Comcast Over AT&T

August 18, 2009

So this is pretty close to comical…

Quick recap – AT&T wandered thru the neighborhood last weekend touting their new fiber optic internet service. Problem is, unless you’re paying close attention to all the fine print it’s fiber optic up to the local node, then DSL from there to your house.

So I bought the sizzle thinking I was getting crazy ass network speed, only to be slightly disappointed once it all got sorted out.

Here’s the juicy part though – their DSL service to our house is absolutely, unequivocally, spectacularly horrible. Even when getting the Elite 18Mbps pkg (at a discount because I complained) it’s still slower than Comcast. I hadn’t disconnected the Comcast service so got the bright idea to switch between modems while doing Speakeasy tests.

In summary, even after paying extra for faster DSL from AT&T the cable modem with a cheap bottom-tier internet service from Comcast rocks… over twice as fast. And I tested it multiple times (48) over multiple days.

And to be fair, I think our house is about as far from the local DSL node as can be without dropping signal all together. If that’s the case it won’t matter if we buy the fastest package from AT&T, it’ll still be slow.

Too bad – for the brief part of a wild-eyed techie dream I thought I was going to get me some fiber optic… not this time.


Snookered by AT&T

August 15, 2009

So Comcast switched over to fully digital television and since we only had one digital box that meant we couldn’t get half the channels on 3 of 4 TVs. Which was kind of lame, and they were going to charge an extra monthly fee to get what we had before so I felt a little better about switching to AT&T.

AT&T’s sales pitch was sweetened with the promise of fiber optic internet speed… seriously, like WOW. For a tech guy like me fiber optic was a dream come true. Internet speeds that far surpassed anything you could get with DSL or a cable modem. So I decided to do it even though it was more expensive and a little voice inside said don’t… should have listened to that little voice.

[SIDE NOTE – That damn little voice is right more times than it’s wrong… I hate being wrong – again.]

Turns out it’s fiber optic up to a central node about 2 blocks away and DSL from there to the house. But it’s sold as fiber optic… bastards.

So the installation was today and the technician was unexpectedly very good. Arrived on time, explained everything fully (even the part about fiber optic), knew his shit, did everything exactly right, double and triple checked his work, and everything now works great.

We have the full package of voice, internet, and TV. The digital TV menu is super along with the DVR which records a number of programs that can (as advertised) be watched on any of our 4 televisions.

The voice package is pretty standard (we only have it because the 11yr old is not ready for his own cell phone) but the online stuff is very nice. Call logs automatically track incoming and outgoing calls. Voicemail can be translated to email and delivered to any address. Call blocking, caller ID, call waiting – it’s pretty nice.

But I’m still a little peeved about the fiber optic thing – when it comes time to switch back to Comcast (because you KNOW they’re going to try to regain our business) I’ll tell AT&T the fiber optic thing was bogus. Who gives a rip what the speed is up to their neighborhood node – I’m buying speed at my computer and nothing less.