Customers of AT&T in Texas are at risk of losing service after the telecommunications giant announced it’s retiring its Digital Subscriber Line broadband internet. The move could leave about 470-thousand D-S-L customers with few options because AT&T is no longer accepting new D-S-L orders. At the same time, existing customers can no longer make any changes in speed to their service.
Brian Thorn, with the Communication Workers of America, says only some D-S-L customers will have access to another wireline service from AT&T.
Thorn especially is concerned that rural residents and rural economies could be left stranded with no reliable internet access. He says that unlike copper telephone lines, which reach virtually every part of the country, internet cable and fiberoptic networks are primarily accessible in urban areas. In Texas, about 60-percent of households in AT&T’s service areas don’t have access to fiber broadband.
Thorn adds that in small rural areas, the existing copper D-S-L line is used by local businesses, which may not process credit cards anymore or complete automatic teller deposits.