AT&T $10 DSL Features: FAST, up to 768 Kbps! Unlimited Internet Access! Registration Page Buried Where You'll Never Find It!
The Federal Communications Commission should have been a bit more rigorous in describing its conditions for approving the $86 billion megamerger between AT&T and BellSouth. Because AT&T seems bent on satisfying them in the most unsatisfying way possible.
Over the weekend, the company began offering high-speed Internet service for about half its normal price in some states. The $10-a-month-deal was among the concessions AT&T agreed to in exchange for approval of the merger with BellSouth:
Within six months of the merger closing date, and continuing for at least 30 months from the inception of the offer, AT&T/BellSouth will offer to retail consumers in the wireline buildout area, who have not previously subscribed to AT&T’s or BellSouth’s ADSL service, a broadband Internet access service at a speed of up to 768 Kbps at a monthly rate (exclusive of any applicable taxes and regulatory fees) of $10 per month.”
A fairly straightforward directive, but one lacking the specificity that would have made it truly effective. Because while it might require AT&T to create a $10 DSL offering, it doesn’t say anything about publicizing it. And AT&T, which presumably didn’t care much for any of the concessions it agreed to, seems to have seized upon that fact and hasn’t really announced the $10-a-month-deal, let alone promoted it. The plan wasn’t mentioned in a Friday news release about AT&T’s DSL service and a page on the AT&T Web site describing DSL options doesn’t list it. To find it, you’ve got to click on the “Term contract plans” link at the bottom of AT&T’s residential high-speed Internet product page. Here’s a direct link.
Apparently there wasn’t enough money in AT&T’s multimillion-dollar “Need Something?” advertising campaign to promote low-cost Internet access.