AT&T CEO: $10 DSL "Not A Product That Our Customers Have Clamored For"

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson told the Atlanta Journal Constitution that his customer just aren’t interested in ultra-cheap internet service. AT&T is required to offer $10 DSL throughout 22 states, a concession made to the FTC as part of a deal to acquire BellSouth. AT&T has been accused of hiding the $10 DSL option, which, apparently, they did for the sake of their customers. From the Atlanta Journal Constitution:

Randall Stephenson: We haven’t made it difficult to find. To be honest with you, that’s not a product that our customers have clamored for. We still have $15 offers out there in the marketplace, even $20 offers, for 1.5 megabit speeds. Those are really kind of the minimum speeds that give a good user experience. So I don’t want to necessarily offer up a product where the user experience is not what I would consider really state of the art. That $10 product is kind of in that mode.

Um, Randall, 1.5 mbps is hardly “state of the art.” If your customers don’t want 768 kpbs for $10, they will buy the more expensive plan; but that is their choice to make, not yours. We understand that $10 DSL represents a monumental threat to your telecommunications empire, but that’s the price you paid to gobble up BellSouth.

Q&A: AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson [Atlanta Journal Constitution]
(AP Photo/John Raoux)


Edit Your Comment

  1. ptkdude says:

    I’m waiting for the “nekkid” DSL.

  2. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    Oh, of course….who would want to pay less for something? I’ve seen this before….company offers “hidden” service for a cheap rate…nobody knows about it…and then company cancels it, citing lack of interest. It’s pretty hard for anyone to be interested if they don’t know it exists.

    I currently pay $20 a month for 768k DSL, and I’d be more than happy to pay $10 for it.

  3. Hawk07 says:

    It’s not something customers want because nobody knows about it. They bury it on their webpage and even if you do know what to look for, it’s unlikely you’ll find it unless you hit the right series of links.

    Or, you call and the CSR is new and doesn’t know what you’re talking about.

  4. HeyThereKiller says:

    in case you want to get the $10 deal… this is what you have to go through:


  5. zsouthboy says:

    Comedy gold.

    “We totally think, that like, those customer people we hate, like paying more. And stuff. It’s not our fault. Don’t bother me with these press conferences – I have to get back to my hookers and blow.”

  6. superlayne says:

    Man, we need a post about cruise lines. I just got off of one.

    He’s trying to weasel his way out of actually offering the product.

    Is there a list anywhere of the 22 states that get it?

  7. Cowboys_fan says:

    $10 for 768 kbps sounds like a pretty good deal to me considering I used to pay $20 for 640 kbps.

  8. hustler says:

    So why is he not in court over violated the terms of the acquisition?

  9. ptkdude says:

    @hustler: They’re not in court because they do actually offer the product. There weren’t really any conditions on HOW they offered it, just that they had to offer it.

  10. ndavies says:

    Wow he’s out of touch with reality. We spent an entire year trying to strip down to just DSL, and this $10 DSL would’ve been an easy solution. Way to turn people off your company.
    Not to mention there’s a huge sector of the market that can’t afford the packages they advertise and can’t scour the AT&T sitemaps for hours because they can’t afford to…

  11. snowferret says:

    Yeah, who the hell wants DSL for ten bucks? Fuck I don’t I’d rather pay 30! Morons…

  12. catnapped says:

    Everyone needs to understand that the American public has money to burn (“the gubermint sez so, so it must be TRUE”), so why should they bother offering the product for $10 when people would gladly pay MUCH MUCH more for it?

  13. andrewsmash says:

    I wonder if these corporate asshats think that the people who work fast food are pulling down six-figures a year, and that unemployment includes a car allowance. That’s the only way I could understand their attitude towards low-cost options.

  14. SOhp101 says:

    Citi AAdvantage offers a credit card that has nearly half the annual fee than their platinum but with nearly equal points earning capabilities (lower earning limit), but it seems like no one wants it. Oh wait, that’s right, it’s impossible to find ANYWHERE on their site.

  15. daub815 says:

    I have read things about them making it almost impossible to sign up for it. So of course they aren’t clamoring for the cheap service because of the huge pain it is just to get it. I for one do not welcome the our new overlords (Comcast and AT&T)!

  16. jnkdaniel says:

    yup, i’m waiting and waiting for naked DSL.

  17. skapunk84 says:

    I guess there wasn’t a provision in that BellSouth acquisition agreement with the FCC that stated the customer had to be able to find the service on their web site. Or that the ordering department had to acknowledge its existence.

    You know, it just had to be…available.


  18. a_m_m_b says:

    @skapunk84: yes, much like the construction plans acted upon by the Vogons were made available to Earth prior to demolition….

  19. Sherryness says:

    This sounds familiar. Back when I was a larger size, I had trouble finding cuter clothes. I would say, “Why don’t you have these kinds of tops in the larger sizes?” They would say, “Oh, we did. But we don’t get very many in in that size.” And I said, “Why not?” And they said, “Because we find they don’t sell well?” And I said, “You can’t sell what you don’t have, right? So how come I can never find these before they are gone?” And she said, “Oh, because those always go REALLY fast. You have to get here within a couple of days of us getting our shipment.” !!It kind of made my head want to explode!!

  20. Greasy Thumb Guzik says:

    Home Depot once told me that they didn’t carry high temp spray paint in white because it sold out immediately!

  21. rten says:

    I split DSL with my neighbor (wireless router) and it comes down to 10 bucks. Darn.

    Want a cheap “unpublished” phone plan? Ask for “metered rate service” or “dial tone service”. This my verizon phone bill.

    Dial Tone Line 1 05/02/05 ESFE $7.37

    Federal Subscriber Line Charge 1 05/02/05 ESFR $6.50

    >>Total $13.87 << That is a CHEAP phone bill. You just have to ask.

    From reading another article on here about the “Federal Subscriber Line Charge” being a discretionary, but not govt. mandated fee, I’ll see about making my bill even cheaper.

  22. eagain says:

    Heres the direct link to the $10 offer. []

  23. mantari says:

    ANSWER: All the people who are still on dialup would want it. And there are tons of these people. Those who are still on dialup would absolutely positively want $10 DSL.

    Ask the customers of NetZero, or PeoplePC Online or something, eh?

  24. kingdom2000 says:

    God I am so sick of reporters and their refusal to question.

    Someone should email the writer ( and the editor of the business section (not sure who) and tell them to do some fing research such as the various links on the Consumerist that illustrate why the $10 offer isn’t popular due to lack of awareness and the multi-hour hoops and conditions customers have to deal with to get it.

    In other words, they should do their damn jobs and when someone makes a false statement, call them on it.

    The problem is that this $10 was done by the government and articles like this make those officials think they did a good job and they need to be told that AT&T isn’t really honoring the agreement.

  25. sayslittle says:

    I just checked to see if I can get the $10 deal, and AT&T just told me they couldn’t confirm my phone number (they ask for it) due to a “systems issue.”

    Footnote: My BellSouth account was taken over by AT&T.

  26. asherchang says:

    what a d

  27. EMZ says:

    Of course I would not want my internet cheaper! I live in the United States of America where food, education, and houses are all affordable. If I had the option to make my DSL cost more I would take the offer with open arms; otherwise I’d spend the rest on something useless like transportation or diapers.

    Selling a service for 10 bucks without telling anyone is simply wrong.

  28. theblackdog says:

    According to AT&T’s website, they don’t offer DSL in my area, but I wonder if Verizon has a similar deal.

  29. MENDOZA!!!!! says:

    DING DING DING – eligible!

    So long Time Warner

  30. silverlining says:

    AT&T is required to offer $10 DSL throughout 22 states,

    Which states?

  31. anamika says:

    So, does someone know how to get the $10 DSL deal?

    Is there a number to call or a website link somebody could post?

    Also would help to know which states are in their list.

  32. jrdnjstn78 says:

    I have AT&T DSL, it’s alright. I don’t do any major gaming or anything so I have the 14.99 plan. I had to sign a one year contract which my contract is up this month. I called AT&T to sign on again so I could keep the low rate. They said they were doing away with the contract and going month to month and my bill is going up 5$, bastards! You have to have AT&T home phone service also. I took the long distance off my home phone service since I have a cell phone and AT&T charged me 10$ just to take the long distance off my landline. I don’t have much of a choice since Time Warner doesn’t come out where I live and Verizon doesn’t either. I think Verizon had a special for 14$, I think the website is, I think Verizon uses fiber optics.

  33. says:

    I recently moved to one of BellSouth/AT&T’s coverage areas (South Carolina), and signed up for 3 Mbps DSL before I got here. Having arrived, connected (and cleaned off the extraneous sh!t they installed on my computer with the installation CD that configured the modem), and done a speed test, it turns out I’m not getting more than 1 Mbps — according to customer service, due to the condition of my phone lines and various other factors. There’s no guarantee of minimum connection speed.

    Fine by me, I’ll sign up for the cheaper plan and get the same speed!

  34. songsmith89 says:

    I would love to see this idiot, and the company,(bless the few good employees left), become obsolete. I have this crappy ass service and it still does not work correctly. I have been paying $54.95 for 6.0 Ultra Speed DSL since 2005, but wait, they don’t actually have 6.0 in my area. I learned this from a retired AT&T technician. I called customer NO service and after I finally told them how I found out they did not offer the 6.0 in my area, they put me on hold and got a so called supervisor that had laim excuses, and promised crdits etc. etc. I am still waiting for my credit,(2 mos.), and my interent service still does not work properly. I have called so many times, it is ridiculous, and S.N.L. could actually use some of the conversations for material for the show! At this point I am PISSED OFF about it. On August 6th, I called told them I was going to find another internet provider if something was’nt done. I spoke to C.S.R. actually gave me an order number, and told me this was a special order to send out an engineer there was a line/port issue at the end of the road where I live, not a technician since they have been out every two months for years. This magical order number was for me to call and check the status of the engineer and what they had found and what was being repaired. After a 2 hour, (SERIOUSLY), conversation WED, Aug 19, I found this order number is B.S., and is actually the tracking number to track the order of the very first modem I ever recieved from them years ago. I am outraged. Is there anyone that has information that might help get me in contact with good ol Randall S. They owe me $$ plus an explanation. Oh and I would’nt mind if my internet actually works when the smoke clears! Help!