Should you get AT&T? Well, if you’re a “cord cutter” and just want basic Internet service with no TV, I’d say skip it. For this type of customer, a cable provider like Spectrum or Xfinity will probably perform better for your Netflix and Roku needs.
AT&T is perfect, however, for Internet+TV customers, particularly sports fans and families. Their partnership with DirecTV means they’re the only provider that you can get NFL Sunday Ticket from. If you get AT&T mobile service they will throw in unlimited streaming of DirecTV content and HBO for the life of your contract.
The AT&T Internet network is predominantly DSL, which provides speed in the 25–100 Mbps range depending on location and is capped at 1TB. This is more than enough for the average household of 2–5 people. Many customers, particularly renters and students, opt to get an Internet-only plan and use the streaming service DirecTV NOW for TV.
They’ve recently started offering fiber as well in some areas, which comes with no data caps and 1,000 Mbps speeds — which is insanely nice to have. Availability data online tends to be out of date, so the only way to know for sure which speed or network is available at your address is to call (855) 842-6521 and inquire.
Pros and Cons
- $15/month DirecTV discount
- Fiber service in some areas
- Mobile TV options
- Data caps on DSL plans
- Low average download speeds
- Misc fees add to total cost
AT&T Internet in a Nutshell
- Offers Service in: California, Texas, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Georgia, Ohio, Tennessee, North Carolina, Missouri, Louisiana, Indiana, Wisconsin, Alabama, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Kansas, Kentucky, Arkansas and Nevada
- Major Cities Covered: Houston, TX, Chicago, IL, Los Angeles, CA, Miami, FL, San Antonio, TX, San Diego, CA, Dallas, TX, San Jose, CA, Austin, TX, Saint Louis, MO, Indianapolis, IN, Atlanta, GA, San Francisco, CA, Columbus, OH, Fort Worth, TX, Milwaukee, WI, Cleveland, OH, Jacksonville, FL, Orlando, FL and Fort Lauderdale, FL
- Residential Pricing: $50.00+ (See Latest Deals)
- Business Pricing: $50.00+
- Setup Service: (855) 842-6521
AT&T U-Verse Internet and DirecTV Bundle Plans
For Internet-only customers, here’s every plan currently offered by AT&T. You’ll notice that some of these have the same price for different speeds. That’s because their DSL network has faster speeds in some areas than others, and they will try to get you the best speed in your area at the “entry level” price points.
|Internet Basic 5||$40/mo + fees||DSL||1 Terabyte|
|Internet 25||$40/mo + fees||DSL||2 Terabyte|
|Internet 50||$40/mo + fees||DSL||3 Terabyte|
|Internet 75||$60/mo + fees||DSL||4 Terabyte|
|Fiber 100 Mbps||$60/mo + fees||Fiber||None|
|Fiber 1000 Mbps||$80/mo + fees||Fiber||None|
Here are the most common and popular DirecTV bundles as of this post:
|Plan||Price||Channel Count||Internet Speed|
|DirecTV SELECT + Internet 50 + phone||$84.99/mo + fees||150+||50 Mbps|
|DirecTV XTRA + Internet 50 + phone||$104.99/mo + fees||230+||50 Mbps|
|DirectTV ULTIMATE + Internet 50 + phone||$109.99/mo + fees||245+||50 Mbps|
|DirecTV PREMIER + Internet 50 + phone||$179.99/mo + fees||325+||75 Mbps|
For more information on DirecTV bundles, see my DirecTV deals rundown.
AT&T Internet fees calculator
AT&T comes with a handful of fees for Internet, mostly related to installation and activation. TV service generally comes with some extra fees like regional sports fees, which are unfortunately unavoidable.
|Activation fee||$35||Not avoidable.||One-time fee|
|Installation fee||$99||Avoidable if you self-install.||One-time fee|
|Early Termination fee||$15/month left in contract.||Not avoidable.||Monthly fee|
|Bonus data||$10/50GB||Avoidable if you pay $30/mo. extra for unlimited||Monthly fee|
TV options: AT&T U-Verse vs DirecTV
- 1 year contract
- Better mobile app
- NFL Sunday Ticket
- Better DVR
- Fewer premium channel promotions
- Less availability
- 2-year contract
- Satellite dish installation required
AT&T currently has two separate TV options: U-Verse and DirecTV. The two services are virtually identical in terms of performance and price. The cheapest promotional plans for each start at $35/month, and range up to $110/month plus add-on fees for premium packages and channels. The biggest difference is availability: DirecTV is available everywhere since it’s a satellite service, while U-Verse is only available in certain areas since it provides digital video over the AT&T fiber network.
U-Verse has a minimum one year contract, which is easier to live with than DirecTV’s minimum two-year contract. However, DirecTV has slightly higher customer satisfaction ratings.
DirecTV has better sports packages with exclusive NFL Sunday Ticket access, although I’ve found their mobile app to be less approachable than the U-Verse app, in addition to having fewer mobile channels.
Speaking of channels, DirecTV has upwards of 325 and U-Verse has 500+, but in reality they have the same variety since most of the bonus channels on U-Verse are “radio” channels that no one cares about. I honestly don’t understand who uses these, and presume they’re included just to boost the channel count in advertising.
The DirecTV and U-Verse DVRs are virtually identical as well, although the DirecTV Genie can handle 5 recordings at the same time, while the U-Verse Total Home DVR tops out at four.
It’s worth mentioning that I have received an alarming amount of comments from U-Verse customers having trouble with their DVR and TV boxes. It seems that they are overall more susceptible to technical issues than DirecTV equipment, which is easier to use and troubleshoot in my experience.
Where is AT&T U-Verse Available?
AT&T was the first major telecom in the US, but these days they mostly focus on their wireless network and fiber. It’s a common option throughout the midwest, as well as California, Florida, and Virginia. You can call (855) 842-6521 to check specific plans available at your address.
TV Nerd Reccomendation: DirecTV Bundle for Sports Fans, Internet-Only or U-Verse for Everyone Else
Overall, AT&T is a decent Internet service that has a cheaper lifetime price than cable for long-term customers. If you’re frustrated with the constant surcharges from a cable company like Xfinity, they’re well worth a try.
Sports fans will appreciate DirecTV, particularly for the premium NFL coverage. Everyone else is likely to be happier with U-Verse for standard cable TV. Finally, cord cutters should look to DirecTV NOW as a great in-between option that provides a similar experience to traditional cable at a reduced price with no contracts.