Why I'm cancelling my U-verse service
I'm in a new housing development and was stuck without any alternative for Internet access. Now that Comcast is available, I'm going to give them a try. If their service is anything like what I had in Washington, DC, then I will be very happy with it. However, I wanted to state here, since AT&T doesn't give its subscribers, the people who keep them in business, a way to send them asynchronous online communications (i.e., e-mail), why I'm cancelling my U-verse service.
First of all, here's the Wikipedia article about U-verse:
In DC, there was Verizon FIOS, a fiber optic service, which was truly blazing fast Internet access. I mistakenly thought that U-verse would be comparable. That was hilariously wrong. Our average speed was anywhere between 6Mbps to 16Mbps. And that was the fastest level of service that we "qualified for", whatever that means, and this is a newly built neighborhood outside the capital of the state (MS) that should reasonably be expected to have a modern level of service.
So that is the first reason, that the speed was simply inferior, and artificially so is my belief.
The second reason is the hardware. We are on our third router provided by AT&T. This is by far the best router that we've received! But it is still old, outdated, and only supports 802.11 a/b. They should be ashamed to offer such poor hardware to their unsuspecting customers.
The third reason is the poor quality of the Internet connection. DNS lookups fail multiple times per day. Any kind of lengthy download has about a 20% chance of failing. I take courses online and at least once a week have to alter my study schedule due to temporary outages.
The fourth reason is their mobile app and self-service troubleshooting. Their mobile app is supposed to give customers the ability to diagnose and fix service problems. Only *once* out of all of our countless outages has the app ever "discovered" the existence of a problem. We've had about three to five sustained outages that lasted more than 30-60 minutes, which I called AT&T to report. Again, only *one* of those times has either the mobile app or even the customer service person I spoke with able to see that there was indeed a problem. *Without any exceptions*, every problem we've had has been with the line quality coming into our home. Despite the inferior, outdated hardware AT&T gave us, our problem has never been inside the house.
I have not love for Comcast, not at all. It along with AT&T, Time Warner and the rest collude, whether in the strictly legal sense or simply in spirit, to deprive the citizens of this country the best communication service technology and modern civilization can provide, a service which will eventually be recognized as a public utility (thank god). However, if I actually have a "choice" between AT&T and Comcast, I'm going to go with Comcast because the service is theoretically superior in every way I've thought to investigate (hardware, bandwidth, latency).
There you have it! If I'm still a U-verse customer next month, then my plan has gone horribly wrong in some way, in which case I'll probably look at satellite. 😉