Last updated: February 21, 2008 - 11:24am
DSL DEAL IRKS CONSUMER GROUPS
[SOURCE: Nashville Tennessean, AUTHOR: Naomi Snyder]
AT&T now offers $19.95 high-speed Internet service that doesn't require an AT&T phone line, a deal that federal regulators required as part of the acquisition of BellSouth in late 2006. But consumer groups are criticizing the offer as hard to learn about, and they're calling on the Federal Communications Commission to do something about it. "They're not living up to the agreement," said Bob Williams, director of Hearusnow.org, a project of the Consumers Union. "You're not offering something if people can't find out about it and get it." He said he tried calling San Antonio-based AT&T last week to get the service but was told it would cost $31 per month, instead of the $19.95 per month federal regulators required. When a reporter from The Tennessean tried to order the service, the customer service representative first offered stand-alone DSL for $47.95, but after being pressed on the issue, said $19.95 per month was available with a $5 per month Internet access fee and a $75 one-time modem fee, plus signing a one-year contract.