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No, AT&T Is Not Throttling U-Verse
New TOS changes aimed to simplify, but simply confuse...
by Karl Bode 04:27PM Friday Sep 12 2008 Tipped by en102 See Profile
The other day we noted that AT&T has changed their terms of service to more clearly illustrate the technical limitations of their vanilla DSL and U-Verse products. In particular, the company clarified the speeds users can expect for each tier, so customers understand that line quality and distance can impact speed (the "up to 6Mbps" tier is now being dubbed the "3.1 Mbps to 6.0 Mbps" tier). The new language also states the obvious fact that if you're using a lot of data via AT&T services (VoIP, HDTV, etc.) that you may get slightly less bandwidth because of congestion. The TOS described this fairly simple concept as such:
quote:
Click for full size
In order to provide a consistently high-quality video service, AT&T Uverse High Speed Internet throughput speeds may be temporarily reduced when a customer is using other U-verse services in a manner that requires high bandwidth. This could occur more often with higher speed Internet access products. It may be necessary, for some AT&T High Speed Internet users, for AT&T to set a maximum downstream speed on a customer line to enhance the reliability and consistency of performance.
AT&T's lawyers apparently wanted to clarify the limitations of DSL and shared household triple play connections. Why now? The company has just started deploying dual stream HDTV service to customers, some of whom may feel a bandwidth pinch if they're far from the central office or on low quality copper. The language change spells out these limitations and covers AT&T's legal posterior.

But in trying to simplify the language and better manage customer expectations, AT&T clearly confused a lot of people this week. Gizmodo, Huliq News, Public Knowledge and users in the AT&T forums all took the changes to mean AT&T was going to suddenly start throttling U-Verse connections a la Comcast. That's not the case.

Really, all the new TOS is saying is that using a lot of other AT&T services will slow down your PC's broadband connection (duh), as HDTV and VOIP are given quality of service priority. Many U-Verse VDSL lines can handle the full 25Mbps or more (usually if they're closer than 3,000 feet), required for dual HD streams, VoIP and a 10Mbps data line. Some lines can't (usually if they're further than 5,000 feet or on shoddy copper), meaning that AT&T may have to drop a 10Mbps user to their 6Mbps tier in order to ensure HDTV quality.

This latest confusion is, of course, more ammo for those who thought AT&T should have just run fiber to the home. However, AT&T is saving a considerable amount of money by only spending $6 billion on U-Verse as opposed to $23 billion for Verizon FiOS. It's likely that ultimately, AT&T will upgrade to pure last mile fiber anyway. Until then, they'll have to keep managing customer expectations when it comes to the distance/throughput limitations of milking copper. Apparently, it won't be easy.

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Boricua
Premium
join:2002-01-26
Sacramuerto

I think they are.

I was downloading a couple of movies and a TV show last night with plenty of seeders, and my speed wasn't no more than about 90Kbs (kilobits/sec). My download speed is rated as up to 3.0 mbps. Also, I have downloaded before and have gotten as high as 276 kbps.
--
Yo te digo, el mundo esta jodido

en102
Canadian, eh?

join:2001-01-26
Valencia, CA

2 edits

This is opposite of power boost... power throttle

When AT&T is clearly targeting the higher tiers
quote:
This could occur more often with higher speed Internet access products.
This makes it sound like the cable version of PowerBoost... but in reverse.
PowerBoost = an extra 'boost' in speed for a few seconds of a download as conditions permit
Uverse = an extra throttle in speed for an unspecified amount of time as conditions warrant.

--
Canada = Hollywood North

Karl Bode
News Guy
join:2000-03-02
kudos:39

4 edits

Re: This is opposite of power boost... power throttle

No. Again, they're making reference to the fact that a user on a 10Mbps U-Verse tier may be pushed back to 6Mbps if his/her line can't handle cramming the dual streams in there. They aren't actually throttling back speeds as part of a new network management routine aimed at tackling P2P.

The "temporarily reduced" bit is simply warning users that they may see reduced throughput if HD is gobbling up all of the available bandwidth since HD is going to have QOS priority over Internet data....

I agree the wording is confusing (Shite even, as my friend from Wales would say), but they're not talking about new traffic management. I think some lawyer probably tried too hard to explain the limitations of cramming HD over VDSL without having to actually admit that their choice of VDSL has limitations.

Filter truth through a team of lawyers and marketing people and you 'll usually get gobbledygook...

en102
Canadian, eh?

join:2001-01-26
Valencia, CA

1 edit

Re: This is opposite of power boost... power throttle

Well, according to some reading on utalk.att.com
They're pushing for a more 'variable' data rate, on the VDSL side using QoS vs. fixed rate channels (see slide show page 11 »www.oecd.org/dataoecd/36/23/40460750.pdf )
Sort of like power boost in reverse as a poor analogy.

I think the 'glass half full' (i.e. 6Mbps boostable to 10) sells easier than 10Mbps throttling back to 6Mbps 'glass half empty' approach. But that's just me.

--
Canada = Hollywood North

Karl Bode
News Guy
join:2000-03-02
kudos:39

Re: This is opposite of power boost... power throttle

Yeah, I get what you're saying, yes.

Adaptive bandwidth based on HD's QoS needs, being marketed in reverse.

dcurrey
Premium
join:2004-06-29
Ummm does that translate to "Our network is crappy and can't handle the BS speeds and services you are paying for"

XBL2009
------

join:2001-01-03
Chicago, IL

The Greatest Country on Earth

The Greatest Country on Earth and we can't get good broadband like other countries.

ninjatutle
Premium

join:2006-01-02
San Ramon, CA

1 recommendation

Re: The Greatest Country on Earth

Click for full size
Aidos

keyboard5684
Sam

join:2001-08-01
Pittsburgh, PA

Re: The Greatest Country on Earth

Yep, see ya. Jet Blue has some great deals now a days.

See how living in South Korea just to get great bandwidth feels, what other great services would they give you? Crammed living conditions, ummmm, the constant threat of missiles jumping over the line, but they do have some great jobs there.

You may not be able to find a nice house in the suburbs but damn, you get some great broadband for cheap!

WTF? I live in a really small town, surrounded by farms, and I am happy to live here. I have no congestion when driving, and good broadband. I will take what I have and you can jump ship...

ninjatutle
Premium

join:2006-01-02
San Ramon, CA

Re: The Greatest Country on Earth

  
Forget about Korea. I'm going to Africa. The greatest country on erth and I can't even own an AK

fozngoof
Premium
join:2003-07-08
Temple, TX

1 recommendation

Re: The Greatest Country on Earth

must live in California.
bogey7806

join:2004-03-19
Here
kudos:1
America in 1984 decided that a competitive environment was better than a heavily regulated monopoly with service availability as its goal.

XBL2009
------

join:2001-01-03
Chicago, IL
There are plenty of nice countries in the world.

Americans are so brainwashed.

Four nice countries:

1. Japan
2. Ireland
3. England
4. Germany
--
Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.
Benjamin Franklin

NormanS
I gave her time to steal my mind away
Premium,MVM
join:2001-02-14
San Jose, CA
kudos:11
Reviews:
·SONIC.NET
·Pacific Bell - SBC

Re: The Greatest Country on Earth

They are nice. But I'd have to leave my S&W, Ruger, Colt, Beretta, and Winchesters in the U.S. I have sufficient Internet capability for my purpose (and it tends to keep me from the range, as it is). I think I will stay, for now.
--
Norman
~Oh Lord, why have you come
~To Konnyu, with the Lion and the Drum
TommyBoi2

join:2002-07-01
San Jose, CA

Re: The Greatest Country on Earth

Actually:

The Swiss army has long been a militia trained and structured to rapidly respond against foreign aggression. Swiss males grow up expecting to undergo basic military training, usually at age 20 in the Rekrutenschule (German for "recruit school"), the initial boot camp, after which Swiss men remain part of the "militia" in reserve capacity until age 30 (age 34 for officers). Each such individual is allowed to keep his army-issued personal weapon (the 5.56x45mm Sig 550 rifle for enlisted personnel or the SIG 510 rifle and/or the 9mm SIG-Sauer P220 semi-automatic pistol for officers, medical and postal personnel) at home with a specified personal retention quantity of government-issued personal ammunition (50 rounds 5.56 mm / 48 rounds 9mm), which is sealed and inspected regularly to ensure that no unauthorized use takes place.[2]

Mandatory ownership of guns and yearly firearm training for all men...

They also have one of the highest average incomes in the world, and over that of Americans. Not to mention health care is free, and a healthy currency.

NormanS
I gave her time to steal my mind away
Premium,MVM
join:2001-02-14
San Jose, CA
kudos:11
Reviews:
·SONIC.NET
·Pacific Bell - SBC

4 edits

Re: The Greatest Country on Earth

said by TommyBoi2:

Actually:

The Swiss army...
What part of Switzerland is in Japan, Ireland, England, or Germany?
Swiss males grow up expecting to undergo basic military training, usually at age 20 in the Rekrutenschule (German for "recruit school")...
No kidding...
...
Yo comprendo poquito Español...
Ich verstehe ein bischen Deutsch...

I guess that means I am not "American"!

quote:
Q: What do you call someone who speaks three languages?
A: Trilingual.

Q: What do you call someone who speaks two languages?
A: Bilingual.

Q: What do you call someone who only speaks one language?
A: American.

And, no, I am not the fool who refused to sell tickets to the 1984 Atlanta Olympic games because the New Mexican resident trying to buy them had to be ordering them "from within the United States".

--
Norman
~Oh Lord, why have you come
~To Konnyu, with the Lion and the Drum
openbox9
Premium
join:2004-01-26
Germany
kudos:2
How do those four countries' Internet service offerings compare to those in the USA? With exception of maybe Japan, they aren't much different. Granted, I would like living in any of those countries, but I wouldn't move their hoping for an increase in my broadband throughput.

Dogfather
Premium
join:2007-12-26
Laguna Hills, CA
said by XBL2009:

There are plenty of nice countries in the world.

Americans are so brainwashed.

Four nice countries:

1. Japan
2. Ireland
3. England
4. Germany
Don't let the jetway door hit ya on the ass on your way out.

David
I start new work on
Premium,VIP
join:2002-05-30
Granite City, IL
kudos:101

I think this also sets up what I have heard

I have heard what they were looking at doing was dedicating all the bandwidth for Internet if you are not using a TV per say.

Right now, it's all eyes on Ike and what he will do.

keyboard5684
Sam

join:2001-08-01
Pittsburgh, PA

Order two?

If you want, can't you order the TV bundle, lowest internet package, then also order a separate internet connection at full speeds on a separate drop? Then you do not have to worry about it.

Geez, we need to worry about other things.
Lazlow

join:2006-08-07
Saint Louis, MO

Re: Order two?

When there were first demoing it here (two years ago?) they said that the total pipe to your house was going to be 50(it really screamed) and that you would be able to split it between Tv and internet. Later they said 6 for internet and rest for Tv. Now they are saying 10 for the internet and rest for Tv. It would be great if you could get the 50 just for the internet.

Karl Bode
News Guy
join:2000-03-02
kudos:39

Re: Order two?

Now they are saying 10 for the internet and rest for Tv.
If line conditions are right....

I really would love to see the data of the total percentage of potential customers who won't see optimal distance conditions.
Rob2647

join:2008-08-12
Rochester, MI

I dunno?

Why all the throttling, and caps? It's their job to provide high speed internet that the consumer pays for.
EPS4

join:2008-02-13
Hingham, MA

Re: I dunno?

Technical issues with providing IPTV and VoIP in addition to the high-speed internet? Note that the customer is also paying for those two services.
openbox9
Premium
join:2004-01-26
Germany
kudos:2
And that's what the ISPs are attempting to do. I for one would much rather have a managed, consistent connection to the Internet than a wildly fluctuating one because of the connection abusers exploiting the limitations of the technology.

DrThodt_

@cox.net

LOL

Hah, any company that decides to run triple play on twisted pair should be burned.
Rob2647

join:2008-08-12
Rochester, MI

Throttling

I figured AT&T would never throttle U-verse customers since it could screw up their tv service as well as their internet.

en102
Canadian, eh?

join:2001-01-26
Valencia, CA

Re: Throttling

There's a few different methods. They're not throttling the connection that comes into the house.
They're using QoS to ensure that TV has higher priority than Internet and capping at 10Mbps vs. dedicated bandwidth (fixed 10Mbps). This has the possibility of allowing extra TV streams AND still giving 10Mbps.

How many TV sets are on all at once? If all sets are on/being watched, then there's a possibility of not having 10Mbps to the consumer. Turn off a set, and that bandwidth is freed up for use by Internet.

It would be nice if that 10Mbps cap wasn't there and recieved 25Mbps when the TVs are off.
--
Canada = Hollywood North
Rob2647

join:2008-08-12
Rochester, MI

1 edit

Re: Throttling

said by en102:

It would be nice if that 10Mbps cap wasn't there and recieved 25Mbps when the TVs are off.
X2 Man a 25/2 Would be nice. Heck I'd pay an extra $10 per month for a 15/2 connection.
Joe12345678

join:2003-07-22
Des Plaines, IL
Some DRVs still buffer live tv when put in to off mode.

koolkid1563
Premium,MVM
join:2005-11-06
Powell, WY

Re: Throttling

When we had U-verse, that was often not the case. In fact, it was rarely the case unless it was recording something.
hotpass105

join:2008-06-16
Gainesville, GA

1 edit

WildBlue Currently

Well as you can see, I am currently using WildBlue annoying as hell.....

1.2m/26 WildBlue Communications -docarter- ********, GA, USA

Theirs a AT&T Fiber Pipe running down my dirt road... in around 2,000 ft. from the dsl hub, and they claim "It's not available in your area."

At this point id be happy being throttled to get away from WildBlue.....

NormanS
I gave her time to steal my mind away
Premium,MVM
join:2001-02-14
San Jose, CA
kudos:11

Re: WildBlue Currently

Is that "fiber pipe" an AT&T Internet Services run to a VRAD, or RT, or is it an AT&T Worldnet Service backbone trunk? Makes a big difference.
--
Norman
~Oh Lord, why have you come
~To Konnyu, with the Lion and the Drum

g0tgot

@sbc.com

1 recommendation

AT&T Uverse

right now i have seen a MAX of 4 tvs on at the same time.

joebury2004

@sbcglobal.net

I sell u-verse for a job...

Well anyhow i sell u-verse for a living, so I do know quite a bit about this product....

I also have the 10mbps internet. I noticed my speed-tests are running slow so i googled this subject and found this thread. I think this is crap if they are doing this, I have not a single TV on, phone not in use and i am only getting 6mbps down 1.5 up.

Ok forget about fiber to the prem, its a big mess and waste of money. Who needs fiber to the prem when you can just run more copper to the prem? Wait that too would involve digging wouldn't it? NOPE!

Every house has at least 3 sets of twisted pair delivered down its phone line to the house. All that att has to do is utilize the other 2 pairs, hook them to the vrad and run them down a CAT-5 line to the Residential Gateway. Voila, trippled the internet connection, over 6 HD streams, 12 standard streems, and 30mbps down and 5 mbps up internet. Or perhaps throttle down to 30/5 when HD streams are in use, when no tv is in use have 50 mbps down.... A much simpler way to increase speeds than using FTTP

koma3504
Advocate
Premium
join:2004-06-22
North Richland Hills, TX

OMG more confusion

said by keyboard5684:

If you want, can't you order the TV bundle, lowest internet package, then also order a separate internet connection at full speeds on a separate drop? Then you do not have to worry about it.

Geez, we need to worry about other things.
Now acually you cannot get a dsl line to your house after you ger uverse i read a post here on this forum Where a user has 4 dsl lines coming in to his home and Att wants them to get rid of all of them so he can have only one uverse account.

BS if you aske me
--
† Koma †
If YOu Don't Think It's Possable!! It's Acually A Reality!!The best way to predict the future is to invent it. Alan Kay!!
Ya Don't Know The signal Till Ya Ride It!!
Voice Break's There's Trouble!!!!