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by Karl Bode 04:43PM Friday Aug 01 2014
Comcast was forced to cancel a promotional event at a Senator's home after the Kansas City Star pointed out the dubious ethics of a Senator directly helping sell Comcast services. According to the Kansas City Star, Comcast had planned to host an event at the home of Kansas Senator Julia Lynn to demonstrate Comcast's home security and home automation services. "We can control everything … remotely from our iPhone or iPad, even on the Senate floor!” Lynn gushed in the original press release.

Lynn previously helped push through a bill on behalf of Comcast that would limit Comcast's community broadband competitors in the state of Kansas. When pressed on whether not a Senator should be helping to advertise a cable company's services, Lynn simply stated that she thought it would be a nice way for her to help understand how security services work:
quote:
Lynn said she thought the Comcast demonstration would give her a better understanding of how security technology works. "If there is a venue to do that as a state senator, what’s the problem with that?” she said.
Of course most of the politicians and telecom employees that let giant telecom companies literally write state law don't see a problem with that, either.

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by Karl Bode 02:20PM Friday Aug 01 2014
T-Mobile has announced that the company's implementation of higher-call-quality VoLTE services has been deployed nationwide. According to a company announcement, the nationwide availability comes just two months after T-Mobile announced their first VoLTE market (Seattle) in May. The company states it is also busy deploying LTE on spectrum acquired from Verizon Wireless earlier this year. "The team has also been aggressively rolling out Wideband LTE, upgrading our remaining 2G footprint to 4G LTE and starting to roll out our new low-band 700 MHz A-Block spectrum," notes Legere. "In fact, in the three months since we got hold of this spectrum, we’ve already begun equipping sites with 700 MHz gear."

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by Karl Bode 10:51AM Friday Aug 01 2014
Time Warner Cable says that the company's "Maxx" upgrades, which provide top speeds of 300 Mbps, will be expanded to a significant number of new markets this year and next. According to the company's announcement, the Maxx upgrades will soon be deployed in Austin, Charlotte, Dallas, Hawaii, Kansas City, Raleigh, San Antonio and San Diego -- at different times over the next few years.
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by Karl Bode 08:57AM Friday Aug 01 2014
Back in January we were the first to report that Comcast was again doubling speeds on many of its tiers, starting first with the company's Midwest division. As noted then, upgraded Comcast users will see the company's "Performance" tier bumped from 25/5 to 50/5 Mbps, their "Blast" tier from 50/10 to 105/10 Mbps, and their Extreme 105 speeds bumped from 105/20 Mbps to 150/20 Mbps.
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by Karl Bode 08:57AM Friday Aug 01 2014
I've talked repeatedly how broadcast and cable operators alike work tirelessly to protect the traditional cable TV cash cow and thwart the development of robust Internet video options, whether it's the use of usage caps or restrictive content licensing. This has caused an endless list of companies to fall flat on their face when trying to revolutionize the TV sector, whether it's Google, Microsoft, Sony, or most recently Intel.
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by Karl Bode 05:36PM Thursday Jul 31 2014
Sprint-owned Virgin Mobile has launched new wireless plans that have network neutrality supporters up in arms because the plans charge users depending on what kind of content and services they hope to access. The announcement by Sprint notes that "Virgin Mobile Custom" plans will be exclusively sold at Walmart starting at $6.98 per line per month.
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by Karl Bode 02:46PM Thursday Jul 31 2014
Sprint and SoftBank's plan to acquire T-Mobile just got somewhat more complicated on the news that French telco Iliad has made their own counter-offer to acquire the telco. Iliad today announced the company has made a $15 billion cash offer to purchase 56.6 percent of T-Mobile.
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by Karl Bode 12:41PM Thursday Jul 31 2014
While most sane people protest Comcast rate hikes by complaining to legislators, switching companies (if they can) or venting at the company, often customers annoyed with the cable giant take things too far (as the "Comcast hammer granny" of 2007 lore can attest). This week an Albuquerque woman was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after she pulled a gun on a Comcast employee during a dispute over bill charges. The woman was apparently angered over charges for work on her lines that she had expected to be free, the complaint notes.

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by Karl Bode 10:50AM Thursday Jul 31 2014
Sprint's latest earnings indicate that fortunes have improved slightly for the company, but there's a lot of work left to do. Sprint posted a net income of $23 million on revenues of $8.8 billion, the best result seen in seven years.
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by Karl Bode 09:04AM Thursday Jul 31 2014
FCC boss Tom Wheeler isn't particularly happy about Verizon's announcement that LTE users will be throttled, but it remains unclear what the Commission leader is going to do about it. As we noted recently, Verizon has announced the company will begin throttling unlimited LTE customers starting October 1.
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by Karl Bode 09:04AM Thursday Jul 31 2014
Last year Comcast started experimenting with a prepaid broadband service that, for $70, provided users with an Internet startup kit and thirty days of 3 Mbps downstream and 768 kbps upstream cable broadband service. After that, users have the option of paying either $15 for seven days of access or $45 for another 30 days. Not to be outdone, Frontier says they're now experimenting with a "seasonal" prepaid option of their own. In Ohio, users can pre-purchase DSL service in increments of one, seven or 30 days, something Frontier insists is perfect for customers "who desire financial flexibility,...students, travelers, (and) low-income and credit-challenged customers."

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by Karl Bode 06:48PM Wednesday Jul 30 2014
CenturyLink, formerly Qwest, has spent much of its life suing community broadband efforts that might spur the company to improve its service offerings. They've also written (via draft legislation) and paid-to-pass legislation in numerous states that restrict or outright ban a community from deploying its own broadband infrastructure -- even in cases when CenturyLink couldn't be bothered to.
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by Karl Bode 04:28PM Wednesday Jul 30 2014
With Google Fiber slated to potentially make its way into the Portland market, Frontier is trying to shift attention away from the fact that Frontier has historically offered very sluggish speeds at relatively high prices, courtesy of limited competition. The company tells the Oregonian that they may offer 1 Gbps speeds someday too (maybe), though Frontier CEO Maggie Wilderotter believes that Google Fiber is "hype" and that Google Fiber is "confusing" customers by offering symmetrical 1 Gbps for $70:
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"Today it's about the hype, because Google has hyped the gig," said Wilderotter, in Portland this week for a meeting of her company's board.
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by Karl Bode 02:24PM Wednesday Jul 30 2014
Mobeen Khan, AT&T's executive director of M2M product management, says the company's plan to shut down their 2G network by the end of 2016 remains on schedule. AT&T will be refarming that spectrum for eventual use on their 3G and 4G networks. "We have an operational team that is engaged with these customers," Khan tells Fierce Wireless. "It's a closely watched process." Cell phone users are easier to force-upgrade than M2M (machine to machine, or non-phone devices with embedded cellular chipsets) users. AT&T won't state how many 2G M2M users remain connected to their network.

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by Karl Bode 12:30PM Wednesday Jul 30 2014
AT&T has been on a bit of a tear the last week or so, announcing that they're deploying their faster 1 Gbps "Gigapower" service to customers in Dallas, Nashville and San Antonio. Now AT&T is announcing that Charlotte too will be getting the faster service:
quote:
AT&T today confirmed it will expand its ultra-fast AT&T GigaPower network to the City of Charlotte.
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by Karl Bode 10:30AM Wednesday Jul 30 2014
Windstream has announced that the company will be spinning off a significant portion of the company's fixed-line network assets into into an independent, publicly traded real estate investment trust (REIT). The IRS granted the company's request to reclassify most of Windstream's copper and fiber-optic lines as real estate, allowing it to reduce its tax bill by millions of dollars annually.
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by Karl Bode 08:14AM Wednesday Jul 30 2014
Senator Patrick Leahy introduced legislation this week that would dramatically restrict the NSA's unfettered access to bulk-collected Internet and phone data. "If enacted, this bill would represent the most significant reform of government surveillance authorities since Congress passed the USA Patriot Act 13 years ago," Leahy, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said on the Senate floor.
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by Karl Bode 08:13AM Wednesday Jul 30 2014
For months T-Mobile CEO John Legere has stated that the company's LTE network upgrades would soon have it beating LTE speed leader AT&T in network speed tests, courtesy of the move to 2x10MHz channels. That didn't appear to be the case in a March RootMetrics study, which pegged T-Mobile in third place for LTE speeds, well behind AT&T and Verizon.
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by Karl Bode 06:30PM Tuesday Jul 29 2014
About a month ago, news leaked out that Google was working on an updated version of the set top box units used for their Google Fiber deployments. Now Dave Zatz has a little more detail on the device(s), which will retain the sleek, black styling of the current units.
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by Karl Bode 06:18PM Tuesday Jul 29 2014
AT&T is the latest ISP to strike a direct interconnection deal with Netflix that should improve buffering for Netflix users on AT&T's network. While no official announcement has been made by either company, anonymous insiders tell Mashable that the deal took effect today.
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