AT&T (still) sucks

September 4th, 2010 by ben Leave a reply »

June 10, 2010

Los Angeles, California — I have confirmed this fact thoroughly and definitively. Allow me to start you off, reader, with a detailed explanation of the circumstances surrounding my internet connection. AT&T, partnering with Yahoo!, offers an ADSL service in my area of residence for thirty-or-forty-some dollars a month. The speed is abysmal. The advertised speed is 3 Mbps, which is already bad enough, but I only ever got 1.5 Mbps. The upload speed was less than 300 Kbps. Also, the modem liked to randomly disconnect and die on us every few days, and when the modem wasn’t dead, the phone-line DSL signal was to corrupted to connect. As a result, I often had no internet for days in a row, and even when I did, it wasn’t even up to half the advertised speed.

Then my dad switched to Time Warner Cable’s offering of 10Mbps RoadRunner cable internet service. Interestingly, at the same price as AT&T’s crappy ADSL, we got speedtest results of up to 30Mbps! Other RoadRunner customers reported speeds of up to 40Mbps… which is pretty astounding. This is 20 times the speed of our AT&T service… for the same price. It’s amazing, isn’t it.

On like the third day we got RoadRunner cable, the modem like completely crashed and we had no internet for like the entire day. It turns out that it was just some really infrequent service outage, and that many of my friends also went without internet on that day.

July 29, 2010

It turns out that the “infrequent” service outages are actually pretty frequent. We seem to get one every month, often lasting for a whole day. It’s pretty annoying, although if/when I get an Android phone I won’t care as much.

Also, the previous claim I made about speeds at up to 40 Mbps is partially invalid. Although burst speeds can reach up to 40 Mbps, after a second or two of letting you think you’re downloading at 40 Mbps, Roadrunner caps your speed and cuts it down to what you pay for, 10 Mbps. So basically, they trick speed-test websites into thinking your speed is fast, while in reality only providing a quarter of the speed. I’m pretty disappointed; it would be awesome downloading all the crap I download at 40 Mbps. And speaking of that, I download way too much crap.

Anyways, speaking of AT&T’s internet service… AT&T’s wireless service does horrendous things with its Android phones. As the iPhone is its biggest cash cow, AT&T completely locks down most of Android’s functions. They don’t let AT&T Android owners install third-party applications on their phones, and heavily censors the Android Marketplace. Basically, you can’t install any program on your phone that AT&T doesn’t want you to install.

AT&T bloats its phones with random useless crap like AT&T Navigator, among others. The service costs like $5 a month for GPS navigation service… but I wonder if AT&T has ever heard of Google Maps, which does the same thing, better and for free? Additionally, there is no way to remove the app from your phone (without rooting it).

September 4, 2010

Why did I waste my precious summer writing this post. Ugh rage.

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