Switching to AT&T fiber

  • I currently use my local cable company as my ISP. I’ll probably eventually switch to Google Fiber but it looks to be at least a year before they have their network completed in my area. In the meantime I’m thinking about AT&T fiber. Their prices are much cheaper than my current ISL and speeds would be at least doubled.

    Not sure what changes I might need to make in my WAN configuration though (if any). Currently I get an IP via DHCP from my cable modem. I think that this would probably be the same with whatever equipment AT&T provides, but that’s just a guess on my part. I haven’t been able to find any details on exactly what equipment they issue. Hoping other users might have some experience with this and any other gotchas I might need to watch out for?

  • I am in the Bay Area, and I just switched from Wave Broadbad (cable, 250 down/10 up) to AT&T fiber (gigabit up/down). So far I am pretty happy with it.

    I encountered a couple of "issues", and this might help you decide:

    1. AT&T's has an all-in-one modem/router/access point, and they passively want you to use their equipment but not helping you with your LAN. What I mean is by default, your pfsense box will get an non-routable ip when you put it behind their modem. If you have your pfsense box set up for port forwarding, VPN, etc., their setup will not work for you. There is an "IP passthrough" option under firewall to allow your pfsense box to get an external IP. Their tech aren't very helpful and try to convince me to get a static IP from AT&T. You can find how to set it up by googling "att modem bridge mode".

    2. Since AT&T fiber is gigabit up and down, depending on your current hardware and what you are running on it, bandwidth might be limited by your pfsense box. My original N550/Realtek NICs build could handle about 350 up and down, which was ok for 250/10, but it left 2/3 of bandwidth unused. I finally settled on a N2930/Intel NICs build (850 down/950 up), enough for my use, but it is not fully utilizing the bandwidth. I also tested a Q87/i3-3225 build with Intel NICs, which can handle >=950/950, which is what I get if I plug my laptop straight into AT&T's modem/router.

    I have had it only for 1 week, so I can't tell you about reliability, but so far so good. The uncapped uplink is the real advantage.

    Hope this helps.

  • Thanks for the feedback. I’ve been wondering about the static IP. Did AT&T provide a static IL or did they want to sell you one at an extra fee?

  • I think they wanted to sell me static IP. I have dyndns, so not necessary to get a static IP.

    I recall about 10 years ago, I called to asked about their DSL speed, their answer was "our speed is blazing fast". I asked again for the speed in mbits/sec, and they gave me the blazing fast answer again. Therefore, I don't trust what they tell me 100%.

  • Yeah. I don’t trust their sales department much either. Especially when they tell me that one of their expert technicians will be here to install my new system and do a complete setup without any problems. ???

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