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AT&T The Internet

AT&T's Gigabit Smokescreen 129

Posted by Soulskill
from the why-buy-the-cow-when-you-can-pretend-you-have-a-cow dept.
Yesterday AT&T announced it would examine 100 cities and municipalities in the U.S., including 21 metropolitan areas, for introduction of gigabit fiber. Taken on its face, the announcement is the company's response to Google Fiber. But many were quick to note AT&T has promised nothing. Karl Bode at DSLReports went so far as to call AT&T's announcement a giant bluff. "Ever since Google Fiber came on the scene, AT&T's response has been highly theatrical in nature. What AT&T would have the press and public believe is that they're engaged in a massive new deployment of fiber to the home service. What's actually happening is that AT&T is upgrading a few high-end developments where fiber was already in the ground (these users were previously capped at DSL speeds) and pretending it's a serious expansion of fixed-line broadband. It's not. At the same time AT&T is promising a massive expansion in fixed line broadband, they're telling investors they aren't spending much money on the initiative, because they aren't. AT&T's focus is on more profitable wireless. 'Gigapower' is a show pony designed to help the company pretend they're not being outmaneuvered in their core business by a search engine company."
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AT&T's Gigabit Smokescreen

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  • Favourite quote (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Mr_Silver (213637) on Tuesday April 22, 2014 @02:00PM (#46816779)

    My favourite quote comes from Karl Bode of DSLReports [dslreports.com]:

    Before you get too excited, you need to understand that this is a bluff of immense proportion. It's what I affectionately refer to as "fiber to the press release."

  • by ausekilis (1513635) on Tuesday April 22, 2014 @02:53PM (#46817239)

    I know someone that recently moved to Austin. On the side of their house is a little box that says "AT&T Fiber". When they called AT&T to ask about internet service: "I'm sorry, we don't have service in your area".

    I guess it could be fast if they knew where there infrastructure was in the first place...

  • Yep (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 22, 2014 @02:54PM (#46817249)

    My ISP is Federated Telephone [fedtel.net]. Small little rural cooperative in Chokio (pop. 400) & Morris (pop. 5,000), MN. They had 100% FTTP rollout [fedtel.net] to Chokio back in 2009, and they're finishing their rollout here in Morris. They're now working on Appleton, MN.

    If they can do it, anyone can. You just have to stop putting profits before customers. And as the parent poster indicated, they also did it with a disproportionate amount of tax dollars going to mega-corporations that only support urban development. Encourage your local congressman to also support fiber rollout in Rural America. [saveruralbroadband.org] Your schools, libraries, and civil leaders will thank you.

  • by scoticus (1303689) on Tuesday April 22, 2014 @02:56PM (#46817265)
    So what if they got fiber to everyone, everywhere? They would still be a nightmare to deal with. Business class is a joke; slow speeds, charging the customer for an onsite visit to fix AT&T problems (assuming they don't just tell you to fix it yourself), about a dozen different phone numbers to pick from and a truly epic automated phone-tree when trying to get support, etc. Home service isn't much better. I had U-verse a couple of years ago when they first rolled it out to my neighborhood. 24mb down, 3mb up. Worked pretty well, except with streaming services. I eventually went back to the cable company (faster and cheaper). Last week, some AT&T sales reps knocked on my door, claiming they had just added new connection to my neighborhood. I asked, "U-verse?" They said yes. I told them I had that a couple of years ago and they looked totally stumped. They were not even aware that U-verse was already well established and that half of my complex already used it. Just for fun, I checked the website to see what upgrades they may have made. LOL, now the max U-verse speed in my neighborhood is *slower* than what I had previously. AT&T can promise whatever they want, but until I can see it, I will absolutely not believe it.
  • by Charliemopps (1157495) on Tuesday April 22, 2014 @02:58PM (#46817281)

    Google is only offering Fiber in High density Urban areas. Most of the customers in those areas already had access to 15mb > service. The problem is the other 99.9% of the country that lives in areas that are less dense and therefor incredibly expensive to serve.

    AT&T is currently trying to sell off as much of these low-density customers as possible because the regulations over telecoms make them far less profitable than what the unregulated cable providers offer. They're also lobbying to get themselves unregulated, which may seem fair at first, but when you realize that large portions of the country would quickly lose phone service it doesn't seem that fair at all.

    Not that I'll defend AT&T. They suck for more reasons than just this. But telecoms in general are definitely in a hard place right now due to unregulated competitors like Google and the Cable providers. Force Google to provide phone service to everyone in that particular territory like the telecom is and you'll see googles rates shoot up to about the same place AT&T is at right now.

  • by crtreece (59298) on Tuesday April 22, 2014 @03:22PM (#46817497) Homepage
    Have you tried routing your traffic through a VPN? I hear Netflix works a lot better when your ISP isn't able to identify and throttle their traffic.
  • Re:Att does that (Score:4, Interesting)

    by sjames (1099) on Tuesday April 22, 2014 @03:41PM (#46817691) Homepage

    They've been promising that one since the '70s. The closest they ever got was offering ISDN (in limited areas) for an arm and a leg that might one day be capable of carrying video (at 128Kbps max).

    The accoustic modem was invented as an end run around them because they refused to allow anything to be connected to the phone line that they didn't approve, and they weren't approving modems. The modem itself was an end run around their refusal to offer data lines.

    We've been sneaking the future past their gatekeeper for 50 years.

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