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Millions of Internet users are paying high prices for slow connections

By Shawn Knight · 29 replies
Aug 8, 2018
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  1. Millions of Internet users in rural and underserved markets are paying out the wazoo for access to dated technology that delivery comparatively slow connection speeds.

    According to a recent study from the National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA), AT&T and Verizon in recent years have eliminated their cheaper rate tiers for low and mid-speed Internet access (except at the very slowest levels). As a result, each company now basically charges the same price – around $63 to $65 per month – for connections at almost any speed up to 100/100 Mbps fiber.

    * Internet rate for Verizon is first-year promotional rate + $5.

    ** Verizon ADSL service requires separate landline phone service. Chart shows lowest available monthly rate for home landline phone service in New York State.

    The practice, dubbed tier flattening by NDIA, has serious implications as it relates to community digital inclusion efforts. The organization says $65 a month for any kind of Internet access, fast or slow, is not sustainable for low-income residents served by most of its affiliated programs.

    In short, the non-profit says slower ADSL speeds should be providing a cheaper alternative, especially given that capital investment by AT&T and Verizon in their legacy ADSL networks over the past 10 years has been minimal.

    AT&T provided the following statement to Motherboard regarding the report:

    “Attempting to assess internet service offerings by only looking at standard rates does not give a complete picture; the internet service market is more competitive than ever and most customers make their purchases at bundled and discounted rates.”

    How much do you pay for monthly Internet service and what sort of speeds are you getting?

    Permalink to story.

    Karen Castro likes this.
  2. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,993   +2,290

    That quote from AT&T is a typical marketing nothing statement by my standards. More competitive than ever. Yeah, right, in some areas, probably most of the areas they serve. In other areas, I bet that they have a monopoly just like other ISPs in other areas. And this justifies them providing what are essentially garbage speeds in some areas for the same rate that they charge for 100MBit fiber?

    In my area, I can get DSL - with a rate of 500kbits/s because the switch my home is wired to is 30,000 ft away or Spectcrumb and that is it for wired services. Obviously, the DSL is no competition for Spectcrumb, and it would be no different if AT&T was the competition instead of Spectcrumb.
    psycros likes this.
  3. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 2,715   +2,514

    As long as the US government continues to subsidize gigantic telecom companies and rubber-stamp their monopolistic practices nothing will change. AT&T, Verizon and Comcast spend untold millions annually to prevent any new competitor from building their own infrastructure. They even do this in areas that they have no intention of ever serving. That's how insanely anti-competitive these scumbags are - they would rather Americans have *no* service if it means getting it from a different provider. AT&T has stopped dozens of municipalities across the US from setting up their own ISPs. Buying off what little net neutrality existed was their ultimate victory and we're already reaping the bitter fruits of that defeat in the form of dramatically increased prices, fewer choices and mass consolidation of content creators and distribution networks. All signs point to things getting a lot worse before they can get better.
  4. Ken Russ

    Ken Russ TS Rookie

    I'm not using DSL, but we pay $60 for 50Mb/s Down, 5Mb/s Up.
  5. LiquidGamer007

    LiquidGamer007 TS Rookie

    At&t has a lock on my area so, they can provide slow service calling it DSL without any competition at what ever price they deem fit.
    Example: At&t is suppose to be providing me with 6mbs of speed but most of the time it runs a little over 4mbs and they call this DSL high speed internet which is bs.
    Didn't the FCC change the definition of high speed internet from 6mbs to 25mbs? At least that's what I thought I read somewhere but At&t still advertises 6mbs of speed as high speed DSL service.
    What can I do? They have my area locked so, there is no competition for them to compete with.
  6. Suisam

    Suisam TS Member

    HA.... you people should try using the internet in Australia...... its like using a 56k modem with sleep apnoea and a Valium addiction...
    wiyosaya and avioza like this.
  7. Duke9192

    Duke9192 TS Enthusiast Posts: 20   +26

    So you think these prices are the result of the defeat of nn? I've been paying 35 dollars a month for 10mb for like 15 years, no change. I want spectrum gigabit but their fiber stops 1500 feet down the road at a sub division. They gave me a quote to a few months ago of 12 grand to run it to my house. The reality is you can't force the company to run fiber all over the place when it's not profitable. If you did, then what would that do to everyone's monthly bill? Would the government subsidize the 100s of millions of dollars worth of fiber ran down every partially developed rural road? You don't know the true costs associated with providing tech support, field techs, maintenance, etc etc. And neither do I. The age of the tech may be the most negligible aspect of the monthly price. It may be cheaper to maintain fiber. Nothing changed with nn, and nothing changed after it.
    LeoLancaster and Karen Castro like this.
  8. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,966   +1,230

    If wireless could be used to pick up the areas where it is too expensive to run fiber, it could help.
    When I hear people complain about the high price of DSL, then you find out they are 20 miles or
    more from even a SMALL town, you have to think, are you serious? You want company XXX to
    run a cable to your house, just so you can have high speed?
    Yeah it would be nice, but it's TOO expensive to run that stuff for just a few people.
  9. Karen Castro

    Karen Castro TS Rookie

    I used to have Verizon but it was so slow that I couldn't download anything to my playlist. So I got TWC that joined with Comcast. I'm fortunate to vet a great speed at @105mps average but I pay $65 a month. It's difficult since I'm on a fixed income. The only other internet option where I live is Verizon so sadly I'm stuck. And Verizon has the nerve to say they have fast DSL! It's a shame that the big companies have such a stronghold around the country. They charge whatever they want & customers are left paying either paying or not having any internet at all.
  10. Shotgunnner

    Shotgunnner TS Member Posts: 19   +16

    I was paying $98 a month for Comcast 100 MB speed and just switched to Centurylink Fiber 1000MB download and upload for $90 a month and it works great.
  11. The greed in these areas, where there is no competition, makes me ill!
    ctm17 likes this.
  12. Boilerhog146

    Boilerhog146 TS Evangelist Posts: 620   +217

    1.5 to 7 meg DSL here at 64.oo cdn.Bell Aliant. , currently at 1.7meg. and found out yesterday ,that's all they have to provide.in about 2/3 weeks I'm cutting that phone wire.the only other choice is a satellite connection.

    oh and they lie to me. telling me getting the home phone bundled gets another gig of bandwidth.and increases the speed . it doesn't. and its on and off all day long. got banned from world of tanks a few days ago. for inactivity,seems I was reported enough times for being inactive in game to warrant a ban,so it costs in other ways also,making it even more expensive.
  13. BillSanDimasCA

    BillSanDimasCA TS Rookie

    I live in San Dimas, CA in an area that Verizon, now Frontiers, has never brought in FiOS, which is only two blocks away. We are on at least 58 year old copper 9,600 feet from the Frontier/Verzion switching office & our speeds are at best 5 mbps (2am), but more like 2-3 mbps at peak times. We are in a 185 space mobile home park & pay $55.98 per month. Cable has never been brought into our park, so Frontier has no competition or reason to upgrade us to FiOS. I had to run Ethernet to my Fire TV box to just get fairly good streaming, but still get dropouts 2-3 times a night! We are all seniors & on budgets, so this is a rip off on the part of Frontier for not upgrading our system. Where I previously lived we were on copper DSL, then AT&T brought U-Verse to our street box & we only had a short run of copper & super fast & reliable Internet, so Frontier could do the same for us if they cared!
  14. rlloyd3

    rlloyd3 TS Rookie

    I have 1Gbps Down and Up for $69.95/month, tax free. Love my local utility Fiber.
    Brock Kane and ctm17 like this.
  15. yeeeeman

    yeeeeman TS Addict Posts: 169   +141

    I pay in Romania 6$ per month for 300mbps fiber and I really do get 300mbps on speedtest.
    For 4$ more you can get 1gbps speed, so that is 10$ for 1gbps. If you don't believe me, please see prices here: https://www.digiromania.ro/servicii/internet
    39 Lei is ~10$.
    Puiu likes this.
  16. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,842   +193

    Nice little racket they got going on for years with the ISP when it comes to the internet.

    Dial-up days (I did a lot of installs for US Government Contractors) Cisco VPN days oh boy with SecuredID
    2400 bps
    1400 bps
    54 Kps (aka 53K)

    DSL ( use to run a bypass had a diagram I came up posted that on TS here) worked like charm for years.)
    SBC Yahoo DSL (I use to work with them as Admin to install the boxes to run the system on outside)
    Various download and upload speeds are not the same could be worst than with Cable/FiOS.

    Cable Coax Broadband
    Cox gave me over 75 to 132 mbps down.. For almost nothing like $50 a month
    Comcast current been with since 1986 (you get a lot of perks) speeds 10, 30, 50, 75 mbps.
    Various download and upload speeds are not the same

    FiOS (Frontier was working on 2GB down test.. 1GB up and 1 GB down. last time I heard it was still WPS.)
    Various, but is a bit different: Same Download and Upload speeds
    Note: AT&T FiOS is not the same like Verzion/Frontier FiOS. AT&T short cut FiOS process to make it affordable thus the customer would never know what they did. I know. I would never go with AT&T for ISP. Comcast for Coax but you get for what you pay for!

    I know a lot about FiOS trained and Certified as FiOS Technical Support Rep for Frontier Communications West Coast, CA, Texas and Western Florida regions. Yep, but I don't do this work again after learning the system, meeting the guy who invented process for Verzion after it was taken over by Frontier Communications.

    I personally won't use FiOS after supporting it. I am still on Cable Coax for Internet Only. I rewired my house so it's just for internet and swap out their connections for OTA HD Digital Dolby Plus 5.1/7.1 Surround Sound instead. I get clear pictures when they broadcast for free at 1080i HD. Dual HD ANT with two power Amp and 8-way distributor amp all nicely tut in my own CATV module box for OTA.

    Still my Internet speeds are full throttle since there are no splits in the line just D3 modem with Cisco Linksys WiFi Router/Gig Ports with Gig switch. Everything is on 120mm Turbo Dual Fans under USB to keep all 3 network gear cooled. Cooled thus no over heating when the demand is high! My 5 year Enterprise System failed in my mini rack system. What a shame so much spend on that but oh well. I get 30 mbp down and 5 mbps up. I average 29 mbps. I use to be able to peek over that, but they have so much restrictions and limiters can't get over that total unless they unlock the speeds I am paying for. $19.99.
    Reehahs likes this.
  17. Anthony j

    Anthony j TS Rookie

    I’m live in New York State, we currently have frontier DSL. My wife and I were going to switch to spectrum a few weeks ago, 100 mbps @ 60$ a month but spectrum has since been legally told to leave New York State. So I’m waiting to see who the state is bringing in to replace spectrum. You guys should check out the articles about spectrums shady practices and why they got kicked out
    wiyosaya likes this.
  18. Reehahs

    Reehahs TS Guru Posts: 729   +472

    If I go to a pub for a pint and only get served half pint then I pay only for half pint. That is how internet speeds should work.
    Suisam and Theinsanegamer like this.
  19. Theinsanegamer

    Theinsanegamer TS Evangelist Posts: 1,550   +1,767

    You act like these companies are doing it out of their own pocket. Companies like AT&T have been given billions over the years by the government in grants to push rural service, and ATT paid investors instead. They are given huge tax breaks and nothing comes of their promises but lawsuits.

    Usually I'm not for big government, but if AT&T takes these grants and doesnt extend service, I think the local governments should eminent domain all the DSL lines and tell ATT where to shove it. Either that or fine them into the billions. Wrist slap fines dont work.
    wiyosaya and ctm17 like this.
  20. avioza

    avioza TS Maniac Posts: 207   +160

    Actually it is cheaper than you think to run fiber and hookups to homes. Spectrum is getting kicked out of New York including my area in Upstate for not fulfilling promises to supply rural areas with High Speed after accepting grant money from the state.

    A local Rural Electric Company (REA) has been running fiber like crazy down all of their poles and will be offering prices to every home in their service area for 100m and 1G at $50 and $80 dollars respectively and they are still projected to make their money back for the entire investment in less than three years.

    We have been getting taken advantage of by big telecom for so many years we have lost perspective of how egregious it is.
    wiyosaya and ctm17 like this.
  21. avioza

    avioza TS Maniac Posts: 207   +160

    If you are near Otsego County, REA fiber service should be available shortly. (Within the year for roll-out phase 1)
  22. MonsterZero

    MonsterZero TS Evangelist Posts: 566   +323

    We've had Charter/Spectrum for a while now, originally I was getting 60MB for $59/mo which was pretty weak considering the speeds others are getting. Just last week they upgraded our service to 200MB for the same price, so I have to say I am quite pleased by what they have accomplished.

    I feel like Frontier and Uverse are just ****, I wish more customers could get Spectrum or at least more than 2 choices of provider in their areas.
  23. Buhaj47

    Buhaj47 TS Enthusiast Posts: 31   +12

    Poland... $30 for 250Mbit/s + cable TV.
    wiyosaya likes this.
  24. Tranceliker

    Tranceliker TS Rookie

    Here in Ukraine we pay 4-10$ for 100mbps
    wiyosaya likes this.
  25. loki1944

    loki1944 TS Addict Posts: 154   +90

    Not jus AT&T, Verizon rapes customers as well with almost unuseable speeds on unlimited and after 15GB on beyond unlimited.
    wiyosaya likes this.

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