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.