I've been an AT&T DSL customer since 2001. At that time it was with SBC in the Kansas City area. I have a @swbell.net email address to this day. When it was initially rolled out it was $49.95 1 year contact for 1.5 Mbps down. Over time that price went down. I think it took 3 years to get a price break.
Now, it's $43 for existing customers on 6 Mbps no contract. They've raised the price the past couple of year's a dollar here and two dollars there. The reason they give is the same. Something to do with keeping up with market conditions.
To be fair they do include WI-FI at Starbucks, McDonald's, etc for when you use a laptop. For me though that doesn't happen often enough to pay for it included in the $43. Further, you can't separate the two features. I suppose that's because most people would separate the two and no one would pay for it. Then they'd have to drop the feature.
I'm leaving you, AT&T, for Comcast. I can't ignore the short term deals and the chance to compete for my business with deal negotiation. I found a two-year contract @ $39.99 for the first 12 months and $56.99 for the second 12 months for phone and internet. In the end, with taxes, I'll still end up paying less for faster internet (max 20 Mbps!) and the same phone features. Install is on 7/10. My wife has put me in charge of this task to switch over. Which means that not only do I have to monitor the install and make sure everything works just as it does currently, I'll also be the complaint department when it doesn't work right.