AT&T has quietly “rolled out” what it promotes to be its new U-verse service in areas closest to their central offices (COs) in both Nevada City and Grass Valley. True U-verse has been deployed in urban areas using fiber-optic technology, hence the addition of cable-like television services.
This won’t be happening in western Nevada County anytime soon. The only “advantage” you will hear from AT&T sales people is the new available 18Mbps and 12Mbps Internet service speeds. Regular DSL tops out at 6Mbps. ADSL2 over copper wire offers these faster speeds, although the distance from the CO is much shorter than what regular DSL can offer.
This is what you won’t hear:
1) Once you switch to U-verse, you will only have one choice for Internet Service provider – AT&T. Unless, you’re lucky enough to also have access to Comcast cable services at your location.
Local ISPs like Spiral Internet, Full Spectrum, or Succeed.net in Yuba City – which took over GV.net customers – will no longer be able to offer you regular DSL services. They won’t allow us. Local ISPs are now under contracts with AT&T to have the privilege of offering regular DSL service. Federal legislation that required access expired in the summer of 2010.
2) Once you switch to U-verse, there is no turning back. You will never have the ability for “plain old telephone service” (POTS) or regular DSL. You are stuck with AT&T U-verse.
3) Switching to U-verse can try your patience. You’ll definitely experience down time – hours, days, etc. So be prepared if you make the switch to not have Internet access or have spotty access for a time period. But yes, then it does work.
4) AT&T just announced (yesterday) that they would be implementing 150Gb bandwidth usage caps on their DSL service and 250Gb on their U-Verse service. Read how this could affect the real reason you want more bandwidth. More analysis on why that is bad for customers at Wired.com.
Why is AT&T doing this here?
So they can compete head-on with Comcast’s faster service – essentially faster service to the households that already have an option for faster service.
All we can say is: please support your local ISPs. If you have regular DSL with AT&T, switch to a local provider. We’re the ones that are going to invest in infrastructure that bring you net-neutral access, no caps, and bandwidth to the outlying unserved areas.
Imagine if 2,000 to 10,000 or more AT&T DSL subscribers switched to a local ISP. The impact would be huge for us small providers. Help us take back Internet access in western Nevada County. It’s time to act.