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brightshade's profile

Mentor

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23 Messages

Mon, Aug 29, 2016 5:04 PM

Why is U-verse Internet so non-competitive?

I've been looking at U-verse for several years, hoping that AT&T would finally start to compete with TimeWarner (now slowly becoming Charter Spectrum) in Southwest Ohio.

 

My opinion: AT&T still isn't competitive when comparing speeds, especially upload speeds, and prices that are posted by both AT&T (http://www.att.net/speedtiers) and TW (https://www.timewarnercable.com/en/plans-packages/internet/internet-service-plans.html)

 

Comparison:

  • AT&T's Max Plus is "12.1 Mbps - 18 Mbps" download and "768 Kbps - 1.5 Mbps" upload for about $47/month with a minimum 12 month term or a $180 Early Termination Fee (ETF). It's unclear whether AT&T charges for the "Wi-Fi Gateway," buy I assumed $7/month. From everything I've read about U-verse, there is no way to avoid the monthly fee for the "gateway."
  • TimeWarner's Turbo is "Up to 20Mbps" download and "Up to 2Mbps" upload for about $45/month with no contract or ETF, but I can buy my own cable modem to avoid their $10/month cable modem fee. 

While these two tiers of service are similar in price, there are important differences:

  • If I change my mind within 12 months for TimeWarner, there's no $180 ETF
  • If I want even faster speeds, especially upload speeds, I can buy "Up to 50Mbps" download and "Up to 5Mbps" upload from TimeWarner -- but AT&T offers no other tiers
  • Multiple friends have told me that their bandwidth for Max Plus has declined over time and all are now getting download speeds closer to the U-verse Max tier.

 

I started doing these speed, cost, and options comparisons several years ago and continue to be puzzled that AT&T isn't being more competitive. Ironically, in many instances AT&T's Wireless LTE speeds far exceed any available U-verse bandwidth. 

 

It's really puzzling that AT&T isn't as competitive with U-verse as Wireless.

 

Another reference:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/columnist/2016/06/26/how-compare-internet-service-providers-upload-speed/86361172/

Mentor

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23 Messages

6 y ago

Thanks for the technical reply . . . and I think you essentially confirmed my question.

 

For all practical purposes, as of August 2016 in Southwest Ohio, AT&T U-verse Internet can not provide faster bandwidth than TimeWarner's "Standard" Internet plan -- regardless of the cost.

 

On the low end of bandwidth due to rebates, AT&T U-verse is competitive on cost, albeit with the penalty of an ETF if the customer becomes unhappy with declining bandwidth.

 

From a personal standpoint, a neighbor whose house is 500 feet away had U-verse in 2008, but service wasn't available to mine until 7 years later. I'm a bit skeptical about dates based on that long, long, long wait; so, future promises about 2020 and GigaPower, especially with AT&T's approach of snooping and monetizing customer browsing, is equally non-competitive.

 

 

JefferMC

ACE - Expert

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28.7K Messages

6 y ago

I believe that you can avoid the ETF by not taking the discounts, which I think amounts to $5 or $10 per month.

 

Mentor

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23 Messages

6 y ago

Here is the official verbiage, copied directly from the promo details, with the ETF sentence highlighted:

 

"For speeds up to 6Mbps Price includes 1TB of data per month when bundled with another qualifying AT&T service (TV/Wireless). Must maintain a qualifying bundle to receive advertised pricing.  Prorated ETF ($180) applies if Internet is disconnected before end of 12 months.  Up to $99 installation and $10/mo Internet equipment fee applies.  Credit restrictions apply. Offer ends October 22, 2016."

 

"For speeds 12Mbps – 75Mbps Price includes monthly Internet equipment fee, and 1TB of data per month when bundled with another qualifying AT&T service (TV/U-verse Voice/Wireless).  Must maintain a qualifying bundle to receive advertised pricing.  Prorated ETF ($180) applies if Internet is disconnected before end of 12 months.  Up to a $99 installation fee may apply.  Credit restrictions apply. Offer ends October 22, 2016."

 

 

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