AT&T DSL: Getting what I pay for?

By Mark Gibbs, Network World |  Networking

As for my DSL service, problems reappeared and after a ridiculous amount of running around in circles by both AT&T and myself, it was determined that I was over the limit for distance (I'm at something around 10,500 feet) from the central office for a 6Mbps IP DSL service. A lineman came out and switched my connection over to another circuit as well as to another "tray" at the CO and pronounced the line now capable of reliably supporting 3Mbps.

The sad thing is that AT&T's sales people will apparently sell you any service without a clue as to whether the service can actually be delivered and, when it doesn't work properly, it is you who'll go through contortions and hard labor to get to the bottom of the problem. If you're a "techie" you'll be able to sort it out, but if you're not, you may never get to the bottom of the problem and you'll wind up just living with a poor connection while AT&T happily takes your money.

An interesting side issue is why there's no fiber-based AT&T U-Verse service in Ventura ... the lineman told me that Ventura City council insisted that the fiber distribution boxes (which are apparently about the size of one of those street transformers) would have to be underground. This apparently raises the deployment costs considerably so AT&T (and, presumably, Verizon) decided to pass on fiber for now. Pah!

My only other real choice for Internet connectivity would be cable, but once you've started with AT&T you're locked in for two years. Anyone who thinks there's anything approximating competition in this market is just kidding themselves.

Gibbs is  digitally locked in in Ventura, Calif. Send your status monitoring solutions to gearhead@gibbs.com and follow him on Twitter (@quistuipater) and on Facebook (quistuipater).

Read more about lan and wan in Network World's LAN & WAN section.


Originally published on Network World |  Click here to read the original story.
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