A couple of notables for the web worker out of last Friday’s finalized merger of AT&T and BellSouth. First, it’s the beginning of the end of the orange splat as we know it, as the new AT&T promises to rebrand Cingular (and Yellowpages.com) under their umbrella. This rebranding will start early this year, according to the company.
Also included is an agreement by the new company to offer a naked DSL package that does not require any landline phone service. AT&T joins other DSL/phone providers like Qwest and Verizon in offering naked DSL, but AT&T’s version promises to be more widely available. And it’s cheaper…$19.95 per month for 768Kbps service. Not super-speedy by any stretch, but accessible and consistent and did I mention that it’s cheap?
With cable modem service currently at around $40-50 per month, naked DSL at under $20 per month might be very attractive for those who need an always-on connection that’s better than dial-up, but not necessarily blazing fast. Unbundling your phone from your internet (and wireless carrier) may also give you more flexibility in making the best choice for each service.
Will it be worth it to us, the end users just trying to do business with residential service? How much are we willing to give up for a bargain? Or is this all just a chip in a very big, complicated net neutrality game that few will take seriously as a legitimate offer?