I have had it with AT&T Uverse! We have been having some internet issues lately. We have been AT&T Uverse customers since 2008. I started out with 6mbit service then upgraded to 12mbit and then to 18mbit (upstream is only 1.5 mbit.) When we first got it installed it was very cheap but as the years have been going on they have been increasing the prices and not necessarily the speed. The first time they installed it they had to do like a 4 hour install which pretty much involved rewiring the house from the Node in the alley all the way to the jack they installed for the gateway. Given that my house is over 100 years old this probably isn’t too surprising. When I initially did the upgrade from 6 to 12 mbit the speed only went up to 8 mbit. They sent a tech out and he fixed the wiring apparently the first installer had done a few things wrong and he had to replace our 2-wire gateway as that also seemed to have issues. At some point I upgraded from 12 to 18mbit as the price differential was so small there was no reason not to. When we first got 6 mbit service it was amazing, videos streamed perfectly, downloads were fast I was very happy. When I upgrade to 12mbit I was blown away I was downloading songs from iTunes in 3 seconds everything was great. We could watch Netflix without having to wait to buffer again life was good. When we went to 18 I didn’t notice a big difference but everything just got a little bit better. But as time has gone on the service quality has gotten horrible, even though I still have my 18mbit clearly AT&T has some backbone issues, as I can’t hardly play a YouTube video now without it choking. I tried doing some Amazon streaming a couple of months ago and it was almost unusable.
The last straw came about a month ago. They started pulling fiber through the neighborhood to the nodes to roll out their new gigapower service. They installed a new phone pole near my house (I wish they would just bury the cables.) Something they did when they were doing that install seemed to have messed up my connection as now my UVerse is dropping the connection to the internet probably once or twice a day. I notice it sometimes in the evening but it really hits my wife a lot during the day. I was going to call the service department about it, but as I was thinking over the weekend when it flaked out again I should just compare what Time Warner is offering for my neighborhood. Low and behold what do I find but for the same price I am paying for Uverse I can get 100mbit down and 20mbit up from Time Warner Cable (assuming I spring for the cable modem.) In the past I have avoided the cable companies because they have had a tendency to overload their neighborhood nodes and people wouldn’t really get the speeds advertised. But at this point it just seems like a no brainer to switch. For one thing I can pick out my own modem and buy it. I hate the 2-Wire model that AT&T Uses for VDSL but you can’t buy your own equipment. That means you are stuck paying a rental fee for a box that is hopelessly out of date when it comes to WIFI standards and has a lot of limits what you can do in the software. With Time Warner I can spring for a nice DOCSIS 3.0 modem that will support speeds up to 300mbit when they roll it out to the neighborhood and not get dinged for it monthly. I can also buy much nicer equipment than just taking what they give out by default. I did a bunch of online searching and it seems like the biggest complaints against Time Warner Cable seem to be their customer service is lacking. Everyone seems to say the broadband is superior though. Given that I don’t tend to have a lot of need for Technical Support I am going to give them a shot at this point. I will report back with results later on and see if I am still happy with that decision or if I decide to go back to U-Verse later on. Let me know if anyone has had good or bad experiences with either of the companies just so I know what I am getting into.