AT&T has its headquarters in Dallas and it dominates the internet market in its home town. While AT&T is king in the DSL and fiber internet markets, Charter Spectrum has a complete monopoly as a cable TV provider. There are no other cable TV services in Dallas and so no other cable internet providers. If you are looking for Grande, Cable One, Suddenlink, or Xfinity by Comcast in Dallas, your search will be fruitless.
Although Dallas is one of the most important cities in the USA, large areas of the city have suburban and rural aspects. Dallas is not as tightly packed as the other great metropolises of America. There are even total gaps in the urban sprawl and these areas find it difficult to get internet connections with the traditional wired internet methods of DSL, cable, and fiber internet. So, there are a couple of wireless internet connection types that get opportunities in Dallas. These are fixed wireless internet and satellite internet.
Fixed wireless is part cable and part wireless. This is a financially viable solution to the high cost of running cables to the door of each customer. Distances can be covered by one high capacity cable that channels the internet traffic of many customers. However, at some point, individual cables need to connect that “trunk” cable through to each customer. Those individual cable internet connections really rack up the costs.
By replacing the last hop from the local exchange to each customer, fixed wireless internet systems cut out those high cost links and make decent internet speeds affordable. Fixed wireless transmitters are not the same as the wi-fi systems than operate in homes. A wi-fi rout transmits a signal in every direction, like an invisible ball. A fixed wireless internet transmitter beams its signal in one direction. So, the transmitter, which is also a receiver at the local exchange directs its signal beam to a receiver on a customer’s house.
That home receiver has to have a line of sight to the neighborhood transmitter. So, it needs to be on the outside of the house, facing the area transmitter, however, it can be up to 12 miles away from the tower. Any trees or buildings between the two transmitters will block the signal.
Lateral obstructions might make it difficult for a property to get an internet service. These locations only have one option: satellite internet. The satellite system requires the property to have a transceiver (transmitter/receiver) dish. That dish must have a line of sight to the internet service provider’s satellite up in a geostationary orbit 22,300 miles above the surface of the earth. The satellite doesn’t process the internet signals that it receives from customers, it just bounces them back down to earth where they are collected by the transceiver of the internet service provider (ISP). For there, those signal switch over to cable and go through the ISP’s access point onto the internet.
There are only two major satellite internet providers in the USA: HughesNet and Viasat. Both of these ISPs offer internet connections in Dallas. The fixed wireless market is well supplied. The leading ISP in this internet connection type is Rise Broadband. Other fixed wireless providers operating in Dallas are Nextlink, GHz Wireless, AMG Technology, and TierOne Networks.
AT&T Fiber offers the best internet service in Dallas. AT&T offers a very comprehensive service and high quality internet connections. According to the American Customer Satisfaction Index, AT&T’s customers are happy with their internet provider. In fact, the ACSI rating of AT&T is one of the highest of all ISPs in the USA.
The AT&T Fiber internet service offers the fastest speed available in Dallas to more homes than its equally fast rival EarthLink Fiber. There are very few other fiber internet providers in Dallas. Frontier has a fiber-optic network and serves residential clients in one zip code in Dallas (75243) but isn’t able to get Gigabit speeds there. Frontier operates a DSL service in Dallas and its Frontier Fios division is not active in the city. In 2016, Google Fiber announced that it was exploring opportunities to begin a fiber internet service in Dallas. However, shortly afterward, difficulties at Google Fiber forced the company to abandon all plans to expand its high-speed internet service into new cities and the Dallas plan was shelved.
Not everywhere in Dallas has access to fiber internet. In these locations, the best internet providers to look at are Charter Spectrum internet, the only cable internet provider in the city, and the DSL services of AT&T IPBB and EarthLink. Both AT&T Fiber and AT&T IPBB imposes a data cap on all of its plans. This is 1 terabyte (1TB) per month, which is more than any household could ever actually use. However, EarthLink, Frontier, and Charter Spectrum do not impose data caps. That’s a lot of data and very few households will ever hit that threshold.
Charter Spectrum is the best internet provider in the cable internet category. For just about all of the Dallas area, there is no other cable TV service available, so, Spectrum internet is the only option.
Charter Spectrum is able to deliver up to 1 Gbps in many areas of the country but only has one internet plan in Dallas, which offers a download speed of 200 Mbps. This service can be bundled with TV and/or a telephone service.
Subscribers to the Spectrum internet residential service get free access to the company’s network of wi-fi hotspots. The wi-fi hotspots are distributed across the United States, including Dallas and they are located in public places. This gets Spectrum internet customers free access to the internet from their mobile devices when they are out of the house.
AT&T Fiber is a good option for home-based business activities. Its telephone service can be added on to any of its plans at a price of $20 per month. The Gigabit plan gets the telephone extra for just $10 per month.
The Charter Spectrum telephone system can’t be taken out individually. It is called Spectrum Voice and it is available as an add-on to the 200 Mbps internet plan. This addition costs $9.99 per month. If your business takes you out of the home frequently, you would certainly benefit from the Spectrum wi-fi hotspot network, which is free to use for residential internet subscribers.
If you do work from home, don’t tell your chosen ISP about your business activities when you sign up for an internet service. Internet providers charge more to business users than they do to residential customers for the same service.
AT&T owns DirecTV. However, the company doesn’t offer a bundle of either its DSL or fiber internet service with that TV system. Instead, both AT&T Fiber and AT&T IPBB offer a TV system called U-verse. This is delivered over the internet and so is ideal for an internet and TV bundle.
The U-verse system is just like a standard cable TV system. The company offers packages with different quantities of TV channels and it also enables the buyer to add in subscriptions to premium streaming services, such as Netflix or HBO. The channels get onto the home TV through a set-top box. The U-verse system is available in four packages that have 180, 370, and 485 channels. You also pay for each set top box. The TV package can be added on to any internet package that the AT&T divisions offer.
Although the AT&T packages are very appealing, with the cost of the set top box, the price of the cheapest U-verse package is higher than the total bundle price of internet and TV from Charter Spectrum. The Charter Spectrum internet and TV bundles are the only serious competition to AT&T’s offers in the Dallas area. Charter Spectrums TV packages include 125, 130, and 175 channels. Although Charter Spectrum only offers an internet-only plan with a download speed of 200 Mbps, it offers a 400 Mbps plan that is only available as part of an internet and TV bundle.
EarthLink doesn’t offer either TV or telephone services, so in the Dallas area, your only options for these extra services are with AT&T and Charter Spectrum.
Getting a new internet connection into an apartment can be a problem. Building managers don’t want to see cables running up the outside of the building or around common areas. To address this problem, many apartment complexes do deals with ISPs. They give one internet service provider exclusive access to the building. Either the building fits cables to all apartments and then connects those to an exchange outside, or the authorized internet provider fits the cables.
Another advantage of these deal doe internet services that some apartment building managers create is that they attract big discounts. Selling to a building full of customers cuts many of the sales costs of the ISP. Billing one organization for multiple accounts also reduces invoicing and account management costs.
The subscription to the internet service will either be included in the rent or charged on by the apartment complex management company. If this situation occurs at your apartment complex, you probably won’t be allowed to take the internet from any service other than the authorized internet provider.
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