AT&T: Nobody Wants Our $10 DSL
AT&T’s new head is a smooth one, definitely Dapper Dan and not Fop. It takes a quarter-century of industry experience to tap dance around honest questions the way he does.
I don’t mean to sound hateful, just snarky. Straight answers are rarely present in my profession and it’d be nice to see one for a change.
When the Atlanta Journal-Constitution asked Randall Stephenson about criticism that the company’s $10 DSL offering, the one required under government conditions to approve AT&T’s merger with BellSouth, was difficult to find and not promoted, Stephenson responded like you might expect a CEO to:
Deny, Downplay, Redirect.
We haven’t made it difficult to find. To be honest with you, that’s not a product that our customers have clamored for. We still have $15 offers out there in the marketplace, even $20 offers, for 1.5 megabit speeds. Those are really kind of the minimum speeds that give a good user experience. So I don’t want to necessarily offer up a product where the user experience is not what I would consider really state of the art. That $10 product is kind of in that mode.
Basically, in the basement without stairs in a filing cabinet and guarded by a leopard is on display, and nobody would want it anyway because it really sucks. Good to know those regulatory concessions had some teeth.
Oh wait, we kind of knew they didn’t, even then. Good luck ensuring Net Neutrality principles like they promised too.
TechDirt CEO Mike Masnick agrees:
AT&T actually thinks you’ll believe that they’re hiding their cheap broadband offering because, seriously, who wants cheap broadband when more expensive broadband is available? Of course, this isn’t a new strategy from AT&T. Back when it was SBC and refused to offer naked DSL, the claim was that customers didn’t want naked DSL either, despite the success many other companies were having with it, and numerous articles with people clamoring for it.
I imagine we’ll be having this conversation again in the few years when AT&T is delivering television packages, much like we have now about cable bundling – you know, I don’t want 300 channels, I just want these specific 20 channels. Only then, we’ll be complaining about trying to separate wireless, TV, landline, and Internet services from one another.
Wait and see.