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Forced to switch from DSL to U-verse (1 Viewer)

Nelson Au

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Hey guys,

I guess I'm posting partly to vent and partly to ask questions.

I've been happily using DSL since 2004 from AT&T. Same modem since then too. Last Sunday afternoon my internet access stop working. I rebooted the modem and waited an hour and had no resolution. Very long story shortened, I had 6 phone calls to AT&T to try to get the modem working again including borrowing one from a friend whose was AT&T DSL. I had intermittent connection with that modem on my PC, but couldn't get it to work on the Mac Pro. My original set-up was DSL modem with Ethernet connected to an AirPort Extreme that was connected to the Mac Pro. This system worked great and provided great coverage of wifi to a couple of Apple TV's and iPads and iPhone.

It came down to me upgrading to U-verse this morning with installation happening this Tuesday. So I'm internet-less. I'm posting via my iPhone via LTE and chewing through my limited data plan of 200mb!

What I'm frustrated by is the claim that my area will phase out DSL within months. I can't help but feel they fried my modem and are forcing me. Last year they shut off my DSL because I didn't answer a letter that said if I didn't call to say I wanted to maintain DSL or upgrade, service could be interrrupted. And so they actually did!

I thought DSL will continue until 2020. I'm not against going to digital and U-verse. I just don't like the tactics. So now one year later, either my time ran out and the modem really had it after 12 years or they killed it and my friend's modem. A service guy also confirmed my DSL was working fine and had a strong signal. So it's a shame. So the claim that DSL will end in my area, which is Silicon Valley, bothers me. I'm in high tech, I have no issues going to higher speed. I'm just mad and feel forced. If it's true, then I guess it's the way it is.

I'm also surprised they say that my analog telephone service is ending too. So I went with the U-verse for Internet and phone only. Which I guess is VoIP. I'm not buying their claim fully, but I'm going to go with it, they're holding a gun to my head.

I wanted to do self install, but they claim I cannot and requires a technician to come over. So my main worry now is when the installation takes place this week, If the technician will be able to not only set it up on my Mac Pro, but will agree to set up the U-verse gateway to my AirPort Extreme and then via Ethernet to the Mac Pro. Their gateway modem has wifi, but I'd rather continue using the AirPort Extreme. All my iPads and Apple TV's are set to it. I know those devices will be able to access the U-verse wifi. I wondered if I can configure the AirPort Extreme to the gateway and the passwords are still valid for my iPads and ATV's. I guess I'll find out.

The only good thing out of this is I'll finally have modern Internet access and much higher speed. I sure miss having internet access. So they know they have you when it comes to customers of ISP's. Cost wise, I'm not paying more and will have 4 times my old speed. Installation is free. I really have nothing to complain about. Just feel frustrated.

I'll be curious to know if DSL is really being shut off. I'll be looking into this. And I hope my Mac Pro and network will be restored to its earlier operation.
 
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Robert Crawford

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My DSL modem started having problems, a couple of years ago and I then switched to U-verse on a deal they were running. Just a few weeks ago, my U-verse modem started having problems connecting to the internet so AT&T ran some tests and determine my modem needed replacing and they did so with an upgraded U-Verse modem that they use for TV service. For 20 years, I've had DirecTV which is now own by AT&T so they only provide me with internet and phone service. Both times, my modem changed out, an AT&T technician did the work.
 
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DaveF

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I've never heard anything good about DSL, except for the transition years when it was the only thing better than dial-up. I'd think it would be nothing but a win to get rid of slower DSL and get faster cable or fiber optic. But I don't know your options, speed, and pricing.
 

Nelson Au

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Thanks Robert, Dave.

Regarding having a tech come over to do the installation, I learned that my friend had ordered his U-verse service on-line and checked the right boxes and was able to get self install that way. Because I made my order by phone, they wouldn't give me the option. I suppose I could have given them a hard time about it, but I let it go.

Dave, you raise something I never had any idea about. DSL was working fine for me. I know it's not the fastest, but it served my needs. In speaking with the AT&T DSL tech support later, not the sales person, I asked her if she has U-verse. The tech support lady said no, but she wants it. She lives on the east coast in an area where they don't have optical built out to. So I see we still are in that transition period between DSL and optical fiber optic and cable. I guess to me it seems like a luxury to have it.

But you suggest something as I said I had not considered. That DSL had no good things to say about it. I suppose to me I never experienced any down time from it except two times since 2004. You're making me get the sense that fiber optics and cable is a superior method for Internet access. Speed is a really nice luxury, but I feel like your think it's part of optical and cable's virtues. I really hope it will be as reliable as they are advertising.

In terms of speed, I never really knew the exact speed I had with DSL. I think it was likely in the 3mbps range at best. I was paying $41 for that. For U-verse, the promotions I was offered was 3 Mbps, 6 Mbps, and 12 Mbps. The price jump between 6 and 12 was practically nil and at 12, I'd be paying pretty much the same before tax that I was paying for DSL and voice. So I opted for the 12 Mbps plan and their voice plan bundle. I hope I actually see 4 plus time speed increase.

I have some CD box sets that I bought and they include downloads of high Rez files. I never got around to downloading them because I knew it would take all night or longer to do it. So I might finally do that.

I do worry a little about the voice service. My old school sense is showing through. I guess I worry about having outages and reliable services after a major disaster since I live in earthquake prone Silicon Valley. I realize cell service can go down. But a analog line will work in a power outage, but that's assuming the lines are intact. So I guess the chances are no better either way after a major disaster.

Now I'll be curious to see how fast my internet experience will be at home. Streaming YouTube videos from Apple TV has been a great alternative to TV. Watching PBS on Apple TV has been great as well. My only issues with DSL I am realizing is the lag in trying to rewind a little to repeat a segment of a video. I assume that's due to my speed of DSL.

So Dave, you've opened my eyes that DSL might not have been such a great thing to hang onto. I felt U-verse is a very nice thing, but a luxury you can live without. But there's more to it then that.
 

atfree

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I upgraded from AT&T DSL to Uverse 30 Meg plan about 4 years ago. Last year they began offering a 45 Meg plan in my area so I upgraded to that. Rock solid and great speed and we have 10 or more devices connected at any given time.

Only drawback is price as it's about $100 a month for the 45 meg plan and VOIP phone. We really don't use the phone part much but it's actually cheaper to bundle the phone with Internet vs standalone internet.

I was not impressed with the Uverse gateway for Wi-Fi (range was not good in our large 2-story home) so I put it in bridge mode and use my own Linksys router for Wi-Fi.
 

Nelson Au

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Great to hear about your positive experiences with U-verse! But I'm amazed at the rate you are paying. My speed is a fraction of yours and I'm paying nearly that much. AT&T must have wildly varying rates or contract deals per areas in the US.
 

atfree

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Great to hear about your positive experiences with U-verse! But I'm amazed at the rate you are paying. My speed is a fraction of yours and I'm paying nearly that much. AT&T must have wildly varying rates or contract deals per areas in the US.
When I first got it, it was $75 a month (25 meg plus phone) with a 6 month $15/mth discount. The bump to 45 meg pushed it to $100 (it may be $110, I'm not sure as it gets drafted out of my account each month).

As for self-install, when I went from DSL to Uverse, it required that they make a wiring modification at EACH phone outlet in my house to prevent line interference (nothing major, the tech just took the outlets from the wall, tweaked a couple of wires and that was that) so self-install wasn't available. When I upgraded to the 45 meg plan last year, they also had to come out and do a modification on the phone outlets again so self-install wasn't available. One thing with Uverse (at least in my case, I'd think it'd be the same). Wherever they put the unit (gateway) is the outlet you're tied too....they put a special plug in that outlet, so you can't move it from one outlet to another. So make sure you know where you want it located. My old DSL modem/router could work from any phone outlet, but not Uverse.
 

DaveF

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DSL provided fixed bandwidth per line, versus the pooled bandwidth shared over a block of subscribers in the cable modem modem. In the early '00s DSL was an attractive and sometimes better option to cable modem. If you were within in range to get its best speeds; performance falls off with distance from the central switch (whatever it was called). Also, DSL was provided by the phone company, the one company more reviled than cable companies back then. (Now, they're back to basically one and the same and everyone hates Comcast).

Since then, DSL -- to my knowledge -- is completely overtaken by cable modem and Fios in availability and speeds.

Glad you're taking a look at your options. It sounds like you're in a deprecated service and will hopefully get better performance for same or better price.
 

Nelson Au

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Thanks Dave for the additional insights on DSL vs the newer options. It's really surprising to me as I hadn't been paying attention because I was fine with my service. The biggest thing is what sounds like the dismantling of the telephone lines.

I have an appointment with AT&T this morning to have U-verse installed. Atfree, thanks for the additional detail about your installation. Compared to my friend who did self install, yours sounded much more involved. I'll find out soon enough how involved it will be. My house is 48 years old, so there's likely some differences compared to newer homes.

I look forward to getting back on the web. A week and a half off is not gong to kill you, but missed the ability to get on-line.
 
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atfree

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Thanks Dave for the additional insights on DSL vs the newer options. It's really surprising to me as I hadn't been paying attention because I was fine with my service. The biggest thing is what sounds like the dismantling of the telephone lines.

I have an appointment with AT&T this morning to have U-verse installed. Atfree, thanks for the additional detail about your installation. Compared to my friend who did self install, yours sounded much more involved. I'll find out soon enough how involved it will be. My house is 48 years old, so there's likely some differences compared to newer homes.

I look forward to getting back on the web. A week and a half off is not gong to kill you, but missed the ability to get on-line.
Hope install goes well!
 

Nelson Au

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Thanks, I'm back on the Internet! :)

Install was involved, but pretty straight forward. I like to watch the install so I can see what was done and ask questions. The guy set it up so the Gateway will connect to a modified wall plate what has a data jack and a one for the phone. The gateway's phone line is connected to the phone jack and it sends the phone signal to the other phones in the house via the phone in the house.
 

Clinton McClure

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Only drawback is price as it's about $100 a month for the 45 meg plan and VOIP phone. We really don't use the phone part much but it's actually cheaper to bundle the phone with Internet vs standalone internet.

I'm paying $100 a month for a 6Mbps plan. I only wish U-verse was offered in my city.
 

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