AT&T U-Verse

Have any of you heard of AT&T’s relatively new phone/cable service U-Verse? I found out about it, and got it when i moved (I had Comcast before and HATED it). I found AT&T’s service great, pretty cheap, and reliable. They were understaffed on weekends but on the week they did what was needed to be done right away, and professionally. All of their services (cable tv and internet) go through the phone line and then to a fiber optic box at the end of the street. I was sceptically of this at first, because i though that copper wouldn’t handle the data as well as fiber all the way to the gateway. The service for the internet was a little flaky during the first few days, but after a few days it was working flawlessly and faster than i expected. The cable is great too, never flakes like Comcast did, and the DVR has a better interface then any i have seen. I do hate the fact that for an extra cable box you have to pay a pricey extra $7, but i only have TV in two rooms, anyway.

Overall I give AT&T U-Verse a 4 out of 5. Discuss it here.

I signed up for U-Verse in October of last year. The service was installed the day before Thanksgiving, the delay due to having the number ported for their VOIP service. I am mostly happy with the service, as with any other service there are pros and cons.

Pros:

[ul]
[li]Amazing DVR. It can record 4 programs simultaneously. Additionally, the DVR can stream it’s recordings to any set-top box. STB’s can now set recordings to the DVR and/or remove programming. DVR can also be controlled through a web interface.[/li]
[li]IP address is tied to MAC address of the Residential Gateway, it’s as close to getting a static address as one can get without having a business class account.[/li]
[li]Unmatched bundles and eager to please customer service agents. This is subject to change as the service grows and they recoup their investment. Right now, the price is unbeatable and there are always incentives to try out U-Verse.[/li]
[li]TV and Internet service is very stable, have not experienced a single outage of either. Even when phone service goes out, TV and Internet remain up.[/li]
[li]Fully provisioned lines allow you to receive rated Internet speeds. Both upload and download speeds are true speeds, not “up to” as is the case with ADSL and Comcast.[/li][/ul]
Cons:

[ul]
[li]Can’t help but feel that AT&T was shortsighted, if not plain stupid, in their decision to not install fiber to the home. Service availability is dependent on distance from VRAD as well as quality of copper.[/li]
[li]Interface with Residential Gateway is awful. Admittedly, not many folks are interested in how stuff works, but for those who are inclined, the interface is poorly organized and doesn’t show any relevant information nor allow control over the network.[/li]
[li]Residential Gateway often needs to be reset to restore phone service. This problem could be because of the really bad copper in my area or due to having VOIP. [/li]
[li]Internet speeds are not competitive. 6/1, 12/1.5 and 18/1.5 don’t look so hot compared to DOCSIS 3 and especially FIOS.[/li]
[li]Using yet another Microsoft O/S will leave you with a complex. It works, this one doesn’t crash, yet… Kidding aside, waiting for the DVR or STB to come back up after a reboot is a nice test of one’s patience.[/li][/ul]

Overall, I like U-Verse. A lot. It is a great service, there is great potential with the technology. I can only hope AT&T has a plan to address the copper limitations of the service.