In 2007 I started DSL service for $19.99 a month with no telephone service. This was a condition that AT&T agreed to as part of the BellSouth and AT&T merger. So I knew it wouldn’t last. The rate lasted longer than I thought, but last December it went up to $25. Still, that wasn’t too bad, so I’ve been paying that, even though I have DSL Lite which is the slowest form of high speed internet (768 kbps download speed and 128 kbps upload speed).
The latest bill was for $29.95, which seems like too much for what I am getting. I have been getting ads for Clear internet service which creates a 4G cellular hotspot in your house. Their high speed plan is $50 a month (3000 to 6000 kbps download, 1000 kbps upload), but they have a lower speed plan (1500 kbps download and 500 kbps upload, still much faster than DSL Lite) for $34.95. They have two choices for equipment. One is a home hub that connects to the 4G network and then communicates with the devices in your house over wi-fi (it also has a port for a ethernet cable that I would use for my desktop computer). The other choice is a battery-powered device that gives you a wi-fi hotspot wherever you go since it is connecting to a wireless system anyway. That was kind of neat because it meant I could take the internet wherever I went. The home device has an ethernet port to hook up a desktop computer, but the portable one doesn’t. Either device is $50.
I figured before I signed up for Clear, I should check with AT&T and see if they would give me a better rate or at least increase the speed to something like what Clear is offering. Their offices were closed this weekend, but open today (surprising since it is MLK Day). They said they could upgrade my plan to one that costs $32.95 (I think, but I couldn’t find a plan online at that price point) and it would be a lot faster. Then they could offer me a 50% discount for 6 months, knocking the price down to $16.50. Alternatively, they could give me a $15 per month discount that would knock the price down to $23 (that must be for a $38/month plan which is 1500 kbps) but it would be for 12 months. I’d rather have 12 months and even with the higher speed it is still cheaper than what I was paying before the rate increase. That’s enough to keep me for another year anyway, then I’ll just have to revisit the issue next January. They said the new service would be available to me on Wednesday and I would just need to unplug the modem and plug it back in.