AT&T's 'IP Transition' Will Make U.S. Broadband Even Less Competitive

from the ill-communication dept

AT&T has spent a massive amount of time the last few years harping on the need to speed up the "IP transition." On its surface the idea seems reasonable; the nation needs to begin migrating from older copper DSL and phone technology toward new IP solutions, such as wireless and fiber to the home, the former being easier to deploy to rural areas, and the latter having much lower maintenance costs while being able to deliver faster speeds. AT&T is going state-by-state insisting that if lawmakers gut consumer protections governing these older networks, newer, better networks will spring forth from the ashes to help forge a better tomorrow, as this charming video makes clear:

Aren't those little railroad men saddled with antiquated regulations and ancient technology adorable?

The problem is that AT&T's version of the network of tomorrow for millions of users is going to mean significantly fewer choices and worse, more expensive service than ever before. While it's true many people are moving away from copper phone service, unmentioned by AT&T's video is the fact that millions of customers remain on copper-based DSL because it's the only choice they have and the only one AT&T offered. While AT&T has selectively upgraded some users to their faster but still not fiber to the home U-Verse VDSL platform (about half of their fixed-line network), tens of millions of AT&T and Verizon's DSL customers aren't going to be upgraded anytime soon. Instead, they're going to be hung up on or sold to smaller telcos with even less interest in upgrading them than AT&T did.

Enjoy the magic of tomorrowland, everyone!

While new DSL deployments and upgrades can be expensive (AT&T has always had the funds, they've just long placed investor returns well above offering quality product and support), existing DSL customers are perfectly profitable. They're simply not profitable enough for impatient investors, whose eyes are squarely fixed on wireless with its low usage caps and per gigabyte overages, even if wireless is not (especially at AT&T prices) an adequate replacement for a fixed line. Refusing to upgrade fixed-line networks could almost be excused if it wasn't for the fact that, with their other hand, AT&T has long lobbied for protectionist legislation across multiple states banning towns and cities from upgrading themselves - - even in cases where nobody else will.

Once AT&T has gutted any remaining consumer protections and regulations on copper lines (which were over time quite heavily subsidized by taxpayers, but who cares, right?), they're going to walk away from many areas -- leaving users with either the choice of more expensive wireless (many rural users won't be able to get), or a suddenly emboldened and stronger cable monopoly. AT&T and Verizon are quietly ceding huge swaths of America's fixed-line broadband market to cable, who'll be sure to jack up prices in the face of less competition than ever. This before you even factor in the smaller ISPs that might have been using those telco lines to offer competing services (whoops, sorry!).

The use of "all IP" is also quite a lovely bit of conflation and misdirection, given the company's U-Verse and DSL users are already IP-based. You'll see the "all IP" rhetoric popping up in an endless series of editorials (like this one by Steve Forbes) AT&T has been running nationwide to convince people they really don't need that DSL line they're using. Larry Downes at CNET recently informed readers that AT&T's simply interested in "connecting more Americans to the broadband ecosystem." Nothing quite says connecting more Americans like disconnecting Americans.

The FCC recently started paying closer attention to this "IP transition" when Verizon's version of it involved refusing to repair east coast DSL customers after Hurricane Sandy. Instead, after waiting months for repairs, customers were given something Verizon is calling Voice Link -- a wireless service that locals complained was dramatically less functional and reliable than their previous copper DSL and phone lines, failing to offer basic features or data, leaving Comcast (which had no problem financing coaxial repairs) as the only regional fixed-line broadband competitor in many of these areas. Verizon was using the storm as cover to back out of areas they no longer want to service, though they fell under criticism by the New York AG for violating PSC rules.

To tackle the general technical problems with the "IP transition" (will my home security system still work? Can I even get a reliable LTE signal in my basement? Will 911 work?), the FCC has proposed a series of observed technical trials. AT&T has announced that their version of these trials will involve migrating two tiny towns to presumably LTE wireless and U-Verse over the next few years, after which AT&T and the FCC will likely proclaim the trial to be a smashing success. Ignored by AT&T, the FCC, and the press so far has been the fact that as AT&T and Verizon back away from DSL, they're going to be leaving an even less competitive broadband market than we have now -- at a time when everyone pays endless lip service to improving broadband competition.

The next time you read in the press about the "IP transition," (and you'll be reading about it a lot) notice how quickly everybody applauds the idea that copper is just so lame, old fashioned and unnecessary. Then notice how, buried under the pageantry, nobody seems to recognize that what's actually happening here is simply the lopping off of unwanted DSL customers that companies are refusing to upgrade. That in turn will lead to a stronger cable monopoly across half the country, resulting in cable companies -- like the freshly-merged Time Warner Cable Comcast -- feeling free to impose more draconian usage caps than ever before. Welcome to the "all IP" networks of tomorrow. Watch that first step.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Mar 3rd, 2014 @ 4:16pm

    And if they'd like this, what are the terms for them repaying all of the cash we've given them to do what they never actually did do?
    I'm sure with the billions we've given them over time we could find someone willing to run wires. Perhaps if it is to difficult for them to do it, it is time to pay some upstarts to come in and shake things up.

    I'm sure for billions Google could wire up lots of places, and maybe re-purpose some POTS lines to offer service to those the monopolies just want to hand off to each other.

     

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    Guardian, Mar 3rd, 2014 @ 4:19pm

    so

    when will hte masses myself included decide that we had enough and turn off the internet ?

    we have tech to hand bomb and share that way fuck these jerk off peeping tom sick pedophiles that run these networks.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 3rd, 2014 @ 4:23pm

    Don't let them fool you...

    I'm a DSL line customer (two separate DSL lines actually, using Sonic.net DSL over AT&T circuits)... and in order to have DSL, AT&T *requires* both of my DSL lines to have phone numbers...

    If they wanted "All IP", then why would they require this? Obviously, to make more money of me. I don't need both phone lines, but I do currently need two separate DSL circuits - one for work, one for personal.

    The fact is, they hate maintaining their wireline services, period. They would much rather ditch it all and have wireless-only services. I can't get U-Verse here, I can't get cable (Comcast is our regional provider, but they don't have service out where I am). If DSL was not available to me, I would be stuck with wireless or satellite. To make matters worse, I can barely get a wireless signal at my house due to the rural hilly terrain.

    Basically, AT&T wants to ditch me as a customer completely.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 3rd, 2014 @ 4:23pm

    "like the freshly-merged Time Warner Cable Comcast "

    Has the FCC approved the merger?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 3rd, 2014 @ 4:40pm

    everyone else knows that so how's about trying to convince Congress that instead of lining their own pockets, do something beneficial to those they represent for a change and block the merger. if not, a non-competitive market is going to deteriorate even further!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 3rd, 2014 @ 4:47pm

    AT&T is also mangling IP protocol 41 (6in4, 6to4), because they're too stupid/incompetent/greedty to do the transition to v6 properly.

    http://forums.att.com/t5/Features-and-How-To/UVerse-and-IPv6-Tunneling-with-3800-HGV-B/td-p /3511251

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 3rd, 2014 @ 5:04pm

    It's a bad sign when even irrelevant third world countries are starting to have better Internet than us. There's no excuse for Americans to be stuck with 1990s quality Internet service. I shouldn't have to expat, pay outrageous sums of money, or be lucky enough to live in a city where I can opt to have an ISP that doesn't mutually backscratch corrupt officials and/or its (other) highest bidders.

     

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    Greevar (profile), Mar 3rd, 2014 @ 5:46pm

    Anybody that praises capitalism should be slapped in the face and then directed to this.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 3rd, 2014 @ 6:38pm

    I thought i heard somewhere that the ITU was working on a way to push gigabit internet over copper.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 3rd, 2014 @ 6:50pm

    Re:

    How is it capitalism to subsidize a corporation like AT&T with billions of dollars? Our government has put them where they are now, and they will pay (lobby) our government to keep it that way.

     

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    BeeAitch (profile), Mar 3rd, 2014 @ 6:58pm

    Re: Don't let them fool you...

    "I can barely get a wireless signal at my house due to the rural hilly terrain."

    Therefore you are an undesirable customer.

    Thanks for your input.

    Sincerely,

    AT&T

     

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    Paul Timmins, Mar 3rd, 2014 @ 7:15pm

    AT&T is trying to hasten the transition in MI

    In Michigan, AT&T is trying to push Senate Bill 636 through the house of representatives as we speak. I discuss this in more detail here:

    http://www.timmins.net/2013/12/11/how-att-verizon-and-comcast-are-working-together-to-screw-you -by-discontinuing-landline-service/

    The law as written tries to force the IP transition by 2019, and if it doesn't happen, they can just "leave the market" entirely, which would free them of all wholesale obligations and let them disconnect any remaining POTS lines they want.

     

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    Andrew Norton (profile), Mar 3rd, 2014 @ 7:56pm

    still waiting for my u-verse

    Had some really bad storms at the house I lived at in 06, fried the dsl modem and some of the exchange circuits. Guy comes out to fix it. While we're talking, he's telling me how they're installing fiber all in the area (note, I live in town, right by the hospital - in fact the helipad is at the end of my garden). Telling me they've just finished the main nearby town (Covington, Ga, better known now as the Hollywood of the South) and they're going to upgrade down towards us over the next year. They even have the fiber in the stores ready to be installed.
    That town still doesn't have any fiber installed.
    A year later I move a bit up the road, towards Covington, and the route they've said they'd be installing along. Until 09, every time the AT&T guy came out, I'd ask and be told 'its planned, but it's been delayed'. Then they're just not bothering at all now.
    So this area, our only option is AT&T DSL. or we could go for verizon 4G (there is a tower for it here, but it's the only cell service here, and expensive as hell) Or hughesNet. We can't even go Comcast because they couldn't even be bothered to run POCS here let alone any sort of internet. Which is why 8 years on, I'm still paying the same amount for the same connection - $55 for a 6/0.5

    I'm sick and tired of AT&T.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 3rd, 2014 @ 9:03pm

    For what it's worth, the FCC is accepting comments on the "transition" right now, and as Paul's article pointed out, this will have more drawbacks then we're looking at on the surface.

    If you have anything to say about the matter, by all means, please do make some noise about this at the very least in their direction.

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), Mar 3rd, 2014 @ 10:02pm

    The lesson of cell phones

    Actually making calls over cells phones sucks. The sound quality is abysmal and you get dropped calls. The only reason people tolerate such poor service is because they've traded it for portability.

    I don't want a wireless-only internet, because when I'm at home, I don't need portability. I need speed, reliability, and a reasonable cost. None of which wireless provides.

    It's a bad, bad tradeoff.

     

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    Greevar (profile), Mar 3rd, 2014 @ 10:06pm

    Re: Re:

    "they will pay (lobby) our government to keep it that way."

    You just answered your own question. The "great" thing about capitalism is that it encourages every company to externalize all costs, whether it be monetary, environmental, or social. AT&T externalized their costs by buying favors in government to give them billions to establish and maintain a oligopoly.

     

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  17.  
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    Greevar (profile), Mar 3rd, 2014 @ 10:09pm

    Re: The lesson of cell phones

    Not to mention, with wireless, you have all of your traffic floating through the air for anyone to spy on once they break the encryption, if there is any.

     

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    That One Guy (profile), Mar 3rd, 2014 @ 10:12pm

    Re:

    I think I'll answer that one with a quote, funnily enough from the very person who wrote this article.

    'This is all before you realize that former FCC boss Michael Powell now runs the top cable lobbyist organization the NCTA. Or that former FCC ommissioner Meredith Attwell Baker is also now a Comcast lobbyist. Or that DOJ Antitrust Division director William J. Baer also represented NBCUniversal during Comcastís acquisition. Or that top Comcast policy man David Cohen is a huge Obama fund raiser, and he and CEO Brian Roberts are golfing friends.'

    Pretty much the only thing holding back the merger(assuming it hasn't been approved already), is them trying to figure out a good enough spin on it so people won't be overly up in arms about it.

     

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    Pragmatic, Mar 4th, 2014 @ 3:55am

    Re: Re: Re:

    What Greevar said. There has never been such a thing as capitalism without the government being in there somewhere. From its infancy, capitalism has been all about the cronies getting cozy.

    They've got away with it for so long by conflating Mom 'n' Pop businesses with multinational corporations and claiming it's the same thing, but bigger. It's not.

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2014 @ 4:21am

    Re:

    I was speaking from the future, when AT&T and Verizon have backed away from DSL, and the only choice for many people is ComcastTimeWarnerCable...

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2014 @ 4:51am

    Re: Re: Don't let them fool you...

    What's that?
    Oh - yes indeed, we do include a Universal Service Fund in your bill. Why do you ask?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2014 @ 4:56am

    Re: Re:

    Not sure it matters whether the people are up in arms about it, apparently those making the decisions do not care. Anyone who voices an opinion contrary to the moneyed interests risks being detained, pepper sprayed, tazed, shot and incarcerated.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2014 @ 4:59am

    Re:

    This probably means the customer has to purchase a new modem, and then again later with the next "upgrade".

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2014 @ 5:00am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Privatized profits
    Socialized losses

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2014 @ 6:00am

    Re: Re: Re: Don't let them fool you...

    Hmm, DSL shouldn't have a USF tax only the phone service, if it's not a dry line. The DSL provider is passing it along as a way to make your service look cheaper and using bogus fees to wring a bit more money off of you. Not saying it isn't common, but still "grinds my gears".

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2014 @ 6:19am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You are associating the failure of government with an economic system. While it is impossible to separate government from economy, it is not impossible place proper controls to mitigate corruption.

    It would certainly help if you would stop blaming the greedy more than the corrupt! Keep these things in mind next time you vote R or D. The greedy are just greedy, but corrupt politicians are a bigger problem you can't seem to see.

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2014 @ 7:03am

    World of Tomorrow

    With all my friends and relatives dying from lung infections from all the heavy metal spraying and viruses floating down from the atmosphere and from the floods and earthquakes caused by HAARP and all the armed politicians running around rampant and zombies? have I even mentioned all the zombies? There really isn't anyone left to communicate with, so I don't give one or two rat's asses about what AT&IP are doing on the Verizon..

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2014 @ 7:17am

    Re: World of Tomorrow

    Oh, and I forgot to mention all the blood thirsty nEWS media wanting to pick fights, but wanting others to do the fighting and blood letting. US is not weak, you morons.

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), Mar 4th, 2014 @ 8:10am

    Re: World of Tomorrow

    Damned reptilians!

     

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    Joe, Mar 4th, 2014 @ 8:23am

    Lies ... Racists ...

    In my area in rural Texas, they (Verizon) want to replace copper with the crappy "Home Phone Connect" cellular service. I already have a cell phone that people can barely understand me on because of crappy service / coverage. A landline is the ONLY way to get a clear call to your boss / clients without looking like a fool. My only Internet option (wireless) is a joke and does not support VOIP well.

    Maybe I will play the race card here ... all us poor white people get crap service in the country and you go to the ghetto and they have cable modems, DSL, FIOS, full cell signal!

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), Mar 4th, 2014 @ 9:10am

    Re: Lies ... Racists ...

    There are no poor white people in the ghetto? Maybe Texas' reputation for racism is actually deserved!

     

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    viperlmw, Mar 4th, 2014 @ 9:17am

    The problem with fiber/wireless that gets overlooked

    One of the biggest benefits with POTS, and therefore one of the biggest problems with fiber/wireless, is the function of POTS providing it's own power source to power fixed line communication devices (telephone sets). Remember, when it comes down to it, we are discussing the ability to COMMUNICATE. Fiber to the prem requires local power, and during power outages, often times requires expensive local batteries, typically at the premis owners expense. While there are methods to eliminate this, I don't know how extensively this option is deployed. Wireless, of course, requires local power with no option of remote power. So for this and other reasons already stated, when it comes to VOICE, POTS is still KING!

     

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    Greevar (profile), Mar 4th, 2014 @ 9:24am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Come again? Greedy is different from corrupt? Let me show you some math: greed + power = corruption. There's no second way around it. Mixing money and power in government is a recipe for disaster.

     

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    Joe, Mar 4th, 2014 @ 10:15am

    Re: Re: Lies ... Racists ...

    No racism here ... just calling it like I see it... I shouldn't have to tip toe around what I observe if I have no bad intentions with race but for the people not smart enough I will rephrase ... I have never been in a predominantly black area where they have no cell service or home internet option... I have seen many predominately white areas where there is no cell or landline internet... If it was the other way around Jessie Jackass would be freaking out. I guess it is "socially acceptable" to be racist against whites only...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2014 @ 11:32am

    Re: The lesson of cell phones

    Amusingly, people ask me all the time why I bothered to wire my house with with ethernet, when I could just use wireless...

    And I have to educate them on the speed, reliability, and security consequences of using wireless over wired ethernet.

    The average Joe seems adverse to wires, and I don't understand why.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2014 @ 11:37am

    Re: The problem with fiber/wireless that gets overlooked

    Not to mention, most POTS circuits are loops, allowing them to continue functioning from either end even if the loop is cut somewhere in the middle.

    Where I live, we have a lot of trees, and a lot of bad weather in the winter. It's common to be out of power due to trees taking out the lines, but with functioning POTS using the same poles due to this redundancy.

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), Mar 5th, 2014 @ 8:48am

    Re: Re: Re: Lies ... Racists ...

    I wasn't saying you were racist. I was saying that if the state is divided between "black sections" and "white sections" instead of "poor sections" and "rich sections" that seems indicative of a race problem in the state.

     

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    Karl Bode (profile), Mar 5th, 2014 @ 9:53am

    Re:

    We just like to forget that money was ever doled out. I absolutely promise you, if anyone ever did an audit of the subsidies and tax breaks given just AT&T and Verizon over the last twenty years, you could probably offer fiber to the home to every person in the United States several times over.

     

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    Karl Bode (profile), Mar 5th, 2014 @ 9:54am

    Re: AT&T is trying to hasten the transition in MI

    There's a lot of these being pushed through. They've had good success in Kansas and Kentucky as well. Nobody seems to ask what happens to the DSL users AT&T will refuse to upgrade, which in most of these states is going to be quite a few.

     

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    Anonymous Coward (profile), Mar 5th, 2014 @ 11:54am

    I concur with the others AT&T is only trying to force current landline subscribers to more expensive alternatives

    I live 1 hour drive from Sacramento, CA in a semi-rural area outside of a main city. This group of houses that used to be a farm has a total population around 3 - 4 k and 2/3 of these people have no DSL!!!! They are forced to use ISDN, Satellite, or if they are lucky and live at the top of a hill have some wireless reception. I am lucky since the growth in this enclave forced AT&T to put in a new exchange, and I was close enough to acquire the DSL. For 30 per month I have a whopping 750Kbits per second download speed. you read that right !!!! 750Kbits per second download speed and I am lucky. The cable company Suddenlink does provide a comparable service so AT&T can claim there is competition in the area !!!
    This is a 1 hour drive from Sacramento, CA !!!
    When I visit Europe, India, and South KOrea I brag about what their internet provides to others, just to get somekind of fire under the politicians who allowed this sorry state of affairs. MOre competition , more choices, NO MONOPOLIES AT ALL !!!!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 13th, 2014 @ 8:45am

    Re:

    Insane State Regulation =/= Capitalism. All these laws are designed to circumvent the market and make it literally impossible to compete with incumbents. All of this is done by the government at the behest of rent seeking corporations.

    A more accurate rendering of your comment should actually be:

    "Anyone that praises Democracy should be slapped in the face and directed to this."

    as it is politicians, not the market, ruining everyone's day.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 25th, 2014 @ 9:02am

    Re: still waiting for my u-verse

    You think $55 a month for a 6/0.5 connection is bad? I'm paying $33 a month for a 768 Kbps down, 256 Kbps AT&T DSL connection. When I first got it 4 years ago, it was $20 a month, and that wasn't a teaser rate.

    I called tech support once for a problem we were having, and elevated to Tier 1 tech support. While the tech was checking the line, I asked him if there was any way to get a faster connection. He said I was provisioned for 3 Mbps, so I told him to go ahead and increase the speed to that. He went offline to check with his supervisor, came back, and said he couldn't do it unless I was willing to switch to U-Verse.

    AT&T is actively jacking up the rates on DSL connections and refusing to upgrade speeds even if the line can handle it, all to force people to switch to their U-Verse packages, which are all more expensive and more profitable for them.

     

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    JAQUE BAUER, May 22nd, 2014 @ 1:55am

    ATT Propaganda that copper wire is obsolete

    This advertising is pure propaganda. ATT cannot provide my community with Uverse although its available to thousands of homes a mile away. The reason may be technical or monetary, so if ATT is unable to overcome those limitations, how the hell can they dump POTS and convert their system to a digital one ? Are they going to run fiber to every home--I doubt it. My phone service is currently delivered overhead wires on poles that run for 2 miles or so. I am fined every month for exceeding the bandwidth caps ATT imposed when they claimed that they must fine those that stream video or download video as those that do hog the internet. Wireline is far from being dead, as ATT will not run optical fiber to the "last mile" which means copper wire is doing the job. In fact ADSL was invented so that copper wire could be used to push high bandwidth information over the copper wire that has been in the ground for 50 years.I hope state and federal regulators are smart enough to see thru the lies and untruths that ATT is spreading in this video. I have 3 choices available for broadband where I live. 1. ATT DSL Extreme--a barely 3mbs service with usage caps and fines. 2. Comcast or 3. Hughes Satellite Internet service. I have 3 for Pay TV. 1. DirectTV 2. Dish network 3. Comcast. I use DirectTV for my TV provider, as Comcast is unable to provide a noise free video signal to my home, because as a Comcast tech told me, they wont spend the money to run a new trunk line out to my community, which is at the end of the line for CATV and POTS services. Copper wire is not obsolete, outdated, inferior, or "old technology." ATT wants to shirk its responsibility as a public service, and abandon its customers that prefer the POTS, under the guise that copper pairs are like fossils, long dead and of no use. Once they are unregulated by the states and the federal government, prices will increase, and already customer service will get worse. ATT has little competition in the regions it serves, all former Bell operating unit territories, other than Comcast or Time Warner. And by the way, Comcast delivers its services over copper wires, and no one has heard Comcast tell the world that copper wires are old obsolete technology for delivering media and telephone service. Yes I know about the differences between a coaxial cable and unshielded copper pairs, and analog vs digital signaling methods. But the point is that ATT is selling a bill of goods that benefit not the customer, but ATT. ATT as a public service company is a far cry from the former Bell system, both to its employees, and its customers. ATT treats its employees as if they were a company going bankrupt, and treats its customers as fools.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2014 @ 1:47am

    Re: so

    >> when will hte masses myself included decide that we had enough and turn off the internet ?

    hahahhahahahhahaha

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    identicon
    Smalls, Jul 23rd, 2014 @ 4:00pm

    Re:

    Yep, It's called G.fast and standardization was completed in April '14. Going to be a game changer which removes 80% of the cost of installing fiber to the home by using an ideal 100m or less of last leg copper. Launch in Europe wasn't expected until 2016 but has now been moved forward into 2015 because standards weren't expected any sooner than EOY 2014. I believe this is why you see a mad scramble of movement in telecom M&As. Satellite TV is going to get ran over by IP TV so I'm lost on why AT&T wouldn't want a TV bundling moat that will dry up on the web. This is where the net neutrality fight comes into play. Antitrust position when an ISP/video bundler is throttling competitive video feeds.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
    identicon
    Smalls, Jul 24th, 2014 @ 7:46am

    Re: ATT Propaganda that copper wire is obsolete

    Yep, on the mark Jaque. A technology is coming that is about to prove last leg copper as far from dead. It's called G.fast and standardization was completed in April '14. Going to be a game changer which removes 80% of the cost of installing fiber to the home by using an ideal 100m or less of last leg copper. Commercial launch in Europe wasn't expected until 2016 but has now been moved forward into 2015 because standards weren't expected any sooner than EOY 2014. I believe this is why you see a mad scramble of movement in telecom M&As. Satellite TV is going to get ran over by IP TV so I'm lost on why AT&T would want a TV bundling moat that will dry up on the web. This is where the net neutrality fight comes into play. Antitrust position when an ISP/video bundler is throttling competitive video feeds.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
    identicon
    Norman Sheehan, Nov 17th, 2014 @ 9:09am

    Refusal of AT&T to restart DSL service from Vacation Hold

    In preparing for a 6 week vacation, I called AT&T to place my phone and DSL on vacation hold. Upon returning, I called their customer service to restart my services. AT&T refused to restart my DSL and tried to force me into UVerse. I have learned that if you have UVerse, in the event of a power failure, your phone is DEAD. Is this not a saftey and health problem? I cannot see why the FCC has gone along with this. How many seniors rely on their phone service and feel it is ALWAYS there in case of emergency. How many seniors wear the LIFE ALERT button for emergency. What a scam!!!!!!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    identicon
    Vickie Mercer, Nov 28th, 2014 @ 10:48pm

    Re: Refusal of AT&T to restart DSL service from Vacation Hold

    I have been on the phone for 4 hours this week. There is no Uverse in our small community but there are 800 new DSL hubs that were installed 18 months ago. Because all AT&T employees have been instructed to sell only Uverse, it is the book answer to refuse DSL. Where are the investigative reporters? I have been given a promised that they will call back after getting a credit check completed (what for is a mystery). Of course, no call back. Maybe AT&T is waiting for Google to expand their service from Kansas City and Ogden which is 4 times faster and cheaper.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
    identicon
    AJP, Mar 29th, 2015 @ 8:48am

    What they don't tell you about Uverse

    Recently inquired about switching over to Uverse (at the insistence of numerous AT&T reps) and was told that the install was easy, use existing wiring, just installing a new router, no problem, cost would be N.C. due to rebate incentives, blah, blah, blah. When installer called to confirm install, I asked him again,"you're going to be able to use my existing wiring, right?" "Only if you have CAT-5 wiring...",he replied. My 2-story house was built in 1978, way before CAT-5 wiring was even made. Bottom line is, all my existing phone wiring would have to be abandoned, he was going to drill a hole in the outside wall to install a new wireless router and all my computer/phone equipment would now have to be reconfigured or replaced with "wireless" equipment. The people that sell the Uverse system haven't a clue as to what's involved in the installation and most of them can't give you a straight answer when asked!!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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