AT&T's Secret $10 DSL

As part of a concession made to the FCC in order to get its mitts on BellSouth, AT&T is required to offer basic DSL for $10 a month to its entire 22 state coverage area for a period of 2 years.

The plan provides download speeds of up to 768 kilobits per second and upload speeds of up to 128 kbps, matching AT&T’s basic plan.

If you can’t find the plan listed on the website, don’t worry. AT&T wants it that way. They’ve hidden it, according to the AP.

A page describing DSL options doesn’t mention it, but clicking a link for “Term contract plans” reveals it. It’s also presented to customers who go into the application process.

Consumerist took a quick look around att.com and couldn’t find it. (Send us a link if you’ve got one.) Good job AT&T!

UPDATE: Here it is. Thanks, Anne!

To take advantage of the plan, you’ll need to sign a 1 year contract and you need to be a new customer to AT&T broadband. This sounds like a good opportunity for anyone you know who still has dial-up, or for people who don’t need cable internet and want something slower and cheaper. The modem is free.

Keep an eye out for the next concession, so-called “naked DSL.” Within 6 months, AT&T will be required to offer DSL with no local phone service. The treasure hunt to find that one on their site should be equally fun. —MEGHANN MARCO

AT&T quietly offers $10 DSL plan [Yahoo!]


In case the info disappears somehow, here’s the text from the site:

FastAccess DSL Term Agreement Plans Available

* FastAccess DSL Lite with term agreement. Monthly price is $10 per month and requires a 12-month commitment. Except for free dsl modem with term agreement, this plan is not eligible for any other promotions. Plan is available to new FastAccess DSL customers who have not previously subscribed to AT&T or BellSouth’s high-speed Internet and who order online. To order FastAccess DSL Lite with term agreement, visit http://www.bellsouth.com and enter your telephone number to order the service.

* Free DSL Modem with term agreement for BellSouth or AT&T Dial Subscribers Upgrading to FastAccess DSL. Requires a 12-month commitment. To obtain the free modem, visit http://www.bellsouth.com and enter your telephone number to order FastAccess DSL, and indicate that you have Dial service with AT&T or BellSouth.

Terms and Conditions
FastAccess DSL Lite with term agreement: Requires subscription to FastAccess DSL Lite (Downstream speeds up to 768Kbps/Upstream speeds up to 128Kbps) for twelve (12) months from the date of activation. Eligibility: customers who order online and who have not previously subscribed to FastAccess DSL service from BellSouth or high-speed Internet service from AT&T. FastAccess DSL is subject to the terms and conditions of the BellSouth Internet Service Agreement (“Service Agreement”). Termination of FastAccess service, or if service is terminated for violation of the Service Agreement, prior to the expiration of twelve (12) months from the activation date, will incur a $50 termination fee that represents a portion of the network activation and setup costs foregone as a result of such termination.

Free DSL Modem with term agreement: Offer available to active subscribers of AT&T or BellSouth Dial service who purchase and receive FastAccess DSL. In exchange for a free DSL modem customers must maintain FastAccess DSL service for at least twelve (12) months from the date the modem was shipped or installed by BellSouth, and pay all applicable charges in connection with FastAccess service in a timely manner. If FastAccess service is terminated or in the event service is terminated for a violation of the BellSouth Internet Service Agreement, including but not limited to failure to pay the monthly FastAccess service charge, an early termination charge of $75.00 (representing the full price of the modem) if service is terminated between 0 and 6 months from the date the modem was shipped or installed by BellSouth or $37.50 (representing one half of the price of the modem) if service is terminated more than 6 months but less than 12 months from the date the modem was shipped or installed by BellSouth will be incurred.

Comments

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  1. Roundonbothends says:

    I can’t wait. The only reason I use their phone service is because you have to have it in order to get DSL. I will so happily DUMP my phone service.

  2. InductGnosis says:

    I will never use this company again for any internet or phone services. I had ATT DSL for a bit. Not only was it the most expensive internet service I have ever had it was the most inconsistent. I would call ATT for support, they would tell me there was something wrong with my LAN line, they would transfer me there and basically tell me its actually an issue the DSL dept has to take care of.
    Not to mention they wanted to charge for an on site tech, but could not tell me how much it was going to cost prior to him coming to my residence.

  3. QuantumRiff says:

    Bundling is so very anti-innovation.. Remember when you could only get your telephone from the phone company? You had a choice of 3 colors and 2 models, and you had to rent them? Look at where telephones have taken off since that was changed. Caller ID, voicemail, call-waiting, etc were developed to replace the revenue that was missing from “telephone rent”. Long distance prices plummeted after it was forced to be separated from local phone service. Imagine if the same were to happen to internet, or, heaven forbid, the cell phone companies.

  4. Aaron Pratt says:

    An online rep says there’s no direct link but you get info about the basic DSL when you place an order and are eligible for service.

    Paying for DSL isn’t necessarily cheaper than cable internet, however. You’re going to pay $10 for the DSL, $13 for the phone line, and taxes and fees higher than those from your cable company. A lot of cable providers offer a basic internet option as well with specs similar to those of this basic DSL package. Our local cable provider offers the package for $29/ month.

  5. asplodzor says:

    Anyone have any idea what the service area is? The way I’m reading the article, only 22 states out of all the states that AT&T services are eligible for the discount. I’ve tried hunting around the site for it and can’t find it.

  6. ptkdude says:

    @asplodzor: AT&T only covers 22 states.

  7. MercuryPDX says:

    @Aaron Pratt: The “problem” I have with this is that your cable broadband speed is shared with all the other subscribers in your neighborhood, yet your DSL line is yours and yours alone.

    IMHO, I’d rather pay for the consistent speed than bouts of fast/slow… not to mention the off chance that your cable company is throttling your connection.

  8. KelbornCmd says:

    If I recall correctly, most phone companies also offer an option, not mentioned on their websites, for some barebones phone connection that does not allow you to dial out, but allows others to call you. My girlfriend had this out in Los Angeles, and paid $5 a month for the phone line. This, then, was used in conjunction with a DSL connection.

    So, if you got the $10 DSL and a phone line for $5 or so, you’d still end up paying less than cable.

  9. Aaron Pratt says:

    @MercuryPDX: Understood. I thought the same thing and switched to AT&T when I moved a few months back. However, the speeds were not as advertising and the billing was wrong for two months. I literally burned 3 hours of call time trying to straighten it out, and the only way I was able to get the bill right was to cancel my account and go back to cable.

    My cable connection has actually been very consistent (your neighborhood may vary, of course), and I at least hold a shred of hope that my cable company isn’t turning over my Internet records to the government, a la AT&T.

  10. kaikhor says:

    Not to say that we haven’t had our headaches with AT&T (like the phone number for changing our services being down every other time I’ve called) but I found it was cheaper for DSL and a phone than our cable company, who was charging us $75 vs. the $50 for AT&T. Also, once I finally reached someone at AT&T, was able to cut the phone way down (since we always use our cells and ignore that phone) taking my bill down to $25. Never had problems with connecting to the Net or anything, just have trouble actually reaching AT&T for troubleshooting.

  11. wyckedone says:

    If you go to FastAccess consumer page, scroll to the bottom of the page and click the Term contract plans available link. That shows the $10 price for DSL Lite (768 Kbps/128 Kbps). It’s the same plan that shows “New Lower Price – $19.95″ on the front page. You have to go through the process of signing up and qualifying in order to get the $10 price.

  12. swalve says:

    Cable is becoming less and less a shared medium. There are multiple channels that the downstream data can use (just like OnDemand or pay-per-view TV), and every channel is (something like) 25 mbps, AND modern cable systems are fiber to the neighborhood now-a-days.

    Secondly, DSL is just as shared, just topographically different. All the dsl lines do “home run” to the phone company local office, and then they are plugged into the “head-end” which only has as much bandwidth as they hook up to it. So if all 3000 customers served by the local office are all sharing the same T1 line, you are going to be dog slow, no matter what the speed of your line.

  13. Squeezer99 says:

    i can’t wait for the naked DSL so I can ditch my bellsouth land line, as long as bellsouth/att lets me keep my static IP with my Xtreme 6megabit plan.

  14. juniper says:

    I followed the link, and it brought me to BellSouth’s page, which has no mention of a $10 DSL as promised, just a $19.95 one:
    [www.bellsouth.com]

    It’s supposed to be the FastAccess DSL Lite, but it’s at a “New Lower Price” of $19.95.

    Bait-and-switch?

  15. homerjay says:

    You couldn’t pay me to become an AT&T customer in any form.

  16. acambras says:

    I just moved and used that opportunity to explore/reevaluate local/long distance/internet/etc.

    I quickly ruled out Comcast because their promotional materials were sketchy on details, and there was a lot of fine print. I’m not crazy about AT&T, but that’s the lesser of two evils, IMHO.

    I considered dropping our landline and just getting DSL, but the DSL rates (as quoted on AT&T’s website) were much higher when not bundled with phone service. Maybe I didn’t know the secret handshake or something?

  17. lukebaker says:

    I’m currently subscribed to “naked” DSL from AT&T (they call it dry-loop DSL). It ends up costing almost as much as DSL + phone line, so there isn’t a huge advantage to it over DSL + phone for most people. For people who work for a company that will pay for their home DSL service but not their phone line, dry-loop DSL works out quite nicely.

    [lukebaker.org]

  18. tozmervo says:

    I just moved to a TWC city from a Comcast city. I despise Comcast and wasn’t too thrilled about dealing with TWC for Internet (no cable tv for me). Then I discovered Earthlink provides cable internet… through TWC, but through Earthlink. I don’t know how that works. All I know is that I’m on a cable “lite” plan that’s $30/month and with no contract. That’s $30/m period, not for six months or some other inane period. Can I tell a difference between cable-lite and regular? No. Not in the least.

    The catch, and the reason I mention this here, is that it was practically impossible to find on their website. There was one mention of it somewhere, but no way to sign up for it that I could tell. So I called the toll-free line instead, and they hooked me right up.

    And I should be a nice consumer and mention that TWC actually did the hook-up, too. They showed up during their scheduled window. The Internet works great. Both things seemed impossible for Comcast. Score one for TWC.

  19. Trackback says:

    Cory Doctorow: When AT&T bought out BellSouth, it had to promise the FCC that it would provide a basic, $10/month DSL service. However, AT&T has done everything it can to suppress information about the service. The Consumerist has found the plan.

  20. feralparakeet says:

    Don’t hold your breath on the “naked dsl”… someone in my immediate family is involved in that project, and it hasn’t been funded for well over a year (we had this discussion last month). ATT is already having losses in the local service market with people using cell phones more and so on, and are going to push it back as long as they can.

  21. factotum says:

    Now that AT&T has gotten into bed with RIAA/MPAA and will now be spying on all of their customers’ data, do you still want to give them your money?

    They’ve had plenty of practice: let’s not forget their giving the NSA access (illegally) to spy on US internet transmissions.

  22. warh0und says:

    wisebread has a post about this, too:
    [www.wisebread.com]

    according to WB, this is the ‘check-to-see-if-it-is-available’ site:
    https://swot.sbc.com/swot/promoLanding.do

    and if it is available, the screen should look something like this screenshot:
    [www.dslreports.com]

    i got all those links from the aforementioned wisebread article

  23. hemaphore says:

    Boingboing saw this article, here’s their take:

    [www.boingboing.net]

  24. mopar_man says:

    @factotum:

    This is why I’d seriously like to get away from AT&T’s DSL but there isn’t really another option where I am. Well, not an affordable option anyway. I refuse to pay $40+/month for Charter’s cable internet. While I’ve had pretty much zero problems with my connection, I have a serious problem with the RIAA/MPAA privacy violation.

  25. darb215 says:

    @ tozmervo:

    ————

    Here is the Link for the Earthlink Lite: Only avail for Time Warner/Bright House Networks customers

    [www.earthlink.net]

  26. darb215 says:

    @@tozmervo:

    Here is the Link for the Earthlink Lite Cable ISP

    [www.earthlink.net]

    Only for Time Warner/Bright House Networks Customers right now :/

  27. furrytxcub says:

    I have had AT&T U-VERSE [DSL & cable tv] for 4 months now and do not have a home phone line at all.

  28. AcidReign says:

    …..My experience with Bellsouth is that it’s a solid, reliable connection. On the other hand, don’t expect the advertised speed. I pay (after all the little taxes and fees) about $45 a month for the 1440k DSL. Whenever I check CNET’s bandwidth meter, I am usually at around 1100k, and I’ve NEVER clocked over 1300k.

    …..Bellsouth/ATT carefully word their terms of service, regarding speed, as “up to” such and such speed. I figure that my speed being 25% slower is due to the fact that I’m one of the last houses in line on the utility line on my block.

  29. aparsons says:

    @KelbornCmd: Don’t forget to add $15 worth of taxes to your $5 line. I signed up for the $5 line and was shocked to see that that $5 line ended up costing close to $20. And the only people who used it were telemarketers calling inbound.

  30. Pupator says:

    This is a great find, and the perfect sort of service for folks like my parents – or older people who can use an always-on connection but don’t need massive bandwidth.

  31. Hmm… Crapy CSR’s and Technicians (Comcast) or Slow internet, packet mining, packet shaping, data mining, crappy CSR’s, half-assed technicians, and lets not forget, Active (and Public) cooperation with RIAA, MPAA, and the Feds.

  32. clifzzz says:

    i just switched from att dial-up to the dsl pro-mo.They had a special promotional deal where i got the highest speed for 25 dollars a month with free modem,after rebate,no early termination fee and a month to month contract with no commitment.They charged me only 15 dollars for a self installation kit which included a install disc.This disc gives me the att yahoo tool bar and a real time fix it program that always keeps my connection on.I have had my computer on my home page for 2 months and the connection is always on.My bill had always been right to, so far.This deal was only available on-line for two weeks and you had to get it through a subcontracter called white-fence. It is great.I downloaded the new version of avg anti-virus which is usually an hour download and it took only 3 minutes.Blazing fast,same thing with movie downloads.I downloaded a copy of a movie that has no copy-right protection which is legal abd it took only 4 minutes.Wow

  33. Bob.H says:

    So what are you supposed to do if you already have AT&T DSL but you want to save money by switching to naked DSL and a VoIP provider such as Vonage? Is it impossible to get the naked DSL at a low enough price (in northern California) to save any money?