There have been some remarkable improvements in our internet service at our house. I have asked my technology guru and sweet husband, Pete Foster to explain. Enjoy his guest blog post.
One hundred megabits per second. 100Mbps. One hundred million bits in a second. 100,000,000 bits/sec. I can hardly believe it! I now have an Internet connection that goes 100Mbps – in BOTH directions. Thanks technology. Thanks fiber optics. Thanks U-verse GigaPower™. Thanks AT&T™.
Until recently, it wasn’t even possible for PCs to communicate with each other within a home or office at 100Mbps, much less send data over the Internet that quickly. But now I’m the first on my block with 100Mbps Internet through AT&T’s U-verse GigaPower “fiber optic to the home” service. I can finally stop hearing from my “gamer” son that “our Internet sucks” – or from my daughter that “the TV is all ‘blocky’ (pixellated) – or my wife that “I’ll be up all night doing my blog if you don’t fix the Internet” and, “can’t we switch back to DSL?” GigaPower has (…so far, knock wood, say a prayer, light a candle, hold your breath) fixed all that.
Fiber Optics to your home! Imagine that. Ever since the “Pin Drop” ads in the 1980s when Sprint popularized fiber optics (AT&T actually was the first to use fiber in commercial telecom), there has been a perception that fiber is better than wires for telecommunications. And, it’s true! Fiber communications networks offer better quality, price and quantity than any other form of network today. But, until now, you couldn’t get it in my neighborhood of Dallas – “the Bubble”.
Sure, if you lived in Plano or Irving you could have gotten FIOS after Verizon “ditch-witched” up your neighborhood, but not in Urban Dallas! The AT&T guys must have installed the new fiber optic cable up on the poles during the night. I know I haven’t seen them doing it in my alley. I have seen them up and down Preston and Hillcrest working on the buried fiber trunk lines, and on their green or beige towers at the ends of the alleys, but not digging up sprinkler systems, fences, water mains and sidewalks burying the cable. I must say it is a much more civilized way to install technology.
Credit where credit is due, the AT&T installers were tops. From the hospital-grade shoe covers, to the spiffy blue AT&T button down shirts (I want one), to the great customer communication – these folks were the best. While they admitted everything was new to them, they had the new fiber cable strung from the telephone pole in the alley to my house in no time. It connected to the same spot as my other U-verse service and pretty much used the same “in-house” wires. They weren’t sure all my existing set top boxes wouldn’t work with the new service, but, after a short time of upgrading software and having issues, they just replaced them all, and bingo, we were in business.
The down side, of course, is being on the cutting edge – or as we in technology say, the “Bleeding Edge.” First, you must know to ask AT&T for U-verse GigaPower, it seems they’re not really promoting it since it’s not available everywhere. Then you must ignore everything you are actually told if you call, no two sales folks have the same story quite yet. If you can, use the GigaPower website, and yes, it is a bit of work to use it. You have to google GigaPower to find it. It doesn’t really show up under U-verse. AT&T is apparently fielding a slightly used web site for GigaPower that must have been acquired from Healthcare.gov last January. And billing, well let’s just say the service should be very cost-effective if my double billings for U-verse actually get fixed. Finally, I think AT&T is attempting to put some type of data usage charge element into the mix. No one mentioned it when I called; I ran into it by mistake. I hope they really don’t think that this is going to be a permanent element of the cost. Charter Cable is already advertising fiber-based Internet, although it doesn’t seem to be available in my neighborhood, yet. But the AT&T promotion price is good for a year anyway.
In the end, the bottom line is that the good of AT&T GigaPower U-verse more than outweighs the minor aggravation, and when you get it, you’ll like it. I give it four and one-half out of five stars. Maybe the best AT&T service yet.
About Pete Foster
Peter Foster is an avid technologist, engineer and fan of US space operations.He has over 25 years’ experience as CEO of technology companies, been granted 12 US Patents, has co-authored a book on speech recognition and is an instrument-rated private pilot with over 2500 logged hours.