John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

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.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik