On Oct. 1, 2020 AT & T has stopped selling digital-subscriber-line connections. This decision impacts any existing subscribers that are on these low-speed DSL-only links (broadband connection delivered over copper lines). Areas affected by this are primarily rural, without any access to a wired broadband alternative.
Stay Connected with QSG Managed Internet – Get Started NowA message from AT & T states: “We’re beginning to phase out outdated services like DSL and new orders for the service will no longer be supported after October 1. Current DSL customers will be able to continue their existing service or where possible upgrade to our 100% fiber network.” For some current subscribers this will not pose any problems, they will be able to upgrade to fiber technology and take advantage of high speed connections. But for many there is no other option. Customers in rural areas will be left stranded without any alternatives as DSL is the only connection at their location. This decision by AT&T is extremely disappointing and frustrating to say the least, with many scrambling to find a way to stay connected. “AT&T basically gave up on fighting cable over a third of its territory” said Dave Burstein, editor of the trade publication Fast Net News. How many people does this effect?
AT&T reported 653,000 total DSL connections at the end of its second quarter, compared to 14.48 million on its fiber-optic and hybrid-fiber services. This number is down from two years ago, where AT&T had just over a million DSL customers. But still a cause for concern with so many to be left without access to phone or internet service.
It is estimated 3 to 6% of the U.S can only get wired broadband via DSL technology. Fortunately, Verizon and smaller telecom firms, such as Lumen (formerly CenturyLink) and Frontier have not announced plans to decommission their own DSL. Hopes are these companies will continue to expand their networks with fiber and high-speed offerings available in more geographies across the country.