Earlier this month, AT&T made its plans know that it would no longer be accepting new DSL service connections, which is the only way that many rural Americans can access broadband internet – that is if you really want to classify AT&T’s 6Mbps DSL as broadband. “We’re beginning to phase out outdated services like DSL and new orders for the service will no longer be supported after October 1,” said AT&T in a statement last week.
“Current DSL customers will be able to continue their existing service or where possible upgrade to our 100% fiber network.”
Given that fiber access in rural parts of the country as rare as hen’s teeth, we know how this is going to turn out for customers: badly. Never one to miss an opportunity to punch a competitor when the opportunity presents, T-Mobile has announced that it will offer its 4G LTE Home Internet service in more than 450 cities and towns across the United States, many of which are considered to be in rural areas.
“We can’t stand idly by while AT&T leaves potentially millions with fewer home Internet options at a time when our connection to the Internet is so vital — for work, remote school, connection with family and friends. That’s why we’re undertaking this massive expansion,” said T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert. “The Carriers and the Cableopoly have consistently over-promised and under-delivered when it comes to broadband access.”
Naturally, T-Mobile is touting its recent merger with Sprint as giving it the footprint to be able to expands its Home Internet service to more customers. In addition, T-Mobile called out AT&T’s decision to not allow new DSL signup as especially egregious considering that 61 percent of rural Americans don’t have any other choice with regards to home broadband connectivity.