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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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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


"The Space Elevator will be built about 50 years after everyone stops laughing" -- Sir Arthur C. Clarke














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