The Continuing Saga of Slow DSL

I recently worked to attempt to separate my AT&T accounts so that I could clearly see what I am spending for Internet access. Its harder than it should be. I still have not been successful but at least it is not as hard as unentangling from my Yahoo! email account a couple years ago. While reviewing my account I noticed my upload speed which was originally quoted at 1MB appeared on the web page as only 768. And a few minutes later on another overview page of the exact same account it showed my upload speed as 512 kbps.

att_768

att_512

There’s a big difference between 1Mbps and 512kbps. Some might even call it half as slow. I ran my own speed tests using Bandwidthplace.net and have consistently gotten similar results over the years. I’m consistently getting about 3Mbps up and 512kbps down. If you read AT&T’s web site “Speed Tiers” and “Understanding Internet speeds” pages, you’ll see that I’m getting what I am paying for. Put another way, AT&T is delivering the service level that they are promising.

bandwidth_chart
bandwidth_data

So, why am I unhappy as a customer? My neighborhood has had DSL service for several years. We only got it at a time when U-verse had not really solidified into a product. When I first got my DSL service it even came bundled with DISH network. My neighbor one street over has U-verse because between the time that we got service and they got service, the standard had changed. We’ve been patient but it’s time to upgrade the service folks.

I joke that it is faster for me to drive 15 minutes to the nearest Starbucks, upload my pictures, and drive home. It’s not actually a joke. A single Canon Camera RAW file is about 30 MB. On my service that takes 8 minutes to upload given a best case scenario. If I go on a photo walk and take a few pictures then I could be looking at days for them
to all upload. If I want to upload a single video it can take all night.

dsl_chart

AT&T like their competition tout their download speeds and gloss over their upload speeds. If you do anything creative, upload matters.

dsl_choices

Leave a Reply