Is AT&T Fiber a viable alternative? Is AT&T Fiber a wise purchase? Is ATT Fiber worth it? As an IT professional who works from home full-time and relies on my Internet connection to make a living, I have strong sentiments about this. It also, I feel, puts me in a good position to answer such inquiries.
While AT&T Fiber isn’t ideal, it has a number of advantages. It may be the greatest option in your area, depending on your other options. Here’s how to figure out if att worth it or not.
Also check: Can I Use My Own Router With Att Uverse?
Advantages of having AT&T Fiber
AT&T Fiber has two significant advantages over what your cable operator provides. The first advantage is that AT&T Fiber operates at the same speed in both directions. When using a cable, your upload speed is slower than your download speed. I had 200 megabits downstream but only 6 megabits upstream when I had Spectrum.
In some cases, upstream speed is less important. The downstream speed is far more important than the upstream speed for regular Internet use and streaming. Att is worth it in downstream. However, when working or taking classes from home, the upstream speed becomes more important. A-Zoom session necessitates 2 megabits of bandwidth in both directions. My kids and I couldn’t all be on Zoom at the same time if I only had a 6 megabit connection. We’d all be attempting to pull 2 megabits, and your 6-megabit connection would be the best-case scenario. You always get a little less than the advertised speed. The dreaded “Your Internet Connection is Unstable” message would appear.
Also check: Best Recommended Router for ATT Uverse
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My kids can be on Zoom school, my wife and I can both work from home, I can run this webserver, and there will still be more than enough excess capacity in both directions to go around.
Increasing the amount of bandwidth you’re allotted
Another benefit of ATT Fiber over cable is that you get more of the rated bandwidth. Neither of them gives you 100 percent of your rated speed, but AT&T gives you more of it than your cable provider. When I had Spectrum, I got about 80% of the advertised speed, and it varied depending on what the rest of the neighborhood was doing. AT&T claims that gigabit speeds will range between 880 and 940 megabits. I rarely get less than 900 megabits per second. On good days, I can get up to 940 megabits. I’ve clocked mine at 960 megabits.
Also check: Best Router For Spectrum 400 Mbps
Is ATT Fiber worth it? Because fiber is a dedicated line, there is less overhead. You’re sharing more of the infrastructure with the rest of the neighborhood when you use cable. As a result, if everyone is online at the same time, everyone’s speed suffers slightly. AT&T makes more promises and delivers more of what it promises.
Why your AT&T Gigabit service may not seem fast – Is ATT Fiber worth it?
To be honest, when I first got gigabit service from AT&T, I was disappointed, as was my neighbor. When we ran our benchmarks, we discovered that our upload speeds were insanely fast, averaging 960 megabits or more. However, our download speeds were in the 600 or 700 megabit range. Still quick, but not mind-blowingly so. Using an app rather than a browser-based test consistently evened out the scores. So the question is Is ATT Fiber worth it? The answer is yes!
Is AT&T Fiber a dependable service?
For over five years, I’ve worked from home. Because my company is entirely remote, we have an understanding. It’s inevitable that our Internet connections will go down from time to time. We’re not being a jerk about it. When your internet goes down, you tether your phone to your computer so you can reconnect in a degraded state, and if you’re on a Zoom call, you’re not expected to go on video. You reschedule a meeting when it becomes necessary. We comprehend.
We’ve made that arrangement for almost everyone on our team at some point. Except that we haven’t had to make that adjustment for me since I switched to AT&T Fiber in early 2018. We haven’t had to make that arrangement for a coworker who has Verizon FIOS.
I know from my coworkers’ experiences that not everyone’s Spectrum experience was as bad as mine. Every week, I had at least a two-hour outage. My entire neighborhood felt the same way. Everyone has asked me about it, so I know. My neighbors all switched after I did, and nobody has asked me an Internet question in nearly two years.
We’re not talking about a large sample size here. However, in my experience, AT&T Fiber is more reliable than whatever other option is available in your area. Because I know that the alternative is not Verizon FIOS. That is why I believe AT&T Fiber is worthwhile.
What should you do if your AT&T Fiber isn’t working?
ATT excels in some areas more than others. ATT had left its copper infrastructure in my 1960s neighborhood to rot, and DSL was terrible. When U-Verse, a hybrid copper/fiber offering, became available, I upgraded to it. It took two service calls to get it right, followed by a third because they outsourced the burying of my cable to Two Oafs and a ShovelTM. Everything they’d fixed to get U-Verse working was still there when I upgraded to Fiber. The installer did discover a couple of other issues, so it took a few hours for everything to start working. However, once it did, it was dependable.
If you’re one of the first people in the area to get the service, don’t be surprised if you run into some issues. However, once fixed, the service is extremely dependable. If it’s not working, keep calling. The service works well once you have a good tech on-site to check everything.
AT&T Fiber’s Drawbacks
Is ATT Fiber worth it? Overall, I am pleased with AT&T Fiber. However, it is not without flaws. So, in the interest of being fair, let’s discuss what’s not so great about AT&T Fiber so you can make an informed decision. This isn’t a commercial for AT&T Fiber. I’m an IT Security professional describing a service so you can decide whether or not to purchase it.
First and foremost, it is reasonably priced. That’s most likely why you’re wondering if AT&T Fiber is worthwhile. It’s likely to be slightly more expensive than the competition. I pay around $130 per month for Internet and phone service, but no TV. (I do not subscribe to TV services due to personal beliefs that I will not discuss.) Charter Spectrum will give me everything for $100, but after a year, they will most likely raise my price to $120. However, even after the mandatory price increase, they would be less expensive.
But, as I tell Charter Cable every time they call, I expect my service to function properly while theirs does not. AT&T charges me a Rolls-Royce price, but they deliver top-tier quality and dependability. Charter charges a Cadillac price, but delivers something more akin to a Yugo. I require dependable service because I rely on my Internet connection to make a living.
I’m also getting gigabit service. AT&T offers slower, less expensive tiers. Charter’s $120 plan is not comparable to AT&T’s most expensive plan. AT&T’s lower-cost options are more cost-effective, though they have some limitations.
The issue with AT&T’s less expensive plans is that they have data caps. Even with everything my family and I have going on, we probably wouldn’t run up against the caps most months. Is ATT Fiber worth it? However, there are usage limits, so you must exercise caution. Fortunately, when you sign in to your AT&T Portal, they will tell you how much data you have used. They didn’t use to do that, and I’m glad they did. If you’re going to have a problem, you can deal with it.
Spectrum’s main selling point used to be the lack of data caps. That was a concession Charter Cable had to make with the FCC in order to purchase Time Warner Cable and Bright House, the rare cable company with high customer satisfaction. Charter Cable announced a plan in 2020 to reverse its FCC concession and impose data caps. It rescinded that request on January 20, 2021, most likely because it didn’t think an FCC led by someone other than Ajit Pai would agree.
However, that agreement will expire on May 18, 2023. As a result, I expect Charter Cable (and thus Spectrum) to have data caps after 2023, just like everyone else.
Of course, where AT&T competes with someone other than Spectrum, the competitor already has data caps in place.
You can avoid monthly lease fees by purchasing your own equipment from cable providers. AT&T does not permit this. You must make use of their equipment. There is a way to bridge their equipment so that you can use your better equipment, but you must still pay the monthly fee and use their equipment between them and you.
I have friends who used to work at AT&T competitors, and based on the horror stories they tell me about their competitors’ equipment, AT&T’s equipment is superior. The equipment works well, and if it breaks down or becomes obsolete, you can contact AT&T and have it replaced.
Having to lease equipment from AT&T is still a disadvantage. I could get something really nice for what I’ve paid AT&T in equipment fees over the years. But I don’t have much of a choice.
If you’re interested in AT&T Fiber, I’m assuming it’s available in your area, but there’s still a problem with availability. AT&T Fiber is not available everywhere. AT&T Fiber is not always available where other AT&T services are available. The situation is improving, at least where I live, but better Internet service deployment has always been a challenge in the United States. My coworkers cannot all get AT&T Fiber or Verizon’s equivalent, FIOS.
It doesn’t matter if AT&T Fiber is superior if you can’t get it.
Is AT&T Fiber a Good Investment: Conclusion
Is AT&T Fiber worth it? Is AT&T Fiber reliable?
Yes and no. Of course, I wish the price were lower, but we can’t do much about it. To be honest, AT&T has no viable competition. To be honest, the entire telecommunications industry is a trust, but there isn’t much willpower to change it. AT&T Fiber is about the best that our current system can offer for the time being.
While I believe the gigabit service is not the best value, they also offer 100, 300, and 500 megabit speeds. At this point, the 100 megabit speed competes with the cheapest offering from a cable company. And, while the top and bottom tiers usually don’t provide the best value, the mid-tier offerings are usually better than what the cable company will provide, and at a competitive price.