Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Fat lady singing on AT&T residential landline service; big telco going out with a whimper

New AT&T Plans Guarantee Pricing for 2 Years; Customers Can Save More Than 40% on on TV, Home Internet and Voice | AT&T: Choose DIRECTV You’ll get our DIRECTV SELECT™ All Included package for $50 a month, guaranteed for two years when you add it to an eligible new or existing AT&T service, like wireless or home Internet. The monthly equipment fees for up to four TV receivers are now built into the cost and guaranteed for two years. Taxes are still separate, since those vary based on where you live.

Add in High-Speed Internet and Voice

When you have DIRECTV you can add home Internet service with speeds up to 6 megabits per second for an additional $30 a month. And you’ll get a Wi-Fi gateway included at no extra charge. All guaranteed for two years. Also, when you pay for both services on a single bill you’ll automatically receive unlimited home Internet data – a value worth $30 a month.

The above excerpt from an AT&T news release issued April 11, 2016 shows AT&T retreating from its VDSL-based U-Verse product that offered Internet throughput that could marginally -- with ample data compression -- support video offerings. It's now offloading its video TV programming to DBS via its recent acquisition of DirecTV and dialing back Internet to first generation ADSL with "up to" speed of 6 Mbs (A fine print footnote tamps that down further, noting "Actual speeds are not guaranteed.")

The fat lady is singing. This latest product bundle marks AT&T's final landline offering in the residential premise market. The big telco is going out with a whimper. Legacy class DSL service isn't going to be able to support growing consumer preference for OTT and on demand video delivered via Internet versus TV programming packages offered over AT&T's DirecTV holding. Nor does it even measure up what the U.S. Federal Communications Commission defines as minimum standard Internet service of 25 Mbs. Moreover, AT&T's announced plans in 2015 to deploy fixed "wireless local loop" Internet service to about 13 million residential premises in its service territory not offered landline Internet service appears to have been a head fake, with no reported deployments.

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