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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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.

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