Since last year, major ISPs have slowly discontinued their newsgroup service. This doesn't mean that a Verizon or Comcast customer can no longer access the newsgroups, it merely states that ISPs have disabled their personal news servers. ISPs have discontinued their own servers thanks to a multitude of reasons. AT&T's news service is the latest causality, as a tip from NewsDemon led us to the announcement that AT&T will no longer provide service.
"Please note that on or around July 15, 2009, AT&T will no longer be offering access to the Usenet Net news service. If you wish to continue reading Usenet newsgroups, access is available through third-party vendors."
AT&T isn't alone in their decision to discontinue newsgroup service. At the behest of NY Attorney General Andrew Cuomo in June of 2008, most major ISPs disabled or significantly restricted access to their news servers. AT&T didn't totally disable their news server, but the binary resources (such as the alt.binaries hierarchy) were eliminated last year. This was all done in a supposed effort to eliminate exploitative pictures occurring on Usenet.
Whatever remnants were remaining, and according to NewsDemon's post it wasn't much, are now gone. ISPs were once the primary method to access the newsgroups, but those days are now long gone. Now it's up to the independent news server companies to hold the line on providing information.
I was wondering when they were going to cut loose with there Newsgroups service