06-15-2014 10:10 AM
If you're a residential customer and you've done all of the troubleshooting, called and followed all the instructions the AT&T rep in India (or wherever) gave you, and your computer, router, lines, etc. are good (either with or without replacement/repair/resetting, etc.), and your DSL Internet connection keeps dropping, now what?
If you've noticed your DSL Internet connection drops for a few seconds to a few minutes during times that Internet usage could be expected to be heavy, it could be due to too many users on AT&T's Internet infrastructure (network congestion), causing some users to get (temporarily) kicked off the system. And, it could be you are located near major universities, hospitals, corporations, etc., which, I have been told (by an AT&T customer service rep!), get priority service (i.e., don't get THEIR Internet service disrupted due to congestion).
This doesn't seem fair: we pay for our service, too, and so, are entitled to it. If AT&T doesn't have the infrastructure to support all of its DSL customers, it needs to stop selling the service to new customers until it expands its infrastructure. And it needs to refund part of the service fees it collects from current customers, who experience the intermitent outages, for all of the wasted time we have experienced, and will continue to experience, until AT&T fixes the problem.
If, after dealing with tech suport, you call customer service and complain, they will try to sell you U-Verse or other expensive alternatives. They don't care if you cancel your DSL service because they make too much money from the big accounts and switching people to more expensive services (the lower price is only guaranteed for a year, and then, like every other TV/cable service, it's sure to go up).
Unfortunately, the only other Internet alternative in this area is Charter, and their Internet is a whole lot more unreliable than AT&T's.
Wonder how long AT&T will let this post stay up...
06-16-2014 11:18 AM
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06-16-2014 9:31 PM
The reason why these services are so horrible is not something out of AT&T's control, their excuse of congestion is to hide the fact that they're forcing the congestion in the first place.
Something that a company like AT&T and the other major ISP's want is total control over what you do on the internet, they want to create a "white list" of websites that you're allowed to go to, they'll make excuses that these are the safest websites and therefore they're the ones that you should be using, and if you want to visit the rest of the internet then you'll have to pay an extra charge, similar to how television services work. It would be a package deal, where you get all the major websites, and if you want all the small un-heard of sites, you'll have to pay extra.
This isn't anything new, other countries are already using these methods to maintain control over what information their population is allowed access to.
The root cause is simply greed combined with a few vulnerabilities that the ISP's took advantage of within our regulatory systems. To put it simply, the government didn't understand this technology enough to be able to regulate it properly, so they simply asked the people who would know, which were the ISP's. You can guess how this has lead to such a horrible system that only benefits the ISP's. Companies like AT&T essentially created the regulations that allows them to get away with selling a service that they don't even have to fully provide. Instead of making fair regulations they actually de-regulated everything, allowing them free reign to do whatever they wanted, and what they wanted is the same as any large corporation, which is to make as much profit as possible.
The 1996 Telecommunications Act was supposed to give consumers more choice and lower costs, what it actually did was allow the biggest ISP's to buy out all of the smaller ones. Look at the industry today compared to just before 1996; we used to have literally hundreds of different providers, now we have the handful of giants that are left, and even now, they're still trying to merge and buy each other out to create some sort of super ISP that has everyone in their control. Instead of spending the money that was freed up with the 1996 Telecom Act to improve our infrastructure, the ISP's actually spent that by buying each other and left the infrastructure in the stone ages. The US no longer has an impressive communications infrastructure as it once did, it's actually a laughing stock when you look at how much we spend on everything else. We pay more than most countries for our internet, and still we get less than most.
The value of this industry since the Telecom Act of 1996 has dropped by 2 trillion dollars, the industry has lost half a million jobs, prices for services have increased by nearly 100% with a reduction in service quality, and it's only getting worse.
You're going to start seeing these major ISP's abandoning the public switched telephone networks, while giving the excuse that the networks are obsolete; what they won't tell you is that they not only allowed, but actually forced these networks to become obsolete. You're already seeing them claiming that the ADSL networks are obsolete and that there's too much "congestion" in the networks and that there's nothing they can do about it, which is a flat out lie; what they currently aren't telling you is that they not only allowed, but forced this network to become obsolete so that they can push their terrible excuse for a fibre network to more customers.
These services should be considered a public utility and public utilities should not be buying other public utility companies, the profit of a public utility should go towards repairing, maintaining, and improving the infrastructure. Everyone in the country should have the right to access the internet without having to deal with horrible connection issues, or partial service at the full price. Imagine if you paid your full electric bill every month with the promise that you would get full service, but instead you actually receive a sporadic and unreliable source of electricity and are given the excuse that there are simply too many people in this country to be able to provide you with reliable electricity; "The hospitals, universities, and corporations are more important than you." This is the sort of thing you would expect in third world countries, so why are we experiencing this in a country that is supposedly one of the wealthiest on the planet? There is absolutely no excuse. The US has such a massive inequality of wealth that the ratio of wealth is comparable to that of corrupt third world countries, and companies like AT&T do nothing but encourage that, they contribute to the inequality in this country.
There's a pattern with which these companies operate and it shows that they're taking advantage of the ignorance of the average subscriber. They're slowly making enemies with the wrong people, the people who actually understand this stuff and know how to fix them, these people are spreading true information and once the general public understands what's actually going on, they won't realistically be able to continue doing this.
Until then, they can continue to dig themselves into a deeper and deeper hole.
07-06-2014 6:53 PM
Thank you. I guess that's why I can't get on some websites, already, at home. But I can get there on computers at a library at a major university, which is its own ISP. These aren't "bad," "subversive," etc. websites, either. These are sites used by well-regarded universities, philanthropic organizations, and the government, and which within the past year were freely accessible from home, but are no longer.
If the land lines are abandoned in rural areas, where cell service is spotty on a really good day, then a lot of people won't be able to do necessary things like call for an ambulance. If a major disaster occurs in a major metropolitan area and there are no landlines, emergency services will have to compete with everyone else for cell service... the emeregncy responder cell phone program is a joke. The decision-makers might be able to talk to one another, but the first responders and utility workers, who actually do the remediation, rescue, and recovery, won't have operationally necessary cell service.
07-06-2014 7:11 PM
I wonder what would happen if everyone, who has connectivity issues (i.e., horrible DSL) complained about AT&T failing to provide services paid for to the BBB. Individually, I don't think any of us can win, but maybe if "everyone" flooded the BBB... I'm not sure who's more powerful, but the BBB is really big... complaints could either go to the national organization or the one that covers Atlanta, GA, where AT&T is headquartered.
And then if everyone immediately went from the BBB to his/her state Attorney General and filed the same complaint. Maybe they could do something, either with, or idependently of, the BBB.
And then if everyone immediately went from the state attorneys general and filed the same complaint with the U.S. Attorney General...
And if word got out via the press...
It seems to me thousands of emails could not be ignored. Especially if they all arrived within the same week.
Wonder how long this post will be allowed to stay.
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