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AT&T's Gigabit Smokescreen

Soulskill posted about 5 months ago | from the why-buy-the-cow-when-you-can-pretend-you-have-a-cow dept.

AT&T 129

Yesterday AT&T announced it would examine 100 cities and municipalities in the U.S., including 21 metropolitan areas, for introduction of gigabit fiber. Taken on its face, the announcement is the company's response to Google Fiber. But many were quick to note AT&T has promised nothing. Karl Bode at DSLReports went so far as to call AT&T's announcement a giant bluff. "Ever since Google Fiber came on the scene, AT&T's response has been highly theatrical in nature. What AT&T would have the press and public believe is that they're engaged in a massive new deployment of fiber to the home service. What's actually happening is that AT&T is upgrading a few high-end developments where fiber was already in the ground (these users were previously capped at DSL speeds) and pretending it's a serious expansion of fixed-line broadband. It's not. At the same time AT&T is promising a massive expansion in fixed line broadband, they're telling investors they aren't spending much money on the initiative, because they aren't. AT&T's focus is on more profitable wireless. 'Gigapower' is a show pony designed to help the company pretend they're not being outmaneuvered in their core business by a search engine company."

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this is just too much. (5, Funny)

nimbius (983462) | about 5 months ago | (#46816683)

If you expect me to believe this articles summary, that the worlds largest telecommunications monopoly and government spy against American citizens is lying about their services or speeds, then you clearly dont underst42t2$T%Y%[NO CARRIER]

Re:this is just too much. (4, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 5 months ago | (#46817243)

AT&T's new ad motto: "You want more fiber? Eat cabbage!"

Re:this is just too much. (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 5 months ago | (#46819097)

So that's what the smell is.

Re:this is just too much. (1)

beernutz (16190) | about 5 months ago | (#46818507)

The funny thing is that fewer and fewer people will get the [NO CARRIER] reference.

Kind of like the save icon still being a floppy disk in a lot of programs. I wonder how many younger computer users have never even SEEN a floppy.

Re:this is just too much. (2)

thegarbz (1787294) | about 5 months ago | (#46819087)

It's actually kind of funny watching young children figure out how old technology works. Kids reactions to walkmans [youtube.com] is a great watch.

Applause for Google (5, Insightful)

DMJC (682799) | about 5 months ago | (#46816691)

I applaud Google for actually fixing the problem in the USA. It serves AT&T and the other telco companies in America right, for taking $200 billion of government money and delivering nothing for it.

Re:Applause for Google (2)

Andrio (2580551) | about 5 months ago | (#46816741)

Since Google seems to be the only one serious about rolling out fiber (and high quality broadband at a reasonable price), I have a great idea. How about if the government took all the tax breaks/subsidies that are currently given to AT&T, Comcast, Verizon, etc and give them to Google instead?

Re:Applause for Google (2)

bobbied (2522392) | about 5 months ago | (#46816777)

Since Google seems to be the only one serious about rolling out fiber

Hey, what about Verizon FiOS? I got fiber to my house and get as good of service as you can expect from Verizon....

(and high quality broadband at a reasonable price)

So you had to bring up the price thing eh? Ok.. Ok.. You win... Verizon is VERY pricy for just internet.... Here's hoping for some price competition or something...

Re:Applause for Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46816857)

Verizon built out FIOS in Fort Wayne, IN (for the richer areas) then sold off the entire service area to Frontier, who isn't interested in expanding service, just maintaining the status quo and raising rates every year.

Re:Applause for Google (2)

roc97007 (608802) | about 5 months ago | (#46817651)

I dunno, it must depend on the area. I got FIOS from Verizon when it first became available, and when they sold it to Frontier (apparently because Verizon Wireless wanted to enter into a business deal with Comcast) the only thing that happened to us is that the customer service became more responsive and more pleasant to talk to. What I've seen is that the "minimum" speed keeps going up (probably pressure from Comcast cable modem) and our cost has not increased.

Mind you, I do not buy cable TV from Frontier (or anyone). These days, cable TV is an unnecessary expense. I only get internet and phone. (And the land line is also unnecessary, really. I only keep it because we've had the same phone number since the late eighties.)

Re:Applause for Google (3, Informative)

rogoshen1 (2922505) | about 5 months ago | (#46818299)

you can port that number to anything of your choosing :)

google voice is especially nice, since you can make your phone carrier a commodity via forwarding. IE: port primary number to google voice, get burner/landline whatever, and then just have google voice forward your primary number to whatever number you get from the new provider. it breaks caller-ID and confuses people regarding your callback number, but it's a small price to pay.

Small anecdote: I was using straighttalk wireless, and had an issue with their soviet era website (I have zero patience for companies that make it difficult for me to pay my bill.. seriously, i'm fucking trying to give you my money.. ). So, thanks to call forwarding I was able to drop them post-haste and switch to a different provider without losing a beat (or worrying about notifying people of a number change.).

Re:Applause for Google (2)

roc97007 (608802) | about 5 months ago | (#46819019)

you can port that number to anything of your choosing :)

google voice is especially nice, since you can make your phone carrier a commodity via forwarding. IE: port primary number to google voice, get burner/landline whatever, and then just have google voice forward your primary number to whatever number you get from the new provider. it breaks caller-ID and confuses people regarding your callback number, but it's a small price to pay.

Small anecdote: I was using straighttalk wireless, and had an issue with their soviet era website (I have zero patience for companies that make it difficult for me to pay my bill.. seriously, i'm fucking trying to give you my money.. ). So, thanks to call forwarding I was able to drop them post-haste and switch to a different provider without losing a beat (or worrying about notifying people of a number change.).

The thing that worries me about porting to Google Voice is the articles that Google is going to kill Voice in the near future and bring some or most of the features into G+. Whether it's still useful for my purposes will depend on what they do with the changeover. What they did with Latitude made that feature unuseable and we ended going to a different solution. So I'll wait and see and take another look post-transition.

Re:Applause for Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46816929)

they stopped expanding the FiOS foot print. i live in boston and have to watch those shitty FiOS commercials where they ay they have FiOS in Boston, but they really don;t

Re:Applause for Google (3, Insightful)

dloyer (547728) | about 5 months ago | (#46817027)

Verizon Fios works great... As long as you dont want to watch Netflix...

If you actually want to make use of all those megabits you bought, then well...

Our Netflix has been rebuffing more and more, even with a direct wired connection between the player and the router.

Re:Applause for Google (1)

bobbied (2522392) | about 5 months ago | (#46817143)

Verizon Fios works great... As long as you dont want to watch Netflix...

If you actually want to make use of all those megabits you bought, then well...

Our Netflix has been rebuffing more and more, even with a direct wired connection between the player and the router.

I hear you, but over the last few weeks it seems to be getting a lot better, at least for me. Buffering has not completely stopped, but it went from every 10 seconds down to less than once every 50 min show. Didn't I hear that Netflix agreed to pay Verizon for better connectivity?

Re:Applause for Google (4, Interesting)

crtreece (59298) | about 5 months ago | (#46817497)

Have you tried routing your traffic through a VPN? I hear Netflix works a lot better when your ISP isn't able to identify and throttle their traffic.

Re:Applause for Google (1)

postbigbang (761081) | about 5 months ago | (#46818957)

VPNs have typically much larger latency, depending on their locale. You can tunnel packets, but remember that you're dragging them not from your local CDN, but rather, through a non-deterministic path through the vector host's network. Often this is not faster, and is not throttled,and lacks any QoS of any kind.

What you hear is anecdotal and probably not the typical case. But this is actually Southwestern Bell we're talking about-- the old AT&T is long dead, and SWBell just likes to posture like the old Death Star.

Re:Applause for Google (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about 5 months ago | (#46817669)

Again, it must depend on the area. Wife has an (older) Roku downstairs, and daughter has a blu-ray player with netflix upstairs, and they can stream simultaneously with no issues. The only time this is not true is if I'm downloading something massive.

Re:Applause for Google (1)

danlip (737336) | about 5 months ago | (#46817655)

as good of service as you can expect from Verizon...

My expectations are extremely low for Verizon

Re:Applause for Google (3, Informative)

bobbied (2522392) | about 5 months ago | (#46817933)

They are worlds better than the Cable company.... I used to be down for days with the cable provider because somebody on my block insisted on handing out DHCP addresses for some reason. Their tech support guys couldn't seem to figure out who it was. I finally got tired of them and jumped on FiOS when it first came out.

My connection has been rock solid since. I've had maybe 3 outages that where not my fault in 8 years, and two of those where because of the cheap router the provided was too unstable. I just went and got my own hardware and ditched that horrible Actiontec junk.

However, they are the absolute most expensive for the bandwidth you get. They filter/firewall residential DHCP service to keep you from running servers (http, https, ftp etc) but they don't tell you this directly. Also, they have pretty crappy traffic management so even though I pay for 25/25Mbps connection, I can pretty much count on only getting that when speed checking on their servers. Any real traffic can never approach that, even in aggregate.

So I don't recommend Verizon very highly either. Even if it is the lesser of the various evils available to me.

Google doesn't need tax breaks (1)

bigpat (158134) | about 5 months ago | (#46817505)

Google doesn't need tax breaks, they just need municipalities to cut through the red tape that has the habit of ending up in brown paper bags full of cash to regulators. The big telecoms need those tax breaks to fill brown paper bags full of cash that are sent right back to the army of "consultants" that grease the wheels of government and of politicians.

Re:Applause for Google (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46816753)

I applaud Google for actually fixing the problem in the USA. It serves AT&T and the other telco companies in America right, for taking $200 billion of government money and delivering nothing for it.

Ahem. Until Google steps a bit outside of Kansas City limits, they've delivered as much as AT&T has here, so perhaps you should hold your applause.

Especially when you haven't seen the moral, ethical, and financial price tag of Google owning (and thereby controlling) that much more of your online life.

Re:Applause for Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46816939)

I applaud Google for actually fixing the problem in the USA. It serves AT&T and the other telco companies in America right, for taking $200 billion of government money and delivering nothing for it.

Applause? For solving what problem? Google is merely cherry-picking select areas [wikipedia.org]

According to one analyst report, it is projected that the Google Fiber network could reach 8 million U.S. homes by 2022 at an estimated cost of $7 billion, assuming Google would target only select neighborhoods, as it has done with its Kansas City deployment.

Re:Applause for Google (2)

alen (225700) | about 5 months ago | (#46817009)

google is looking at a few tiny markets and geeks are creaming their shorts about it

wake me when google sells $100 BILLION worth of bonds for something like a national roll out to 20 million homes

all you idiot google fans dreaming of google fiber will be doing so way after you die. for now google fiber is more vaporware than FIOS

Re:Applause for Google (1)

bored (40072) | about 5 months ago | (#46817315)

Yah, if they were serious about providing service to a lot of people they would have bid on time warner cable, then promptly shipped everyone a 8 channel DOCSIS 3 modem (343.04 Mbits) and started upgrading their peering agreements. Then in a couple years shipped the 24 channel modems (1Gbit) that are on the horizon.

Instant 11 million happy customers.

Then after that sold/spun off the timewarner division off to someone else for close to what they paid for it.

Re:Applause for Google (3, Interesting)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 5 months ago | (#46817281)

Google is only offering Fiber in High density Urban areas. Most of the customers in those areas already had access to 15mb > service. The problem is the other 99.9% of the country that lives in areas that are less dense and therefor incredibly expensive to serve.

AT&T is currently trying to sell off as much of these low-density customers as possible because the regulations over telecoms make them far less profitable than what the unregulated cable providers offer. They're also lobbying to get themselves unregulated, which may seem fair at first, but when you realize that large portions of the country would quickly lose phone service it doesn't seem that fair at all.

Not that I'll defend AT&T. They suck for more reasons than just this. But telecoms in general are definitely in a hard place right now due to unregulated competitors like Google and the Cable providers. Force Google to provide phone service to everyone in that particular territory like the telecom is and you'll see googles rates shoot up to about the same place AT&T is at right now.

Re:Applause for Google (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46817809)

Google is only offering Fiber in High density Urban areas. Most of the customers in those areas already had access to 15mb > service. The problem is the other 99.9% of the country that lives in areas that are less dense and therefor incredibly expensive to serve.

If you're going to bash a legitimate attempt to introduce a modicum of competition to US broadband, you should at least use credible numbers. By concentrating on urbanized areas, Google is ignoring almost 20% of the country.

If you want to live 20 miles from the nearest intersection, low bandwidth may be one of the sacrifices you have to make.

Re:Applause for Google (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 5 months ago | (#46818155)

Google is only offering Fiber in High density Urban areas. Most of the customers in those areas already had access to 15mb > service. The problem is the other 99.9% of the country that lives in areas that are less dense and therefor incredibly expensive to serve.

If you're going to bash a legitimate attempt to introduce a modicum of competition to US broadband, you should at least use credible numbers. By concentrating on urbanized areas, Google is ignoring almost 20% of the country.

If you want to live 20 miles from the nearest intersection, low bandwidth may be one of the sacrifices you have to make.

Um... Google is serving a few thousand customers at most right now. That's well under 0.1% of the country.

And we're not talking about "20 miles from the nearest intersection" The equipment that provides you with internet all costs the same. It's irrelevant where you live, or what you are paying for. Laying Fiberoptic or copper costs hundreds of thousands of dollars per mile, interruption of peoples lives and property and is generally a nightmare. This doesn't even account for the equipment in the actual remote. The most sophisticated tech out there can deliver DSL/Cable over copper to about 45k feet max. So the real question is, How many people live within 45k feet of you? That's how many people that remote can serve. In the areas Google is offering its service the density per remote is in the thousands. The majority of the country its at most 200.

So if you owned a business, with 200 customers paying $35/month for your service, and of that about $6 was profit, would you spend $500k to upgrade that remote? Even $100k? What if your 2 competitors in town only had to serve people that lived in the areas where there were 5k+ per remote? How would you like that?

Ok, lets say the feds showed up and PAID to upgrade the remote. Fantastic! But the feds paid you $200k... which was enough to upgrade it to 20mb of total bandwidth but the feds also required you to meet their standards that all 200 people on that remote could get at least 5mb service? And most of your customers log on to netflix on Friday evenings... Are the feds going to stick around for that bit? No. And ISPs have been burned by this over and over again. So even though the feds are willing to pay for the upgrade the ISP will still refuse to take it because they don't want to be accept the further regulation of their service. The regulation is far more expensive than what the feds are offering in return. Yes, they'll take the cash in certain areas where the density is high enough.

  I think the last stat I heard on this was that Obamas broadband Stimulus plan cost about $350k per customer. And no, I'm not kidding.
http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/pa... [ssrn.com]

Being an ISP is not cheap, and certainly not the way to make lots of money quickly.

Re:Applause for Google (1)

NotDrWho (3543773) | about 5 months ago | (#46818059)

IIRC, Google has so far only rolled out fiber in cities that already had "dark fiber" in place to begin with. Their deployment so far has been every bit as much a dog-and-pony show as AT&T and Verizon.

Additionally... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46816713)

For more information, see or read "Going Postal", by Terry Pratchett.
Info: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

Re:Additionally... (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about 5 months ago | (#46816995)

Wouldn't it have made more sense to reference the book? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

That way, you get the precis right off the bat, instead of a tale about how they syndicated the book.

And all this after we have paid them to do it... (5, Informative)

number6x (626555) | about 5 months ago | (#46816757)

AT&T has already been given Billions of dollars in tax incentives [techdirt.com] to deliver fiber optic cable based internet to your house.

According to the incentive plans these high speed internet connections should already be installed and functioning for pretty much every American at speeds averaging 45 Mbps upload and download. Every American taxpayer, that is not a provider of internet infrastructure, has taken on the burden of $2000.00 more in taxes in order to offset the incentives gives to AT&T and the baby bells.

Do you have your low cost, high speed fiber yet?

Re:And all this after we have paid them to do it.. (1)

mr_mischief (456295) | about 5 months ago | (#46816905)

That $2000 number was as of 2006. It's 2014 now.

Re:And all this after we have paid them to do it.. (1)

denobug (753200) | about 5 months ago | (#46818275)

That $2000 number was as of 2006. It's 2014 now.

Then AT&T should have acted in 2006 instead of waiting this long. They are perfectly capable to make a sound business decision to lose money.

Re:And all this after we have paid them to do it.. (4, Interesting)

ausekilis (1513635) | about 5 months ago | (#46817239)

I know someone that recently moved to Austin. On the side of their house is a little box that says "AT&T Fiber". When they called AT&T to ask about internet service: "I'm sorry, we don't have service in your area".

I guess it could be fast if they knew where there infrastructure was in the first place...

Yep (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46817249)

My ISP is Federated Telephone [fedtel.net] . Small little rural cooperative in Chokio (pop. 400) & Morris (pop. 5,000), MN. They had 100% FTTP rollout [fedtel.net] to Chokio back in 2009, and they're finishing their rollout here in Morris. They're now working on Appleton, MN.

If they can do it, anyone can. You just have to stop putting profits before customers. And as the parent poster indicated, they also did it with a disproportionate amount of tax dollars going to mega-corporations that only support urban development. Encourage your local congressman to also support fiber rollout in Rural America. [saveruralbroadband.org] Your schools, libraries, and civil leaders will thank you.

Re:And all this after we have paid them to do it.. (1, Informative)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 5 months ago | (#46817325)

You've linked to a poor source that gets its data from even worse sources.
AT&T is only worth $189 billion as of today. So what did they do with that $200 billion they supposedly got? Set it on fire? I dislike AT&T as much as the next guy, but let not create flat out lies.

Re:And all this after we have paid them to do it.. (1)

theskipper (461997) | about 5 months ago | (#46817931)

The market cap of the company is $189B. That's the stock price times number of outstanding shares (not considering fully diluted share count). It is not related to income or cash+assets on hand. The stock price is a reflection of those items by the market, but is not directly related.

The $200B figure was treated on the balance sheet over time as income or some other accounting item which you'll need to analyze the 10-K to find out for each year. Those dollars were then saved or paid out as dividends to shareholders, corporate expenses, etc. Whatever was most advantageous taxwise and needed for capex, etc.

So the point is that the $200B figure is not directly related to the market cap as you proposed, although funds may have viewed that free money as a positive when analyzing whether to buy the stock.

Re:And all this after we have paid them to do it.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46818387)

Who modded this crap up? Revenue obviously isn't the same as market capitalization. Dumbass.

Re:And all this after we have paid them to do it.. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46817345)

AT&T was given billions of dollars to deliver broadband based on at least one leg of fiber to at least one home in each census tract in the subsidized area.

My census tract has ONE subdivision where AT&T vDSL is available (DSL from a fiber-fed, single-shelf, 4-card VRAD hosting 192 homes), yet AT&T is legally allowed to shade in the entire census tract (over 2000 homes) on the map and tell government that "this census tract has fiber coverage per our agreement."

The only reason 192 homes have access is because that maximizes revenue for the smallest VRAD they install on the lowest-provision fiber feed.

Does Psyllium count? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46817547)

That's the only modern source of fiber I get....

Re:And all this after we have paid them to do it.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46818049)

No, but the AT&T execs have their high cost, high speed sports cars. That's almost the same thing, right?

Re:And all this after we have paid them to do it.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46818727)

Not yet. But my town is planning to do it itself. Gig up, gig down. Like Chattanooga.

Smokescreen? (1)

adam525 (813427) | about 5 months ago | (#46816761)

Smokescreen? I could be wrong but doesn't AT&T already own a lot of that cable that comes to a lot of houses right now? It seems to me like that would be the biggest hurdle in regards to rolling something like that.

And what's Google *promising*? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46816775)

Oh, yeah, this: [wikipedia.org]

In February 2014, Google announced it had "invited cities in nine metro areas around the U.S.—34 cities altogether—to work with us to explore what it would take to bring them Google Fiber."

One shallow, useless promise begets another...

[fanboi]But, Google!!![/fanboi]

Re:And what's Google *promising*? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46816909)

"In February 2014, Google announced it had "invited cities in nine metro areas around the U.S.â"34 cities altogetherâ"to work with us to explore what it would take to bring them Google Fiber.""

In February of 2014, Google invited cities in nine metro areas to give it billions of dollars in taxpayer money to build a Fiber network they could charge those taxpayers for access to.

Re:And what's Google *promising*? (1)

taustin (171655) | about 5 months ago | (#46816983)

And remember, the real cash cow with Google fiber is that they can track absolutely everything those customer do online, all the time, and sell that data to advertisers. It's win/win/win for them.

Re:And what's Google *promising*? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46817517)

And remember, the real cash cow with Google fiber is that they can track absolutely everything those customer do online, all the time, and sell that data to advertisers. It's win/win/win for them.

And AT&T doesn't do this already?

Re:And what's Google *promising*? (1)

suutar (1860506) | about 5 months ago | (#46817359)

How's that different than what the incumbent broadband providers did?

Re:And what's Google *promising*? (4, Informative)

DocSavage64109 (799754) | about 5 months ago | (#46817111)

I don't know what's up with all the anti-google fiber AC posts, but here is my google fiber speed test [speedtest.net] from when they installed it a couple months back.

Re:And what's Google *promising*? (1)

jeffb (2.718) (1189693) | about 5 months ago | (#46817195)

B-b-but that's Google Mb/sec! It just means your connection will steal your soul hundreds of times more quickly than your comfortable, benign, managed-by-cuddly-kittens AT&T DSL!

Re:And what's Google *promising*? (2)

Michael Casavant (2876793) | about 5 months ago | (#46817483)

Oh, yeah, this: [wikipedia.org]

In February 2014, Google announced it had "invited cities in nine metro areas around the U.S.—34 cities altogether—to work with us to explore what it would take to bring them Google Fiber."

One shallow, useless promise begets another...

[fanboi]But, Google!!![/fanboi]

Ummm....
You say "One shallow, useless promise begets another..." but there simply isn't a promise in your quote.

Favourite quote (5, Interesting)

Mr_Silver (213637) | about 5 months ago | (#46816779)

My favourite quote comes from Karl Bode of DSLReports [dslreports.com] :

Before you get too excited, you need to understand that this is a bluff of immense proportion. It's what I affectionately refer to as "fiber to the press release."

Why the hysteria? (2)

tomhath (637240) | about 5 months ago | (#46816817)

As I read ATT's announcement, they've committed to four cities and are in discussions with twenty one more.

The response seems to be "They haven't committed to spending any money this year in those twenty one cities, this is clearly bogus!". Geez, don't they have anything important to write about?

Re:Why the hysteria? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46818093)

If you look at where AT&T is offering you will see a different pattern too. They match up to the old bellsouth infrastructure. The one where they had ALREADY deployed tons of fiber. My neighborhood has 2 fiber trunk lines running right past it. I can not even get uverse because Bellsouth was bought out right at the same time. Bellsouth was close to *done* with it and just about to do FTTP right when that buy out happened and they came up with uverse. Why yes I am bitter about it. Bellsouth was miles ahead of everyone else. AT&T screwed them up.

See-Saw, See-Saw (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46816847)

Five years ago, AT&T announced an ambitious plan to roll out FTTC2DSL to millions of americans, and completed about half of that project two years ago.

Last year, the CEO of AT&T declared that AT&T would never again invest one more penny into expanding wireline infrastructure.

Now, they're promising 14B in new investment in both wireline and wireless.

I wish they'd make up their damn minds.

Re:See-Saw, See-Saw (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46817609)

14B in wireless + 0B in wireline = 14B total

Nothing has changed.

Google Smokescreen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46816867)

Like Google isn't doing the same thing. They announce years in advance and do nothing but cherry pick profitable areas. How many actual subscribers are in Google's territory?

Re:cherry pick profitable areas (4, Informative)

DocSavage64109 (799754) | about 5 months ago | (#46817145)

Like Google isn't doing the same thing. They announce years in advance and do nothing but cherry pick profitable areas. How many actual subscribers are in Google's territory?

Sorry, but I live in the hood and have google fiber, and my friends live in an even worse area (near 37th and Prospect) and also have google fiber. They aren't just cherry picking the nice areas.

Google is mostly hype, too (1)

Animats (122034) | about 5 months ago | (#46816871)

Google just has a few demo locations - parts of Kansas City, and parts of Provo, Utah. That's all. They're talking about other cities, but it's just talk. All they've done are a few places where it was easy.

Re:Google is mostly hype, too (1)

Jaysu (952981) | about 5 months ago | (#46816953)

They are currently working on Atlanta. So there's that.

Re:Google is mostly hype, too (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46817279)

and Austin, Texas.

Re:Google is mostly hype, too (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46817529)

They are currently working on Atlanta. So there's that.

They are not "working on" Atlanta. They announced that they "started early discussions...to explore what it would take to bring a new fiber-optic network to " Atlanta, Phonenix, Portland, and a few other cities.

That's not exactly a commitment.

Re:Google is mostly hype, too (2)

Mabonus (185893) | about 5 months ago | (#46817047)

Google is only in a few locations - but the locations they announce they follow through on in a reasonably transparent fashion. They announced KC, then the neighborhoods, then the signups, and now they're connected and committed. They've also expanded into surrounding municipalities not initially included in the announcement. Google may not seriously expand into the ISP business but from where I sit in a connected home it's tough to call it a demo location. Basically, I trust Google's proven history and measured, careful announcements over AT&T's regular press releases stating that they might do something.

Re:Google is mostly hype, too (1)

jeffb (2.718) (1189693) | about 5 months ago | (#46817317)

Yeah, it's worth comparing to Verizon's grand FIOS rollout, too. Nine years ago, I was a Verizon land-line customer in a major metropolitan region, thrilled at the prospect of getting FIOS soon. Five years later, Verizon had sold off their land-line business, and FIOS to anywhere in my state was "not in the foreseeable future". Still not foreseeable, as far as I can tell.

I'm sure they're still making great progress with the anti-municipal-broadband lobbying, though.

Re:Google is mostly hype, too (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46817531)

that's because Verizon basically colluded with Comcast not to compete with them as long as Comcast agreed to stay out of the wireless business. And the feckless US government regulators basically included some meaningless window dressing conditions.

Re:Google is mostly hype, too (1)

jeffb (2.718) (1189693) | about 5 months ago | (#46817715)

Interesting, but this was in North Carolina, Time-Warner country.

Re:Google is mostly hype, too (2)

synapse7 (1075571) | about 5 months ago | (#46817787)

Its not talk, I just saw a speedtest for google fiber, where is a speedtest for ATT fiber?

at&t better be careful (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46816937)

of what they're saying.. being a public company under scrutiny from sec and all...

Att does that (1)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 5 months ago | (#46816979)

Remember when they were going to put a video phone in every house?... this was in the early nineties. They had this big push about the future... how local bar's jukebox would have every song EVER.

Well, it happened. But it happened in spite of them not with their help. They didn't bring it to us.

But they keep pretending like that's what they do... when they don't.

Re:Att does that (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46817085)

You have to remember that AT&T isn't AT&T, it's Southern Bell. SB bought out the old AT&T and adopted their trademark because it wasn't then quite as sullied as their own. (Not that AT&T even then was anything like the company it was back in the day.)

Re:Att does that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46817297)

It wasn't "Southern Bell" (which is a misspelling of the term for a "young woman of the American Deep South's upper class"). The roots of SBC (the company that actually bought AT&T and its trademark) was a merger of several Baby Bells - including Southwestern Bell, Pacific Telesis, SNET and Ameritech. And the reason for adopting the AT&T nomenclature had little to do with whose name was or was not "sullied," but everything to do with competing in a global telecom market that wouldn't even recognize the name of a regional Bell operating company - a fact that the parent commenter demonstrated well by not even knowing who they were.

Re:Att does that (1)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 5 months ago | (#46817783)

... so att isn't att because att was split and parts of it that were split later re-consolidated back into an organization that calls themselves att but you don't consider this company att even though that is its name?

Nevermind that the ads I just posted were from 1993.

Re:Att does that (1)

Thud457 (234763) | about 5 months ago | (#46818285)

Justin Playfair was right. Simple deduction will lead one to the conclusion that Sebastian Moran runs the cable company.

Re:Att does that (3, Interesting)

sjames (1099) | about 5 months ago | (#46817691)

They've been promising that one since the '70s. The closest they ever got was offering ISDN (in limited areas) for an arm and a leg that might one day be capable of carrying video (at 128Kbps max).

The accoustic modem was invented as an end run around them because they refused to allow anything to be connected to the phone line that they didn't approve, and they weren't approving modems. The modem itself was an end run around their refusal to offer data lines.

We've been sneaking the future past their gatekeeper for 50 years.

Re:Att does that (1)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 5 months ago | (#46818667)

Exactly. att is not the future... they're the past.

Burn in Hell AT&T (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46817197)

AT&T sucks. I hope everyone there that makes more than 1,000,000/year contracts Gonorrhea, dies and goes to Hell. Laces out...

Re:Burn in Hell AT&T (1)

mknewman (557587) | about 5 months ago | (#46817513)

+1

I can order "Giga" power... but havent (5, Informative)

_RiZ_ (26333) | about 5 months ago | (#46817201)

I live in Austin and can order "Giga" power currently with a current top speed of 300/300. Its been available in my neighborhood, a recent development in an established area, for a few months, but I haven't ordered. They have a 1TB download cap per month and in the $70.00 variant, they are using deep packet inspection in order to send targeted ads towards you. They have a more expensive option, $99.00 a month + install, where they don't examine your packets, but they have already lost me. I am sure Google will also utilize deep packet inspection and for some reason, I trust them more. I have TWC currently with a 50/5 plan that is supposed to be upgraded this summer with no additional costs. They haven't announced speeds yet but Im guessing they are going to be close in nature. Good to see competition working in the ATX.

Re:I can order "Giga" power... but havent (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46817545)

Gigapower in Austin is severely limited in what areas are available, with no further expansion plans. Absolutely agree it's more of a show then actually delivering a service.

Re:I can order "Giga" power... but havent (1)

crtreece (59298) | about 5 months ago | (#46817567)

Simple answer to their unreasonable inspection of your data, Virtual Private Network. Route your entire connection through a VPN, and let them try their deep packet inspection on that link.

Re:I can order "Giga" power... but havent (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46818017)

Great idea! Outsource the deep packet inspection to the VPN provider.

Re:I can order "Giga" power... but havent (2)

trampel (464001) | about 5 months ago | (#46818643)

Austinite here as well.

What really pissed me off was that the deep packet inspection requirement is very well hidden on their webpage and promotional material. They only mention that the offer comes with "internet options" (!), and it takes you several clicks to discover what this implies.

While $70 + $5 for a VPN service is pretty competitive pricing, I really don't feel like giving them my money.

Re:I can order "Giga" power... but havent (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46819103)

I live in Austin, and AT&T just raised my U-Verse rate by $5 a month. No notice, no note, just the bill is more this time. Fuck you AT&T and hurry the fuck up Google.

ATT installer said... (1)

AmazinglySmooth (1668735) | about 5 months ago | (#46817203)

He said that no one would install new services in a neighborhood that required digging up buried wires. My whole neighborhood has underground utilities, so he suggested that we pay to have fiber installed in our neighborhood and work a deal out with ATT. I don't think we will be getting it any time soon. However, because of Google and ATT here in Austin, TWC has announced (but not yet delivered) 300Mbps service, so competition does seem to be working.

AT&T needs to get their sh!t together (4, Interesting)

scoticus (1303689) | about 5 months ago | (#46817265)

So what if they got fiber to everyone, everywhere? They would still be a nightmare to deal with. Business class is a joke; slow speeds, charging the customer for an onsite visit to fix AT&T problems (assuming they don't just tell you to fix it yourself), about a dozen different phone numbers to pick from and a truly epic automated phone-tree when trying to get support, etc. Home service isn't much better. I had U-verse a couple of years ago when they first rolled it out to my neighborhood. 24mb down, 3mb up. Worked pretty well, except with streaming services. I eventually went back to the cable company (faster and cheaper). Last week, some AT&T sales reps knocked on my door, claiming they had just added new connection to my neighborhood. I asked, "U-verse?" They said yes. I told them I had that a couple of years ago and they looked totally stumped. They were not even aware that U-verse was already well established and that half of my complex already used it. Just for fun, I checked the website to see what upgrades they may have made. LOL, now the max U-verse speed in my neighborhood is *slower* than what I had previously. AT&T can promise whatever they want, but until I can see it, I will absolutely not believe it.

Re:AT&T needs to get their sh!t together (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46818051)

When I had AT&T business class DSL they kept having problems with my modem and every time I would be without internet for 2-3 days until finally they give me a replacement modem (nothing wrong with the brand new modem they just gave me), different brand, different features, different account number, etc. and when that had problems they did it 2 more times, the whole process of giant phone tree, "which account?", "sorry we can't find that account", "do you have u-verse?", "yes u-verse, that's what it says on the bill", "no, you don't have u-verse, you have DSL" (next rep), "do you have u-verse?", "uh...no, I guess it's DSL? but it says u-verse on the bill", (other rep frustrated at how stupid I am) "you have u-verse.", put on hold, new rep, "do you have u-verse?", "yeah I think so, that's what it says on the bill", "no, it's DSL, let me transfer you"... and on and on and on and on....

AT&T full of lies and marketing doublespeak? (1)

ebunga (95613) | about 5 months ago | (#46817427)

Color me shocked.

Teaser (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46817559)

It's all about AT&T teasing communities with gigabit to the premises, in order to get rapid approvals for running fibre that only helps along the backbone. Gigabit to the premises may never happen.

Typical AT&T (3, Funny)

slapout (93640) | about 5 months ago | (#46817591)

Sounds like the way they responded to Verizon. When Verizon started bragging about their 3G coverage, AT&T started running commercials showing their own 2G coverage.

Re:Typical AT&T (1)

macromorgan (2020426) | about 5 months ago | (#46817943)

Not as bad as when Verizon started an LTE rollout and called it 4G (somewhat egregious) then AT&T simply renamed it's HSPA+ network 4G (very egregious) so it looked better when you compared "4G" coverage.

Re:Typical AT&T (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46818499)

It's all relative; HSPA+ and LTE are both major steps up from verizon's 3G service, but either can be and are often very limited in actual speed.

Internet service should be free (1)

Squidlips (1206004) | about 5 months ago | (#46817601)

Why should we have to be paid to be spied on? The Gov is going to spy on us, give us free access. Someday we will all be required to carry Stalin's Dream (cell phones - for our own protection) and we will be required to pay for that also.

Reminds me of IBM's golden screwdriver (1)

bgfay (5362) | about 5 months ago | (#46817777)

I remember reading in _Big Blues_ how IBM mainframes were throttled when first installed. That way, a tech could be sent into the locked room with the golden screwdriver and magically upgrade things to incredible speed. The customers didn't know that they had been using hobbled systems and were happily impressed that the thing was now so much faster. Sounds like the same trick AT&T is trying to pull.

Not all smoke and mirrors (1)

nehumanuscrede (624750) | about 5 months ago | (#46817941)

While AT&T isn't pushing to run fiber to your home, they ARE pushing damned hard to get fiber to the businesses. Very, very hard. In fact, a huge chunk of money is being thrown at this project to have 10,000 plus sites access to Gigabit eth speeds. ( Officially it's known as Project VelocityIP ) Emphasis on BUSINESSES, not consumers.

ALL companies offering bandwidth will always be selective in what markets they deploy into. It isn't profitable to run fiber to neighborhoods where the majority of those living there will never pay for the service being offered. Akin to not seeing very many Ferrari dealerships in blue collar neighborhoods. The customer base just isn't there.

Initially, they will all concentrate on those areas where they can get the biggest bang for their buck.

I'm pretty sure I would decline the service ( even if offered for free ) if it came with the deep packet inspection stipulations intact for targeted advertising.

AT&T fibre is actually slower than copper or H (2)

ConstantineM (965345) | about 5 months ago | (#46818161)

What pisses me most about AT&T U-verse is that they do have FTTU (fibre-to-the-user) / FTTP, but they limit FTTP users to speeds that are lower than what they offer through VDSL through FTTN.

I used to live in San Jose, CA in 2010/2012, in a brand new apartment complex, had AT&T U-verse fibre strand terminated in my bedroom closet with an ONT. The line was FTTP-BPON (622/155 1:32), e.g. 622Mbps down / 155Mbps up, shared with at most 32 users, I checked with the manufacturer of my particular ONT.

But AT&T would only provision me with 18/1.5. They'd offer 24/3 to VDSL users only, supposedly too lazy to update the fibre profiles to offer it to the fibre customers. I researched it, and it was not unique to my building or to California, they were doing it all across the country with every single BPON build. My T-Mobile HSPA+ had higher upload speeds than 1.5Mbps on my top-of-the-line AT&T FTTU through BPON.

Keep in mind that the 622/155 line can only be shared with at most 32 users, and some wouldn't even want the top-of-the-line plans, either, or would not have active service in the first place, so, they're basically wasting their own capacity, and refusing an extra 10$/mo from me. Ping time was sometimes about 3ms to some locations within the Bay Area, but the 1.5Mbps bandwidth was pretty pathetic for a BPON fibre line.

I was so pissed I started a whole web-site dedicated to showing how uncompetitive AT&T internet offerings are compared to the options elsewhere in the country -- http://bmap.su/ [bmap.su] . So happy Google Fiber has finally been announced for San Jose, CA and lots of other markets now! I'm willing to be it'll be some other provider that'll offer broadband to my past place before AT&T will get to their senses and starts using at least the BPON infrastructure that they already have in place.

1 Gigabit/sec is nice, 100 is nicer (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 5 months ago | (#46818559)

Wait until you catch up to the top level research universities of the world.

Three 100 Gigabit/sec ports, and 40 Gigabit/sec campus-wide.

Mind you, not everyone can use that kind of power.

It's like an announcement that you guys have brand new shiny Vespas with 2nd gear and we're supersonic with fat pipes.

(mind you, Vespas are really cool)

I don't understand (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 5 months ago | (#46818741)

Why can't AT&T just buy Google?

Upgrades at a cost (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46819089)

I just got an email from AT&T letting me know my 6 Meg DSL is going up $3.00 a month starting in June. Here's their email message (with annotations):
-----
Dear AT&T High Speed Internet Customer,

We're writing to let you know about a change in price for your AT&T High Speed Internet service. In an effort to continue providing you with the high level of quality, service, and features you've come to expect from AT&T, starting with your June 2014 bill1, the monthly rate for your AT&T High Speed Internet FastAccess® DSL Xtreme 6.0 plan2 will increase from $46.00 to $49.00 per month.3

This change will be automatic. There will be no interruption to your Internet service because of this change, and you will continue to enjoy the same great features, including:
    Up to 11 email accounts with virtually UNLIMITED storage space
    Personalized Home Page
    Instant Messaging
    Parental Controls
    Security tools including the AT&T Internet Security Suite with Anti-Spyware,
        Anti-Virus, and Firewall protection (available free to select speeds)4

Plus, don't forget that access to the entire national AT&T Wi-Fi Hot Spot network is included in your AT&T High Speed Internet plan, so you can stay connected on the go!

And we're always making improvements to offer you even more value, more speed, and more ways to stay connected.

For more details on these changes, please go to att.com/sedslupdate. Or, if you have any questions, please call us at 866.417.6819.

From all of us at AT&T, thank you for your business. We are dedicated to making your Internet experience the best it can be.

Sincerely,

Your AT&T High Speed Internet Customer Care Team

PLEASE DO NOT REPLY TO THIS MESSAGE VIA EMAIL
The address is automated, unattended, and cannot help with questions or requests.

1The amount billed may include prorated charges. Prorated charges occur when your monthly recurring rate is increased during your billing cycle. This means you may be charged for a portion of the month at your current rate and the remainder of the month at your new rate.

2If you are on a current high speed Internet pricing promotion, the promotional benefit will continue until the applicable promotion ends or expires.

3For most customers, price change will be reflected in their first billing period following the automatic price change on June 1, 2014.

4AT&T Internet Security Suite powered by McAfee available at no charge to customers who purchase AT&T High Speed Internet services with downstream speeds of up to 3.0 Mbps or higher. For AT&T High Speed Internet customers who have a service with a maximum downstream speed of up to 1.5 Mbps or lower, the AT&T Internet Security Suite is an optional service for only $5 per month. McAfee and/or other noted McAfee related products contained herein are registered trademarks or trademarks of McAfee, Inc., and/or its affiliates in the US and/or other countries. McAfee Red in connection with security is distinctive of McAfee brand products. Any other non-McAfee related products, registered and/or unregistered trademarks contained herein is only by reference and are the sole property of their respective owners. © 2014 McAfee, Inc. All rights reserved.

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