AT&T UVerse monopoly

AT&T UVerse monopoly

I got a letter from AT&T UVerse saying that I need to call their numbers within 45 days to prevent an interuption in service to my phone and internet. I have AT&T long distance and a Earthlink ISP for many, many years. It is my understanding that AT&T UVerse will be making hardware changes at either the Central Office (CO) or at my Serving Area Interface (SAI) from DSLAM to either IPSLAM or VDSL2. The letter does not indicate just how far AT&T UVerse will run their fiber optics (FO)...although I suspect I won't get FO all the way to my house (FTTP-Fiber to the Premises). So, in effect, I will still have the potential of having the same copper-wire problems as before...latency, noise, etc...all of which cuts in to my bandwidth/speed. My CO is about 3 miles from me and if they only run fiber to the CO and not to my SAI then there will be the same problems cutting into my bandwidth/speed.

 

I feel that AT&T UVerse is doing something illegal by forcing everyone to subscribe to their service...or go without phone/internet service. Nevermind that AT&T UVerse is backed by powerful political bandits called ALEC and they may claim what they are doing is legal. It is even worse than the practice of "slamming" which is illegal. AT&T UVerse is taking away my ability to call 911 or local law enforcement because, if you read the TOS (terms of service) it says that even if you do go with AT&T UVerse you may not be able to call these emergency services. And if I  don't go with AT&T UVerse then I just don't have the original PSTN (Public Switchig Telephone Network) or POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) anymore because AT&T UVerse disconnected it and installed their own monopolizing gear. In addition, AT&T UVerse hardware does not supply dc voltage for emergency outages as the PSTN system does...you have to have power from the home with your own backup battery that you are responsible for it working correctly..fully charged...and replacement. The PSTN system is a service utility that is necessary and part of the commons as far as many people are concerned. If you want to read something really scary then read the AT&T UVerse TOS (terms of service)...I get it that many people do not bother...then the spend much time, later, complaining. Read the TOS and then don't sign it.

 

 

Message 1 of 14 (3,436 Views)

Re: AT&T UVerse monopoly


NoFSTV-LinkTV-RT-NoDeal wrote:

I got a letter from AT&T UVerse saying that I need to call their numbers within 45 days to prevent an interuption in service to my phone and internet. I have AT&T long distance and a Earthlink ISP for many, many years. It is my understanding that AT&T UVerse will be making hardware changes at either the Central Office (CO) or at my Serving Area Interface (SAI) from DSLAM to either IPSLAM or VDSL2. The letter does not indicate just how far AT&T UVerse will run their fiber optics (FO)...although I suspect I won't get FO all the way to my house (FTTP-Fiber to the Premises). So, in effect, I will still have the potential of having the same copper-wire problems as before...latency, noise, etc...all of which cuts in to my bandwidth/speed. My CO is about 3 miles from me and if they only run fiber to the CO and not to my SAI then there will be the same problems cutting into my bandwidth/speed.

 

I feel that AT&T UVerse is doing something illegal by forcing everyone to subscribe to their service...or go without phone/internet service. Nevermind that AT&T UVerse is backed by powerful political bandits called ALEC and they may claim what they are doing is legal. It is even worse than the practice of "slamming" which is illegal. AT&T UVerse is taking away my ability to call 911 or local law enforcement because, if you read the TOS (terms of service) it says that even if you do go with AT&T UVerse you may not be able to call these emergency services. And if I  don't go with AT&T UVerse then I just don't have the original PSTN (Public Switchig Telephone Network) or POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) anymore because AT&T UVerse disconnected it and installed their own monopolizing gear. In addition, AT&T UVerse hardware does not supply dc voltage for emergency outages as the PSTN system does...you have to have power from the home with your own backup battery that you are responsible for it working correctly..fully charged...and replacement. The PSTN system is a service utility that is necessary and part of the commons as far as many people are concerned. If you want to read something really scary then read the AT&T UVerse TOS (terms of service)...I get it that many people do not bother...then the spend much time, later, complaining. Read the TOS and then don't sign it.

 

 


AT&T is doing NOTHING illegal, they are getting rid of DSL, plain and simple.  If you don't want UVerse, feel free to choose another ISP. As for politics, whatever.  It's called shareholders. 

” Auto racing, bull fighting, and mountain climbing are the only real sports … all others are games.”- Ernest Hemingway
Message 2 of 14 (3,421 Views)
Expert

Re: AT&T UVerse monopoly

You need to look up the definition of "monopoly".

Message 3 of 14 (3,388 Views)

Re: AT&T UVerse monopoly

And you need to look up the definition of "slamming" which is illegal While slamming, as suggested here, is not exactly what is typically known as slamming, it is in the same neighborhood. In fact, I think it is worse than slamming. We really don't have any other choice if we want to continue using the typical phone service that come into our homes...AT&T UVerse is changing the hardware that will only work with their gateways...they use special proprietary firmware and make sure that only the MAC address of that device matches what they have provides. So, unless someone can hack that firmware and spoof the MAC addresses, we are locked in to AT&T UVerse if we want land line phone service...unless we totally jump ship and go cable. Or we could go wireless. Man, I hate privatization! These capitalist pigs are stealing all our commons and enslaving us all.
Message 4 of 14 (3,369 Views)

Re: AT&T UVerse monopoly

"AT&T Loses 649,000 DSL Customers, Gains 155,000 New U-verse TV Subs"...but many are defecting over to cable or wireless as UVerse continues to gives AT&T DSL users no choice when AT&T "switch-over" to "fiber". And most of that fiber only goes to either the Central office (miles away in many cases) or, if you're partially lucky...to the Remote Terminal (RT) or SAI (Serving Area Interface) on the sidewalk down the block (maybe only a few thousand feet or less away). Only about 5% will actually take fiber optics all the way to your home...leaving you with all the old problems of noise, attenuation, etc that aging copper lines are well known for. And the way they try to increase bandwidth is to increase the carrier frequencies (which only makes the inherent aging copper and distance problems even worse). At least Verizon FIOS takes fiber all the way to the homes. And so does Google's new Fiber Optics installations but they are only currently in Kansas and Texas. Google Fiber Optics sounds like the best...if you have that choice. So, until that happens, cable and wireless look like our only options. It looks to me like AT&T Uverse's strong arm tactic of take it or leave it...sign up with AT&T UVerse and get stuck with a proprietary gateway* (almost identical to the modem/routers most people have) and be locked in to their ridiculous TOS along with the existing aging copper problems http://stopthecap.com/2012/07/24/att-loses-649000-dsl-customers-gains-155000-new-u-verse-tv-subs/ * the proprietary gateways are one of two models: AT&T Gateway (2Wire 2701HGV-B) 2. Modem ((Motorola 2210-02-1ATT) and there have been lots of reported problems by customers with these devices. Even though you may have recently bought an ADSL2+ modem/router....and you have compared the manuals with your ADSL2+ manual and are wondering...what the heck is the difference..both look the same...there is still the fact that Uverse requires that their proprietary firmware be installed in their gateway and that the MAC address of their gateway, which can't be spoofed, be used tying a specific UVerse gateway to their internet services. A very anti-competitive practice in my opinion. That's got to really tick off a lot of modem/router manufacturers...and ISPs because it would seem to me that a lot of ISPs will lose business to the AT&T Uverse ISPs.
Message 5 of 14 (3,359 Views)
Employee

Re: AT&T UVerse monopoly


NoFSTV-LinkTV-RT-NoDeal wrote:

I got a letter from AT&T UVerse saying that I need to call their numbers within 45 days to prevent an interuption in service to my phone and internet. I have AT&T long distance and a Earthlink ISP for many, many years. It is my understanding that AT&T UVerse will be making hardware changes at either the Central Office (CO) or at my Serving Area Interface (SAI) from DSLAM to either IPSLAM or VDSL2. The letter does not indicate just how far AT&T UVerse will run their fiber optics (FO)...although I suspect I won't get FO all the way to my house (FTTP-Fiber to the Premises). So, in effect, I will still have the potential of having the same copper-wire problems as before...latency, noise, etc...all of which cuts in to my bandwidth/speed. My CO is about 3 miles from me and if they only run fiber to the CO and not to my SAI then there will be the same problems cutting into my bandwidth/speed.

 

I feel that AT&T UVerse is doing something illegal by forcing everyone to subscribe to their service...or go without phone/internet service. Nevermind that AT&T UVerse is backed by powerful political bandits called ALEC and they may claim what they are doing is legal. It is even worse than the practice of "slamming" which is illegal. AT&T UVerse is taking away my ability to call 911 or local law enforcement because, if you read the TOS (terms of service) it says that even if you do go with AT&T UVerse you may not be able to call these emergency services. And if I  don't go with AT&T UVerse then I just don't have the original PSTN (Public Switchig Telephone Network) or POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) anymore because AT&T UVerse disconnected it and installed their own monopolizing gear. In addition, AT&T UVerse hardware does not supply dc voltage for emergency outages as the PSTN system does...you have to have power from the home with your own backup battery that you are responsible for it working correctly..fully charged...and replacement. The PSTN system is a service utility that is necessary and part of the commons as far as many people are concerned. If you want to read something really scary then read the AT&T UVerse TOS (terms of service)...I get it that many people do not bother...then the spend much time, later, complaining. Read the TOS and then don't sign it.

 

 


You can have U-Verse (or DSL) and still have POTS voice (I do, two lines).

 

You can use any DSL provider in your area, usually including Earthlink; there are Competitive Local Exchange Carriers (CLECs) in all but the most remote areas. AT&T *must* allow them to carry service over their copper between the customer prem and the CO where the CLECs equipment resides. This is Federal regulation, and is a common practice these days.

 

The CLEC system was set up in response to the Telco monopoly back in the eighties. The company was split into a collection of "Baby Bells," and each area the the Baby Bells operated, they (later) had to permit any other business to operate as a CLEC over their lines. The CLEC has to supply their own CO equipment and personnel, the Telco has to give them access and operation space.

 

U-verse cannot "share" fiber and, as far as I know, is not required to. If there is no copper to a prem, then the customer can elect to have copper run, at their own expense, back to the Incumbent Lcal Exchange Carrier (ILEC) terminal.

 

Another option, and easier to run for a long time from a UPS is a wireless (cellular / LTE) ATA. IT's basically a puck that talks to the tower and delivers POTS signaling service to the home; it'll operate with any old-style, TOUCH-TONE phone.

 

Here's the link: http://www.att.com/esupport/article.jsp?sid=KB413140&cv=820,902&title=AT%26T+Wireless+Home+Phone#fbi...

 

 

So, as you can see, there are many solutions to your perceived problem, check 'em out.

 

Employee Contributor*
*I am an AT&T employee and the postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent AT&T's position, strategies or opinions.
Message 6 of 14 (3,287 Views)

Re: AT&T UVerse monopoly

Thank you, ScottMac! I am very relieved from what you say. I was all set to not call any of those numbers on the AT&T UVerse letter I got and just see if my phones and ADSL internet went dead. I was looking into alternatives like Comcast cable but wasn't too happy about that either. That AT&T UVerse letter that I got, then, looks to me to be a marketing ploy to scare people into thinking that they were going to lose their regular POTS phone service if they didn't sign up with UVerse. It did, however, move me to learn more about the phone network and just exactly where my CO was located (under a man hole cover 2.6 miles by air..actually looked at it with Google Earth street view...3.0 miles by actual underground cable route) and where my SAI was located (1247 feet away). I took one look at that metal box and was very surprised that I can even have a working phone. The lock was off and on top of the box and the back panel looked like someone took a crow bar and tried to pry the back off. There is a separation of the back panel of about 1 inch from the box. That would let a lot of rain and dust in. I do hope they fix that soon! By the way, you can actually see that back panel separation on the SAI on Google Street view...although, of course, I walked there myself and saw it up close. Marketing needs to be a lot less deceptive in their marketing efforts. I would very much like to have fiber optics...but FTTH. No old copper! Maybe one day?
Message 7 of 14 (3,247 Views)

Re: AT&T UVerse monopoly

And the literature on that wireless AT&T unit says that it only works for voice and not for the internet. So that's not an option. It would have been very nice if AT&T was way more specific about the changes they are making instead of a very misleading letter that they were going to upgrade to fiber optics and that I should call one of their numbers to prevent an interruption in my phone service. There was nothing in the letter to indicate that we had an option of keeping POTS if we didn't go with AT&T UVerse. They could have been more specific, in the letter, like are they doing a FTTN or just Fiber to the Central Office and that we would still have copper to the node and to our house? But they indicate that we have to accept one of their plans..that they could match our internet speed and not charge us more than what we paid before...for the first year...that is...and then the rates will go way up after that..of course. And you have to sign the TOS and a one or two year service agreement. I never had to do that with the current AT&T service. I just paid my monthly bills..simple! And much of what I have read about all of those baby bells that started way back in the 90's ...they did their fiber optics way back then. Wouldn't AT&T have already, many years ago, completed a fiber to the central offices, at least?
Message 8 of 14 (3,243 Views)
Employee
Solution
Accepted by topic author NoFSTV-LinkTV-RT-NoDeal
‎09-30-2015 1:39 AM

Re: AT&T UVerse monopoly


NoFSTV-LinkTV-RT-NoDeal wrote:
And the literature on that wireless AT&T unit says that it only works for voice and not for the internet. So that's not an option. It would have been very nice if AT&T was way more specific about the changes they are making instead of a very misleading letter that they were going to upgrade to fiber optics and that I should call one of their numbers to prevent an interruption in my phone service. There was nothing in the letter to indicate that we had an option of keeping POTS if we didn't go with AT&T UVerse. They could have been more specific, in the letter, like are they doing a FTTN or just Fiber to the Central Office and that we would still have copper to the node and to our house? But they indicate that we have to accept one of their plans..that they could match our internet speed and not charge us more than what we paid before...for the first year...that is...and then the rates will go way up after that..of course. And you have to sign the TOS and a one or two year service agreement. I never had to do that with the current AT&T service. I just paid my monthly bills..simple! And much of what I have read about all of those baby bells that started way back in the 90's ...they did their fiber optics way back then. Wouldn't AT&T have already, many years ago, completed a fiber to the central offices, at least?

Yep. Understood. The reason I even brought it up was that it works over Cell / LTE, and the power draw is such that even a small UPS could keep it running for a day .. bigger, longer. That's in addition to the ~four hours of onboard backup power for the device.

 

Regarding the fiber plant; virtually every office is fiber based. Copper is generally used for service to teh neighborhoods. There are also these critters called "Remote Terminals" or RTs. RTs are connected to the host office by fiber, then distribute over (usually) copper to the neighborhood. RTs expand the footprint for distance-limited services like DSL ((CO-- fiber for a long distance)--->(RT- copper to ~thousands of feet) -->Customer).

 

"Fiber Everywhere" is amazingly expensive and, for now, has little positive return. Most of the problems are licensing, Federal Regulation, State Regulation, and local rules and politics. When you want to dig and bury fiber to each house things get messy, at least for a while. Even going aerial has issues, because it's more difficult to protect and takes longer to repair / splice.

 

The current push in the industry is "wireless" (i.e., LTE and beyond). There is far less infrastructure to maintain, and the available bandwidth starts at ~50Mbps and goes up from there (much higher later) .... more than enough for voice, video, high-speed Internet, security systems, etc. and can cover the rural and sparse population areas.

 

As you mentioned before, the downside is that the consumer devices are no longer powered by batteries in the CO, so the consumer is responsible for providing power to their critical devices. That is one of the reasons I keep my POTS ... it stays up 99.999% of the time or more. I'll miss it when it goes away.

 

In the meantime, copper continues to evolve, with "vectoring" approximately doubling the available bandwidth on VDSL2 lines. Vectoring is a method to greatly reduce crosstalk, improving signal-to-noise, which permits the greater signaling rate.

 

 

 

Employee Contributor*
*I am an AT&T employee and the postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent AT&T's position, strategies or opinions.
Message 9 of 14 (3,218 Views)

Re: AT&T UVerse monopoly

Very interesting! Thank you ScottMac! I've learned a lot.
Message 10 of 14 (3,196 Views)
Contributor

Re: AT&T UVerse monopoly

Yes they manipulate you and lie about the U-verse service must switch to. Our case no fiberoptic lines were ever installed in our neighborhood. We were told that phone and TV would be coming in a few months but to step on up to Uverse internet and get speeds up to 18. By signing we were never informed that separating our phone service and internet service billing would make the wire pro service that we continued to pay for void .This way ATT would not have to take any responsibility for its Uverse service. We have the same DSL with new doubled Uverse price and really really super slowed down  internet 1 year later. I am shocked that they can get away with this.

Message 11 of 14 (2,727 Views)

Re: AT&T UVerse monopoly

SlowU: I was just visited by AT&T Uverse people going door to door trying to sign people up. I spent some time with them trying to understand what they are trying to sell and how their upgrades would affect us in our neighborhood. But, I already had a pretty good idea by researching this already. They said that it would be Fiber to the Node (FTTN). I told him that my DSLAM (or Node) was located a couple of blocks from my house and that the noisy copper wire would still run to my house and would be a problem. The FTTN would be fiber to what is now called a Remote Terminal (RT) or Shared Access Interface (SAI) that has inside what is known currently as a Digital Subscriber Line Multiplexor (DSLAM). The DSLAM equipment would be replaced with either Internet Protocol DSLAM (IPDSLAM) and/or Video Ready Access Devices (VRAD). (This information I learned on my own and not through the UVerse sales people. I doubt that they really know that much about it anyway. They are just sales people trying to get people to sign up using garbage marketing enticements like....up to 18Gbps.) I had also hoped to waste their time as punishment for bothering me. I usually see salespeople, and other scammers, ring my door belll..as I watch them on my surveillance cameras..and I normally don't even bother to open the door...just isn't worth the trouble. Anyway, I told them that I wanted to read the fine print, when they wanted me to sign...and as I was trying to read the fine print the guy just kept yammering away..while pointing at things at the top of the form.....distracting me. I finally just told them that I wasn't interested and didn't sign. They weren't too happy. But I sure was! Have a nice day (not!)...salespeople! Problem is that they are just working stiffs trying to make a living...it's their dammnn top level executives that I hope have early heart attacks. Those top level marketing execs eat sh...!
Message 12 of 14 (2,686 Views)

Re: AT&T UVerse monopoly

Message 13 of 14 (2,657 Views)

Re: AT&T UVerse monopoly

Actually, I wouldn't mind if they killed copper as long as they killed it all the way up to the house...ie: FTTH. That way we wouldn't have to deal with all that old noisy, attenuating "last mile" (or in many cases..."last miles"..plural) which eats into our bandwidth. What good is it to own a Ferrari if you can only drive it around the block once a week? Get rid of all the copper and go all out with 100% fiber otherwise it is just not going to be very satisfactory...same old copper problems caused by the noisy copper between the FTTN and the house. Replace that last few thousand feet with fiber and you won't be bothered with noisy copper lines.
Message 14 of 14 (2,625 Views)