U-Verse vs DSL
I am currently an AT&T customer, and they provide my DSL. I’m generally happy with my DSL service, but AT&T representatives keep contacting me and pushing me to switch to their U-Verse service. What’s the deal? What is U-Verse and should I switch?
It would be easy to suggest that you simply do everything that any vendor who calls you on the phone suggests, but of course, that would be the wrong answer. In this case, as in most such cases, the answer is complicated.
First, please understand that U-Verse is simply a newer version of DSL—it’s not a new technology. Switching to U-Verse will require you to have AT&T supply a new modem (the device that connects your phone line to your computer), because the technology U-Verse uses isn’t supported by the older modems. Theoretically, U-Verse can support faster speeds than plain ol’ DSL, although the actual speeds you can receive depend on many factors, including your distance from the phone company central office. AT&T will have to help you determine that information.
Next, understand that it’s in AT&T’s interest to switch you to U-Verse, as this technology also supports digital television and land-line phones. In other words, once you have U-Verse, AT&T can upsell you on other services that they couldn’t if you stuck with DSL.
Should you switch? It’s hard to say. AT&T offers special deals on setting up U-Verse service, and you may find that you can get faster connections at a lower price than DSL, at least for the first year or so. Make sure you investigate the “after promotional” price, to ensure that you don’t get ripped off. In addition, if you do agree to switch to U-Verse, after it’s installed, make sure to verify your connection speed (we recommend http://www.speedtest.net as an easy way to verify your speed—it should be at least 80% of what you’re paying for). If you’re finding substandard speeds, make sure and contact AT&T support to get the speed issues handled. (This is true of any new connection, not just U-Verse).
In addition, you may find the bundling of Internet, phone, and television that AT&T provides to be enticing. If so, go for it. You will need to upgrade to U-Verse to take advantage of these features—if that’s the goal, it’s certainly a good plan to switch to U-Verse.