AT&T DSL service has come to an end. The company will no longer take new orders for legacy DSL service, effective October 1. This move impacts legacy DSL service only, and not what AT&T labels IP DSL, or what used to be branded AT&T U-verse (now called AT&T Internet).
DSL was arguably the first broadband technology made available to the general public. In a billing notice, first flagged by DSLReports.com, AT&T alerts customers that effective October 1, 2020, AT&T will no longer accept new DSL orders and existing customers will no longer be able to make any speed changes to their service.
That move is confirmed on AT&T’s website, where the company states it no longer offers DSL service.
AT&T DSL service is offered primarily in smaller, suburban and rural AT&T markets, although there are exceptions. Like many traditional telcos, AT&T has shifted its broadband focus to FTTP, and in AT&T’s rural markets, fixed wireless.
New AT&T customers living in those territories who want service from AT&T will probably have to choose fixed wireless if it is available. Otherwise, they will need to look elsewhere for internet service.
The move is not surprising. Large carriers like AT&T and Verizon basically abandoned legacy DSL service years ago. They still offered it, but didn’t offer any innovation for it, offering slow speeds at high prices. Legacy DSL from large carriers had become the new dial-up.
That reality has led to significant growth in cable broadband, as DSL customers often turned to cable broadband for improved speeds and better performance. That cable broadband wave continues to today, with the cable industry seeing record net broadband growth recently.
AT&T’s broadband future lies in FTTP, 4G and 5G. Much like Verizon did years ago, AT&T has shifted its wireline broadband strategy to growing its FTTP footprint. As of 2Q20, AT&T now counts 4.3 million FTTP connections. That compared with just 469K legacy DSL subscribers. AT&T has 9.1 million IP DSL subscribers, and 13.9 million total wireline broadband subscribers.