Known for its high marks in customer satisfaction, and offering affordable broadband speeds, AT&T is proving to be a great choice for many Internet consumers. In this review, we will examine AT&T’s DSL Internet services.
AT&T has proven to be a competitor to contend with in the world of Internet Service Providers. Known for its high marks in customer satisfaction, and offering affordable broadband speeds, AT&T is proving to be a great choice for many Internet consumers. In this review, we will examine AT&T’s DSL Internet services – not to be confused with fiber Internet. While DSL Internet is definitely slower than fiber, it can still compete in the same arena as many of the cable Internet options as far as we are concerned; this brief overview will breakdown why.
Starting at $40 per month
Starting at 300GB
|Speeds||5Mbps – 1GB|
|Extra Fees||Nothing specific|
Customer Satisfaction for AT&T DSL
One major area where AT&T is outshining its competition is in the department of customer satisfaction. AT&T is currently ranked higher in customer satisfaction than all other major cable companies, giving them a leg up on everyone when it comes to happy customers. Each year the American Customer Satisfaction Index, or ACSI, puts out a report ranking all telecommunication providers. According to the 2018 ACSI Telecommunications report, AT&T ranked second place overall in customer satisfaction, only beaten by Verizon Fios. Since Verizon Fios is a fiber Internet provider, not a DSL one like AT&T, they still outrank all other major cable internet providers.
Customer satisfaction is often a weak point for telecommunication companies and ISPs in general, but AT&T seems to have figured out how to keep their customers pleased. While most companies fell in their rankings on the ACSI report last year, AT&T managed to jump their score even higher by an astonishing eight percent! By offering a whopping 1 TB of data allowance, providing numerous bundling options as a way to save money every month, and with decent Internet speeds offered for a fair price, the majority of AT&T customers report they are satisfied with the DSL services AT&T provides.
Internet Speed – How Fast is AT&T DSL
AT&T currently offers DSL Internet plans that range from 50 Mbps to 100 Mbps. This should easily be enough for a three to a four-person household with moderate streaming habits and average Internet usage. DSL, or Digital Subscriber Line, is delivered over phone lines that are already established and installed in your home. Your Internet is transmitted using telephone wires to send data back and forth between your computer and your Internet provider. While the use of phone lines may sound like the old and mostly outmoded dial-up connections, DSL is significantly faster than traditional dial-up and will allow you to use your Internet without disabling your landline.
This type of Internet connection is adequate for many households and small businesses, but it is not for everyone. Because data over DSL is received faster than it is sent, apps such as Skype or online gaming may have trouble over this type of connection. Additionally, the farther away you are from AT&Ts central hub the slower your Internet speed will be. There is more than one type of DSL service, and the type AT&T provides is ADSL or Asymmetric DSL. Asymmetric Internet connections have differing download and upload speeds. The download speeds on ADSL tend to be rather quick, coming in around 24 Mbps, but on this same plan, your upload speed may only be 3 Mbps. This is a major drawback to AT&T’s DSL service and households or businesses who need to connect around 10 or more devices at one time are better off finding a solid fiber or cable Internet provider.
Data – Does AT&T DSL Have Data Caps?
AT&T DSL may not be the fastest Internet option on the market but they sure are working at remaining competitive and generous with their data allowances. While they do not offer an unlimited data plan, with a data cap of 1 TB this amount of data should be adequate for even the heaviest Internet users and streamers. This generous allowance also gives them a leg up on companies like CenturyLink who have data caps of 300 – 600 GB with their Internet plans.
AT&T DSL Bundles
AT&T may be a good option for you if you are looking to save money each month by bundling with other AT&T services. Many AT&T customers are willing to overlook the slower Internet speed for an option to bundle with AT&T’s DIRECTV services. Additionally, they offer a $10 discount on your Internet bill when bundled with monthly TV service. They also offer business and home telephone services, making bundling with AT&T a viable option for many people across the country.
AT&T DSL Availability
One of the issues many people interested in AT&T Internet services run into is a lack of coverage in their area. When examined against other major cable and DSL Internet providers, AT&T has coverage in a much smaller radius than their competitors. AT&T is currently servicing 22 states across the United States, while CenturyLink and Comcast Xfinity service 39 states, and Charter Spectrum service 45 total states. The 22 states where AT&T offers Internet services are largely centered in the Southeast and Southwest. AT&T has been recently boasting they have the largest DSL coverage area in the United States – but bear in mind that is for DSL Internet, whereas many of their competitors service a larger sphere of territories by offering fiber and other Internet options. The highest number of areas serviced by AT&T DSL is currently in California, Texas, and Illinois.
AT&T has been actively working on expanding its fiber Internet service nationwide, stating they will be expanding to nearly 50 cities soon. This expansion of their coverage areas and Internet options is a great leap towards remaining competitive as an ISP, but it may be quite a while before you see AT&T fiber Internet available in your area. Fiber availability not only varies from city to city but even where in your city you are located can affect your area’s coverage. When it comes to fiber Internet, a neighborhood a few miles away may get fiber coverage while yours does not, regardless of a shared zip code. Therefore, if you see AT&T advertising their new fiber Internet in your area ensure you call and confirm coverage to your exact address before making any plans to switch ISPs.
AT&T DSL Cost and Fees
It wouldn’t be fair to claim AT&T’s DSL Internet is cheaper than their competition, but they are not overly expensive either. AT&T offers Internet for an average price, remaining in the same range as most of its competitors. When examining the starting prices for various DSL Internet options AT&T came in at a starting price of $40, beating out CenturyLink that came in around $45 and Spectrum which came in around $50. Comcast Xfinity came in the lowest with a starting price option of only $25. This puts AT&T right in range with most other ISPs when it comes to cost analysis for monthly Internet service.
One area where AT&T is missing the mark a bit in fees. There is nothing worse than calling a new ISP and getting a quote on switching services only to be hit with a bunch of surprise fees at the very end of your call. Many Internet providers are combating this and competing by offering things such as waived activation fees, free installation, and no early termination fees. However, AT&T seems to still have a variety of fees for their DSL Internet service; when looking into AT&T’s services we came across the following fees:
- Prorated Early Termination Fee: $180
- Equipment Non-Return Fee: Full price of equipment (around $100-$150)
- Professional Installation Fee: Up to $99
- Activation Fee: $35
The Bottom Line
AT&T seems to be working hard to provide a decent Internet for a fair price while putting emphasis on good customer service. Their services are not available everywhere, but they are working towards faster Internet speeds and wider coverage areas. Their 1 TB of data allowance and their bundling options make them a great option for many households, but they aren’t a good option for everyone. If you are an online gamer or will often have multiple devices and people streaming data at the same time, the AT&T DSL Internet service will be too slow for your needs.