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AT&T U-verse 45Mbps Speed Upgrades Are Hit or Miss (Mostly Miss)

Phillip Dampier October 16, 2013 AT&T, Broadband Speed, Competition, Consumer News, Editorial & Site News No Comments

att-vip2AT&T U-verse customers hoping for speeds faster than 24Mbps may have significant hurdles to overcome to qualify for a speed boost up to 45Mbps.

AT&T realized they were at a disadvantage in the broadband speed race as their biggest competitors — cable operators — began transitioning to DOCSIS 3 technology and launched speed upgrades to 100Mbps or more for broadband customers seeking a faster online experience. In November 2012, AT&T announced Project VIP — an investment plan to expand and enhance AT&T’s U-verse service to approximately 57 million customer locations by the end of 2015. AT&T claims it has already upgraded 1.8 million U-verse broadband customer locations, including 500,000 U-verse video locations. As part of the upgrade, AT&T promises up to 100Mbps speeds in the future.

But customers are finding just getting 45Mbps more difficult than they first imagined. A report published by Broadband Reports explains why.

The new 45/6Mbps ‘Power Tier’ requires VDSL2 pair bonding, a technology used to increase the available bandwidth to a customer’s premise. Customers who can now purchase the Max Turbo (24Mbps) tier are the most likely to get manually qualified for 45Mbps service. It’s pot luck for almost everyone else.

Among those not qualifying are most customers in apartments, duplexes, townhouses, those served with ADSL2+ or xPON connections, or through network extenders like DSLAMs. AT&T’s website may offer availability information that suggests faster service might be available, until a technician arrives to explain it is not because the line length or copper quality between your home and AT&T disqualifies you.

With AT&T still dependent on its aging copper wire facilities, service variability will remain a fact of life and until fiber replaces more copper. AT&T customers should expect many of the company’s U-verse speed claims to be possible, not probable.

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