AT&T offering ultra-cheap broadband, temporarily

By Justin Mann on February 3, 2006, 12:56 PM
Less than a decade ago, it was common to see an ISP offering prices as high as $29/month for a puny dial-up connection. These days, dial-up is considered “budget” Internet and is often in the $9-20 range. To some, that's fine, because the higher-cost alternatives of DSL, Cable, Wireless and others are just too expensive to consider. Not anymore, apparently. Although the offer only lasts one year, AT&T is offering DSL lines at 1.5Mbp/s for $12.99/month, a price tag that is lower than most dial-up providers and leagues lower than other broadband providers. A doubling of the line speed is offered for $17.99, making it perhaps the lowest cost-per-megabit broadband out there. There's a few catches, of course, as there always is. Like most DSL providers, they also require you to have home phone service through them, and after a year the DSL price changes to $29.99, more in-line with other providers.

Regardless of the nuances that come along with a year's worth of cheap service, it is an example of significantly changing cost structures in Internet access today. The cost of broadband is dropping, and the overhead involved with dial-up is becoming more of a headache for both users and ISPs. Perhaps in another decade we will see the death of dial-up. It wouldn't be a sad passing, either, for no one deserves 56k.

User Comments: 21

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seanp789 said:
You know what they call this? FEAR
DragonMaster said:
Here we've got CoopTel that offers 512kbps for 15$ per month. You don't need to have their phone service even if they offer it.
JMMD said:
Nice to see someone actually providing access for a decent price. Verizon is pretty reasonable with their FIOS service. I'd like to see more companies offering a lot of tiers of service.Then there's Comcast they just keep raising their prices.
sngx1275 said:
Mine is like $36 for 1.5 Down and 384 up, but I have phone through them too, and a bunch of other crap that had to be tacked on with the phone. I hardly ever use my phone, and the bill still is around $100 a month with all that crap combined. Its insane. 1 year contract too, with penalty for breaking it.Sad thing is it was 3x faster internet for the same price as I could have got through cable at the time. Now cable is a lot faster here and only marginally more expensive. This town sucks for high speed internet, all you guys in the big cities don't know how good you have it, even if you have Comcast.This whole thing of cheap internet is great in a way, but I'd rather see them developing technologies to allow rural people to get broadband. Unless my parents go the satellite route, they won't see broadband unless something new is developed, or they move. (Live 6 miles out of a town of 2200 people).
djleyo said:
well it sounds good but in the logn term you end up paying more im sure this is one of thos deals where you get 1.5mbps for 12.99 only for 3months then you pay 20 +dllsverizon has a similar deal where you get 768kbps for 14.99and 19.99 for 1.5mbps
JMMD said:
The article says the price is good for a year and only for new subscribers. Better than what the cable cos. offer.
Need_a_Dell said:
This sounds great! Maybe this will scare the big boys into lowering the cost of their services as well! This could very well benefit everybody who is a part of the internet community! Fingers crossed the other ISPs catch on to the trend and realize that they've been ripping us off for quite a while now!
crossfire851 said:
Changes like this will revolutionize the world as we know it. This will grab many DUs attention to switch to a high speed connection, as it targeting them.
MonkeyMan said:
Well I would consider this as a deal, but it is only temporary which means you are not really getting a deal lol. I think DSL should be a little cheaper. I know DSL is a really fast connection, but they should think about the pain that they are causing us you know. Well, its a great idea, but I guess only time will tell the tale to this story.
otmakus said:
U guys should be happy with any broadband connection u got. I've yet found any country with more expensive DSL connection than mine.Where I live, 384kbps down 64 kbps up unlimited DSL connection costs about US$450/month. And u have to pay for their phone service too, since there is only 1 phone/DSL company in the country.There is far cheaper DSL connection, at $38/month, but u only get 500MB traffic (up and down), and they charge about 15 cent for any extra MB.
gamingmage said:
Wow, all the ISPs are offering cheaper services, sooner or later they're going to come out with faster serivices and the price of DSL and other high speed connections will go down just like dial-up.
Masque said:
Competition.....competition......competition. It can only be a good thing. The only problem is the reach is spotty. Cable cos. don't scare that easily unless their reach is mirrored by another company that's considerably cheaper. They won't lower prices across the board or the states....only in the "offending" areas. We need to see a large, wholesale company to fair prices. The current crop doesn't meet that requirement.
Canadian said:
This sounds way better than shaw. :(I dont think Dial up should disapear, simply because there are people out there, my grandmother is one, who can ONLY get Dial up, and its good enough for her.
Vaulden said:
Not the best deal out there (since it does have some catches), but it is nice to see broadband getting cheaper. It'll be nice when New Mexico's infrastructure gets a little more advanced. It would be nice to have a few more options here.
Race said:
Broadband means big revenue for providers, with dial-up becoming less and less cost effective.For some time now, we're been seeing practically all ISP's offering these great promotional rates, to draw in new customers, and to get people to switch. AT&T's deal is typical.I'm not pushing any particular ISP, but as an example of just how far they will go, this is the deal I recieved through Comcast: (otmakus....stop reading here! ;)A 6 mg down/384 kb up connection, with a free modem, free start-up kit, $100 in gift cards from Best Buy, $19.99 for the first 6 months, the next 6 months @ $29.99, before it returns to the normal rate of $42.99 a month...... and the 6 mg connection gets you, for instance, the 577 mg TimeShift game demo in 15 minutes.The competition between ISP's is fierce because once they reel you in, statistics show you're going to stay with them since no one wants to go to the trouble of changing email addresses, etc.I do hope that broadband will improve in rural areas soon. Perhaps they can do something here in the States that's similar to what they've acommplished in Ireland ( a recent news piece here on TechSpot), blanket coverage for the entire country. You would think that if Ireland can do it, they should be able to get it done here.[Edited by Race on 2006-02-04 16:39:10]
cyrax said:
This is definately a sign of either prices going down....or higher speed internet access coming soon.
otmakus said:
I forgot to mention this: along with the $450/mo 384/64 DSL connection, which is regularly down a few hours per month (or even days, it happened before), u have to buy ur own modem, no price cuts whatsoever, and even then, u may have to wait for months to be connected if the region's quota is full. And DSL is only available in a handful of cities in the entire country, the rest of us have no other option but dial up.
DragonMaster said:
[quote]Mine is like $36 for 1.5 Down and 384 up, but I have phone through them too, and a bunch of other crap that had to be tacked on with the phone.[/quote]My ISP is VIF Internet with 29$CAD 3mbps/800kbps DSL with unlimited up/download. That's the normal price. How do they do that? You buy the modem(Or rent it for free if you pay the year in one shot) and there's no special for the first 3 months or anything like that. They've got great tech support and you don't get stuck in an answering machine for 5 minutes, you just press "0" after the ISP's number. No other ISPs can compete with them. There is only ONE which is cheaper and that's because they have a little 5gb download max. Cable ISPs here cost min. 35$(And an other 10$ if you don't have cable TV). If we put the total for phone, cell phone and Internet, it's a bit less than 100$ per month.
Agent_J said:
You guys are lucky you live in the USA. With our limited competition in Canada, our broadband prices only increase every few years :(
deadlyerror said:
Well I think that you guys just have to move to sweden:A company over here offers 100Mbit/s up and 10Mbit/s down for 320 skr/month (~40 usd) 495 skr (~60 usd) for the start up and a modem. A you can download/upload as much as you like and you donīt have to use their phone but if you use it you save nearly 150 usd/year compare to the normal telephone companies.But of course sweden is only a tiny country if you compares to the USA.
deadlyerror said:
Sorry for my last message itīs: 100Mbit/download and 10Mbit/s upload.:)
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