My Gigabit Fiber Notification Will Arrive Via SnailMail From Ma Bell

I will now tell you a true story of technology in the San Francisco Bay Area. It applies to most places in the United States.

I know that I will soon be allowed to buy gigabit fiber. I know this because I talked to some workman with a large communications truck over one month ago. They told me that they were placing the physical fiber for AT&T and their work would soon be complete.

I think this is fantastic. I will finally get Gigabit Fiber. It will be goodbye Comcast-Xfinity. This will be wonderful.

I check my address online for availability. My address still says no fiber is available.

I call AT&T customer service over a month ago. They have no record that fiber will be available to my address in their database. Certain things take time. I know it is happening because it has been physically placed.

I call customer service two weeks ago. Now, my address comes up in the database for eventual fiber. There are other network configurations and testing needed. There is no date for when it will be available to order, but the ballpark is two months. This is still wonderful.

I ask if I can pre-order? No.

I ask if I can register for an email or text notification of availability? No.

Ma Bell and Snail Mail

The only means of notification will be when they send out paper flyers to our physical mailbox to our neighborhood. We can then call and ask for a salesman. I do not need a sales call. I am ready to buy.

AT&T was known as Ma Bell for perhaps 100 years. Younger people may not be aware of this because AT&T was split into AT&T and the baby bells back in 1984. The smaller companies were Verizon and the other regional phone companies. There have been mergers and moves to mainly focus on cellular phones, data and content. Pre-1984, all phone service of any kind in the USA was from AT&T.

I now await snail mail from Ma Bell for my notice of gigabit fiber internet availability.

Still Better than Comcast

This is still far better than Comcast-Xfinity. Comcast rebranded itself Xfinity. They did this because Comcast has terrible customer service. I recently had to try to get an admin password reset with Comcast. It was not residential or business but National Accounts – teleworker (ie work from home for a big company). For various reasons, this took two to three hours a day for three days. Even getting to the correct department would involve waiting for 20-30 minutes at a time and being transferred to wrong departments around the world. I could recognize the different national accents at the different call centers.

The first day it was multiple transfers and waits until they told me the correct department was closed.
The second day it was multiple transfers and again not reaching the correct department.

The various departments could not provide a direct call in number to the correct department. If they could it would have been the wrong number.

AT&T is better than Comcast, but the bar is very low.

It is Tough to Kill the Past

I am a futurist but I have worked in big corporations and dealt with actually technological implementations. We can have both better technology and 100-year-old business processes. It happens now and it can still happen 30 years from now.

We have solar power and it is less than 2% of world electricity. Coal is still at about 40% of world electricity. Coal has been dominant from the 1800s. Coal is burnable dirt. Almost every country has burnable dirt. Over a hundred years of Oil could not kill coal. Oil is burnable liquid. Natural gas is making progress reducing coal in the USA. Natural gas is burnable air.

20 thoughts on “My Gigabit Fiber Notification Will Arrive Via SnailMail From Ma Bell”

  1. You should just admit you were wrong when you said USA was “lacking behind” instead of shifting goalposts and making yourself look like even more of a fool.

  2. I’m on gigabit FTTH for like two years, and I’m located in Hungary ;). Eventually you will also get there. Patience!

  3. Sorry but the internet infrastructure in Netherlands is one of the best in Europe. The dutch government added internet connectivity to the list of life requirements and therefore almost everyone has an internet connection at least atathe speed of 50mbit which is currently being upgraded blazingly fast to 1gbit and should be 1gbit in 2019. Also, the current fiber to the home connections are being upgraded to 10gbit, which happens to be one of mine connections (yes I got multiple).

    For reference from 2015:
    “Apart from the concentrated Scandinavian region, The Netherlands, Switzerland and Latvia provide some of the fastest internet in the world. These countries actually rank above Finland and Denmark for internet speed.”

    See the US being yellow? That means it sucks ass.

    And these statistics are old as the dutch telephone internet connections are currently already at 40-50mbit/s, cable at 300 going to 1gbit in the very near future and fiber at 1gbit going to 10gbit.

    If someone needs to be educated it’s you.

  4. I have gigabit FTTH for a year now for less than 9 bucks a month in central europe.
    It’s mostly thanks to one corporation’s pushing. Otherwise we’d probably have 15mbit ADSL max…

  5. Someone has zero knowledge of what the international order that was created after WWII actually is and thinks the military has nothing to do with it.

    If you actually believe that fantasy, exactly how much will the US cut their military spending if Europe told them to get lost?

    What fantasy? The one where you don’t believe that Europe has been riding for free in defense so much that it could invest in the very social goodies Europeans then have the audacity to ‘chastise’ Americans for not spending?

    And WHERE do I ever say we would cut our military spending if Europe told us to ‘get lost’? I don’t.

    You’re the one drinking the bathwater, i am afraid. The one that prevents you from utilizing reading comprehension skills so much you are imagining what isn’t even being written by others.

  6. Decisions, decisions. If you have a war then you want the less competent enemy. But you are going to lose you want the more competent overlords.
    What to choose?

  7. Someone’s been drinking the bathwater again. The US does not spend money on the military because of Europe, it spends because some cultural pathology is at work.

    If you actually believe that fantasy, exactly how much will the US cut their military spending if Europe told them to get lost?

  8. That’s only if the Russians don’t finish what the arabs started.

    Europeans are better off with the Russians, if you ask me.

  9. Ow wait, that’s something the US does not want to see due to their military strategy.

    The globalists don’t want to. That is the old guard in the GOP that has been loosing control. The NeoCons.

    But that isn’t the Trump faction. Nor, for the Dems, the Bernie/Socialist faction.

    It may have almost taken 30 years, but most of the US is finally waking up and realizing we don’t need to prop up the old Cold War order. That involves no longer propping up a secure global trading system so Europe and other nations don’t have to be in the empire/colonialism business. It won’t be our troops you’ll miss but definitely our free naval protection of your merchant ships and continued open access w/o paying a definite transactional price to the vast American market.

  10. Lol Europe does not need the US. I’m with you that we had benefits for much too long from the US, much longer then required. We must pay for our own defense and the US should get it’s troops out of Europe including it’s nukes. Ow wait, that’s something the US does not want to see due to their military strategy. I believe NBF wrote something about that particular strategy a while back, something with surrounding Russia and China. Tell you what, you pull your troops back but then don’t complain or interfere with our third try to get the Russian oil and gas fields, but this time via business not war 🙂

  11. Ahh…yes THAT Western Europe.

    The one that has excellent infrastructure because the US has footed most of the bill in defending it.

    Too bad those days are coming to an end for Western Europe. Better take a course in Russian on-line with that 10gbit> connection, if I were you.

  12. Dude… The US is lacking behind with almost everything.. I’ve got gigabit fiber to the home for years now 😮 next year I’ll get 10gbit >:)

  13. coal is burnable dirt
    oil is burnable liquid
    natural gas is burnable air

    beautiful perspective. what is nuclear power? burnable metal? lol

  14. I’ve got Comcast. Every so often I check speed – it’s usually in the 60 MB range, occasionally up to 120… but it’s rare I see that.

    In the last 14 years I’ve had maybe five problems with them. Once they cut my cable at the junction with no warning or explanation. The techs (when I could finally get one out) were uniformly excellent – in one case putting in a new modem when what they’d had before was a cable problem.

    But if I can get ATT fiber? Oh, hell yes I’m jumping!

  15. Haha! You would think they could at least text you by now? I lived in Burlington, Vermont where the city has Burlington Telecom- awesome service!! But, as soon as you move out of Burlington, you are forced back into the jaws of horrible comcast xfinity. Just bought another house in Burlington, cant wait to get back on Burlington Telecom!!

  16. Had Comcast, until the third November in a row they told me their service issues meant I needed to upgrade my router. Switched to Century Link – which does have some connectivity issues occasionally; but never gaslights their switch ports.

    BTW still have my phone on AT&T since the first time I was in the gulf back in the 80’s – they had a shed on the pier in Bahrain and let people call the states from there, only charging them for a call from NYC to their home.

  17. I’m with COX. Customer service has been quite good at all hours, speeds have been good. Cost is a bit higher than I would like but not that big of a deal.

    A few months ago AT&T wired our neighborhood for fiber. They sent a salesmen door to door about two weeks later with special limited time offers for people who switch.

    So here is this 20 somethinig AT&T salesman at my door trying to get me to switch from COX to AT&T. Being Mr Computer Science I am absolutely peppering the poor kid with questions about latency, bandwidth, data caps, dedicated lines, etc etc etc. Poor kid can’t offer actual answers because his job is to help you pick you TV package.

    In the end I don’t switch simply because COX is acceptable and AT&T won’t let me try before I buy. I can’t switch my internet over on the promises that things will be better. I work from home, wife works from home. Slower internet isn’t acceptable.

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