Tag: DSL

AT&T Just Screwed Over DSL Customers and Rural America

Illustration for article titled ATT Just Screwed Over DSL Customers and Rural America

Photo: Alastair Pike/AFP (Getty Images)

As of Oct. 1, AT&T has stopped offering DSL as a new service, according to USA Today. Existing DSL subscribers, who connect to the internet via copper phone lines, will be grandfathered in. DSL is definitely old technology, but many people, especially in rural areas, still rely on it for internet access. Internet service providers have mostly focused on expanding cable broadband and fiber networks in wealthy metropolitan and suburban areas. Basically, if you don’t already have DSL service and you need to connect to the internet, you may be completely out of options.

AT&T has seen the number of DSL subscribers slowly decrease over the years. The telecom reported 653,000 total DSL connections at the end of the second quarter of 2020, compared to nearly 14.5 million fiber customers, USA Today noted. That low DSL subscriber number is not surprising

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AT&T kills DSL, leaves tens of millions of homes without fiber Internet

A snail resting on a computer mouse, to illustrate slow Internet service.

Getty IMages | Synergee

AT&T has deployed fiber-to-the-home Internet to less than 30 percent of the households in its 21-state territory, according to a new report that says AT&T has targeted wealthy, non-rural areas in its fiber upgrades.

The report, co-written by an AT&T workers union and an advocacy group, is timely, being issued just a few days after AT&T confirmed it will stop connecting new customers to its aging DSL network. That does not mean customers in DSL areas will get fiber, because AT&T last year said it was mostly done expanding its fiber service. AT&T said at the time that it would only expand fiber incrementally, in areas where it makes financial sense for AT&T to do so. We’ll provide more detail on the DSL cutoff later in this article—in short, the fiber/copper hybrid known as AT&T Internet is still offered to new customers, but the slower product

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Old TV set interfered with village’s DSL Internet each day for 18 months

An old television set displaying static.
Enlarge / An old television set.

Getty Images | Jeffrey Coolidge

A 400-resident village in Wales suffered 18 months of DSL Internet outages each morning until the culprit was identified as electrical interference from an old TV set.

The residents of Aberhosan mysteriously experienced the outages each morning at 7am. Openreach, a BT subsidiary that provides Internet service in the UK, replaced old cables in the village in an attempt to stop the outages.

“Unfortunately, this didn’t resolve the problems and so they began sleuthing for electromagnetic interference with the aid of a spectrum analyzer,” according to an article in ISPreview today. The article has a lengthy quote from Openreach engineer Michael Jones, who said, “Not being able to solve the fault for our customers left us feeling frustrated and downbeat, but we were determined to get to the bottom it.” Jones explained what happened next:

Having exhausted all other

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