by Bill Neilson 09:10AM Friday Dec 06 2013
Frontier Communications executive Dana Waldo stormed out of a public meeting at the West Virginia Capitol on Wednesday, after he was asked if Frontier's broadband technology would provide households with basic DSL speeds in Tyler County, West Virginia. Waldo got angry while Council members were reviewing grant applications from a Frontier competitor that plans to bring broadband service to Tyler County.story continues..
Frontier has been under pressure ever since it was revealed that Frontier, Verizon and Cisco convinced the state to buy ridiculously overpriced, overpowered and unused routers, and hire several ridiculously overpaid consultants who haven't actually accomplished anything. Allegations also suggest Frontier over-inflated fiber deployment costs, and what money that was correctly spent was used primarily to benefit Frontier's internal networks, not to help connect the state's broadband have nots (the entire purpose of the fund).
Meanwhile, the state has been busy burying studies confirming Frontier's behavior. Pressure has increased recently as regional IT company CityNet has been pushing for a real audit of what Frontier has done with all the stimulus money (since they applied themselves). At this week's meeting, Citynet CEO Jim Martin asked Waldo if Frontier's broadband technology would provide households with 4-megabit-per-second download and 1-megabit-per-second upload speeds:
quote:When Martin alleged that Frontier's broadband DSL service does not offer the 1-megabit upload speed, Waldo was unable to actually answer the question and instead decided to get personal:
by Karl Bode 08:47AM Friday Dec 06 2013
Incoming 46-year-old Time Warner Cable CEO Rob Marcus insists he's just the guy to manage a sale or merger involving Time Warner Cable. "I am the perfect guy to manage the M&A component out there," Bloomberg quotes the COO-turned-CEO from his company's headquarters in New York. "As much as I’d like to be modest, I am kind of built to manage situations like this." Granted with the $56 million golden parachute built into his contract, a sale is certainly in his best interest, whether he actually does anything or not. Bloomberg meanwhile quotes an anonymous insider who claims Time Warner Cable would sell for between $150 and $160 per share, putting their desired asking price at around $45 billion.
by Karl Bode 08:42AM Friday Dec 06 2013
DSLReports reader briansgs2 directs our attention to the fact that Florida customers are annoyed that Bright House Communications has been cashing their checks for cable and broadband service -- over and over again. Numerous Florida customers have complained about the problem, one user noting that a $175.03 check mailed to Bright House was somehow cashed four times. "Corrective actions are underway and duplicate payments will be reversed and funds will be replaced," the company said in a statement. Bright House appears to be implying that the blame lies with third party payment processing vendor Bill2Pay, with a "defective file" being sent out to user banks and credit unions.
by Revcb 07:17AM Friday Dec 06 2013
• Cable guys: Cord-cutters live in the Bermuda Triangle with Bigfoot and E.T. [techhive.com]
• Verizon quietly unleashes its LTE monster, tripling 4G capacity in major cities [gigaom.com]
• Someone’s Been Siphoning Data Through a Huge Security Hole in the Internet [wired.com]
• 80 percent of schools lack sufficient Internet [csmonitor.com]
• House of Representatives passes widely supported bill to fight patent trolls [theverge.com]
• Surprise! US faces major Internet image problem, former gov't official says [networkworld.com]
• Microsoft leads disruption of largest infected global PC network [orlandosentinel.com]
• Bluetooth Smart 4.1 upgrade will be able to direct IPv6 traffic, turning Bluetooth into a true internet-compatible network along the lines of Wi-Fi [theregister.co.uk]
• AT&T vying with T-Mobile for Verizon's 700 MHz A Block spectrum [fiercewireless.com]
• Small Cells: The Battle for the Lamp Post [lightreading.com]
by Karl Bode 06:54PM Thursday Dec 05 2013
Several pre-registered users have written in to tell us they've received early access invites for an Aereo launch in Baltimore. Now Aereo has officially announced that their live broadband TV service will arrive in Baltimore on December 16. As with other markets the launch will be broad -- technically covering 11 different Maryland counties. Aereo is currently available in NYC, Boston, Atlanta, Salt Lake City, Miami, Dallas, Houston, Detroit, and Denver. As noted yesterday, it's unlikely they're going to meet their end of 2013 20 market launch goal, with most of their "coming soon" markets likely looking at an early 2014 launch.
by Nightfall 04:26PM Thursday Dec 05 2013
As many of you know, many pay TV TV DVRs and other set top boxes are far behind in terms of technology and recording capabilities. In addition to the reduced feature set, there is a cost of anywhere between $10-$20 a month in rental costs just to bring the TV signal to your television.story continues..
by Karl Bode 02:25PM Thursday Dec 05 2013
The latest Snowden document dump indicates that the NSA has for several years been gobbling up vast amounts of cell location data. Like other NSA collection efforts it's the massive scope of the collection that raises eyebrows, the Washington Post noting that the agency is collecting cell location data on roughly five billion cell accounts worldwide every single day.story continues..
by Karl Bode 12:10PM Thursday Dec 05 2013
Users in our Cablevision forum indicate that they're being notified by Cablevision that their Optimum Online standalone broadband service will be seeing a rate hike. According to the notices, users currently paying $55 a month for 15 Mbps down, 5 Mbps up -- will now be asked to pay $60 a month for the same service. While there are some promotions run that could lower this rate (especially if you bundle), Cablevision recently stated they were backing away from promotions, insisting that promotional price battles with Verizon FiOS have been a "dead end for us."
by Karl Bode 10:08AM Thursday Dec 05 2013
DSLReports reader SuperNet9 directs our attention to the fact that AT&T will be launching new "Mobile Share Value Plans" on December 8 that may provide a discount depending on your particular needs. According to the AT&T news release, the new no contract plans can potentially offer a $15 monthly discount to shared data customers if they get a smartphone with no down payment via the "AT&T Next" early upgrade program, bring a separate off-contract device, purchase a smartphone at full retail price, or switch to a new plan after a phone is no longer under contract.story continues..
by Karl Bode 09:41AM Thursday Dec 05 2013
We've seen a marked decrease in the number of promotional offers being bandied about by Verizon and Cablevision as they do battle in the NYC metro area, and Cablevision executives have hinted we'll be seeing even fewer. "The customer that’s been bouncing from one company to another on promotional discounts has hit a dead-end with us," recently insisted Cablevision CEO James Dolan on the company's earnings call. Verizon doesn't appear to agree, the company this past weekend returning to a promotional offer that includes the FiOS triple play -- plus a $300 VISA gift card -- for $80 a month for the first twelve months. Triple play offers when off promotion usually sit somwhere around the $115 to $120 a month mark for both ISPs.
by Karl Bode 09:39AM Thursday Dec 05 2013
Microsoft has belatedly joined Google and Yahoo in announcing they're significantly beefing up security and encryption efforts after recent revelations that the NSA had been stealing user data from their servers. According to a Microsoft blog post, Microsoft labels government wholesale data collection a " "advanced persistent threat," stating they've developed a broad plan that will involve improved encryption (server-to-server and customer encryption are to be in place by the end of next year), legal protections, and source code transparency.
by Revcb 08:55AM Thursday Dec 05 2013
• Comcast is trialing SIP trunking in three US markets and plans to take the VoIP-based service nationwide by the end of 2014 [lightreading.com]
• Verizon wins approval for $130 billion takeover of Vodafone's share of its wireless network [theverge.com]
• Possible Galaxy S5 spotted in benchmarks with 2K screen, 2.5GHz chip; Android devices on the verge of a spec war? [electronista.com]
• There will be no '5G' [fiercewireless.com]
• Verizon targets Cablevision subscribers with push for new FiOS franchise in Long Island [fiercecable.com]
• Pay-TV Subs Aren't Buying Into VoD: Whopping 72.9% of respondents to a survey reported they never purchase content from the VoD menu [lightreading.com]
• Broadcom CTO's crystal ball shows wearable widgets, gigabit broadband [cnet.com]
• Cool Internet maps visualize the striking interconnectedness of the web [extremetech.com]
• Infamous Hacker Creates 'SkyJack' To Hunt, Hack, And Control Other Drones [techcrunch.com]
• Facebook, Microsoft give $9M to help boost speedy Internet in schools [bostonherald.com]
• New USB Type-C connector will be the size of a Micro USB plug, reversible (finally!), will enable an entirely new super-thin class of devices, and be the only connector you'll need between all devices [theverge.com]
by Karl Bode 07:30PM Wednesday Dec 04 2013
Netflix has released a new trailer for their series "House of Cards," which indicates the next season of the company's Emmy-winning drama will arrive on February 14, 2014. While some critics have argued that releasing an entire season of episodes all at once for binge viewing dulls the marketing potential of weekly watercooler talk, Netflix says that the second season of the show will once again be released all at once. Companies like Amazon have taken a different approach with their original series, releasing a few episodes at a time. All Internet video companies have turned to original content to help mitigate the soaring cost of licensing fees charged by broadcasters eager to prevent upsetting the traditional TV apple cart.
by Bill Neilson 04:29PM Wednesday Dec 04 2013
Rogers Communications has had quite a 2013. From ruining the credit score of a man that never had Rogers TV or Internet service to having another one of their large-scale outages, Rogers was apparently hoping to end 2013 with a bang.story continues..
by Karl Bode 02:37PM Wednesday Dec 04 2013
Charter chairman John Malone has been throwing chum in the shark-filled investment waters the last few months, leading to a frenzy of gossip over cable industry consolidation that has been very profitable for investors. But for his part, Charter CEO Tom Rutledge this week stated that while all the rumors make for a "rather frothy experience," Charter "doesn't need to do any acquisitions to be a successful company." "Time Warner [Cable] is relatively unique because it's not controlled by a family; and it's large; and they have a management transition going on," Liberty CEO Greg Maffei also stated, adding that "those factors have led to speculation about transactions."
by Karl Bode 12:33PM Wednesday Dec 04 2013
Any time there's a significant fiber optic expansion it's only normal for there to be some eggs broken as the omelet gets made, as early FiOS customers can attest. As Google starts deploying Google Fiber in Austin, Kansas City and Provo, they're certainly no exception.story continues..
by Karl Bode 09:55AM Wednesday Dec 04 2013
As I noted yesterday, new FCC boss Tom Wheeler has been saying all the right things as people attempt to get a bead on just what kind of an FCC leader he'll be. Wheeler, a former cable and wireless industry lobbyist, has spent his first few weeks in office absolutely gushing about just how dedicated he plans to be in regards to boosting industry competition.story continues..
by Karl Bode 09:25AM Wednesday Dec 04 2013
Upstart live broadband TV provider Aereo is now in nine markets, though that's a far cry from the 20 markets the company promised by the end of 2014. The Aereo website continues to insist that eighteen different markets are "coming soon" (including Washington DC, Chicago, Minneapolis, Austin and Baltimore), though the company still isn't offering target dates for any of them. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is reporting that Wisconsin and other surrounding Wisconsin communities are set to go live sometime in the first three months of 2014. Granted, fending off the entire broadcast industry with one hand while trying to launch your product with the other can't be easy.
by Karl Bode 09:24AM Wednesday Dec 04 2013
An anon user submits this story by local Raleigh outlet WRAL claiming that interference between Time Warner Cable and Verizon LTE services is causing video issues for many Time Warner Cable customers. The culprit, according to the report, is Time Warner Cable's channel placement, unclicensed use of the spectrum, and unshielded hardware, which are now colliding with Verizon's new use of 700 MHz in the triangle area. "We apologize for the inconvenience and are working on a solution that will resolve this problem definitively in the coming weeks," Time Warner said in a statement, though the company stated it would take time to migrate the channels off of 700 MHz to eliminate the interference.
by Karl Bode 08:09AM Wednesday Dec 04 2013
House Republicans Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Greg Walden (R-Ore.) say they're going to start pushing hard to "reform" the Communications Act over the next two years. Said reform will begin with a series of hearings throughout 2014, with the changes themselves not arriving until 2015.
"In the nearly 18 years since the last update of the Communications Act, the world has been revolutionized by broadband and new digital technologies," Comcast said in a statement applauding the announcement. "The silos of current regulation may not always fit technological realities. We applaud chairmen Upton and Walden for beginning the conversation on changing the Communications Act for the 21st Century, and look forward to working with them and other Members of the committee.”
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