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AT&T ISP Review & Reader Survey Results

Pricing: 2 ¼ Stars

Unfortunately, our efforts to contact each ISP about their "just for Internet" and "after promotional rate" pricing ended with disappointment. Most websites insist that you input a valid address to determine if they can even provide you with service before revealing what you'll pay, and direct calls/emails to non-sales representatives yielded few results.

However, after much digging (and providing the address of a friend who was in a serviceable region), I found a page buried in AT&T's website detailing the different tiers and individual pricing for all of its Internet plans. Not all of these plans are available everywhere AT&T Internet service is offered. Below are AT&T's complete DSL Internet service offerings, with unbundled pricing and terms:

AT&T DSL PlansSpeedPromotional Rate TermMinimum Contract TermStand-Alone PricePrice to Performance
Express InternetUp to 1.5 Mb/s12 Months12 Months$25/month$16.66 per Mb/s
Pro InternetUp to 3 Mb/s12 Months12 Months$30/month$10 per Mb/s
Elite InternetUp to 6 Mb/s12 Months12 Months$35/month$5.83 per Mb/s
Max InternetUp to 12 Mb/s12 Months12 Months$40/month$3.33 per Mb/s
Max Plus InternetUp to 18 Mb/s12 Months12 Months$45/month$2.50 per Mb/s
Max Turbo InternetUp to 24 Mb/s12 Months12 Months$55/month$2.29 per Mb/s
Power 45 InternetUp to 45 Mb/s12 Months12 Months$65/month$1.44 per Mb/s

Our readers were quick to point out their disappointment in the price-to-performance ratio of AT&T's DSL Internet service, with our survey results showing AT&T with a mediocre 2 ¼ (2.32, actual average) stars on a scale of five stars for pricing, and only 2 ½ stars (2.54) for performance. With only a few dollars separating each plan's modest bandwidth, a standalone bid for monthly Internet service doesn't seem like a great offering.

Derek Forrest is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He writes hardware news and reviews gaming desktops and laptops.
  • jasonelmore
    I wish you guys would do ratings for the Other 3 DSL companies like Windstream and CenturyLink..

    Those 2 companies are the absolute worst broadband companies in the world. All DSL plans in my area are restricted to 1 Mbps because of over selling, and no upgrades are planned to ever increase these speeds.
    Reply
  • Achoo22
    I don't understand why the article states that it's impossible to measure downtime. My modem is pinged a couple of times a minute from multiple locations, all located on major backbones. This data, compiled, gives an excellent real-world representation of overall connection uptime and performance.

    Of course, it's overkill when first-hop pings exceed 300ms with 3% or more packet loss every night from 6PM to midnight or whenever demand goes up. The Windstream DSL service simply isn't engineered to support its users simultaneously.
    Reply
  • cohetedor
    Your pricing unbundled is way off on 6mbps DSL. I'm in MI and have to pay $57 a month. And Uverse starts as slow as 768k, I know because they tried to cut my regular DSL off last January and 768k was the fastest they could offer me.
    Reply
  • Kridian
    16986855 said:
    I'm in MI and have to pay $57 a month. And Uverse starts as slow as 768k, I know because they tried to cut my regular DSL off last January and 768k was the fastest they could offer me.
    Dear lord! My condolences.

    Reply
  • dorsai
    There is no better argument for municipal broadband projects in my opinion...these survey's make one thing clear...unless they are pushed by competition ISP's will not improve their service. Any speed below 15mbps in this day and age does not even qualify to be called "broadband". States should be pushing all of the companies offering anything below 15mbps speeds to upgrade their networks since they are suffering negative economic impacts by allowing the status quo...
    Reply
  • 10tacle
    I participated in this survey last month, so I'm glad to see the results. My two biggest complaints were outages (while relatively quick, still a PITA, especially when gaming online and recording on the DVR) and lower than what my speed should be that I'm paying for. The good news is that my city is one of the markets that will get ATT's gigabit fiber. I had Comcast in my previous home and while it was more expensive and the customer service was horrid, it was also faster for the same price tier and there were next to zero outages.
    Reply
  • dstarr3
    It's strange how this varies so wildly from my experience. I have had ZERO downtime in the past two years, I'm paying for 12mbps and I'm getting 15, and customer service has always been friendly and helpful. My bill went up after a year, and literally all I had to do was call and ask "Can you give me a discount?" and then my price went back down to normal. I'm very satisfied with U-Verse.
    Reply
  • Achoo22
    All DSL plans in my area are restricted to 1 Mbps because of over selling, and no upgrades are planned to ever increase these speeds.
    It's worse here. My neighbor, further from the DSLAM than I am, pays less for 6mb/s than I pay for 1mb/s and because his CO pin is hooked up to a less congested set of tspans than mine, his service is better. Meanwhile, I can't even get them to make a QOS filter setup so that my low-bandwidth, latency sensitive functions (eg, ssh and telnet to work) can function.

    I won't even be able to load bandwidth-heavy webpages (like Amazon, which is about 3MB/24mb per load and will give 404 blank pages if any of the connections stall) to shop from home during Black Friday/Cyber Monday until after midnight.
    Reply
  • Teamchaos
    I had AT&T DSL 18Mb/s for a few years. I never got more than 10-12Mb/s. Eventually I switched to Charter and now I enjoy 100Mb/s bandwidth that consistently exceeds what I'm paying for (typically 102Mb/s). AT&T may be reliable, but it's sloooow. My house is near the end of their line in my neighborhood and I'm sure that was a factor, but still shouldn't have had to pay for more than I received.
    Reply
  • ummduh
    I had the 45Mbps plan here in Napa, CA. I was usually able to get the rated speeds, but VERY often I could not stream anything more than 240 in youtube, and often Netflix wouldn't load in HD. Also, the pings were pretty bad, in the 60-90MS range. (speedtest.net tests) I'm talking literally every weekday after 3pm, and every weekend you couldn't use youtube. Netflix was more hit and miss.

    We ditched cable/tv service all together and switched to comcast 150Mbps service against my own will. Pings in the 10-16MS range (plus speedtests out to 18xMbps regularly), and haven't had any problems with youtube/netflix bufferings or loading in their highest resolutions and bitrates.
    Reply