The switch from cable to uVerse

So, here is the promised update on the switch from Time Warner Cable to AT&T’s uVerse. So goodbye to TWC. I got uVerse and then gave TWC that dreaded call. “Hello, I’m calling to cancel my service” Imagine the gasp of air by the operator to the sheer horror of my sentence. I explained to him that I was sorry that he ended up with my call and that there was nothing he could do to change my mind, and that I hope it didn’t hit his resolution quota too hard. He asked why I was terminating and I explained that I moved to AT&T uVerse. He says he wished I would have called earlier before I made the decision and that he would have been able to do something. I informed him that I called a couple of months ago when the cable was being laid, and I called again when I received the postcard with my availability. “I gave you guys many chances to do something”. So anyway, I cancelled.

So moving on to the AT&T installation and it’s service. I had an install date that was to be on a Monday. The previous Saturday a technician came out and spent an hour validating that my phone line was qualified. Then took another hour to determine that my phone line was connected to a different box than what they had on record. Two hours, understandably, it was CWA Union guy. Nothing is efficient with them. I spend the next 15 minutes with him hearing him complain about AT&T, how they want to cut his pay by $15 per hour to match the uVerse technicians who do the installations inside the home, and how it looks like in late August or September, there will be a strike. Which got me to thinking, just how much did this guy get for two hours worth of “work”, tracing and doing a signal test on a wire?

So moving on along to the installation. The Monday got moved to Tuesday and the uVerse guy came by. This guy had me up and running in less than 45 minutes, no installation problems or issues. Obviously he wasn’t a union guy. DVR’s up and running, programed, residential gateway configured and explained, just went smoothly.

So now on to the service itself. Wow, many more HD channels than TWC and as far as the broadband speed, I’m averaging over 16Mb/s down and almost of my 1.5Mb/s up. My Mozy backups finish in a couple of hours instead of the dreaded two day notification using TWC’s max upload of ~450K that I was getting.

No on to some sad news. Right now I’m doing this post via my wireless broadband because I’m suffering my first uVerse outage. That’s to be expected I guess. No TV or network, and so Vonage is down also. Calling AT&T is more of a challenge than calling TWC which surprised me. I get the impression that while TWC is just clumsy with their support and is not up to date, AT&T is up to date but just very efficient in trying not to provide service. Case in point, their endless looping of their voice response system.

And I learned something new which is troubling. I went to watch a recorded show but realized you can’t without the service fully working. Apparently, you have to have a connection even if you want to watch a recorded show. The system needs to connect to Skynet to notify them of what you are watching. I found a thread about that on DSLReports here. That’s really troubling, they are monitoring your every move, even when you watch your recorded shows.

At some point, I would love to drop TV altogether. Just an Internet connection and use Hulu, Netflix, and over the air broadcasts. But for now, we’ll see how it goes. It’s been rock solid for over a month, up until the last two hours anyway.