Here's my story. I hope it's helpful should any of my readers decide to tread the perilous water that are AT&T U-Verse.
In November 2011 as the 12 month trial period for my $20 per month AT&T DSL service was about to end in December I started looking at alternative Internet service providers. I had used Dish Network as my satellite television service provider for several years and was growing dissatisfied as the fees increased. AT&T had installed new cable in my subdivision almost two years ago. I assumed it was for U-Verse. However, whenever I checked the AT&T website for U-Verse availability it always said “Currently, AT&T U-Verse service isn’t available for:” followed by my home address.
I spoke to the AT&T technician as he installed my DSL in December 2010 and he said at that time that U-Verse was available at the street. Since I had the 12 month introductory rate of $20 I decided to wait before pursuing U-Verse at my home. Well, that wait was almost over last November so I started calling AT&T to try to get to the bottom of the matter. I check the website, no change. I spoke to the technician I met 11 months prior, I had kept his card. I called AT&T customer service many times. Finally after about two weeks and some dogged determination on my part I finally spoke to someone who was willing and able to help. I told her that my neighbor’s address showed that they had U-Verse availability but my address did not. I told her that the box was located at the street equal distance from our homes. I told her that the technician said I should be able to have service. I even polled 40 of my neighbors via e-mail to see if anyone else already had service. Two of them replied that they did. Within a few days, and after a few more calls, I was able to schedule an installation date. It was about a month away in mid-December. I told my other next door neighbor. They wanted to try U-Verse too so they called the direct telephone number of the person I had spoken to and also scheduled an installation.
About three week later and a week before my installation I got a call from AT&T. They left a message stating that they’d have to reschedule my installation. I was unable to reach anyone at the number provided. So frustrating! A few days later the exact thing happened again. They called again and left a message stating that I needed to call a number to confirm my new installation date and time. I tried to call back to confirm but the tangled web of press this number, then press that number left me without a confirmation. An automated caller leaving a message that is un-returnable. Perfect! I knew my installation would not happen unless I solved this problem too. Eventually I was able to go online and confirm the new date for the installation. This option was never mentioned by the robo-messenger.
Now I had a confirmed date and time range for my AT&T U-Verse installation. That would be on January 5th, 2012. All the advertising must be working I thought. AT&T’s installation calendar is booked solid and I considered myself lucky to get in on the hype.
The technician arrived and got to work. I was ready to disassemble my Dish Network and move on to something newer with more features and with all the promotional pricing I was sure that I was getting a good deal. How could I go wrong?
Another AT&T technician had already replaced my old outside telco box with one designed for U-Verse earlier in the day. All the U-Verse installer had to do was run a Cat-5 Ethernet cable from the box to a telco jack inside my house. He chose the nearest jack to the box which just happened to be in the master bedroom. I was surprised to find out after the installation that he had run the white cable along the outside of my house when it would have been easier and less unsightly had he run it inside the basement which is open and has easy access.
|The New U-Verse Telco Box and White Ethernet Cable|
|Wireless Access Point, Router and Receiver|
|A Rear View of the Router and Receiver|
|A Rear View of the Receiver|
|A Rear View of the Wireless Receiver|
|HP 2840 Multi-function Machine|
|Cisco AT&T VEN401-AT Wireless Access Point and Ooma Telo|
|Cable Connections on the Ooma Telo (Blue - TO INTERNET via WAP, Black - PHONE to HP 2840 Fax line)|
To get my wife’s PC on the network the technician installed a USB Wifi adapter.
|The Netgear WNA1100 Wifi Adapter|
|U-Verse Channel Guide|
Shortly after the technician left the house the trouble started. My laptop would disconnect from the network and re-establish a connection minutes later, or not at all. Sometimes I cycled power to the router. That would usually fix things temporarily. When the Wifi went out on my laptop it was also out on both smartphones. My wife had worse luck with her PC. It seemed to be disconnected from the network more that it was connected. I removed the USB Wifi adapter from her PC and ran an Ethernet cable from the wireless receiver instead. That seemed to work okay. Then I connected the Ooma to the same U-Verse wireless receiver. That worked okay for a few days but there were wires all over stretched from one side of the room to the other. She wasn't in the office that much anyway. So, everything is connected to something except the network printer. I hooked that up too. Now everything is the way it was but now it doesn’t work right and my wife is ready to kill somebody.
|Ooma Flashing RED - No Connection|
|A Rear View of the Cisco-Linksys WRT610N WAP|
|AT&T 3G Microcell|
|A Rear View of the Microcell|
|A Front View of the Microcell|
|MicroCell Power Adapter and Ethernet Cable|
I upgraded my bandwidth to 18Mbps which probably means I’ll actually get 6Mbps. My service did improve. Speedtests through speakeasy.net to Atlanta yielded results of 11.35Mbps and 13.83Mbps download speeds.
|Washington, DC Speedtest Results with 18Mbps U-Verse Internet Max Plus|
|Chicago, IL Speedtest Results with 18Mbps U-Verse Internet Max Plus|
One last bit of advice before I end this tirade, don't initiate combined billing until several months have past and you're sure that you're being billed correctly.
One of my co-workers has Charter cable and gets between 80Mbps and 100Mbps Internet download speed at his home. I guess I should move.
Thanks for reading.
AT&T Equipment List:
2-Wire 3800HGV-B router
Scientific Atlanta IPN4320 SD/HD Receiver with DVR
Cisco AT&T VEN401-AT Wireless Access Point
Scientific Atlanta IPN330HD Basic SD/HD IP Set Top Box (2)
Scientific Atlanta ISB7005 Basic SD/HD Receiver with Wifi
AT&T 3G Microcell
2/24/12 Update: My U-Verse is back to it's old self again. While the Wifi connection seems more stable with the higher priced plan the speed is still abysmal. I had to say higher priced because I'd obviously be lying if I said faster plan. This is what AT&T calls 18Mbps Internet service.
It almost looks like dial-up to me!