AT&T’s acquisition of DirecTV is still all but final or approved, but that isn’t stopping them from making attempts to gain the favor of the FCC in hopes to spin this deal through the approval process and make it capable of moving forward. Prior to the recent promises from AT&T, they had agreed to get their Gigabit internet known as U-Verse up and running in over 12 million households, a service which isn’t exactly cheap. Now AT&T is agreeing to a plan to service people of low income in hopes to win some extra points with the Federal Communications Commission.
While there is no way of knowing just yet whether or not AT&T’s plans will work, a new $10 plan (which is what AT&T is proposing to offer if the FCC approves the acquisition) just might have some sway power with government officials. The new $10 plan will attack the low-income market and offer internet to those who can’t afford the higher tiered plans with faster speeds, offering DSL service which can bring speeds of up to 1.5Mbps. The keyword here is “up to” as those speeds won’t be available for everyone, a fact which AT&T makes clear by stating the words “where available.” This isn’t a detail which is uncommon though as people on high tier plans have the same status and speeds vary for people on the higher plans as well depending on their location.
The offering from AT&T will span a four year time frame total, where AT&T commits to offering low-income customers the package for $5 for the year. After the first year, monthly prices for the plan increase to $10 a month for the remaining three years of AT&T’s commitment to the plan. This price increases for some customers if they’re in an area which supports 5Mbps or higher, starting at $10 a month for the first year and then increasing to $20 a month for the remaining three years, basically doubling the monthly fees compared to the $10 plan. To qualify for the $10 plan that AT&T is prepared to offer, customers in those supported areas where it will be available will have to meet certain requirements. They cannot have been an AT&T customers in the past six months, and they cannot have a current collections action from AT&T for a past account. They also have to qualify for the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program.