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Actually, U-Verse is a variant of DSL. Of course, AT&T makes it sounds like something else entirely, but it really isn’t. They will tell you if you actually ask them, to be fair. Your “old” AT&T DSL is ADSL, while your shiny new U-Verse is VDSL. You need a new modem because the firmware of the old one is not compatible with VDSL. So the short answer to your question is that you just replaced your DSL with a newer version of DSL.