I did some research, and this past week I shut off Comcast Cable / Internet. I’ve had ongoing issues with the quality of service, as well as consistency of service and pricing. Over the last several months, my bill hadn’t been the same amount two months in a row, and I wasn’t buying pay-per-view. Oh, it only varied a few dollars from month to month, but I could never explain why it varied at all. There were frequent service interruptions, both on TV and internet, but almost never both at the same time.
So I know you’re all dying to know. Yes, I still have broadband internet and “cable” TV. No, this isn’t a market where Comcast has a direct cable competitor. (As an aside, is there any market where Comcast is not a cable monopoly?) I went instead with AT&T’s U-verse service. It’s a fiber optic, not cable, solution. I’ve been on U-verse since just this past Monday afternoon, but already I’m seeing a better product. And the price is right too. For just over half of what I was paying Comcast, I am getting much faster internet access, and all the TV channels I care about.
Everything I watch is HD. The quality is much better, with near zero signal interruptions. I can record a show in one room, and watch it in another. Comcast can’t do that. One drawback, with AT&T you get only one DVR, and the secondary units can’t pause or rewind live TV because of that. The solution? Record anything you want to watch on the secondary TV(s), switch to that recording, and watch it while it’s in progress. Then pause and/or rewind to your heart’s content.
The installer came in, setup everything, tested it, and found a faulty internet router. He replaced that on the spot, and within 3 hours I was up and running with internet, wi-fi, and two HD TV drops, all configured and ready to go. According to Speedtest.net, I’m getting download speeds of 6.13 Mbps, and upload speeds of 0.85 Mbps1. My averages on Comcast were half that, at best, and I was on their fastest home service. On AT&T, I am at a service level that allows me to quadruple my internet speed if I should wish to do so. Of course, that upgrade would cost me more per month (at most, a measly $25 a month more). Even then, it would still cost significantly less than Comcast.
Since I work at / from home, internet access is of paramount importance to me. Can I say for certain that AT&T will be a more stable internet provider? Not after only five days. But if those five days are any sign of what’s to come, I’ll be happy with my choice. The speed difference is dramatic, to say the least, and I have room to grow as my business grows. To say that I am happy with the choice I made is an understatement of significant proportion.
Another thing I am really liking about AT&T’s offering is the “TV Web Remote Access” for the DVR. Anywhere I can reach the internet, I can login and schedule a show to record. I recorded the Cowboys / Saints game this past Thanksgiving day (Who, Dat!) from the home of the friend who graciously included me in her celebration. She was having TV reception issues, so I setup to record the game just in case. As it turned out, we got to see the game at her house, but that fact is irrelevant. The simple fact that I could backup record it from where I was is fantastic.
Do I sound like a commercial for AT&T? No, they are not paying me one red cent for this review. Is this the right choice for everyone? Well, I am neither a psychic nor your mother, so I won’t make the decision for you. But I will tell you this: If you haven’t investigated your options lately, you really should.