AT&T recently announced two possible price savers for those of us in its footprint. One is a $10.00 (cheap!) low speed DSL plan and the other is free wifi for those with expensive DSL plans.
The cheap DSL is being offered in fulfillment of obligations that the Feds laid on AT&T as a condition of the BellSouth/AT&T merger. The plan is being very quietly offered, this is not being advertised and is not easily found on the website. (But hey, I dug up the AT&T link for you.) The AP story notes:
The $10 offer is available to customers in the 22-state AT&T service region, which includes former BellSouth areas, who have never had AT&T or BellSouth broadband, spokesman Michael Coe confirmed Monday. Local phone service and a one-year contract are required. The modem is free.If you have already cut your umbilicus to the phone company and so aren't eligible don't despair, your day is coming:
However, if you are having a little fantasy of using your new DSL to replace your landline phone you probably should reconsider: the service only offers "download speeds of up to 768 kilobits per second and upload speeds of up to 128 kbps," probably not enough for reliable VOIP. That's too painfully slow to get you to move off cable if you already have it. But if you are still on on dialup, haven't tried DSL before, don't have access to cable, and are close enough to a phone aggregation point to get DSL (admittedly a small group of people) then this might be a good deal for you.
Another concession to the FCC is yet to come: a plan for DSL that doesn't require local phone service. AT&T has another six months to introduce that option, which should cost at most $19.95 per month.
At the other end of the financial scale—if you've got one of those nifty iPhones (like some lucky locals do) and are unhappy, as many are, with AT&T's slow network then you'll be interested in the potential for hooking up with AT&T's WiFi network for free. It's available in McDonalds and Starbucks and WiFi apparently makes the iphone user experience an ecstatic one. The possible dealbreaker here is that you have to pay up for one of the higher speed DSL packages (meaning such has to be available to you) and AT&T's network, while extensive, is not nearly as widespread as others--nor, like T-mobile's, is the VOIP WiFi integrated into the cellular plan.