Last Updated on August 3, 2017 by Dave Farquhar
I got this question anonymously, but it’s a fair question: Does AT&T U-Verse drop connections like DSL?
In my experience, over the 3½ years I’ve had it, sometimes. But not nearly as often.
I can think of two times this year I’ve seen my U-Verse connection drop. Even after getting my old-fashioned copper phone line serviced, re-running all of my internal phone wiring, and buying a new modem, DSL was never that reliable. Resetting the modem, or the combo modem/router, was a common ritual. I signed up for DSL the instant Southwestern Bell started offering it in my area. I kept it for 11½ years. Over the course of those 11½ years I developed other odd rituals that seemed to help. Picking up a phone and just keeping it off the hook until the signal locked on was my go-to. I have no idea why that helped, but sometimes it did. I kept my modems an average of three years, so I know it wasn’t always a case of old age catching up with the modems. Sometimes, but not always.
When U-Verse drops, I actually have to remember how to troubleshoot. The Internet connection starts acting unresponsive. After a few minutes I think to run downstairs and check the gateway. I cycle the power, then the Internet is back in a couple of minutes.
The biggest difference, I think, is that AT&T is maintaining it. It’s true that fiber optics struggles to keep up with cable speeds. But many copper DSL connections don’t even meet the modern definition of broadband. I wanted faster DSL, and faster DSL was theoretically possible. But AT&T couldn’t offer it, given the state of the wiring in my neighborhood, which dates to the 1960s. U-Verse is a go-forward technology as far as AT&T is concerned, but copper isn’t.
There are some things I wish I’d known ahead of time about U-Verse, and there are things I recommend changing once you get their router and you may need to add an access point to improve coverage, but you’d need to do all of those things with any ISP. The upstream connection itself with U-Verse is pretty solid.
But if you’re thinking about U-Verse, you may also be thinking of Spectrum. Here’s my comparison of U-Verse vs. Spectrum.