"Randall Stephenson: 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."
Why doesn’t the guy just come out and say it, AT&T will not only have to be dragged kicking and screaming to competitive naked DSL but we’ll have to pry it from their cold dead hands.
First a bit of history, AT&T was required by the FCC to offer naked DSL as a condition for approval of their acquisition of BellSouth. They offered naked DSL, they said, but it was just as expensive as DSL plus a phone line and the FCC smacked them down. The boys at Ma Bell were not deterred, they then offered a naked DSL that was cheap, but also really really slow.
Now, in addition to making it slow, they are making it invisible. Try finding DSL only service on their website. To add insult to injury, AT&T’s CEO is now claiming that because it’s a really shitty service that you would have a hard time ordering even if you wanted it, well customers don’t actually want it as evidenced by the fact they aren’t signing up for it. I believe, in psychology circles, this is referred to as a self-reinforcing delusion.
There is so much to dislike about this company and their practices, it really bums me out to think that we are increasingly facing a number of markets that not only don’t have real competition but also don’t have the prospect for competition.
Does anyone really believe that AT&T’s leadership really cares about offering their customers a service that gets better over time while at the same time getting more affordable?