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Print 93 comment(s) - last by mindless1.. on Feb 8 at 8:56 PM

AT&T plans rate increase for broadband service, hopes customers will be willing to pony up cash for higher rates

The state of broadband in U.S. was described in an in depth analysis at DailyTech last year as "pathetic" and "disgraceful".  The industry is plagued with poor service quality, substandard data rates, zealous attempts to limit file-sharing, and most of all high prices.

Fittingly, San Antonion-based AT&T, notorious for at one time suspending user's right to free speech, announced a rate hike.  The rate hike, a $5 flat rate increase to subscribers' current monthly fee, may be financially lucrative for the company, but is likely to make no one else very happy.  The increase, announced Monday by a company spokesman will go into effect in March.  All states besides those acquired by the buyout of Bell South will be effected.  Bell South operated in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee, so these states are exempt.

There are some other notable exceptions to the increase.  The increase, while applying to the vast majority of accounts, only applies to the three slowest connections speeds; 768 kbps, 1.5 Mbps, and 3.0 Mbps.  The 1.5 Mbps service tier is AT&T's most used, with 14.2 million subscribers.  Most of these subscribers will be hit with the rate increase.

New subscribers to the 768 kbps service will be exempt, but most people don't choose this option.  Also exempt are customers who signed up under special promotion packages.  These customers are exempt for the remainder of their promotion's term. 

AT&T informed customers of the increase by email beginning last week.  AT&T spokesman Michael Coe states that the increase is to, "to better reflect the value of our broadband service."

AT&T has been having a tough time financially, ever since Chairman and Chief Executive Randall Stephenson announced that he saw weaknesses in the current consumer broadband and cell phone markets.   AT&T has also recently announced a controversial new filtering plan to snoop on consumer's use and block "rogue" file sharing traffic.

The consumer internet world has been having a tough time in the U.S. and abroad of late.  In France, the government threatens an internet tax which would raise prices.  In the U.S. domain tasters exploit the system to take domains and ad-revenue from legitimate users.   Meanwhile, Time Warner recently announced an even more scary proposal for the consumer broadand industry -- usage based billing schemes.  Normal consumer broadband is speed limited, but has no monthly bandwidth limit, to the delight of many downloaders.  Unfortunately, Time Warner labels these individuals "devil users" and looks to curb a feeling of entitlement to "all you can eat" internet.


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Channel Specific Usage.
By Mitch101 on 2/5/2008 3:29:13 PM , Rating: 3
A bit off topic but you mention Time Warner.

You know its well time consumers should be able to selectively choose down to the channel what they want and don't want instead of paying for a package of channels that practically force you to pay for channels you don't want at all. The technology to do this is certainly there so why do I still have to pay for a package when I only want specific channels.

I would like to see some class action lawsuits on false advertising bandwidth as many providers inflate the reality of their bandwidth abilities to fall back on a scapegoat comment of well there are so many factors to their bandwidth and why no one reaches the limits they advertise. 6meg is usually more like 4.7meg at most so they should only be allowed to advertise at 5meg not 6 in this case. 3meg is usually 2.1-2.3. Yes I know there is some overhead to packets but this is not the same as is how you measure a K as 1,000 bytes or 1024 bytes.

Really its time to put the consumer back into control of this BS advertising.

Lets throw in MPG too which is inflated also.

Its all deceptive advertising and shouldn't be tolerated.

Ill give you a perfect example Windstream recently said I could get a 6 meg download and I signed up. After it was installed I measured 2.4 at peak and talking to tech support they told me the best they could do was 3 meg but 6 meg is coming soon. This was all deceptive to get people to switch from cable to dsl by claiming they could deliver something they knew they cant. Fraud. BTW this is the Charlotte area where this is going on.




RE: Channel Specific Usage.
By Murst on 2/5/2008 3:40:42 PM , Rating: 5
I completely agree that their advertising is rather shady, but it is not false advertising, and certainly not fraud.

When DSL companies do their commercials, they say "up to 5 Mb/s". If you then read the contract, they usually do have some provision that guarantees a certain speed. In my case, when I signed up for a "up to 5 Mb/s" service, that minimum was ~750 Kb/s.

After two weeks, I cancelled the service and went with Time Warner. Its slightly more expensive, but I also get a connection that on average is 14.2 Mb/s in the evenings. The one huge disadvantage is that with DSL I had a static IP, where my IP is dynamic with TW. The difference in speed more than makes up for it (although some people do *need* a static IP, and the TW prices for that here are insane).

So, I guess what I'm trying to say is that the advertising is not fraud. It very clearly states that the speeds are maximums, and not guaranteed. In the same way, car companies advertise 0% apr, but are quick to point out that not everyone will qualify.


RE: Channel Specific Usage.
By FITCamaro on 2/5/2008 3:46:49 PM , Rating: 3
Dynamic IPs are no longer a problem since there's free services out there which will automatically update your IP for when you want to host a website at home. Of course you're not supposed to but who here follows all the rules.

And this price hike is BS. A 768 kpbs connection is only worth $5 a month in my mind. Much less adding $5 to whatever it already costs.


RE: Channel Specific Usage.
By Murst on 2/5/2008 3:51:33 PM , Rating: 3
I'm not just talking about hosting websites. Most people don't *have* to host websites.

A coworker of mine's wife works for a company that restricts access to their VPN based on IPs. Therefore, you must have a specific IP to log into the VPN, and a service with a dynamic IP will not work. Yes, this is a stupid policy, but this is a case where this person needs a static IP.


RE: Channel Specific Usage.
By amanojaku on 2/5/2008 4:25:03 PM , Rating: 5
<Sarcasm>

This price hike is NOT BS. How else is AT&T going to pay for all the traffic shaping and snooping equipment??? I mean, really!

</Sarcasm>

http://www.dailytech.com/ATT+Your+World+Unless+We+...
http://www.slate.com/id/2182152/fr/rss/


RE: Channel Specific Usage.
By Christopher1 on 2/6/2008 7:53:49 AM , Rating: 1
In this day and age, a 768k connection is only worth 5 dollars a month at most.

Think about this: Comcast is 50 dollars a month for a 6Mb connection, FIOS is 30-50 dollars for a 6 to 12Mb connection... where does AT&T get the idea that anyone is going to pay these high rates for an obscenely slow connection?


RE: Channel Specific Usage.
By legoman666 on 2/6/2008 8:04:53 AM , Rating: 2
people like me with 0 other choices.


RE: Channel Specific Usage.
By FITCamaro on 2/6/08, Rating: 0
RE: Channel Specific Usage.
By RjBass on 2/5/2008 5:22:21 PM , Rating: 2
no-ip.com. It's free and it's the next best thing to a static IP.


RE: Channel Specific Usage.
By PAPutzback on 2/6/2008 9:16:53 AM , Rating: 2
DYNDNS.com. Almost every router I have seen can be configured to update this site with your IP. And you can create an easy to remember name instead of writing down your ip address and keeping it in your wallet.


RE: Channel Specific Usage.
By mindless1 on 2/6/2008 10:31:20 AM , Rating: 2
No, it's definitely false advertising if they advertise something they are not putting due diligence into supporting rather than it being some special event to get it (ie - with a tailwind, locally cached, on same network segment, etc).

Recognize it for what it is, there has to be a real standard of compliance, otherwise they can just continue overpopulating areas until everyone has terrible service and only make an excuse like "oh, but if the people using it most didn't, there'd be more bandwidth left", which really means nothing because even if those largest consumers were gone, they'd just have all the more opportunity to continue overpopulating and claiming someone else is to blame.

Even if a speed isn't guaranteed, they are in fact advertising it as the primary quantity, as a term of service. If the average that can be sent is 3Mbps rather than 5Mbps, and they don't want to be deceitful, they only need advertise 3Mbps instead. They CHOOSE to do what they are doing, so if they can't meet their claims it's time to stop making them.


RE: Channel Specific Usage.
By Screwballl on 2/5/2008 4:50:54 PM , Rating: 3
Remember, the advertised speeds are MegaBITs, not megaBYTES...

My setup through Cox cable:
Download Speed: 15885 kbps (1985.6 KB/sec transfer rate)
Upload Speed: 521 kbps (65.1 KB/sec transfer rate)

So 10 megabits equals 1.25 megabytes.... but the whole legal language where they get you is the phrase "UP TO"... you can sign up for 20Megabit service and only get 1Megabit speeds and they can legally do this and allow this...


RE: Channel Specific Usage.
By AlphaVirus on 2/5/2008 8:46:53 PM , Rating: 2
I think what the OP was trying to say is that there should be some sort of regulation. All these companies just go around overpromising and underperforming which is bs.

They can say all they want and deliver whatever they 'feel' like delivering and the average person will not care because they will not notice.
They said the average person buys the 1.5MB/s plan. That is more than enough to browse the net, and if they are actually gettin 750mb/s they will not even notice because that is still enough to browse the net.

We have to blame both the ISP and consumers. ISP for cheating the people and not wanting to spend the money to update their junk. The consumers for not informing each other and standing up.


RE: Channel Specific Usage.
By Alexstarfire on 2/5/2008 11:28:58 PM , Rating: 2
And that's the real problem. I mean, anyone who knows anything about internet connections knows that it'd be nearly impossible to get your rated speed ALL the time. There are just too many factors that come in to play. While you can't get your rated speed 100% of the time it's a big problem if you never get your rated speed. I don't have that problem, but I'm sure some people do. They need restrictions on what they can say in advertising and be held to it. I mean, as you said, they can advertise as up to 5Mbit but never really give it to you and get away with it. Granted, the customer would likely be pissed and leave, but that isn't the point. I say you have to be able to get your rated speed at least 90% of the time. Say "up to" shouldn't be allowed, or it should at least include "within 1Mb of rated speed."


RE: Channel Specific Usage.
By MrPickins on 2/5/2008 11:40:55 PM , Rating: 2
I've had ATT DSL since it was SBC, and I have gotten my full rated speed 99% of that time. NOw, servers may not send the data that fas, but speed tests show I'm getting full bandwidth.

As for the rate hike, it's BS and may cause me to switch.


RE: Channel Specific Usage.
By RandallMoore on 2/6/2008 9:46:29 AM , Rating: 2
I agree 100%. As for a the broadband goes,... consider yourself lucky and blessed to have broadband at all. I have lived 1 mile away from "the end of their run" of broadband for 4 or 5 years now. The reps. have been telling me, "Good news sir! Its coming to you area in just a couple of months!!. "In fact we have technicians working on it right now" 4 years later and I'm still on AOL dialup (angry scream). To top this all off I have a PS3 and gaming computer. Also I'm a Networking student in college!!! I guess you can imagine the horror. The government is not helping with any of these "Monopoly" services. It basically comes down to "If you don't want our t.v. or internet service, then you will be screwed and go without". There is no other provider in our area. Everyone here knows what happens when a company has no competition, so I don't need to elaborate


RE: Channel Specific Usage.
By mindless1 on 2/6/2008 10:32:49 AM , Rating: 1
So there's no place inside your (cave?) to mount a satellite dish?


RE: Channel Specific Usage.
By RandallMoore on 2/6/2008 11:31:05 AM , Rating: 2
There is... but I'm not willing to pay 600$ for it to be setup with another $80 monthly bill. You obviously don't know too much about satellite internet. They have Fair Access Policies (all of them) with huge latency and slow speeds. All that for 1Mb service for $80 a month?? No way. I'll just suffer with dialup instead of throwing my money away.


RE: Channel Specific Usage.
By mindless1 on 2/7/2008 3:13:02 AM , Rating: 2
... and yet, you choose where to live, whose problem is it really? Lots of us choose a home location based on "utilities". Either move, or quit whining about it, there are in fact virtues in living away from others, either accept it, or don't and move.

I am sure you are not compelled to have roots there. If you must, the $600 seems high, but it's a tradeoff you have to make, similar to what we all make when choosing where to live.

IF you decide it's not worth the cost, I can respect that, nobody should ever tell you what you "should" do, but by the same token, you can't simultaneously omit the benefits of living outside the bounds of typical controls and not recognize you too had benefit. For example, I had to pay a yearly fee to populate a flower arrangement in our subdivision. Did you? If not, might that money, and further freedoms, be worth the cost IF you valued broadband service as much as your other freedoms?

I'm not trying to tell you what to spend money on, but rather that everything in life is about tradeoffs.


RE: Channel Specific Usage.
By RandallMoore on 2/7/2008 10:16:19 AM , Rating: 2
Hard to choose where I live at the moment. College is VERY expensive, and its not easy to do anything when you can barely afford to go to school. We must not be as fortunate as you to have that kind of money to move wherever we want to. I agree, most things are a trade off. But what Im talking about is just plain laziness on the telcom end of the deal.


RE: Channel Specific Usage.
By mindless1 on 2/8/2008 3:23:11 AM , Rating: 2
I find it hard to believe you are near a college and yet no affordable broadband internet access. Have you tried getting a good high gain directional antenna and seeing what's *out there*?


RE: Channel Specific Usage.
By RandallMoore on 2/8/2008 10:05:09 AM , Rating: 2
You can choose to believe me or not, but i live out in the country in NC. Im not living in a city. DSL is available 1 mile up the road. We are past the end of the line.


RE: Channel Specific Usage.
By mindless1 on 2/8/2008 8:56:59 PM , Rating: 2
So you haven't tried a good high gain antenna?

Don't know what to say, you choose what you pay for. If you're really that poor you should qualify for financial aid. Are you spending a lot of time online instead of working like many students do? In the end if you wanted it bad enough you'd find a way, so I guess you don't.


A few corections.
By masher2 (blog) on 2/5/2008 3:54:14 PM , Rating: 2
> "AT&T has been having a tough time financially"

AT&T's stock price has nearly doubled in the past few years, rising from $20/share to $37. Revenues are way up, and the company is experiencing rapid growth in nearly every sector in which it's involved.

I'm sure most companies would love a "tough time" like that.

> "notorious for at one time suspending user's right to free speech"

Of course, the AT&T policy to which you refer was in no way a suspension of the "right to free speech", even assuming it referred to speech in the first place (which it did not).




RE: A few corections.
By Murst on 2/5/2008 3:58:52 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
AT&T's stock price has nearly doubled in the past few years, rising from $20/share to $37. Revenues are way up, and the company is experiencing rapid growth in nearly every sector in which it's involved.


I'm sorry, but did you just compare AT&T to Cingular after they bought AT&T? How exactly do you justify that comparison?


RE: A few corections.
By masher2 (blog) on 2/5/2008 4:12:08 PM , Rating: 3
Cingular didn't buy AT&T; SBC did. Cingular was 50% owned by AT&T and Bellsouth; now wholly owned by the merged entity.

As for "justifying" the stock price pre and post merger; it's been adjusted by GAAP, the same as in any comparable situation.


RE: A few corections.
By Davelo on 2/5/2008 5:29:57 PM , Rating: 2
My Cingular bill says AT&T on it now.


RE: A few corections.
By masher2 (blog) on 2/5/2008 5:45:39 PM , Rating: 2
Right. As my first post said, Cingular is now wholly owned by AT&T. One of its parents (SBC) acquired AT&T, then changed its name to AT&T. The other parent (Bellsouth) was then acquired by AT&T.


RE: A few corections.
By Noobsa44 on 2/6/2008 12:35:59 AM , Rating: 4
I think this video explains AT&T's mergers best: http://youtube.com/watch?v=giglklwtgSs


RE: A few corections.
By Omega215D on 2/6/2008 2:08:21 AM , Rating: 4
Sounds like the future will be made up of Taco Bell ,at&t and 3 seashells


RE: A few corections.
By Murst on 2/5/2008 5:33:50 PM , Rating: 2
The point is that comparing AT&T prior to the Cingular merger is rather silly. The companies are nothing alike.

Also, Cingular was 50% owned by SCB & Bellsouth:
quote:
Formerly a joint venture between SBC Communications and BellSouth, Cingular Wireless soon acquired the old AT&T Wireless; SBC later acquired the original AT&T and rebranded as "the new AT&T". Cingular became wholly-owned by the new AT&T in December 2006 as a result of AT&T's acquisition of BellSouth.

I had to read ^that^ several times just to make sure, but I'm pretty sure AT&T never owned Cingular (although ATT-W owned C-W)


RE: A few corections.
By masher2 (blog) on 2/5/2008 5:43:36 PM , Rating: 3
> "I had to read ^that^ several times just to make sure, but I'm pretty sure AT&T never owned Cingular "

My original statement was correct. Prior to AT&T's purchase of Bellsouth, Cingular was jointly owned by AT&T and Bellsouth. I think you're getting confused over the name change; SBC, after it acquired AT&T, took the name in place of its own.

> "The point is that comparing AT&T prior to the Cingular merger is rather silly. The companies are nothing alike."

I'm not sure which specific entity you're referring to, but my original statement that AT&T has been doing outstandingly well financially is correct. The revenues of the combined company are substantially larger today than the total of the individual revenues of each of the individual companies combined .

After a merger, historical data on stock prices are backwards adjusted by standard accounting principles for this very reason-- so valid comparisons can be made, stock options transferred, capital gains calculated, etc.


RE: A few corections.
By Bremen7000 on 2/5/08, Rating: 0
RE: A few corections.
By imaheadcase on 2/5/2008 7:21:46 PM , Rating: 3
Free speech is not a law. I'm so sick and tired of people yapping about limiting free speech and how the world is going to end. yadda yadda yadda.

Companies can limit free speech all the want to, McDonalds can tell you not to say Whopper while you are at work there and fire you for doing so. Nothing says they can't.


RE: A few corections.
By Christopher1 on 2/6/2008 7:59:57 AM , Rating: 1
No, companies cannot tell you to not mention that at work. Many companies have tried doing that and have lost multi-million dollar lawsuits based on the free speech laws.

It's like one person said: Even if you work for McDonald's, you can still say that Burger King's burgers are better than McDonald's even if you are on the clock based on your right to free speech. If the company then tries to limit your free speech, they can and HAVE been sued in the past.

There is a little thing called the CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES that says that companies cannot do what you are basically giving them carte blanche to do.


RE: A few corections.
By BMFPitt on 2/6/2008 8:57:23 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
Even if you work for McDonald's, you can still say that Burger King's burgers are better than McDonald's even if you are on the clock based on your right to free speech.
Yes, you certainly can. And they have every right to fire you for it. If you doubt me, go tell your boss he's an asshole and see how your theory works out.
quote:
If the company then tries to limit your free speech, they can and HAVE been sued in the past.
They have. And nobody has ever won a lawsuit under the circumstances you described.
quote:
There is a little thing called the CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES that says that companies cannot do what you are basically giving them carte blanche to do.
Actually, it says the government cannot do things like that. There are things companies can't do either, but firing their employees for badmouthing their products to customers is not one of those things.


RE: A few corections.
By tmouse on 2/6/2008 9:37:36 AM , Rating: 2
As someone else pointed out the US Constitution (remember states also have constitutions) ONLY limits what the GOVENRMENT can do/not do to the individual. Individual to individual problems are covered under other civil codes (many people seem to miss that point). Many times when people hear of cases that seem to be based on the US Constitution they are really civil or state constitution cases. These codes are supposed to maintain the spirit of the laws governing the relationship of the people to the government to the rights of one citizen to another. Generally they do; although some times things go a little wonky, and then there are the State’s rights vs Federal rights issues, but that another story....


Attention AT&T Customers: Move!
By jskirwin on 2/5/2008 3:28:35 PM , Rating: 2
AT&T customers shouldn't bellyache. They should move to cable even if the cable service is just as bad. The mass migration will convince AT&T that competition, although muted, does indeed exist.




RE: Attention AT&T Customers: Move!
By FITCamaro on 2/5/2008 3:50:52 PM , Rating: 3
You make a good point. But the problem is that while competition does exist, it barely does. You either choose DSL or a local cable provider. That's your two choices. And thats assuming you're even able to get cable.


RE: Attention AT&T Customers: Move!
By Murst on 2/5/2008 3:54:51 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure where you guys live, but here in Cincinnati (not exactly the biggest of towns either), you have a choice of cable, dsl, electric, or satellite. Of course, there's also dialup, but the speeds are way off.

Sure, I'd like there to be more options (and hopefully there will be once the wireless networks are established, or maybe Verizon sets up FIOS), but I'm guessing that the majority of people in the US have access to more than just cable and dsl.


By Polynikes on 2/5/2008 4:18:02 PM , Rating: 2
I doubt most people have more choice than dial-up, DSL and cable, for landline-based services. (Who the hell wants satellite if you can get something more reliable?) Unless you live in a large city, it's probably not gonna that way. I live in Rochester, NY, whose population in 2000 was over 200,000, not including the many outlying suburbs and towns that make up the area, and we've got just those three choices.

I pray that FIOS takes off, so DSL and cable providers will have some serious competition and help get our nation's internet service problem fixed.


By BMFPitt on 2/5/2008 8:48:47 PM , Rating: 2
I live in a pretty populated area, and my choices are: Comcast. That's it.

I can't wait until a year from now when I can buy a house after prices drop another 20% post-summer. I can't wait to go back to the dish.


By Frallan on 2/6/2008 8:56:51 AM , Rating: 1
Thank god its Fri... ehhh Ilive in Europe where theres competition :0)

Just starting a Europe vs. US discussion here... Cant have a topic wo it :0p


By onwisconsin on 2/5/2008 8:27:32 PM , Rating: 2
Service is even worse around here with TWC. Especially with their cable TV and all the drama surrounding it.

Only good thing with ATnT is that the DSL connection up here (around Milwaukee) is rock solid and consistent.


I <3 AT&T
By CRimer76 on 2/5/2008 3:40:41 PM , Rating: 2
I live in Louisiana, so this doesn't bother me.

And I just got a 6Mbps/512kbps DSL connection, unlimited local and long distance for $40/month from AT&T.

But I will never go back to Comcast. That is by far the worst company I have ever had to deal with.




RE: I <3 AT&T
By FITCamaro on 2/5/2008 3:48:52 PM , Rating: 4
You don't care now. You will care in a few years when the protections of the states formerly served by Bell South expires.


RE: I <3 AT&T
By bpwilldo on 2/5/2008 4:22:04 PM , Rating: 2
My choices for broadband are AT&T and Comcast. I pay 15 a month, which I guess will be 20, for AT&T. Comcast would be 42 plus basic cable, which was 60 before I dropped cable. So, for 20 a month I will still be happy not to pay Comcast 102 a month. Not everyone needs 6Mb downloads.


RE: I <3 AT&T
By geddarkstorm on 2/5/2008 4:29:02 PM , Rating: 2
Just wait after a few months though and your rates will go up 10 to 20 bucks. Happened with me, as they hide their rate in "special discounts" even if when you signed up it wasn't on a promotion (at least for me it wasn't, don't know about your case). I'm looking to move, but have to make sure I don't have any time left on the contract. Your bill will also fluctuate up to 10 dollars a month, so watch it closely, even though it's "unlimited local and long distance" and has nothing to do with usage. This is probably something that happens with other companies too, just don't think it won't happen with AT&T.


RE: I <3 AT&T
By clovell on 2/7/2008 1:55:14 PM , Rating: 2
Just be glad you've never had to deal with Charter down there.


Worst Broadband in the Developed World
By blowfish on 2/5/2008 3:21:45 PM , Rating: 2
All hail the mighty AT&T. These kinds of developments will really help to keep the US ahead of the game in technology. Perhaps the chip makers should limit cpu clock speeds to help control excessive internet usage, which is clearly bad for the corporate bottom line. I mean, the very idea of it - sharing - where's the profit in that?




RE: Worst Broadband in the Developed World
By OAKside24 on 2/5/2008 11:23:25 PM , Rating: 2
If there's ever some real competition between ISPs, something new and innovative, I wish nothing but the worst upon AT&T and these stagnate, price gouging, greedy corporations. Something like what Netflix's done (see: annihilation) to Blockbuster.


RE: Worst Broadband in the Developed World
By masher2 (blog) on 2/6/2008 12:58:21 AM , Rating: 2
It's very easy to toss around words like "gouging" and "greedy", but you may not be aware that the telecomm industry average return on investment has been running under 4% on average the past five years. Meaning, those "money-grubbing" shareholders would have done much better to just put their money in the bank instead. And the five years before this were even worse....it's really been a very low-profit industry for quite some time.


RE: Worst Broadband in the Developed World
By Christopher1 on 2/6/2008 8:04:18 AM , Rating: 1
Are you joking? Excuse me, but my cousin owns stock in both AT&T and Verizon, and he has been getting a lot more than a 4% return on investment in his stocks. Closer to 20% to 40% for both.

You need to stop taking the numbers of these companies as the wrote truth, and look at the numbers of the neutral people and get the REAL numbers.

The oil companies have been groaning for years that they only get a paltry 1% profit...... but when the feds actually looked at it, it was more like 50% profit!


By masher2 (blog) on 2/6/2008 9:51:40 AM , Rating: 2
> "my cousin owns stock in both AT&T and Verizon, and he has been getting a lot more than a 4% return "

This is an excellent example of the logical fallacy known as 'misleading vividness'. The industry (and corporate statistics for AT&T) are given below:

http://stocks.us.reuters.com/stocks/ratios.asp?sym...

Note the 2.82% ROI for the five-year telecomm industry average, and AT&T's industry-leading value of 5.10...still less than you'll get from a decent bank CD.

Stock price changes, especially in the short term, don't equate to company profitability. A company can report a huge loss, for instance, and the stock value rise-- simply because the loss wasn't as severe as analysts feared.


By christojojo on 2/5/2008 3:46:09 PM , Rating: 2
that it will ....

"better reflect the value of" my work effort?

quote:
AT&T informed customers of the increase by email beginning last week. AT&T spokesman Michael Coe states that the increase is to, "to better reflect the value of our broadband service."


I really am sick of companies raising prices or changing products because "I asked for it". Just tell the truth.

I.e. I didn't want 12 ounces of coffee in one pound cans. I don't want to pay more for less period.

Your entitled to make a profit. Just don't tell me that I asked for higher prices.




By TomZ on 2/5/2008 4:33:18 PM , Rating: 1
I agree - instead, AT&T should sell its users on the idea of upgrading to higher data rate tiers, instead of just raising the price as they did. Higher data rates probably don't cost them much more to offer, and it becomes a win-win for both the customer and AT&T.

But, at the end of the day, they have a right to set prices how they see fit.


By jconan on 2/5/2008 8:56:46 PM , Rating: 2
Also you can't change phone companies because of the territorial restrictions. So if you have AT&T you're stuck with it unless you move.

2nd AT&T just needs to cut their fat and focusing on how to get better reliability and ample bandwidth. The filtering mechanism is an added cost and isn't even part of their company's purpose to provide communications service. They just need a new CEO and should fire the current one for unnecessary spending and breach of fiduciary obligations. IMHO...

Isn't Apple cutting too much into their profit with the iPhone profit sharing? What happened to the R&D? That's part of their loss income. Smart Apple and dumb AT&T.


By Christopher1 on 2/6/2008 8:12:18 AM , Rating: 1
No, you are not stuck with AT&T unless you move. Here in my area, a rural area, we have a grand total of 20 phone companies offering to do our home phone landline service.

That doesn't amount to being stuck with only AT&T. People need to start actually looking instead of saying "The only phone company around here is AT&T!" It usually isn't.


By mindless1 on 2/6/2008 10:38:52 AM , Rating: 2
So you actually think if the major carrier raises prices, all the minors buying blocks of service from them won't have to also raise rates? Go ahead and tell them you feel this way, I'm sure it'll make a difference.


By TomZ on 2/6/2008 11:22:27 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
No, you are not stuck with AT&T unless you move.

Incorrect, at least here in Southeast Michigan - only one choice for landline phone service - AT&T. So then your options are to have a landline or not have a landline.

Yes, there are lots of choices for long distance service. Yes, there are other choices for DSL - but in this case other vendors are crippled since they have to lease the copper pair from AT&T, and so AT&T can easily eliminate all its competitors through pricing. In fact, I thought I read recently of a ruling where companies like AT&T can now entirely refuse to offer these services to competitors.


What happened to cheaper prices for technology?
By Chadder007 on 2/5/2008 4:43:19 PM , Rating: 3
Over the years I remember Dial Up getting faster and faster and cheaper and cheaper. WTF is up with DSL and Cable? Other countries are outpacing the US in speed increases and keeping the same prices, but we keep creeping along and so do the prices.




By Rebel44 on 2/5/2008 6:13:03 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah internet in EU is much better - I have 8M/4M for 20USD and we are planning upgrade to 40M/40M in 2009...


By kilkennycat on 2/6/2008 1:27:58 AM , Rating: 2
Any monthly GByte caps on downloads there in the EU? If so, please detail the limits, the cost of each limit-tier and the overage costs.


By Frallan on 2/6/2008 8:58:40 AM , Rating: 2
usually flat and no limits...


Where do I sign up?
By 67STANG on 2/5/2008 3:46:09 PM , Rating: 2
Wow they want to look at user traffic and raise prices? Sounds too good to be true.

I ditched my 3Mbps dsl as it was down every 10 minutes, they came out to try to fix it at least a dozen times, finally I called them one day and told them to cancel, I'm gettin my 8Mbps Comcast connection back. Ever since, my internet has never gone down, of course I pay a bit more now, but reliability is worth it, IMO.




RE: Where do I sign up?
By joemoedee on 2/5/2008 5:15:02 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I ditched my 3Mbps dsl as it was down every 10 minutes, they came out to try to fix it at least a dozen times, finally I called them one day and told them to cancel, I'm gettin my 8Mbps Comcast connection back. Ever since, my internet has never gone down, of course I pay a bit more now, but reliability is worth it, IMO.


That all varies by your location, as I'm in the opposite boat.

Comcast Cable/Internet Service = Dropped their cablemodem service at my old house due to it losing connectivity every other day, with it ultimately being down the last 2 weeks I had them. I can't count how many hours I wasted with their techs on the phone and in person to fix the issue to no avail. In my new house I went with digital cable and Bellsouth DSL, and after about a dozen trips out here by them to correct the artificating/blocky digital cable, I finally dropped them for Dish Network. Dish has yet to fail me.

Bellsouth/ATT = Loss of DSL service once in 2.5 years, and that was due to Comcast cutting my DSL while burying my cable line. (Go figure, they STILL found a way to kill my internet connectivity)

I'd gladly pay a bit more for the service I've had thus far.


RE: Where do I sign up?
By 67STANG on 2/5/2008 7:30:04 PM , Rating: 2
I've got dish too, I don't believe in paying more for less in the TV department. Strange that your cable was unreliable though, typically it's DSL that's unreliable (usually due to distance issues).

But then again, i couldn't even get the speeds I wanted with DSL, besides that... I torrent like a mother and I don't want AT&T snooping.


Bastards
By birdcat on 2/5/2008 5:58:46 PM , Rating: 2
I'm currently an At&t customer with the 3mb connection. What sucks is that I live in a rural area. If I want a broadband connection I only have three choices: AT&T, the local cable company which costs twice as much as at&t for half the speed with limited monthly bandwidth, or satellite which is 3x at&t for half the speed if i remember correctly.

Hell, my town didn't even have broadband until a few years ago. This all pretty much leaves people like me with no choice but to put up with this crap.




RE: Bastards
By jonrem on 2/5/2008 11:13:03 PM , Rating: 1
If you're even talking about "broadband choices" then you don't live in a rural area. If you lived in a "rural area" you'd be bitching about dial-up or Hughes.


RE: Bastards
By birdcat on 2/6/2008 5:54:58 AM , Rating: 1
Yeah, I was bitching about only being able to use dial up, until three short years ago. Hell the local cable company stated they wont be offering HD programming in my area for another one to two years.


RE: Bastards
By Kenenniah on 2/7/2008 5:36:33 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
This all pretty much leaves people like me with no choice but to put up with this crap.


Hmm lemme get this straight. AT&T is raising their price by $5, but according to your post it will still be significantly cheaper and is twice as fast as any alternative you have available. I fail to see how giving you cheaper and faster internet access than anyone else in your area is forcing you to "put up with this crap".


welll wahhhh!!!
By wetwareinterface on 2/6/2008 2:06:26 AM , Rating: 2
The price increase, while it does suck, isn't that high. And it isn't like it has been a short time since the $14.99 and $19.99 promotions. Those have been going on now for a long time. $5 aint that much, and besides I have been a DSL customer for a loooong time, my bill used to be $50 a month. 9 months ago I got a call to lower my monthly rate to $20 and keep my static ip. Yeah at&t is really trying to gouge me by offering me services for lower than 50% of what they used to charge then increasing the rate by $5 after a few years of a really low rate.

Cable modem costs $35+ a month and you need to have at least $50 worth of digital cable service to get even that. DSL costs $25 a month now under the new pricing and $20 for the phone line, so it's $45 a month vs. cable's $85 a month for minimum service.

Sure Korea and Japan have 20 Mbit and 100 Mbit service, they also have a huge population concentration in urban areas. What most refuse to realise though is that 100Mbit rate in korea ain't happening on granpa Kim's mountain farm, but only in urban areas just like here in the U.S.

We have larger empty areas than Japan or Korea though and less densly populated urban areas overall so our cable runs are longer to serve the same amount of people which drags the speed down. Until fibre is the broadband standard in the u.s. that disparity will always be there.




RE: welll wahhhh!!!
By zsouthboy on 2/6/2008 10:48:46 AM , Rating: 2
"Sure Korea and Japan have 20 Mbit and 100 Mbit service, they also have a huge population concentration in urban areas. What most refuse to realise though is that 100Mbit rate in korea ain't happening on granpa Kim's mountain farm, but only in urban areas just like here in the U.S."

Try again - in our most densely populated areas here in the US, we DON'T have 20+ Mb, high-competition, low prices.


RE: welll wahhhh!!!
By masher2 (blog) on 2/6/2008 11:05:07 AM , Rating: 2
> "in our most densely populated areas here in the US, we DON'T have 20+ Mb..."

In many densely-populated regions in the US (New York/Tri State Area, Boston, etc), we have 30 or even 50 Mb/s connections available.


just think...
By spudboy23 on 2/6/2008 1:28:36 PM , Rating: 2
all the AT&T broadband users get the special privilege of paying $5 more a month for them to hand over records of your commmunications to the Feds. they screw their users AND make even more money while doing it, simply because people don't care enough to think about it.




RE: just think...
By spudboy23 on 2/6/2008 3:11:35 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
"Room 641A, the secret spying room inside AT&T's San Francisco internet switching center that was outed by former AT&T employee Mark Klein. That room sits at the center of a lawsuit against AT&T for its alleged illegal participation in the government's secret, warrantless spying program."


...is what i'm referring to, lest we forget so soon.

come on, Republicans...justify this one. i want to see how you can spin it so that AT&T is "patriotic" in its willingness to violate the law. while you're at it, remind us how we're "safer" and our economy and national infrastructure are so much better after 6 years of REPUBLICAN control of Congress AND 8 years of the Presidency, and how that huge (projected) surplus we had when Bush got into office was really dragging us down and now that we have the largest deficit in the HISTORY of the U.S. and most of the rest of the world HATES us, we're really better off, and how electing a Democrat for President is going to make it worse.

no fair blaming Bill Clinton for the current mess! that was a DECADE ago, and during Bush's first term in office Republicans pretty much rolled back everything the Clinton Administration enacted. you're going to have to eat some crow this time around, and i hope you all CHOKE on it.


RE: just think...
By RandallMoore on 2/6/2008 5:43:21 PM , Rating: 2
This country now runs under this statement "Divided We Stand!"

George Washington:

quote:
However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.


I hate hearing the words Republican and Democrat. Nothing can be done right in this country because of BS like this. USA is divided on everything and I promise you it will be its downfall. Sooner or later, the people will once again revolt.

....makes me sick


Argh!
By munim on 2/5/2008 3:50:24 PM , Rating: 2
What irks me is that people keep saying that everything is going to be digital, that the format war is irrelevant in the face of HD downloads, that games won't be available in stores anymore and digital distribution will take over, blah blah. Yet everwhere I turn, be it my ISP or yours or AT&T, internet bandwidth keeps getting more and more expensive. I used to get unlimited bandwidth with my ISP for 35. Now I would have to pay $80+ for the same priviledge.




RE: Argh!
By ninjit on 2/5/2008 4:23:25 PM , Rating: 2
There's no such thing as unlimited bandwidth.

Are you referring to monthly Data caps? If so, where do you live? Cause in the US, broadband datacaps are pretty much unheard of (outside of they enforce for "abusive" use).


ATT
By RaulF on 2/5/2008 4:55:09 PM , Rating: 3
AT&T=Lowest Scum of the earth.




untitled
By nace186 on 2/5/2008 4:07:27 PM , Rating: 2
It's almost like they are trying to drive their broadband business away. Oh well, I'm sure other providers are happy right now.




free hotspots....yeah right
By disorder on 2/6/2008 2:00:38 AM , Rating: 2
The thing about that really blows my mind about the price increase is, a couple of weeks ago there was talk of increased speed and free hotspots for current customers. Now we know how they can be so very generous with their bandwidth. They're going to make us pay for it regardless.

http://www.att.com/gen/press-room?pid=4800&cdvn=ne...

This pisses me off because i don't have a notebook so who cares about free hotspots, also i can't get the better speed. All i get out of this is reamed grease-less by having my bill increased. If i had the option to switch, believe me i'd be gone, but i stay in a high-rise where DSL is the only option.




Rate Increase
By wallijonn on 2/6/2008 5:52:58 PM , Rating: 2
If my local provider, Qwest, increases my bill $5 then I will be going to a monthly cell phone, $15, cutting their land line connection and just having DSL.




By osalcido on 2/6/2008 6:16:00 PM , Rating: 2
I wonder why that is.... maybe so they don't cause a ruckus over the fact that they are using their monopoly status to jack up prices? Which by the way , everyone knew would happen if SBCGlobal was allowed to merge with AT&T..

Don't worry, I'm sure the monopoly won't forget your wallets. Your time will come too :)




another consideration
By scott0747 on 2/6/2008 11:16:31 PM , Rating: 2
You also have to consider providers' costs.
It is a great expense to maintain those copper lines sometimes up to 5-6 miles in length, especially when rain, lightning, interference, ground movement, people digging thru, corrosion, etc. all want to negatively affect quality of signal before it gets to end location. Also, these lines dont last forever/they have to be replaced alot more often than you might think-that involves digging, hanging etc. also.
but i do agree, hate to pay more for stuff...




mergers
By cyberserf on 2/7/2008 4:38:13 PM , Rating: 1
what happened to all these big companies saying mergers will lead us to lower prices for the consumer. bullshit!

mergers only lead to less competition and less choices for consumers.




Re
By billybob24 on 2/6/08, Rating: -1
RE: Re
By billybob24 on 2/6/08, Rating: 0
RE: Re
By Frallan on 2/6/2008 9:06:29 AM , Rating: 2
An example
http://www.comhem.se/portal/comhem/bredband_large
this is just the first I thought of likley it is not the best offer in Sweden.

Translation is:
24Mbit down/8Mbit up, no limits, (339+60)SEK/6.45=62USD a month... this is including all taxes.


RE: Re
By frobizzle on 2/6/2008 10:27:12 AM , Rating: 2
Nice trolling! Too bad all that it will do is get you modded down and hopefully banned again.

Perhaps if you concentrated your efforts on learning to communicate better, improving your sentence structure, grammer, puncuation, etc., and then had something poignant to say someone might actually take you seriously. Doubtful but maybe.


RE: Re
By osalcido on 2/6/2008 6:20:11 PM , Rating: 1
youre an idiot for responding to his posts


George Bush is to blame
By IntelGirl on 2/5/08, Rating: -1
RE: George Bush is to blame
By mdogs444 on 2/5/2008 9:03:35 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The Bush administration and the Replublicans in Washington are the ones protecting these company friens of theirs because it's in their special interest.

I'd love to see some proof, and FACTS, behind that theory.
quote:
These company are protected under Bush and Cheneyto do what they want, they can keep back the technology and bandwidth in the U.S. to a ancient state compared with other countries like Japan and Korea, who gets up to 100mpbs for 20.00/month.

You solved it! The whole point of the Bush Administration was to hinder your internet and make you pay more for bandwidth!
quote:
It's just like the U.S. auto industry. Improvement and foward movement is being retarded by the industry to make as much profit as possible because they are giving free will by the Bush administration to do as they want, to sit on their ass while other countries are moving foward. They are staying put where they are still making cars that are gas guzzlers to make profit for themselves and for the oil companies. This is hurting the economy as well.

You do realize that companies will only operate because of PROFIT. Thats the whole reason of being in business. You really think this country would prosper in non-profit only business sector? Get real. This is called capitalism and free market. Companies increase a price till their profits drop from low sales, then they decrease the price to increase the amount of sales. Its very common business practice. Up until now, there was no reason to change all the cars for fuel efficiency. Lets stop with the conspiracy theories about government acting as a business for profit.
quote:
This will all change once Hilary or Obama leads the country into a prosperous state again and open our eyes to the covers that our current government has thrown over our eyes.

Yeah thats it. The economy will flourish when one of two people who have no experience leading anything, much less an entire country, and have no business experience. If anything, they will lead us into a weak economic state, take all our money from increased taxes, decrease your personal wealth, and in turn, give you socialized medicine.

Boy I cant wait! Maybe then, we can rename our country to the "United State of Want-To-Be France"....change our national language to Spanish, live in mud huts, and we can all walk 20 miles to work!


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