AT&T U-verse Unbundled Internet Service

This must be old news to some (most?) of you, but it wasn’t to me. So I figured I’d share in case it’s also news to some others.

I had DSL through AT&T up to sometime last year. DSL requires a landline, which I don’t use, but I still have to pay for it. Even with the least expensive service (metered local calls), the bill comes out to about $15 a month when taxes and FCC Subscriber Line Charges and Universal Service Fund contributions are included. DSL and land line together cost me about $40 a month.

AT&T had been sending me glossy brochures about their U-verse service, which provides TV, phone, and Internet services. According to Wikipedia, it’s done with using fiber optics to the neighborhood and then regular phone lines to homes.

When I looked at it, all U-verse services required bundling the TV service, which I also didn’t need. You could have TV only, TV + digital voice, TV + Internet, or TV + digital voice + Internet, but you had to include TV. There was no way to buy just Internet access. The least expensive U-verse TV + Internet service still cost over $60 a month.

So I switched to cable for Internet. With an introductory offer, it cost about the same as my old DSL + landline ($40 a month) but at least I was getting a higher speed than DSL.

After the introductory period ended, the bill jumped to $65 a month. That’s more than I want to pay for Internet access. So I looked again. This time I see AT&T quietly dropped the bundling. Now I can buy U-verse Internet access, digital voice, or TV stand-alone or any combination thereof. That’s exactly what I want.

People say I should negotiate with the cable company and have them give me another “special.” I hate that game. I object to it on principle. I will not beg to be a customer.

I ordered AT&T U-verse Internet only. It will cost me $25 a month for the first 12 months. I will save nearly $500 in the first year. With both connections in place, when the U-verse introductory offer ends I can switch to cable and be a new customer again. One year cable, one year phone company. It’s more trouble than I’d prefer, but that’s the game these companies play.

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Comments

  1. wm tanksley says

    Bravo for not begging, and for anyone who does — watch out for them changing contracts on you.

    I called and “begged”, and all Cox had was a free trial for a higher speed. Once the term expired I reduced to the lower cost version — but this caused my original service to be replaced with one with a 4GB cap, which I promptly exceeded due to a couple of Linux installs and a sister with a youtube addiction. No cost, but I spent a few months having to worry about exceeding the cap again.

    Now I’m on U-verse, and although I’m not expecting any better behavior in the long term, at least I don’t have a cap.

    -Wm

  2. Bucky says

    TFB, you are way behind the times. You have been able to get DSL without a landline since 2007! Of course AT&T doesn’t promote it, but you can find it on their website.
    http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/2007-01-15-naked-dsl-usat_x.htm
    http://www.att.com/dsl/

    Also, even years ago when U-verse didn’t officially offer unbundled internet, you could cancel the TV and extra services to have internet only. But it was a “secret” that I only found out through user forums. In fact, the first two times I called AT&T u-verse to cancel the TV and phone, the reps told me that wasn’t possible. But eventually, they were able to do it.

  3. nickel says

    I’m looking forward to the day when U-verse is available in our neighborhood. Until then, it’s DSL + Dish for us — can’t get cable out here, either…

  4. thefeds says

    The customer is always right, wrong…

    If you like being treated like a second class citizen/ customer, ATT is the provider for you.

    If you only desire to speak to automated telephone support, ATT is the provider for you.

    If you enjoy the inablility to settle any sort of dispute whatsoever, ATT is the provider for you.

    If you’re enamored by offensive and threatening business letters, ATT is the provider for you.

    God forbid you should decide to upgrade your services with them because they’ll continue charging you for both the old services and new ones.

    After 6 prision-like years of services (if you know what i mean), I’m sending it all back. Good riddance.

    ATT, this is my last act as a paying customer, and it’s only befitting that I let everyone know how wonderful you are!

    Regards,

    Hope ATT fires you Dimitrious from Sales, Service and Billing (phone click)

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