Performance Characteristics

What factors affect the performance of my mass market broadband internet access service?

AT&T offers many mass market broadband internet access service options, each of which may have a different service capability speed. The term speed is commonly used as a shorthand way to describe the capacity at which a particular mass market broadband internet access service can transmit data. This capacity is typically measured in the number of kilobits, megabits or gigabits that can be transmitted in one second (Kbps, Mbps or Gbps). Some applications, like a short email without attachments or basic web browsing, do not require high service capability speeds to function optimally. Other activities, like transferring large data files, can be performed faster with higher-speed services. Your service capability speed may not be suitable for some applications, particularly those involving real-time or near real-time, high-bandwidth uses such as streaming video or video conferencing.

Because service performance varies on an end-to-end basis, AT&T’s service capability speeds are limited to, and measured between, your location and a point on AT&T’s network, which constitutes only one segment of the end to end transmission path connecting your location to internet websites or content providers. End-to-end performance of your service depends on a variety of factors, including: the number of subscribers simultaneously using the network; customer location; destination and traffic on the internet; Wi-Fi connectivity; the capabilities and performance of your Local Area Network (LAN); interference with high frequency spectrum on your telephone line; wiring inside your premises, office or apartment; the capacity or performance of your devices or modem; the server with which you are communicating; internal network management factors (including overhead, which refers to the various control and signaling data required to achieve the reliable transmission of internet access data); and the networks you and others are using when communicating.

AT&T offers a wide variety of services to its customers (including Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), Internet Protocol (IP)-video, unified messaging, Voice over LTE (VoLTE), enterprise networking, public safety (including FirstNet), and national security services. These services share AT&T’s network infrastructure and may rely on network practices to assign different levels of priority dynamically or statically. Use of these services may affect the availability of network resources for broadband internet access services, and thus the performance of that service. For example, your service may be interrupted, delayed, or otherwise limited in the event of a disaster or emergency, or during periods of congestion, to accommodate the needs of national security and emergency preparedness personnel. In addition, although AT&T engineers its network to accommodate all users and user types based on a variety of factors, including average and anticipated peak usage of the network, many factors cannot be anticipated or are outside of AT&T’s control. These factors can impact the availability of network resources for mass market broadband internet access services at any particular time. Consequently, AT&T does not guarantee the performance of your service on an end-to-end basis.

Other factors that are relevant to specific services include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Wired Services. Service performance may be affected by the wiring inside your premises, the distance between your premises and an AT&T central office, the capabilities of the device you are using to access the service, and the applications you use. For customers making use of in home Wi-Fi to connect to wired services, service performance may also be affected by a device's distance from the in home Wi-Fi antennae, the technology used by the Wi-Fi antennae to broadcast the in home Wi-Fi signal, the technology used to broadcast the Wi-Fi signal in the device being used, the number and activity level of devices connected via Wi-Fi at any given moment and features unique to the design and construction of your premises. In addition, to provide our U-verse TV customers with a consistently high-quality video service, the speed of AT&T broadband internet access service may be reduced when a customer is using his or her U-verse TV service in a manner that requires high bandwidth. Please click here for our AT&T Internet Terms of Service.

  • Mobile Services. Service performance may be affected by your proximity to a cell site, the capacity of the cell site, the number of other users connected to the same cell site and the services they are using, the surrounding terrain, use inside a building or a moving vehicle, radio frequency interference, the capabilities of your device, applicable network management practices as discussed above, and the applications you use. In addition, AT&T has designed its wireless services to provide our customers with a high-quality voice experience during simultaneous voice and data sessions, which may affect data performance, including but not limited to a temporary reduction in speed to minimize the likelihood of dropped calls.

  • Nationwide Wi-Fi Hotspot Services. Wi-Fi hot spots are generally provided at a given site on behalf of the business owner or operator for the benefit of their patrons. It is common practice that the internet access is shared between both the business’ patrons and the business’ operational traffic. In some instances, business operational traffic may be prioritized to minimize the potential impact on critical communications, such as credit card processing. This prioritization may intermittently impact the speed available. Additionally, service performance may be affected by your proximity to a Wi-Fi hot spot, the capacity of the Wi-Fi equipment at the hot spot, the number of other users connected to the same site, the composition of the building where the hot spot is located (wood, concrete, etc.), radio frequency interference, the capabilities of your Wi-Fi capable device, the internet connection to the Wi-Fi hot spot, per-user bandwidth limits used to provide fair internet access at a hot spot, and speed tier options made available at the hot spot.

Where can I find information about the performance of my mass market broadband internet access service?

Because many different factors can affect the performance of your mass market broadband internet access service, AT&T does not guarantee specific performance levels (such as of speed or latency) for our mass market broadband internet access services. We strive to manage our network to provide you optimal performance. The performance you can expect to receive from the mass market broadband internet access services we offer is described below.

Speed

  • Wired Service.

    • AT&T offers mass market wired broadband internet access services in discrete speed tiers. Our mass market wired broadband internet access customers should expect to see service capability speeds consistent with the median speed of the speed tier of their service plan. PLEASE NOTE: The median speeds denote midpoints of speed values observed over a period of time, therefore there is an equal probability of any particular observed speed falling above or below the median speed at any given point of time.
    • Please click here for a list of our wired service offerings and expected speeds. To find out which speed tier is well-suited for the types of applications you use most often, please click here.
    • The table below sets forth data showing the expected and actual 24-hours median download and upload speeds for AT&T’s mass market wired broadband internet access services, by transport technology type and speed tier. The “Expected Speed” for each Internet speed tier is the anticipated, theoretical speed, based on network design and engineering. “Actual Speeds” reflect the median of speed tests conducted between June 11th 2018 and July 6th 2018 by AT&T using a software tool installed on the AT&T provided home router for a statistically valid sample of the applicable speed tier which then measures network performance to the closest AT&T access point to the applicable customer.

AT&T Speed Tier Type Expected Speeds Actual Speeds
Download Upload Download Upload
Internet Basic 768 IPBB 0.8 0.4 0.8 0.3
Internet Basic 1.5 IPBB 1.5 1 1.7 0.3
Internet Basic 3 IPBB 3 1 3.4 1.3
Internet Basic 5 IPBB 5 1 5 0.9
Internet Basic 6 IPBB 6 1 6.9 0.9
Internet 10 IPBB 10 1 11.6 0.9
Internet 12 IPBB 12 1.5 14.3 1.4
Internet 18 IPBB 18 1.5 17.3 1.9
Internet 24 IPBB 24 5 31.1 4.8
Internet 25 IPBB 25 2 27.8 1.8
Internet 25 IPBB 25 5 30 6.4
Internet 45 IPBB 45 6 49.3 5.8
Internet 50 IPBB 50 10 56.8 12.5
Internet 75 IPBB 75 8 81.5 7.8
Internet 75 IPBB 75 20 80.8 19.9
Internet 100 IPBB 100 20 98.8 20.8

AT&T Broadband Information

IPBB includes ADSL2+, VDSL2, G.Fast and Ethernet technologies delivered over a hybrid of fiber optic and copper facilities which provides subscribers with significantly faster download speeds compared to traditional DSL connections. All speed tiers are asymmetrical or the download/upload speeds are different.

AT&T Fiber is an ultra-fast broadband technology delivered over a fiber optic connection to the premises or to units within certain Multi-Dwelling Units (MDU). All speed tiers are symmetrical or the download/upload speeds are similar.

AT&T Speed Tier Type Expected Speeds Actual Speeds
Download Upload Download Upload
Internet 5 Fiber 5 5 6.5 5.9
Internet 10 Fiber 10 10 12.9 12.1
Internet 25 Fiber 25 25 32.1 30.1
Internet 50 Fiber 50 50 64.1 61.8
Internet 100 Fiber 100 100 128.4 122.9
Internet 300 Fiber 300 300 379.6 342.7
Internet 1000 Fiber 1000 1000 939.7 827.9

AT&T Fiber Details

For speed tiers based on legacy ATM DSL technology, the reported information in the table below comes from data compiled by the FCC's Measuring Broadband America (MBA) initiative between Jan 1st 2017 and June 30th 2018.. For more information about the FCC’s MBA initiative, including how speeds are measured, go to www.fcc.gov/measuring-broadband-america.

AT&T Speed Tier Type Expected Speeds Actual Speeds
Download Upload Download Upload
FastAccess DSL Lite*,
Fast Access DSL Direct Lite,
High Speed Internet Basic,
High Speed Internet Business Edition Basic**,
High Speed Internet Business Edition Direct Basic**,
FastAccess Business DSL Lite*,
FastAccess Business DSL Direct Lite
DSL 0.768 0.256 0.43 0.1
FastAccess DSL Ultra*,
Fast Access DSL Direct Ultra,
High Speed Internet Express,
High Speed Internet Business Edition Express**,
High Speed Internet Business Edition Direct Express**,
FastAccess Business DSL*,
FastAccess Business DSL Direct
DSL 1.5 0.256 1.0 0.2
FastAccess DSL Xtreme*,
Fast Access DSL Direct Xtreme,
High Speed Internet Pro,
High Speed Internet Business Edition Pro**,
High Speed Internet Business Edition Direct Pro**,
FastAccess Business DSL Plus*,
FastAccess Business DSL Direct Plus
DSL 3 0.384 2.7 0.4
FastAccess DSL XtremePro*,
Fast Access DSL Direct XtremePro,
High Speed Internet Elite,
High Speed Internet Business Edition Elite**,
High Speed Internet Business Edition Direct Elite**,
FastAccess Business DSL 6.0,
FastAccess Business DSL Direct 6.0
DSL 6 0.512 5.5 0.5

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  • Fixed Wireless Service. AT&T’s mass market fixed wireless broadband internet access service provides qualified households and small business with internet access service using LTE technology, an outdoor antenna affixed to the customer’s premises and an indoor Wi-Fi gateway. The service is designed to provide high speed access to the internet with download speeds of at least 10Mbps. It does not impose a maximum speed limit, and thus provides customers with the highest speed available at the customer’s location and at a given point of time. Service performance may be affected by the customer’s proximity to a cell site, the capacity of the cell site, the number of other users connected to the same cell site, the surrounding terrain, radio frequency interference, applicable network management practices, and the applications used. As with wired services, customers making use of in home Wi-Fi to connect to fixed wireless broadband services may see their service performance affected by a device's distance from the in home Wi-Fi antennae, the technology used by the in home Wi-Fi antennae to broadcast the Wi-Fi signal, the technology used to broadcast the Wi-Fi signal , the number and activity level of devices connected via Wi-Fi at any given moment, and features unique to the design and construction of the customer’s premises.

    • The table below sets forth data showing the expected download and upload speeds for AT&T’s mass market fixed wireless broadband internet access service.

Download Upload
Fixed Wireless Internet (10/1) At least 10Mbps At least 1Mbps

  • Mobile Service. Most of AT&T’s mass market mobile broadband internet access services do not impose maximum speed limits, and thus provide customers with the highest speed available from the network at a particular location and at a given point in time, subject to the factors and the network management practices that can affect network performance, discussed above. Certain service plans include maximum data transmission rates for video and/or other data traffic. For example, AT&T’s Unlimited Choice plan limits data transmission rates to 1.5Mbps for video and 3.0Mbps for other data traffic. Similarly, AT&T’s Unlimited Plus plan provides customers a monthly per line allotment of mobile hotspot/tethering usage without any data transmission rate limit. After an AT&T Unlimited Plus plan customer has consumed the monthly tethering allotment for a particular line, the data transmission rate for tethered data for that device will be limited to a significantly slower speed (e.g., 128Kbps) for the remainder of the bill cycle, as set forth in the terms of the plan.

    • In no case does AT&T guarantee particular speeds for its mass market mobile broadband internet access services. Speeds available are affected by many different factors that can impact wireless network performance as discussed above. Based on data compiled by AT&T through crowd-sourced speed tests, AT&T expects customers will typically experience the following speeds, subject to location, device, and other factors as discussed above (the range reported is based on the 25th to the 75th percentile, which means that the 25th percentile lower bound is the value below which 25% of the test readings were, and the 75th percentile upper bound is the value below which 75% of the test readings were):
Technology Download Range (in Mbps) Upload Range (in Mbps)
3G 1.5 – 4.8 0.3 – 1.1
4G 2.0 – 6.3 0.5 – 1.4
4G LTE 6.2 – 35.4 2.5 – 10.5
  • Nationwide Wi-Fi Hotspot Service. AT&T's mass market Wi-Fi broadband internet access service is designed to provide customers with the highest speed available from the network at any given point in time, subject to the many different factors discussed above that can affect network performance. AT&T's Wi-Fi services generally support the IEEE 802.11n/ac standard, with some AT&T locations also supporting the IEEE 802.11a/b/g standard. Although the IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac standards have theoretical maximum speeds ranging from over 10 Mbps to over a gigabit per second, actual Wi-Fi service speeds will be substantially lower than the theoretical maximum speeds which describe the physical throughput rate including Wi-Fi protocol communications; the result is that the theoretical maximum speed a customer can receive is 40%-50% of the quoted Wi-Fi standard speed. In addition to the factors discussed above, the actual speed experienced over Wi-Fi will depend in part on the speed of the connection between the Wi-Fi hotspot and the destination the customer wants to reach on the internet, which may be significantly below the theoretical maximum speed of the service. For more information about AT&T's mass market Wi-Fi broadband internet access services, please click here.

Latency

Latency, also known as delay, is the amount of time from when a data packet is sent to when it is received. For mass market broadband internet access services, latency is usually expressed as the round-trip time in milliseconds (ms) that it takes for a data packet to travel between two end points on the internet (from point A to point B and then back to point A). Some applications, such as email, can tolerate a substantial amount of latency without any noticeable impact on the application's performance. Other applications, such as real-time video conferencing, require lower latency levels to function properly. End-to-end latency reflects the cumulative effect of the individual latencies that occur along the end-to-end network path.

Although latencies can vary due to several factors, including some beyond AT&T's control, mass market broadband internet access service customers can typically expect the following round-trip latencies when accessing the internet:

  • Wired Service.

    • The table below sets forth data showing the median of actual latency for AT&T’s mass market wired broadband internet access services, by transport technology and speed tier. Speed tests were conducted between June 11, 2018 and July 6, 2018.
    • Actual latency reflects the median of latency tests conducted by AT&T using a software tool installed on the AT&T provided home router which measures network performance to the closest AT&T access point to the customer.
AT&T Speed Tier Type Latency
ms
Internet Basic 768 IPBB 106.1
Internet Basic 1.5 IPBB 77.7
Internet Basic 3 IPBB 51.3
Internet Basic 5 IPBB 43.6
Internet Basic 6 IPBB 41.1
Internet 10 IPBB 43.4
Internet 12 IPBB 37.3
Internet 18 IPBB 35.7
Internet 24 IPBB 30
Internet 25 IPBB 39
Internet 25 IPBB 32
Internet 45 IPBB 28
Internet 50 IPBB 28.9
Internet 75 IPBB 28.7
Internet 75 IPBB 31.3
Internet 100 IPBB 28.6
  • Please note that IPBB includes ADSL2+, VDSL2, G.Fast and Ethernet technologies which provides subscribers with significantly faster download speeds compared to traditional DSL connections. All speed tiers are asymmetrical or the download/upload speeds are different.
  • AT&T Fiber is ultra-fast broadband technology delivered over a fiber optic connection to the premises or to units within certain Multi-Dwelling Units (MDU). All speed tiers are symmetrical or the download/upload speeds are the same.
AT&T Speed Tier Type Latency
ms
Internet 5 Fiber 22.1
Internet 10 Fiber 17.8
Internet 25 Fiber 11.7
Internet 50 Fiber 11
Internet 100 Fiber 10.6
Internet 300 Fiber 14
Internet 1000 Fiber 10.6
  • For speed tiers based on legacy ATM DSL technology, the reported information in the table below comes from data compiled by the FCC's Measuring Broadband America (MBA) initiative between Jan 1st 2017 and June 30th 2018.. For more information about the FCC’s MBA initiative, including how speeds are measured, go to www.fcc.gov/measuring-broadband-america.
Speed Tiers Technology Latency
ms
FastAccess DSL Lite*,
Fast Access DSL Direct Lite,
High Speed Internet Basic,
High Speed Internet Business Edition Basic**,
High Speed Internet Business Edition Direct Basic**,
FastAccess Business DSL Lite*,
FastAccess Business DSL Direct Lite
DSL 71.7
FastAccess DSL Ultra*,
Fast Access DSL Direct Ultra,
High Speed Internet Express,
High Speed Internet Business Edition Express**,
High Speed Internet Business Edition Direct Express**,
FastAccess Business DSL*,
FastAccess Business DSL Direct
DSL 43.5
FastAccess DSL Xtreme*,
Fast Access DSL Direct Xtreme,
High Speed Internet Pro,
High Speed Internet Business Edition Pro**,
High Speed Internet Business Edition Direct Pro**,
FastAccess Business DSL Plus*,
FastAccess Business DSL Direct Plus
DSL 32.7
FastAccess DSL XtremePro*,
Fast Access DSL Direct XtremePro,
High Speed Internet Elite,
High Speed Internet Business Edition Elite**,
High Speed Internet Business Edition Direct Elite**,
FastAccess Business DSL 6.0,
FastAccess Business DSL Direct 6.0
DSL 31.8

  • Fixed Wireless Service.

    • The table below sets forth data showing the actual latency of AT&T’s mass market fixed wireless broadband internet access service. Service performance may be affected by the user’s proximity to a cell site, the capacity of the cell site, the number of other users connected to the same cell site, the surrounding terrain, radio frequency interference, applicable network management practices, and the applications used.
Latency
Fixed Wireless Internet 100ms or less

  • Mobile Service:

    • Based on data compiled by AT&T through crowd-sourced performance tests, AT&T expects customers will typically experience the following latency, subject to location, device, and other factors as discussed above (the range reported is based on the 25th to the 75th percentile, which means that the 25th percentile lower bound is the value below which 25% of the test readings were, and the 75th percentile upper bound is the value below which 75% of the test readings were):

    Technology Latency Range in milliseconds
    3G 56 – 101
    4G 52 – 89
    4G LTE 35 – 59

  • Nationwide Wi-Fi Hotspot Service.
    • Approximately 10 to 250 milliseconds

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