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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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RE: George Bush is to blame
By mdogs444 on 2/5/2008 9:03:35 PM , Rating: 2
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.
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!
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.
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!

"You can bet that Sony built a long-term business plan about being successful in Japan and that business plan is crumbling." -- Peter Moore, 24 hours before his Microsoft resignation

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