AT&T has a long history as a telephone company. Like most telephone companies in the world. The company uses its telephone wire network to deliver internet services to home and businesses across America.
The company dates back to 1877, when the inventor of the telephone, Alexander Graham Bell, set up the Bell Telephone Company. The company dominated the telephone industry across North America and in 1982, it was declared an illegal monopoly and forced to split up. The company had changed its name to AT&T by that date.
The regional divisions of AT&T were made into independent companies. Two of these were the Southwestern Bell company and BellSouth. The Southwestern Bell Company took over the remains of the parent company and changed its name to AT$T. this company took over BellSouth in 2006.
This history explains why AT&T has a very strong presence in the South and the South West of the United States, particularly in Texas and Florida. Through other acquisitions, the company expanded its service area, becoming the world’s largest telecommunications company. After acquiring WarnerMedia, AT&T also became the world’s largest entertainment company.
The company benefits from an extensive twisted wire telephone network and a cell phone infrastructure. AT&T Wireless is able to deliver its internet service to every state, giving it the widest coverage of all internet service providers in the USA. The wired network reaches 21 states. The company also owns satellite TV providers, DirecTV and offers combined internet, TV, landline, and cell phone service packages.
Although AT&T owns a satellite TV company, it doesn’t use that expertise to provide internet via satellite. The company’s internet service is conducted mainly over its wire telephone network and it also offers mobile data plans through its wireless division – it is the largest provider of mobile broadband in the United States.
AT&T’s main transmission method is through its phone network and it is the second largest DSL internet service provider in the country by service area, after EarthLink.
The company has invested heavily in its wire network, installing fiber-optic cable in many parts of the country. It is the second largest fiber internet provider in the country after Verizon.
Rural properties that aren’t able to receive the internet over wires can opt for AT&T’s fixed wireless service, which carries transmissions from the local exchange to the remote home over a directional radio signal.
The table below shows the plans available from AT&T as at October 2019.
|Internet Basic||768 Kbps, 1.5 Mbps, 5 Mbps||$60 per month||$50 for the first 12 months|
|ADSL Internet||10Mbps, 18 Mbps, 25 Mbps, 50 Mbps||$60 per month||$50 for the first 12 months|
|Fiber Internet 100||100 Mbps||$60 per month||$50 for the first 12 months|
|Fiber Internet 300||300 Mbps||$80 per month||$50 for the first 12 months|
|Fiber Internet 1000||1000 Mbps||$100 per month||$70 for the first 24 months|
|Fixed Wireless||Up to 25 Mbps||$70 per month||$60 for the first 12 months|
AT&T has the same price for its Basic, Standard, and Fiber Internet up to speeds of 100 Mbps. Not all plans are available in every area that AT&T covers. The speeds delivered by all plans do not reach the headline speed advertised for each plan all the time in all areas. For example, the Fixed Wireless plan is more likely to deliver a download speed of 10 Mbps and an upload speed of 1 Mbps.
AT&T’s DSL, fiber, and fixed wireless internet services are available all or part of the following states:
AT&T offers a very reliable service, although it doesn’t guarantee the speeds that it claims to offer for each of its service plans. The main complaint that customers raise about the internet service from AT&T is its data cap policy. This means that a customer will be charged extra for going over a specific data usage threshold each month.
Despite the irritation of data caps, the company does well. It has the second highest customer satisfaction rating among all internet providers – Verizon is number one. This is according to the 2019 American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), which shows a rating of 69/100 for AT&T.
The data caps set by AT&T are very high and very few households are likely to breach them. For all of the DSL internet plans, the data cap is at 1 Terabyte (1TB), which is a lot of data. The same data cap exists for the Fiber Internet 100 and Fiber Internet 300 plans. Fiber Internet 1000 has no data cap. With the Fixed Wireless Internet service, the data cap is set at 215 GB.
Customers can opt for an unlimited data service for a fee of $30 per month. The data cap is removed for customers who take out an internet and TV package.
The two big extras that each customer has to pay on any AT&T internet plan are the installation charge and the equipment rental free. On all Basic Internet and DSL Internet plans there is a setup fee of $35 if the customer installs the equipment himself and $99 for a technician to come out and perform the installation. The same charges apply to the Fiber Internet 100 plan. There is no setup fee for Finer Internet 300 and Fiber Internet 1000. Fixed Wireless can only be installed by a technician, which costs $99.
The equipment fee for all plans is $10 per month. This is except for the Fixed Wireless service, which has no equipment fee.
All of the AT&T charges will have tax added to them when you get your bill.
All AT&T plans require a contract. As each plan comes with a discount for the first year, any customer canceling within the first 12 months has to pay an exit fee. This is $15 for each month remaining on the contract.