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Trapped With AT&T DSL and Don’t Want Usage Caps? Consider Business Class Service

Phillip Dampier April 25, 2011 AT&T, Competition, Consumer News, Data Caps, Rural Broadband 8 Comments

While many AT&T residential customers continue their exodus from the company’s forthcoming Internet Overcharging scheme, there are many rural Americans who have just one choice for broadband service — AT&T DSL.  For them, escaping usage caps is not as easy as calling the local cable company and arranging for new service.

While consumers continue to register their displeasure with AT&T over capping Internet usage at 150GB for DSL or 250GB for U-verse, there appears to be a way to get away from the usage limits while still maintaining your AT&T DSL service — switch to a usage-cap-free business account.

AT&T sells business broadband service to at-home, small, and medium-sized businesses at a substantial discount for the first year — $30 a month for up to 6Mbps.  A one year term commitment is required, but that likely won’t present any problems for customers who don’t have any other option for service.  With an AT&T modem/router already in place, making the change should just require a phone call to AT&T.

The company may offer different pricing and service plans depending on the region where you obtain service.  Former BellSouth customers may get different promotions than former Ameritech customers do.  We also found a few customers who still were able to access AT&T’s “usage measurement tool” on their business accounts, but business customers have not been notified usage caps apply to them, and we suspect that will continue to be the case.  AT&T promotes business class service at $25-30 a month in one offer we found, and service was even available to those who don’t want a business phone line.

After the first year, rates increase substantially, but we’re hopeful AT&T will learn the error of their ways and rescind their unjustified usage limits before the year is up.

Thanks to Wayne in Madison, Wisconsin for capturing these screen shots from AT&T's website.

If you are going to switch to AT&T’s business class service, share your experiences in our comment section to help other readers.



Currently there are 8 comments on this Article:

  1. Brad says:

    AT&T is happy to charge me $95/mo for uncapped 24/3 U-Verse business class rather than the same exact speed for $65/mo. If you are going to go over by 3 data fines in a month consistently then I guess it is a good deal.

    Since we are out of contract and there is no disconnect fee for TimeWarner’s Wideband, we are going to give the 30/5mbps for $53 a month a try.

    Anyone have any feedback on this “Wideband”? I would hate to shoot myself in the foot and end up getting 20/.5mbps for it being coax.

    Our business has already signed our contract for DIA 5mbps fiber and will be moving our T1 and land line phones away from AT&T. When I was informing them that we will be leaving AT&T I expressed my displeasure in their data caps.

    They said and I quote, “People are using things like streaming music and movies and that is not what the internet was intended to be used for.” I was shocked really haha but I continued on saying that if their excuse for data caps was because a small percentage “%2” are causing congestion that we simply could not rely on their network if it is being bogged down by %2 of its users.

    • Tim says:

      Had 24/3 Uverse Residential service and went to Roadrunner Wideband 30/5. So far it is superior to 24/3 Uverse in a lot of ways. Apparently Time Warner throws in a TCP overhead buffer unlike Uverse 24/3. When I had Uverse, I had consistent speeds 1.5Mb/s less than 24Mb/s. Upstream Uverse though was spot on 3Mb/s all the time. Speed tests on RR 30/5 Wideband are usually 30+Mb/s all the time and 5+Mb/s upstream, with some being 31Mb/s+ down. When I download from Usenet and the TCP overhead isn’t factored in, I get 33+Mb/s down or 4.1MB/s consistently. Latency seems to be better especially when gaming with RR 30/5. If you factor in all that I said and the fact that it is $10/month cheaper than Uverse’s 24/3 and no caps, you can’t beat it.

      The only gripe I have about RR 30/5 are the modems they give you. They are a pain in the butt if you want to utilize FTP or something similar in service. I disabled the Firewall and IP Flood Detection because that slows down webpages to a crawl, almost like the dial-up days. Another thing I noticed when they installed the modem, is the tech installed my cat 5 on port 4 of the modem. I could not get my FTP to work on port 4, port forwarding nor DMZ. I had to use port 1. Bridge mode only works in port 1 too.

      Anyway other than that, I am happy so far.

    • Wow, that’s ripoff pricing, Brad. I think Road Runner is the way to go. It looks like AT&T is much more aggressively pricing their DSL service over U-verse. Our piece was primarily targeting those customers trapped with AT&T DSL and no other options.

      As for “wideband,” that is DOCSIS 3 service from Road Runner — it bonds multiple data channels together to deliver faster service. It is a relatively new product in many areas, and there have been bugs. But DOCSIS 3 is a win-win upgrade for them and us. It alleviates congestion issues and allows for much faster speed tiers. Where fiber optics don’t go, cable broadband will remain the best choice for speed for the indefinite future.

      AT&T reps are clueless. It reminds me of the Best Buy guy who told me my defective iPod was not supposed to be taken out on power walks because it will damage the hard drive. Wow… who knew. 🙂

      • Brad says:

        Oh yes it is! Not as bad ad $675 for 5/5mbps DIA Fiber though hah! TWC scares me. I first though that I would go the business class route but I should test the waters at the very least. AT&T told me that if I was going to switch to BC that they would have to swap my modem out anyhow so I will just cancel it after the cap is in place for better affect.

  2. Brad says:

    Ah that is good to hear. I was hoping to get the 50/5 wideband but for the extra 40 dollars I will just get the 30/5. We need to have a stable connection so resetting the modem often or slowing down from the rest of the neighborhood swamping out the lines will be a huge letdown for us.

  3. Ron Dafoe says:

    Yes – everything you do that uses your internet connection. There a lot of stuff that automatically uses your connection when it you are connected to the internet. Most broadband internet, when you computer is on, your connected to the internet.

    Web Browsing
    Sending and receving e-mail
    anti-virus/malware updates (usually everyday can be 50 – 100 mb everyday!)
    OS updates
    software updates (kodak, hp, java, etc all check for updates)

    and there are ALOT more things – those are just an example of what you may not think about as using your cap.

  4. Shane says:

    So does this still work? If so how do you do it?

    I seems they require business information on the online order form,

    They require Company Name.

    Also “To determine service eligibility and complete your order, will will initiate a credit check or use your existing credit information on file with AT&T companies.”

    Then you need to provide a Real Yellow Pages Listing

    Listing Business Name:
    Listing Catergory:
    Listing Address:

    Jeez… So is there an easier way? Order over the phone? Does the 6mps plan still not have a cap? If someone could help me out I’d really appreciate it. AT&T DSL is the only plan around here. Now with these caps I’m having issues.

  5. Jacob Squimley says:

    Just an update for anyone thinking of switching to Business DSL. AT&T must have had a significant number of people switching to business DSL to get around the caps, and they are no imposing caps on Small Businesses with a ten dollar monthly price increase.

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