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AT&T U-Verse Now Offering Faster Than Advertised Speeds
by Karl Bode 09:15AM Monday Sep 23 2013 Tipped by Darknessfall See Profile
AT&T has joined a number of ISPs that now offer slightly faster than advertised speeds after FCC speed rankings showed ISPs failing to deliver promised throughput during peak times. Previously, U-Verse customers stated they were luck to receive their advertised speeds; now many users say that has changed.

Judging from user posts to our forums and over at the official AT&T forums, customers on Max Turbo (24/3) are now reporting speeds of about 25.5 Mbps download and 2.8 Mbps upload. Max Plus customers (18/1.5) are reporting speeds of about 21 Mbps download, and Max (12/1) customers are reporting speeds of 12.5 Mbps download.

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The FCC Has played a starring role in a number of ISPs suddenly offering more speed than they advertise, and the agency deserves ample credit for a new policy that has paid dividends for everyday users.

A few years ago the agency started using an army of volunteers with custom firmware embedded routers to test real-world user connection speeds. Using that data, the FCC then started naming and shaming ISPs that were failing to offer advertised speeds, particularly during peak usage hours. Provision user modems at slightly higher sync rates, and you magically find yourself performing better in the FCC's rating list.

Companies like Comcast and Verizon (FiOS) had long done this, but more recently thanks to the FCC's naming and shaming, companies like Time Warner Cable, CenturyLink and now AT&T's U-Verse have followed suit.

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elefante72

join:2010-12-03
East Amherst, NY

Please

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought the profiles were all over-provisioned to account for the IPTV streams when watching shows. That is how U-verse is deployed, so getting close to rated speed is good?

Also how may people CAN get that speed, unlike in cable/fibre the distance to the VRAD and line quality are very important. I can't tell you how may times my father put up w/ AT&T bs and line quality until he just moved to TWC.

And that is the fallacy of DSL. While some privileged portion can pop their head up and say YEAH I'm getting what I have been paying for for years (and the draconian caps), what about the silent majority still dealing w/ the baggage that comes with DSL...

For those who are getting 2006 speeds, welcome to 2007.
Darknessfall
Premium
join:2012-08-17
kudos:3
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
·Comcast

Re: Please

Line provisioning for all services is provisioned differently than for the internet tier. Due to that, provisioning of most tiers led people to only get 80-90% of the advertised speeds. The line provisioning for the tiers on VDSL2 at least can handle the little bump. However, this just pushes it closer to the "How many TV streams until they begin taking away from internet bandwidth."

This is kind of major since many people would get truck rolls because they thought there was a problem with their line. The real problem was that AT&T provisioned them in a way that with overhead gave poor speeds.
jtorre69

join:2005-12-26
Hollywood, FL

WOW

I run speed tests atleast once a week to check my connection quality, and it just so happens that about a week ago I noticed a change. I thought it was odd that the speed just increased from an avg 23M down max to now 25M. That just goes to show you...
dstratton

join:2005-06-15
Shelbyville, KY

And now for the rest of us who use AT&T...

... it sure would be nice if they'd focus on rolling out DSL upgrades. I know that's not gonna happen any time soon, but there's tons of us (like me) who are stuck at 3mb. I am one who is lucky enough to have an alternative: microwave internet, but, it's expensive ($65/mo for 3mb, $85 for 10mb), and unreliable. Plus, I am far enough away from their offices that I can only get 3mb.

So, here I stay with AT&T because no matter how much I hate them, they are reliable.
Bob61571

join:2008-08-08
Washington, IL
Reviews:
·Frontier Communi..

Re: And now for the rest of us who use AT&T...

Agreed on your 3Mb AT&T DSL upgrades.

Peoria, Illinois(with a population of 100K+ and the HQ of a Fortune 50 multinational) only has a 3MB DSL residential offering from AT&T. No U-Verse.
Competition is Comcast.

Wonder why AT&T has such a poor market share in Peoria?!?
dstratton

join:2005-06-15
Shelbyville, KY

Re: And now for the rest of us who use AT&T...

TWC comes within a mile of my road, but, they won't service my road because the telephone poles don't follow the road. And, they're notorious in our area - they skip homes because they're too far away (anything over 100' and they immediately say $12,000-17,000 to bring service to the house!). So, in my mind, this is probably why AT&T doesn't give a crap about upgrading service for people in my area - because they know there's no real competition.

That leaves me confused about your area. Comcast, from what I've seen, has been offering amazing speeds (50mb+), so I'd expect AT&T would want to invest in U-Verse or bonded DSL. Competition is a good thing, IMO.

Networker

@144.160.5.x
I feel your pain. A lot depends on whether you are copper all the way from the CO, or on the type of fiber that serves your subdivsion. Some of the old "Fiber in the Loop" systems run fiber to the neighborhood, then copper from a pedestal called an ONU to your home. To get higher speeds those have to be totally replaced. The good news is that AT&T is doing that, but the bad news is that they don't expect to be finished with all the upgrades until 2015. I am waiting for the day that I can kick my cable provider out.
FactChecker
Premium
join:2008-06-03

The flip side to this...

... is an ISP can under promise and over deliver. e.g. ViaSat

In our testing, we found that during peak periods 90 percent of ViaSat consumers received 140 percent or better of the advertised speed of 12 Mbps.

As with all rankings.... your milage may vary
--
"Too often we... enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy
"Insults are the arguments employed by those who are in the wrong." - Jean-Jacques Rousseau

wizkid6

join:2002-03-31
Opelika, AL

ADSL2+ and/or VDSL2

Does this only apply to VDSL2 U-verse or also ADSL2+ U-verse?

Slowverse

join:2012-02-01
Mobile, AL

Re: ADSL2+ and/or VDSL2

I'm an ADSL customer (DSL) that syncs at 12mb. Yet they do nothing for those of us stuck with DSL. They only care about their VDSL2 customers.

U r uverse

@sbcglobal.net

Re: ADSL2+ and/or VDSL2

You are a uverse customer. Original DSL or "old" DSL, does not offer speeds above 6 MG
Darknessfall
Premium
join:2012-08-17
kudos:3
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
·Comcast
I'm not really sure. It may just be for VDSL2 so far since that's where I have seen the reports from. If anyone on ADSL2+ sees an increase then speak up . I don't think they would do it for ADSL2+ though since VDSL2 customers already had access to these speeds. ADSL2+ customers would probably go over what their line supports if they got bumped.

mackey
Premium
join:2007-08-20
kudos:8
VDSL only. My "18 meg" ADSL2+ line is still syncing at 17999 kbps.

/M

Slowverse

join:2012-02-01
Mobile, AL

AT&T DSL As Always Offering Slower Than Advertised Speeds

No love for those of us stuck with the old crap. I sync at 12 mb, but I only get ~ 5.3 down and .430 up. You suck AT&T!
tabernak

join:2013-08-10
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
·AT&T DSL Service

Re: AT&T DSL As Always Offering Slower Than Advertised Speeds

They're mainly concerned with getting all the easy uverse upgrades for now. I fear what their long term plans for the rest of the dsl users. I can normally get 6.2 down, 55 ms ping and .42 up on my 6/.512 plan. Not terrible, but I suspect LTE is what they want to replace rural dsl, which seems questionable.

OSUGoose

join:2007-12-27
Columbus, OH

Re: AT&T DSL As Always Offering Slower Than Advertised Speeds

Heck I'm not even rual and I cant get it, and yet all the neighborhoods around us can, supposedly that has changed but its been 30 days since the crew put the VRAD in and still no go on att.com

MeInDallas

join:2001-08-17
Dallas, TX
Yep no love here either. I'm stuck at 12MB and the fiber ends right at the end of my street. The tech that was out here about 6 months ago told me that he knew of no plans to upgrade the rest of the area and I should just go with TWC if I want faster speeds. I wish AT&T would sell my area to Verizon so I could get FiOS here.
mrcoffee1985

join:2013-04-22
Gurnee, IL

Confirmed

Am on the 24/3. Never tested above ~23mbps but am now at ~24.5 - 25.3. Now if only I could get the "Power" tier option near me....
biochemistry
Premium
join:2003-05-09
92361

Bridging Technology

I'm tired of hearing about this bridging technology (save for a few select areas where AT&T utilized FTTH). Let's discuss the grownup technologies like Google Fiber and Verizon FIOS.

tshirt
Premium,MVM
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:4

Re: Bridging Technology

Because the next step for U-verse may be G.fast »www.theregister.co.uk/2013/07/18···ds_road/

sempergoofy
Premium
join:2001-07-06
Smyrna, GA

Confirmed here, too

I pay for 18mbs down. Formerly would get 17+ down in speed tests. Just got 21.4.
»www.speedtest.net/result/2986983329.png
--
nohup rm -fr /&

SoCalDude

join:2008-07-30
Ventura Co.

Re: Confirmed here, too

Cool, wonder why the 18Mbps plan gets the most fluff.

djrobx
Premium
join:2000-05-31
Valencia, CA
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·VOIPO

Re: Confirmed here, too

I'm going to guess that they plan to change it to a 20mbps plan, now that the 24mbps was bumped to 30.

Psychologically, 20mbps sounds more impressive. Kind of like how $19.99 sounds cheaper than $20. Not to mention it more closely matches Time Warner Cable, which AT&T seems to follow very closely.

gerick

join:2001-01-17
San Antonio, TX
kudos:1
Yep. 18mbps profile, on 19-Sep between 2am and 4am changed from 17.15 to 21.31 down. Upload still at 1.48
pawpaw

join:2004-05-05
Greenville, SC
Reviews:
·Charter

The sky is falling - not really

Almost all ISPs are offering "faster speeds" (more bandwidth). This justifies them increasing prices. The real reason is that once the infrastructure is in place, the bandwidth is essentially free, contrary to the whining about overloaded systems and bandwidth hogs
BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH

Pathetic

Compared to Comcast. Their 50/10 plan does 63/11, sometimes more, and they have room to grown, unlike AT&T's bubble gum and shoestring system.

TAZ

@qwest.net

What should the "advertised throughput" be?

AT&T and other telcos are technically correct when they're advertising DSL circuits for a certain speed. They provision that circuit for that speed (if you can't train at that speed, that's a separate issue to sort out). The circuit is capable of transferring that many bits per second.

Speed tests, at least the ones I've seen, are only measuring goodput - that is, the number of bytes received at the application layer. But overhead is present. On a per-packet level (ignoring anything lower than L3):

- Ethernet frame header is 14 bytes. (This overhead _is_ present on PTM-based circuits, i.e. VDSL/VDSL2. Actually, ATM is an option even on VDSL but I've never heard of any provider using it over PTM. On older ATM-based circuits, there's even more overhead from ATM & AAL5 headers and cell padding on the last cell.)
- PPPoE header is 8 bytes. (No idea if AT&T still uses it but many other DSL providers do. It needs to go; these VDSL DSLAMs are all Ethernet backhauled so they should just configure each logical port to its own VLAN and use DHCP for IP assignment.)
- IPv4 header is 20 bytes. (This isn't completely accurate as it's possible to specify options in the header, but that isn't the typical case, and IIRC isn't even reliable over the Internet as many routers will just drop packets containing them.)
- TCP header is 20 bytes. (We're talking about speed tests here, which are all going to be done over TCP, so we'll ignore any other L4 protocols.)
- Application layer may have its own overhead. For file downloads over HTTP it's minimal (only if you want to count the HTTP headers, which are per-request and not per-packet).
- Should probably note that there's overhead from lower layers too, but that's minimal and also variable. G.998 bonding adds another 2 bytes for each data fragment as well.

The point I'm trying to make, is that the overhead will is variable, not just based on packet size (smaller packets = higher percentage of overhead), and they really aren't falsely advertising anything.

Perhaps a case can be made that you should be capable of achieving at least the advertised throughput in "normal conditions," which could be considered a single TCP flow sending/receiving maximum-size packets (generally 1500b MTU over the Internet, or 1492b if they're using PPPoE and not supporting RFC4638)? I'm not going to argue for or against that, but to call it false advertising is a stretch.
davidhoffman
Premium
join:2009-11-19
Warner Robins, GA
kudos:2

Re: What should the "advertised throughput" be?

Part of the issue is how the average ADSL consumer views data transmission rates. Many data rate indicators show only net content transmission rates. Thus the consumer is conditioned to look at those meters for making the judgement about how well the DSL connections are performing. None of the overhead is taken into account in these content only tools. So, while technically the ADSL connection may have delivered 100% of advertised speed, the content consumer does not see it as such. Increasing transmission rates to account for a significant percentage of the overhead will lead to the net content transmission rates closer to the advertised rate, and to more satisfied ADSL subscribers. Since the overall deficiency, due to overhead, seems to be about 17%, increasing transmission rates by about 20% should get the ADSL experience much closer to what is advertised. That is usually possible for many ADSL customers.

In many ways I wonder if simply allowing DSL connections to
float to whatever level they can reliably run at would have been a better policy. I think Sonic.net does this. There are no tiers of different data transmission rates. You pay for an ADSL connection and whatever the rate is when you attach the modem is the
the rate you get. Sonic.net only states that you can get up to near the upper limit of ADSL2+. The upper limit for ADSL2+ is about 24Mbps, but the Sonic.net ads only talk about 20Mbps, so they may have already taken into account some of the overhead.

Amen

@sbcglobal.net
Amen, unfortunately the average user doesnt understand sync speed vs actual throughput due to overhead. ISPs should advertise throughput as the speed not the sync rate!
Core0000
Premium
join:2008-05-04
Somerset, KY
Reviews:
·Time Warner VOIP

Wish they'd shame Time Warner more...

I mean if this is the only way to get them to give near the service they offer...

In my are I've been getting in the mail, adverts for twc, up to 30 mb, up to 50 mbps...
I've got the 30/5.. I get 10/5.. I've called their customer service, told me they'd send someone out to check the line out, not in my house, but from the box or wherever it come's from to my home.. This was on 5/4/2013..
Still got the same speed, no notes stuck to my door..
*sighs*

The slowness and lack of real concern/service is like dealing with the DMV... they have no competition so they just don't care.

ANNON

@sbcglobal.net

Livin' the high life

I'm an AT&T customer and pay for 6 Mbps, but now I'm getting 7.5 Mbps.

I'm elated!

God I'm such a peasant.