What Is AT&T Internet and How Does It Work?

AT&T, the country's largest landline phone operator and third-largest internet provider, delivers broadband via a combination of fibre and hybrid-fiber connections. By 2020, it will have around 14 million members across the country. The almost 5 million customers who have access to AT&T's fibre network have equal download and upload speeds, but the 8.7 million who have access to its hybrid service (marketed confusingly as "AT&T Internet") have slower downloads than uploads. AT&T does not impose data restrictions on its fibre line, although all save the fastest hybrid-fiber plans have a 1 terabyte limit.

The corporation serves customers in 21 states, the most of which are in the South and Midwest, but also include California and Nevada. Fiber is more prevalent in urban regions, whereas hybrid service is more common in suburban and rural areas. The company also provides digital subscriber line (DSL) service to about 400,000 consumers, however it is no longer available to new customers. AT&T offers both contract-free plans and 12-month internet access with fee increases after the first year.

This Dallas-based organisation is a descendant of the original Bell System, which acquired the AT&T name when SBC – one of the regional telecom firms thrown out of the historical AT&T after its court-ordered dissolution in 1984 – inherited the AT&T name - purchased enough of the original conglomerate's components. AT&T also owns the DIRECTV satellite television service and acquired Time Warner in 2018.

AT&T Internet is recommended for:

  • Those who require high upload speeds

  • Shoppers that want to get online as soon as possible

  • Its fibre service is available to residents of urban regions.

AT&T Internet is not recommended for the following applications:

  • People that live in or plan to move to rural areas

  • People seeking for internet and television bundles

  • Those looking for download rates more than 1 Gigabit per second

AT&T's fiber optic broadband, like many other fibre optic internet providers, has inconsistent availability, with service constrained to specific portions of specific urban markets. However, users who are able to get service will benefit from fast downloads and uploads without a data cap, as the company has removed the 1 TB limit on slower fibre plans, which professional reviewers complained didn't reflect the service's capacity and was difficult to adhere to, especially in homes with a lot of connected devices.

Outside of fibre zones, AT&T offers a hybrid service in which fibre reaches your home for the majority of the way. This service, which was previously known as "U-verse" but is now known as "AT&T Internet," offers download rates of up to 100 Mbps. Upload speeds range from 1 Mbps to 20 Mbps, with download speeds ranging from 10 to 100 Mbps. On plans slower than 100 Mbps, however, there is a 1 TB data cap, which can only be avoided by paying $30 more or signing up for AT&T's DIRECTV or DirecTV Stream service.

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