Open Thread: Does AT&T’s Network Still Suck?

Luke Wilson may claim AT&T’s network covers 97% of all Americans, but with billions invested this year alone, has your service noticeably improved?


Maybe Luke Wilson didn’t get the message across.

In the last 24 hours, AT&T has released an avalanche of press releases boasting of a country-wide investment in its wireless network. In the first six month of this year, AT&T says, we’ve invested $275 million in New York City! $350 million in Illinois! $850 million in Texas! $200 million in Alabama! $450 million in Florida! $1.1 billion in California! The list goes on…

It’s all part of the company’s planned $18-$19 billion investment for 2010.

And certainly, we’ve seen AT&T’s attempts to show off this much-improved network before. Thanks to a steady stream of Verizon attacks, the public was subjected to a series of tired Luke Wilson commercials defending the network; we’ve seen the U.S. covered in orange blankets; and heard endless claims of how AT&T covers 97% of Americans.

Yet seemingly every iPhone owner I’ve ever met can’t stop complaining of AT&T’s service. Indeed, several surveys have concluded that AT&T–not Antennagate–is the “biggest Achilles’ Heel for the iPhone,” as one report phrased it. Users’ major dislikes of the iPhone? A whopping 51% cited either the requirement to use AT&T or the poor coverage of AT&T’s network.


What gives? Pick any state out there and AT&T has invested tens of millions, if not hundreds of millions, if not billions of dollars into its network in the last six month. So why do AT&T customers still complain?

How about it, Fast Company readers? Does your service still suck, or has it improved? Are 97% of you all covered sufficiently now? Is AT&T the “biggest Achilles’ Heel” of the iPhone still? Or does the company need to prop up the zombie-like Luke Wilson for some more network promos?

And for those who want to complain on a state-by-state level:

Alabama $200 mn. Arizona $60 mn. Arkansas $75 mn. California $1.1 bn. Colorado $30 mn. Connecticut $30 mn. Delaware $13 mn. Florida $450 mn. Hawaii $9 mn. Illinois $350 mn. Indiana $35 mn. Kansas $60 mn. Kentucky $80 mn. Louisiana $150 mn. Maryland $70 mn.
Massachusetts $50 mn. Michigan $80 mn. Minnesota $40 mn. Mississippi $125 mn.
Missouri $225 mn. Nevada $90 mn. New Jersey $100 mn. New York $225 mn. New York City Region $275 mn. North Carolina $200 mn. Ohio $60 mn. Oklahoma $35 mn. Pennsylvania $150 mn. South carolina $100 mn. Tennessee $200 mn. Texas $850 mn. Virginia $75 mn. Washington $200 mn. Washington D.C. $9 mn.

About the author

Austin Carr writes about design and technology for Fast Company magazine.