Tuesday, September 18, 2007

AT&T Expands From Deregulation, But Where's The Price Break?

Deregulation of Indiana's telecommunications industry promised more competition and better rates for customers, but so far consumers have only seen higher rates. The Star's Erika Smith reports that AT&T officials will join Gov. Daniels today in announcing the company's plan to add 475 jobs in expanding its Internet-based TV service. She writes:

AT&T will announce today plans to create 475 jobs in several communities across Indiana, sinking even more resources into expanding its Internet-based TV service.

Gov. Mitch Daniels will join AT&T Indiana President George Fleetwood in Anderson for the afternoon announcement.

AT&T spokeswoman Molly Cornbleet said the jobs will be for service technicians, responsible for installing U-verse and upgrading the company's fiber-optic network to handle video. U-verse is AT&T's brand of Internet Protocol TV, or IPTV, a method for transmitting television signals over a broadband Internet connection rather than a satellite dish or cable line.

Cornbleet declined to give specifics about which cities will get the jobs or what the U-verse technicians would be paid.

So far this year, AT&T has vowed to create about 1,000 jobs at call centers in Indianapolis and Evansville. Today's announcement will bring that total to nearly 1,500.

As with AT&T's past announcements, Fleetwood is expected to credit last year's passage of key legislation in the Indiana General Assembly as a catalyst for the new jobs.

AT&T has been very slow to roll out services to compete with local TV providers and where it has, you have to bundle the services to get a half way decent rate, which is no better than the over-priced rates already being charged by local cable providers. But as the article notes, the new deregulation law allows telephone companies to raise their local telephone rates. Yes, deregulation equals higher rates for customers, just the opposite of what one would expect in a truly competitive environment.


Anonymous said...

Don't forget that Daniels' buddy
the "back massage" guy (Tobias)used to be at AT&T Indiana awhile ago.

Anonymous said...

The Democrat's said this would. They were right again. Mitch loves big business. It;s just a Republican thing.

Anonymous said...

I switched to AT&T broadband a year ago.

I wanted to get rid of my land line phone.

I can't. If I do, ironically, my broadband bill goes up.

Service quality is spotty, and a tech in my home two months ago told me the phone lines in this area are 1958 vintage, with zero plans to improve them.

Gee I love competition.

AT&T, Comcast, IPL: my customer service Hall of Shame.

Anonymous said...

I have priced U-Verse and as of now, it is pretty much a draw with what I have with Insight Cable. I hear that after the first of the year, more of Insight will become Comcast, so I will wait to see if my bills go up.

With U-Verse, you have to have a digital receiver for every TV. Same with digital cable, except that I only have digital on one TV, thus I can have basic cable to as many TVs in my home that I want, at no extra charge. I would also lose the current 24/7 weather/news stations. While not that important, I do like these stations because they show re-runs of the afternoon news. I also would lose some movie channels and maybe my music channels.

I think that after U-Verse is really up and running, we will see prices go down. I likely would save $20-$40 by going all AT&T: U-Verse (which comes with DSL internet), cell phone, and home phone. They want the bundle customers, so I think that is where you will see some cuts. If Comcast comes in and jacks my costs, I might go to U-Verse. There are also ideas being tossed around that would force cable, and maybe U-Verse/Sat. companies, to offer each channel as a seperate item. Basically, you could build your own subscription package and the cable companies would price stations accordingly. I never watch ESPN, the most exspensive cable channel there is. I could see my bill drop a few dollars a month just by being able to drop ESPN.

As far as service, I have never had a problem. I have a home phone, which some folks seem to think is a waste anymore. I get an hours worth of AT&T long distance and do pay what I consider a pretty high rate. Now that I have DSL through them, I could drop my $8 voice mail and use the machine on the cordless phone. In fact, I will likely do that in the coming weeks. Their DSL has been great. I got the basic service and it is plenty fast for me. No outages ever, no service issues at all. My cable company wants double for high speed internet. While much faster, I can only do so much anyways. I don't need all that speed if it is going to costs me $15-$20 more a month.

Anonymous said...

AT&T will not offer high speed in the vast majority of neighborhoods in Center Township.
I live on the near eastside and was told by AT&T that they will not run fiber optic into what they consider "poor neighborhoods".
AT&T has been sued in other states for this.