The Best Guide to Cable Packages and Alternatives

AT&T Cable Packages

AT&T cable packages provides a great deal of flexibility, allowing you to pick-and-choose what you want without paying for programming that you don't.

AT&T was long the largest telecommunications company in the United States. They continue to provide all the telephone service that they had, but, like most telecommunications companies, have moved into the area of television and broadband internet. Though often thought of as a DSL company, AT&T’s U-Service uses FTTP (fiber to the premises) cable technology.

AT&T has done an especially good job of creating modular services that allow you to mix and match their various packages. For instance, other companies have a tendency to always give you the highest speed internet along with the most channels, but it might be the case that you want a lot of channels, but you don’t need such high internet speed. They’re like a hot dog vendor that won’t sell you a medium drink with a jumbo hot dog. AT&T has mostly avoided this trap, putting their highest-speed internet with their minimum channels and vice versa.

Package Options

AT&T’s “U-Family” service is their least expensive advertised service. It costs only $29 per month, as of July 2010, and includes 70 basic channels. As cable packages go, this is a good deal.

You can then add premium channels. They have packages with 230 channels and 390 channels, respectively, that cost a great deal more money. In addition, you can mix-and-match the various channels that you want to add to the package, all the way from 70 to 390, depending on your needs. One of the nicest things about AT&T’s service is that you can pretty much cobble together any package you want.

You can then add high definition for another $10 to any bundle. Now that many standard television channels provide high definition versions of their television shows, this can be used even with their 70 basic channels package. Of course, you’ll want to add this if you subscribe to their high definition movie channels (or else subscribing to them would have been a waste).

Internet and Telephone

Internet and Telephone service can be added to your television packages with AT&T, but one of the strange things about AT&T, is that there is not actually much savings gained by doing so. They’ve created a perfectly modular system of pricing, so one doesn’t get increasing savings each time one adds a new service.

Their internet service has two levels of home internet service, Pro and Elite. Pro provides up to 3 megabytes per second of download speed, while Elite provides another 6 megabytes of speed. For almost ever task (except maybe teleportation?) 3 Mbps is plenty for any home use, but, should you feel the need for some more speed, 6 Mbps is available.

Phone comes in two basic long distance packages as well. You can have either a package with 250 minutes of long distance per month in the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rica and the Virgin Islands, or a more expensive package that provides unlimited minutes.

More information about their U-verse (cable) packages is available on their official site here.

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AT&T U-Verse: AT&T U-Verse combines a number of telecommunications services into adjustable packages.

AT&T Wireless Phones: AT&T is originally a telephone company, rather than a cable company, and offers a number of wireless telephone services.