it wasn't available where I lived.

In March of 2005, I got a flyer in the mail saying that DSL is now available in my area. I checked for availability using my phone number on the SBC website and it said I qualified for the Pro Package (3000/512) and the current promotion was $29.95 for a 12 month contract. Still leary about whether I would get the full 3 Mbit/s, I held off until I discovered the SBC Direct forum here on DSLReports.com. I put in a pre-qual request and within a day or two, a tech posted that I should be right at the 3 Mbit/s cap. With that resolved, the decision to order SBC DSL became a really easy one because by switching to DSL, I could save $13/month for the same speed I was getting from Comcast (3000/384, $43/mo).

In May of 2005, I placed my order through the SBC website for the free equipment and the free self-install kit. Within a week, I received a package from SBC containing my modem (SpeedStream 5100) and the self-install kit (filters, cables, software, etc). On the date my service was activated, I installed the modem and the software and I was up and running in no time.

The very first thing I did was run a speed test from DSLReports.com and I was surprised to see my connection test at 1200 Kbit/s which was less than half of what I was expecting. I asked the tech that helped me with the pre-qual why I was getting such a slow download speed. A little later that afternoon, I get a response from the tech stating that, for some odd reason, the modem was sent the wrong config file (Express package, 1500/128). He told me that he sent my modem the proper config file for the Pro package and that I should run another speed test which I did. To my relief, it tested at 2500/400. The last thing I did was to put a Linksys Wireless router/firewall between the DSL modem and my home network.

It gave me great pleasure to tell Comcast to cancel my cable modem service because their prices were too high. I still have their cable TV service.

January 2006 Update:

For the first time, I'm experiencing some download troubles. I ran a speed test and my download speed is around 200 Kbit/s. I'm waiting to see if this a temporary glitch or something more serious.

May 2006 Update:

With my initial contract up soon, I was able to get a new one-year contract from ATT/SBC. The new contract is for 1 year and my new monthly rate will be $24.99/month, a $5 savings!!! The whole process took about 30 minutes on the phone with customer service.

May 2007 Update:

With my second 1-year contract up soon, I was able to get a new 1-year contract from ATT/SBC at the same rate I was paying over the past year, $24.99/month. For committing for another year, I also get 1 month free. All of this was done online so it took less than 5 minutes to renew.

June 2008 Update:

My third 1-year contract expired in May and now I am month-to-month at $30/month. I have not tried to contact AT&T to see what they offer for another 1-year contract. Service has been pretty good with no major problems or outages.

March 2011 Update:

Well AT&T danced with the devil and implemented a 150 GB cap on all DSL customers with overages after you exceed the cap three times. With that, my 6 year stint with AT&T DSL will be over soon as I head back to Comcast HSI. I signed up for the Performance promo-package (12/2, 15/3 with PowerBoost) for $19.99 for the first 6 months. Yes, Comcast has a cap (250 GB, 100 more than AT&T) but it's a soft cap with no overages and that's something I can live with. C'ya AT&T!

member for 13.4 years, 3138 visits, last login: a few minutes ago
updated 3.5 years ago

Comments:

Review by TESTING1236 See Profile

  • Location: Sonora,Tuolumne,CA
  • Cost: $65 per month (12 month contract)
  • Telco party AT&T
Good "DSL Tech actually climbed pole and determined "leaky" twisted pair."
Bad "SBC/ATT Techs deny this!(They appear to be downright lazy.)My Red and Green wires are also backwards & it bugs me."
Overall "Bad service esp. for a business line I've had since 1987.Many thousands of $ spent."
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:

There is USUALLY crackling noise on my line. It is always noisy while raining!! I have "unplugged" the house and directly plugged a simple phone in the outside box...many times...IN THE RAIN! Usually rep. can get thru..and verifies bad connection..".will send tech out."

The tech NEVER shows up in the rain. And when he does show he lies and say's everything is fine! How do I know?..The one and only person who tracked it down was from ???DSL..my wife knows. He actually climbed the pole,spent 2 hours and quoted," You have a leaking twisted pair between the pole and the "b" box. The other twisted pair is worse. There are no extra twisted pairs...they will have to come and run new wires!



SBC TECHS DENY THIS..I now know what a "B" box is..it's green and about 1/2 mile from my house.

I have been told SBC/ATT IS REQUIRED by law to repair this problem. I don't know if it matters,but this is a business line -I have had this phone # since 1987. It worked great until I moved my Business to my home. This has been happening for 3 or 4 YEARS, and it is NOT getting better. TIRED OF TRYING. What to do???



member for 4.3 years, 0 visits, last login: 4.3 years ago
updated 4.3 years ago

Comments:

Review by Logan 5 See Profile

  • Location: Hayward,Alameda,CA
  • Cost: $45 per month
  • Install: about 5 days
  • Telco party SBC
Good "Service Since 1998 has been good. AWESOME!! BBR AT&T Forum Techs!"
Bad "12 years later AT&T doesn't want to keep me as a customer!"
Overall "Naked DSL is the way to go if you dont need a landline...."
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:

1st Review early 2002:
I have had PacBell Residential DSL since it was rolled out in my area in 1998. At that time when I placed the order which was $29.99/month for the first 3 months then $39.99 after with a 1 year contract & free modem, I was told that the best speed I could get was 768/128 because I was 18,500' from the (at the time) closest CO.

I went ahead and ordered it and have only had 2 outages up until last week, when their mail server(s) was acting up and was down for several hours. Of the 2 prior outages, one was my fault the other Pac Bell's, so 2 total outages in 4 years.

When I followed the guidelines in the BBR Pacific Bell Forum on how to get my line speed 'upgraded' I called and was surprised to discover that I should have been getting 1536/128 service all along and that my line was always capable of that speed....regardless of what the install tech told me back in 1998.

Can I recommend Pacific Bell/SBC DSL for new users? YES! but that yes is qualified with the understanding that you do your homework on DSL technology & service offerings FIRST before dealing with them, otherwise you could get yourself into a situation you might not want to be in otherwise.

SBC is not the ISP for the complete n00b or people who need lots of handholding....remember it is what it is, but if you know what you are doing, It can be a very easy process from the time you place the order to the time you go live.

UPDATE: 08/2003
I recently had my original PPPoA DSL Modem die a smoking death (I DID have it since 1998), so I went and found a replacement modem on Ebay...turns out it was PPPoE, so I had to get the techs from the Broadbandreports.com Pacbell/SBC forum (Toaster2k) to re-provision my line. I am now getting an even FASTER upload speed (215k) and was taken care of in just a few hours from my initial dealings with the guys in our forums. Pacbell/SBC is still what it is...but these guys are making it better and better ever day!!

UPDATE: 06/07/04
Called about a month ago to see what current packages with higher speed tiers were available and was told that I'm still too far away from a CO or RT to get anything faster than my current 1.5/256k service. I asked them how I could get that cheaper since $49.99/mo was expensive for that service. They were able to re-rate me for another 1 year contract all the way down to $26.95/month..!

I guess it was an even trade since I couldn't get anything faster for the old price, I got the old service for a new lower price. It's on my bill now and life is good!!

Pacbell/SBC is still what it is...but if they are willing to deal like they did with me, that goes a long way toward keeping me a loyal and satisfied customer in the future.

UPDATE: 07/18/05
A new year and a new promotion. After waiting a reasonable timeframe to take advantage of the latest and greatest deal that SBC has on Basic DSL, I am now the proud owner of my service for only $14.95 per month! Like I said above, if SBC was willing to deal (they were) it did indeed go a long way toward keeping me happy, because honestly before the $14.95 promotion, I was seriously considering Comcast and their 4.0/384 deal that I could have gotten for a VERY competitive price.

UPDATE: 10/25/05
Nothing really new to report except an outage in my CO back in September that had me down for 2 days...Was told it was a temporary 'glitch' but it's odd that only after I complained about my complete loss of signal and sync (though my router showed me otherwise) did they take me seriously enough to look and fix whatever failed at the CO.

UPDATE: 05/31/07
Another new year, another plea for help in getting upgraded to something faster then my entry level 1.5down /384up. THIS TIME, things are much different and not in a bad way either! I requested prequal assistance in the AT&T Direct Forum and I was able to after talking to one of the Forum techs there, FINALLY get my speed package increased to 3.0down/512up for $5 month more then I was already paying. I'm on a new month to month agreement & while I was told the upgrade would not happen until 6/4/07, I am already seeing 2.1down and 418up on speedtests so there was ZERO wait time.

Am I happy? - Sure am, it's about time someone took me seriously and listened...

UPDATE: 06/23/07
Holding strong at about 2.6-2.7 down and 488-495 up. What's remarkable is that I am getting almost the max rated capacity out of my connection (TCP overhead wont let me get the full speed) with being 18,500' feet from the CO... I was told that I might drop signal and have to be throttled back down because of the extreme distances involved but in the last 24 days since my previous review, all is still good and my signal to noise ratio has actually improved..

A BIG thank you to the Techs in the AT&T Direct forum for doing what the standard Tier I/II AT&T Call Center Techs were afraid to do.

UPDATE: 02/01/09
I moved back in October, 08 and the place I moved to was far closer to the CO then my old one was, so I was able to cancel my old DSL/telephone service and re-subscribe to the Elite Tier (a.k.a "Naked DSL") for only $44.95/mo. ! On Speed tests I am averaging 5.1-5.2mbps down and 603kbps up so it's definitely a HUGE improvement! No problem and everything is working well and latency is low so gaming is better then ever! Plus no monthly caps doesn't hurt either!! =)

UPDATE: 09/17/09
Actually nothing new to report since my last review except to say that even if I were to ever leave AT&T I'd still get to keep my old legacy @pacbell.net email address....I'd be able to use and access it through att.yahoo.com which is huge as it gives me even more choices then before!

UPDATE: 12/12/09
Still going great and I love the fact hat there's STILL no monthly caps and that I have the freedom to use the internet the way that I want to....within legal reason of course...

FINAL UPDATE: 02/13/10
After making a very tough decision, I have made the switch to Comcast HSI & am dropping my DSL that I've had for 12 years in March. I've outgrown the 6/768k connection I currently have and was basically coerced in to this decision by AT&T's declining my uVerse application. $48/month for a 22/5 connection vs. $45/month for a 6/768k connection...... This is a no-brainer if you do the math.

'Cmon now AT&T if you don't want to lose MORE long-term members like me you REALLY need to step up your game and offer incentives to keep us.


member for 13.3 years, 4230 visits, last login: 2 years ago
updated 4.6 years ago

Comments:

Review by mikek753 See Profile

  • Location: San Jose,Santa Clara,CA
  • Cost: $52 per month (12 month contract)
  • Install: about 10 days
  • Telco party SBC
Good "tech. support"
Bad "price, customer support"
Overall "customer support waiting time is killing, don't match Comcast $19.99 price"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:

I didn't rate Tech. Support so there isn't Customer support categories.
Tech. support - tech. people are great, where Emerging product dept the same as bad. Waiting time on phone usually more then 30 min then they will ping-pong you to another one and again another 15 - 30 min waiting then after 1 hour they will tell that order was placed and in the next two weeks you'll see these changes. But after 2 week nothing happened. I called to Tech. Dept. and was told that they can't do much so my "profile" still has old data and I need speak to Emerging people that just they can allow do something to tech. So, I'm again waiting on hold about 30 min to talk to Emerging dept. (1-888-884-2375).

Update 08/2009:
In the past years Comcast increased speed and lowered price. The last offer from Comcast was $19.99/month for 12 months for 12mb/s, where SBC wants $34.99/m for 6mb/s
I was not ready to drop SBC/ ATT, but soon I'll.
Why to pay more for less speed?
the price includes land line.

member for 11.9 years, 789 visits, last login: 1.3 years ago
updated 5 years ago

Comments:

Review by setaylor See Profile

  • Location: Sonoma,Sonoma,CA
  • Cost: $36 per month (4 month contract)
  • Telco party AT&T
Good "cheaper than Comcast"
Bad "Awful customer service"
Overall "Avoid like the plague unless you are broke or desperate"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:

I install highspeed Internet for many businesses and individuals. I cannot tell you how horrified I am when I hear "they just signed up with ATT".

Rarely has an installation gone smoothly, especially if there's something tricky like you used to use Earthlink DSL and now you are switching.

One hand does not talk to the other, and those hands are all in the 3rd world. Once you get through their overloaded call center, you invariably get transferred, often dropped, then told to call another number that is no longer active. Each time you have to start from scratch.

This is NOT a high-tech company. They are good at advertising and billing. They are awful at provisioning, awful at technical service, and awful at internal coordination.

PLEASE do yourself a favor and don't cheap out if you can at all avoid them.


member for 12.7 years, 1079 visits, last login: 23 days ago
lodged 5.2 years ago

Comments:

Review by sjshaffer See Profile

  • Location: Oakland,Alameda,CA
  • Business customer Business customer
  • Cost: $80 per month (12 month contract)
  • Install: about 14 days
  • Telco party AT&T
Good "Tech sent to connect the line was top rate"
Bad "missed 3 appointments couldn't tell me when between 8AM and 8PM they'd arrive. Horrible line sync rate and even worse data."
Overall "Last resort for data. Gotten much worse to deal with."
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:

I'd like to be anywhere but with AT&T. Comcast is supposed to trench for cable in my street.

The order process took nearly two hours on the phone for a simple POTS line and hte fastest DSL they could deliver (sadly the line syncs at 2 Mb/s and our VoIP quality is unacceptable at best).

THey missed a 12 hour window for the first install (Friday). Came by Saturday but the door wasn't open so they didn't stop. Finally showed up on Tuesday with an excellent tech and we were up in less than 5 minutes.

We were told we'd have 3-6 Mb/s but now they say they can't get us better than 1-3 Mb/s. The line syncs at 1984 Kb/s but throughput is in the 750Kb/s so our VoIP is unacceptable.... Come on Comcast.

member for 7.8 years, 17 visits, last login: 4.6 years ago
lodged 5.4 years ago

Comments:

Review by sfsunny See Profile

  • Location: San Francisco,San Francisco,CA
  • Cost: $40 per month
  • Install: about 7 days
  • Telco party AT&T
Good "Easy self-install."
Bad "Billing is very problems are VERY difficult to rectify. Slow service, spotty reliablility. Expensive for the bandwidth."
Overall "Good value for those that want an AT&T bundle and have little computer skills. Billing and cust. serv. can be problematic."
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:

We have a Comcast High Speed Internet cable connection for our main broadband connection. We were looking to add dry line (no local phone service on the telco line) DSL as a back-up for the rare occasion when the cable connection goes down.

Various other DSL options were explored. We settled on AT&T because we had the equipment (2Wire 2701HG-B Gateway) from a previous DSL account through them. This would keep the costs down for the initial install.

We ordered the High Speed Internet PRO package with self installation. The earliest install date was in fourteen (14) days. It was early morning on the fifteenth (15) day before service was working properly. After several hours with tech support we discovered that AT&T had installed the service on the wrong wire pair at our location.

Accurate billing continues to be a major problem with AT&T. Billing errors are VERY difficult to rectify. It even went so far as service being disconnected (without prior notice since no land line is involved). I had been working with customer service for several months trying to straighten out the billing but was not having much luck. I was surprised to find out while speaking with customer service one day that my service was to be disconnected in the next 24 hours. There was no way to stop the disconnection at this point since it was "in the system" already. My only option was to install NEW service, with new account number, etc. on the same line. I figured this would at least put an end to the previous billing problems. Although it was two weeks before service could be installed on the same line.

member for 14.2 years, 53 visits, last login: 1.6 years ago
updated 5.5 years ago

Comments:

Review by astevens See Profile

  • Location: Turlock,Stanislaus,CA
  • Cost: $59 per month (12 month contract)
  • Install: about 90 days
  • Telco party SBC
Good "copper already ran..."
Bad "down more than it is up. missed appointments.."
Overall "even att techs say they suck and to get comcast if you can."
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:

Even the techs badmouth their own company. Don't even have dial tone on my line currently. This place is a joke. They do ok in areas where they compete with comcast, but where they compete with charter, they joke about charter sucking so bad they see no need to update anything. avoid like the plague if possible. tech was supposed to be here before noon, its 4pm and no dial tone and no tech yet

basically if it rains or drops below 55 degrees, we loose even pots service.

tethering my blackberry has become the norm to get online with these shadey characters. lots of lies, lots of misrepresentation, lots of excuses about how they are working on it, well it has been literally over 36 months with the same problem and no resolve. now i do not even have voice service.

PLEASE NOTE: this is isolated to my area, as we have connections in other parts of the country that are flawless. please do not flame me saying how great your dsl is if you are in reno, or walnut creek or one of these areas where we seem to have no issues either.

Nice to see that the speed test our CO manager submitted from his home is an uncapped uverse. So glad to see that they fix up their own connections but leave the rest of us high and dry.

member for 6.7 years, 31 visits, last login: 4.1 years ago
updated 5.8 years ago

Comments: