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 over AT&T's network infrastructure 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 technology at 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, your mobile data plan, the capabilities of your device, applicable network management practices as discussed on this page, 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.
- 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 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 between the home router to the closest AT&T Internet access point to the applicable customer. Please note that customer applications’ throughput can be 3-5% lower than “Actual Speeds” due to IP/Ethernet packet framing overhead.