I have had AT&T for about a year and a half now and about 3 months ago I have noticed that from about 6 PM on my ping fluctuates from about 60 to a maximum of 700. This is consistent everyday, like I wake up at 8 AM and its fine, and when it gets to 6 my ping starts going crazy and my download speeds drop a ton.
I am supposed to be getting 12 Mbps, which I do in the mornings and afternoons, but in the evenings I read at 5 Mbps and lower.
I want to know what is causing this, because it is affecting my gaming a ton. I cannot play any servers in CS:S because of the terrible ping.
If it helps, I live in Florida and the servers I play on CS:S are located in Dallas, TX. When I play there I average 80 ping at normal times.
It sounds like typical network congestion. During the day people are at work so you get good pings. At night people are home watching videos and gaming.
Also, if you are on cable internet, your bandwidth is shared by other neighbors that may be on the same node as you. The more people that get online, the worse the congestion, resulting in higher ping. If it's severe, you can contact your ISP. They may be able to help, but it's unlikely.
What kind of service is AT&T giving you? Is it DSL? If so, DSL is not a shared connection like cable is. You will still have more people using the internet in the evening/night (confestion), but your line will not be shared so the swing in ping rates shouldn't be as bad.
If you have logged a history of your dates, times, and ping and submit it to AT&T, they may be able to provide some insight.
I don't know what kind of service it is, but if it helps I'm on AT&T U-verse.
I have tried multiple times to contact AT&T, and they always ask me to send in technicians. I have had 5 technicians come over week after week trying to solve the problem. The last technician was one of those outside technicians that look at the network box. Every technician has said that my line quality was perfect and there was nothing wrong with it, my modem has been replaced 3 times, inside wiring re-done also.
Well, if AT&T checked things out, then the most likely problem is normal network congestion. The sites you are trying to get to are being accessed by more people in the evenings so it takes longer to get a response. If you are gaming online, try a different server, preferrably one that is located geographically closer to you as distance does effect ping.