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95% of so-called fiber optics change overs are still copper wires

95% of so-called fiber optics change overs are still copper wires

It is my understanding that AT&T UVerse is being very deceptive in their marketing ploy in that they brag about modernizing our phone systems to fiber optics but what they fail to tell us is that fiber optics normally only goes to the Central Office, and if you're lucky..to the blue or grey metal box on the sidewalk called an SAI (Serving Area Interface) which is where all the local loop (copper wires) from the subscribers are connected to the equipment that connects to the Central Offices located, usually, miles away. Only about 5% of homes and businesses get fiber optics right  up to their premises. Since they have not eliminated the source of most line problems, the copper wires, you will likely still experience slow or noisy internet connections. Those 5% that may get new fiber optics right up to the premises are new construction homes. They will likely experience very good conditions without all the other problems. And they will pay the same fees as those who still have copper lines and very poor performance. If you pay for 12Mbsp and you have fiber optics then you may very well get 12Mbps but if you have copper your performance will be degraded to somethng less the 12Mbsp..often by as much as 50% less...it all depends on the distance you are, using copper lines, from the Central Office ...or the SAI.

 

I just don't like the AT&T UVerse marketing ploy...they are not very specific as to what changes will be made...will I get an FTTP (Fiber to the Premises) or FTTN (Fiber to the Node)..Node=SAI or what? Their marketing ploy reminds me of the Mafia.

 

Don't get me wrong..I am all for fiber optics...I am just not happy with the marketing deception and copper lines. I understand that Verizon FIOS all have fiber to the premises and do completely away with copper. And Google Fiber Networks is just getting started but looks to beat the pants off of anyone else..but unless you are in Kansas or Texas, where Google is starting up it's fiber optics networks then you're out of luck. If I am to switch over to AT&T UVerse...I want FTTP and nothing less.

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Message 1 of 22

Re: 95% of so-called fiber optics change overs are still copper wires

There is no deception.  AT&T is using fiber to the VRAD, from there, depending on the area, you may have FTTP or not.  FTTP was not cost effective, hense the reason Verizon is not expanding any further than what they already have built out or contracted to build out. 

 

Where is  your proof that you will not get your advertised internet speeds with copper?  You have none because that is a false statement.  Currently the highest profile service is via copper and not FTTP.  If you are FTTP you can only get 18Mbps, with copper you can get 24.  In some areas 45 is now available.  I have copper and I pay for and recieve 12Mbps, consistanly wirelessly.

 

Everyone of your posts is a negative against AT&T.  You have choices, you are free to switch providers if you don't like their service.

” Auto racing, bull fighting, and mountain climbing are the only real sports … all others are games.”- Ernest Hemingway
Message 2 of 22
ACE - Master

Re: 95% of so-called fiber optics change overs are still copper wires

For 10 years I lived in a house that was a nice old house.  It was probably built as someone's summer cottage in the 1920's, it even still had the lath & plaster walls that would bend a nail, or crack if you tried to drive that nail into the wall.  While I lived there, I could only get dial-up internet service, and even though I had the top of the line US-R Courier modems that could do 56Kbps, I could never get a connection above 24Kbps that would hold for more than 10 minutes.  About once or twice a year I would get so much static on my line that I would be lucky to even get a 14.4Kbps connection.  When that would happen, I would call into SBC and they would send the tech out.  After the second call, he knew right where to go and what to do to clean out the one junction that would get wet.  Did they ever fix that junction?  No.  It was not cost effective to do that.  The cost to send the tech out twice a year for 7-8 years was lower than the cost to fix the problem.  Were they being deceptive?  No.  They were applying good business logic.  That house where I lived was over 0.75 miles from the neighborhood gateway, so I had no hope of DSL service, or ISDN, which I was willing to pay for.  It just wasn't cost effective for SBC to upgrade the infrastructure on that line just for 1 customer.  BTW, I moved out of that house 12.5 years ago.

 

Just because you don't live in an area where you can take advantage of the upgrades doesn't mean that AT&T is being deceptive about the improvements.  Within the last 2 years AT&T rolled-out UVerse to my neighborhood, and now I can get the 24Mbps service (over copper) if I want it.  I'm paying for 12Mbps service (over copper) and when I last ran a speedtest, I clocked in at 11.87Mbps speeds, so I wouldn't call that deceptive, and just because it's copper doesn't mean it's bad.  My friend has the 18Mbps service (over copper) and he routinely tests his rate at 17.9Mbps.  Based on my observations, I would have to say that you seem to be over exaggerating just how bad AT&T service is when you get service over copper.  I suspect the reality is somewhere in between.  AT&T is probably talking about their "bast case" situations, and you are talking about the "worst case" ones.


Jerry B.
"GeekBoy"

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Message 3 of 22

Re: 95% of so-called fiber optics change overs are still copper wires

Is that so? Then why have all these carriers hyped fiber optics? Why not continue to use copper everywhere? Your logic just doesn't make sense here!  An aging copper based system with all the inherent problems of noise, etc...and it gets worse with distance from the CO..doesn't get better when you don't eliminate that last mile (or miles) from the CO. Use the same logic of fiber optics...high bandwidth...less noise, etc for the last mile as you do for the rest of the network and it is much more believable. I have read way too many stories that claim that they don't get the advertised speeds...noise on the line..etc. Check out Bruce Kushnick's blog at the Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bruce-kushnick/att-uverse-copper_b_2522703.html

Message 4 of 22

Re: 95% of so-called fiber optics change overs are still copper wires

So, if you have copper, it all depends on a number of variables including the age of the wiring and the distance from your provider. You failed to mention how far you were from your neighborhood RT or CO. Of course, if you are fortunate enough to be close...and your wiring is not that old..you will get the best speeds and least problems. Not everyone is that fortunate. And everyone pays pretty much the same price even though they all have different speeds. And yet, the marketing ploy is to advertize the maximum speeds and implies their customers are all on fiber..they sure don't make it explicitly known that they will still have copper running to their homes. Most people find out the truth after the commit themselves to signing up. And it looks like most people are not even given an option to stay with what they had. It's criminal in my opinion.

Message 5 of 22

Re: 95% of so-called fiber optics change overs are still copper wires


NoFSTV-LinkTV-RT-NoDeal wrote:

So, if you have copper, it all depends on a number of variables including the age of the wiring and the distance from your provider. You failed to mention how far you were from your neighborhood RT or CO. Of course, if you are fortunate enough to be close...and your wiring is not that old..you will get the best speeds and least problems. Not everyone is that fortunate. And everyone pays pretty much the same price even though they all have different speeds. And yet, the marketing ploy is to advertize the maximum speeds and implies their customers are all on fiber..they sure don't make it explicitly known that they will still have copper running to their homes. Most people find out the truth after the commit themselves to signing up. And it looks like most people are not even given an option to stay with what they had. It's criminal in my opinion.


No where does it say you are guaranteed 24Mbps service, it says "UP TO".  It all depends on how far you VRAD.  I'm 3300 and have no problems with 12Mbps. I could do 18Mbps if I wanted to upgrade but 12 is plenty fast enough for every I do.  Also 90% of UVerse installs are FTTN and NOT FTTP.  those installs have no issues either. 

” Auto racing, bull fighting, and mountain climbing are the only real sports … all others are games.”- Ernest Hemingway
Message 6 of 22

Re: 95% of so-called fiber optics change overs are still copper wires

Well that's very fine and dandy and I am very happy for you but not everyone will be so lucky. You may very well have newer copper in your neighborhood...or maybe you are just lucky that you have none of the typical problems that often plague many people who have older copper wire. Many people live in older communities..their houses built, perhaps, 50 or 60 years ago and that is when most copper wire was installed. If those people had problems with DSL (noise, attenutation...ie: a cut in bandwidth to the home) then they will likely also have problems with even FTTN (Fiber to the Node)..ie: to the gray metal box on the sidewalk...and the farther you are from that box, with copper, you will have more problems. And with the AT&T UVerse changes..whether or not you have fiber or copper to the home...they won't be providing a voltage to operate the phone as the POTS system did. You have to have your own backup battery that you are responsible for keeping fully charged and will periodically need replacing. If you have a power outage, if you don't have that backup battery, you won't even be able to use your phone to call for help in an emergency. Not having to supply that 48 volts, that the old POTS system supplied, will most probably save AT&T UVerse a whole lot of money...won't it...but I doubt that savings will be passed on to the customer.
Message 7 of 22

Re: 95% of so-called fiber optics change overs are still copper wires

I am fully aware that the "UP To" is really a marketing ploy and realize that lots of factors prevent the Maximum being attained. But how many customers are really made aware of that fact? It's a psychological manipulation bordering on dishonesty. Do marketing salespeople state that in most cases they can really only expect maybe anywhere from 50% to maybe 80% of that "UP To" speed? If all these telecommunication services were fair, they would sell their services based on a guaranteed bandwidth/speed. But as it is now, those who are close to their Central Offices or Remote Terminals and those who have newer copper wire...or better...fiber optics to the home (FTTH) are the ones who get the best speeds/bandwidth and least noise and attenuation. And they don't pay any more than those who have old copper and a long distance to those nodes....and much slower speeds and lower bandwidths. So those people, with old copper local loops, still suffering from noise and attenuation ...resulting in slower speeds..slower internet...pay the same as those who realize a fantastic performance.
Message 8 of 22

Re: 95% of so-called fiber optics change overs are still copper wires

Of course there is deception - it is a standard marketing ploy, as is the 'Up To' phrase in their literature.

 

1.  If copper was better than fiber, no company would be installing or advertising fiber.

2.  Where is your proof that verizon is not expanding its fiber service.  On the contrary, Verizon is expanding the service and is no advertising 70Mbps+, a significant increase from anything AT&T is advertising.

3.  I am glad you are happy with 12Mbps, but some of us require a higher speed.  My last provider was at 18Mbps and I am trying to move to 24Mbps, but am stymied by AT&T installation service which is deadlocked.

4.  Some of us do not have the option of switching providers as AT&T is the only provider (with fiber) in the area and has a lock for a couple of years on the service.

 

 

 

 

Message 9 of 22

Re: 95% of so-called fiber optics change overs are still copper wires

Yes, it's kind of a monopoly isn't it? It's a territorial monopoly. They have all these areas divided up among all the carriers and in those various areas you don't have a real choice. I suppose they think it is not a monopoly because your are free to move to whatever area you want if you want to choose those carriers. Or you are free to go with cable or wireless but those are not valid equal services. Real competition would be if one can have a choice of a competing land line through the same telecommunication lines to your home as AT&T uses. With the AT&T Uverse so-called fiber optics upgrades, few of which actually goes to the home (only to a few newly built houses...new construction areas), once you are forced to use the AT&T Uverse Access devices (like a modem) and sign up with AT&T Uverse you cannot use any other modem/router (the firmware, and the use of a exclusionary MAC address tying your specific AT&T Uverse access device to the service, will not allow any other device.). I think it also may operate at a higher carrier frequency than most other devices in order to get higher bandwidth. But the problem there is with old copper wiring from the home to the DSLAM (which will change to IPDSLAM or VDSL) after the change (ie: the metal boxes on the curb...perhaps a couple of thousand feet down the street). The increase in carrier frequency often exacerbates the old copper wire problems...like noise, attenuation, etc. And your hoped for increase in bandwidth has to be cut back in order for it to work...(ie: reduce the number of dropped packets). If you can't get those really high speeds/bandwidth that fiber optics is known for then why all the hype about "upgrading to fiber optics". Note: increased bandwidth won't do you much good if there are lots of dropped IP packets. It would be continually having to resend because of dropped packets. If fiber optics doesn't go all the way to the homes, getting rid of all that old noisy copper lines, then it's just marketing hype...lies...in order to trap you into signing up with a service that will..after the initial, introductory period increase their prices by quite a lot. I have been paying fairly decent rates for my phone (which is AT&T) and ISP (which is not AT&T) and the rates have been very steady for many, many years now. But I suspect that with AT&T Uverse that is going to change. I have been considering, if my AT&T land line voice and ability to connect to my ISP ceases, that I will just cancel my AT&T land line entirely. I may not even opt for cable or wireless.
Message 10 of 22

Re: 95% of so-called fiber optics change overs are still copper wires

What good is increased bandwidth if the noise and/or attenuation on the old copper wires causes more dropped packets resulting in having to have them resent over and over again? It looks like AT&T UVerse is forcing us into accepting their changes (including having to sign a ridiculous Terms of Service-TOS that legally binds us to having to pay for a certain term whether we later discover that the service was lacking or that performance wasn't what was expected...oh yeah, the marketing hype "up to" is a very deceptive ploy isn't it?).
Message 11 of 22
Employee

Re: 95% of so-called fiber optics change overs are still copper wires


NoFSTV-LinkTV-RT-NoDeal wrote:
What good is increased bandwidth if the noise and/or attenuation on the old copper wires causes more dropped packets resulting in having to have them resent over and over again? It looks like AT&T UVerse is forcing us into accepting their changes (including having to sign a ridiculous Terms of Service-TOS that legally binds us to having to pay for a certain term whether we later discover that the service was lacking or that performance wasn't what was expected...oh yeah, the marketing hype "up to" is a very deceptive ploy isn't it?).

U-Verse is implementing "Vectoring" which negates virtually all of the noise (especially crosstalk) on the copper .... which is permitting a doubling of the throughput available with far less errors or FEC.

 

AT&T (or Verizon, SPRINT, etc ...) are not monopolies. They are under regulation to permit any Competitive Local Exchange Carrier (CLEC) to operate over their (copper) media. Most people wouldn't accept having every carrier string up (or bury) another set of media ... you wouldn't see the sky through the overhead cables. These days, most areas have a bunch of available providers; check with DSL Reports ( http://www.dslreports.com/ ) ... they started life as a referral site and can list all providers for your location.

 

AT&T's verbage is no different than any other provider. With U-verse you will get the speed as offered, minus the protocol overhead for Ethernet, IP, and higher level stacks. here older DSL was delivered out to ~18000 feet, U-verse (at least the triple play version) remains within 5000 feet (less than 3000 is typical); well within reach of the higher speeds and maintaining consistant throughput.

 

 

 

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 12 of 22

Re: 95% of so-called fiber optics change overs are still copper wires

If AT&T is not a monopoly, then how come that is my only choice in my area...I can't get Verizon or any other land line phone service...all I am left with is going cable...and Comcast seems to have a monopoly in my area for cable. If I go to the Verizon web site to see if they cover my area...they don't. There's wireless and satellite but those are not really the same thing as land lines. I am fully aware that Comcast has many problems just like AT&T Uverse and I know people who like each and people who have had nothing but problems with each. The problem is that once a person signs on the dotted line...they are committed for 1 or 2 years and those TOS agreements make it pretty clear (if you read them) that you will have virtually no way out except to pay a stiff penalty for early termination. I have read way too many complaints against these companies to be willing to put myself at such a disadvantage and have to suffer the same problems as other have. Most "products" one can buy at a store is usually returnable, often even without having to suffer any kind of penalty..like a "restocking fee". Not so when you try to buy a service from these telecommunication companies..they'll hit you with the fine print in the TOS..you still owe big bucks for early termination! You are virtually at their mercy....and they don't show mercy!
Message 13 of 22

Re: 95% of so-called fiber optics change overs are still copper wires

There should be something like Federal "Lemon Laws" that state that people can terminate their service for a certain trial period in order to ensure that they aren't going to be stuck with a TOS (Terms of Service) if the company doesn't live up to it's ability to provide good service. The Lemon Law should include a clause that says that telecommunications companies have to, in addition to it's marketing hype about internet speeds (eg: "up to 18Mbps"), include, right along side the hype, a realistic speed/bandwidth for each specific customer. And the rate that customers are charged should be in accordance with that speed/bandwidth that they actually get. Right now...those who have the fortunate position of living right next to their CO or even their RT (ie: very short copper wires) and/or who may have newer copper wires with newer/better insulation, and who usually don't have any noise or attenuation get the fastest speeds and least noise which reduces the numbers of dropped packets. But those of us who live further away or have older copper/insulation resulting in more noise...more dropped packets..more repeated packet transmissions...get much less throughput...no matter what the speed. AT&T UVerse increases the carrier frequencies on the lines in order to get the increased speeds but old copper wires can't always handle the increase frequencies resulting in many more dropped packets and retransmissions. So, they have to cut back on the carrier frequencies...going to a lower line speed. They say, for example, "UP TO 18Mbps" but that is just not probably with most copper...without many more dropped packets and retransmissions. What good is it to have 18Mbps or even 9Mbps if your dropped packets, due to old copper wire line noises or attenuation, effectively slows you down? And the kicker is that those with good high speeds pays exactly the same as those who have slower speeds due to copper line problems. I think I'll wait until Google or someone else comes along with FTTH (Fiber to the Home).
Message 14 of 22
Employee

Re: 95% of so-called fiber optics change overs are still copper wires


NoFSTV-LinkTV-RT-NoDeal wrote:
If AT&T is not a monopoly, then how come that is my only choice in my area...I can't get Verizon or any other land line phone service...all I am left with is going cable...and Comcast seems to have a monopoly in my area for cable. If I go to the Verizon web site to see if they cover my area...they don't. There's wireless and satellite but those are not really the same thing as land lines. I am fully aware that Comcast has many problems just like AT&T Uverse and I know people who like each and people who have had nothing but problems with each. The problem is that once a person signs on the dotted line...they are committed for 1 or 2 years and those TOS agreements make it pretty clear (if you read them) that you will have virtually no way out except to pay a stiff penalty for early termination. I have read way too many complaints against these companies to be willing to put myself at such a disadvantage and have to suffer the same problems as other have. Most "products" one can buy at a store is usually returnable, often even without having to suffer any kind of penalty..like a "restocking fee". Not so when you try to buy a service from these telecommunication companies..they'll hit you with the fine print in the TOS..you still owe big bucks for early termination! You are virtually at their mercy....and they don't show mercy!

Go to DSLREPORTS.COM ... that site stated out as a place to guide consumers to the variety of services available in their area. IT's grown into many other functions, but it still offers comparitive analysis of all the available services in your area.

 

Many of the rules were set up reactively; people abused the service in one way or another, so a rule was created, or the system was altered, to prevent or reduce that abuse.

 

 

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 15 of 22
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