Even worse, every time it rains (yes, contrary to popular belief, it does rain in SoCal), my DSL either comes to a complete stand-still or doesn't work at all. Case in point -- last Xmas time, and after some big rains, we had no DSL service at all for over 2 weeks! No Internet connectivity -- or phone service -- that entire time. And, AT&T simply said it was experiencing "unprecedented" demand and could not come to fix things any earlier.
Ultimately, did the AT&T techs really "fix" things for us? Yes, we got back online (at our snail's pace DSL speeds), but we continued to have outages. Things got so bad that I continue to pay $80 per month to have my Verizon broadband card back-up when necessary -- which is frequently necessary.
SO, imagine my surprise when I first learned -- last week -- that AT&T may have U-verse highspeed broadband service available in my 'hood. I was skeptical, but sure enough -- AT&T's website indicates that it is, in fact, available -- at a flavor of "up to 12 Mbps."
Did an AT&T technician ever tell us about this? Of course not (despite the fact that we have had at least 6 techs come to our home over the past year). Did we receive any marketing materials about this from AT&T? Of course not. This is the one time they chose NOT to spam us. Rather, I learned of this apparent fact simply by joining the broadband committee of my community -- at which all of us on the committee were completely shocked.
So, what did I do? I immediately went to AT&T's website and signed up for U-verse highspeed broadband. For some reason, the full U-verse package is not available to me (no TV, or digital phone). Nor are the highest speed packages -- my highest available package is "Max" (up to 12 Mbps -- which, according to AT&T's website, is not optimal for movie streaming, downloading, or Skype videoconferencing -- which are all important activities for me). That sounds ominous ... very ominous .... Yet, if I get even close to 12 Mbps, it should -- with emphasis on "should" -- be much, much better than my current 2 Mbps. Perhaps at least all of us at home can be online at the same time.
Color me skeptical -- highly skeptical. Nonetheless I am hopeful. I have been instructed by AT&T's highly personal email that I will be able to make the switch to this new U-verse package on December 19th -- after 8 pm.
I will report back.