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by Karl Bode 04:12PM Thursday Dec 18 2014
AT&T today announced that the company will begin offering 75 Mbps downstream, 8 Mbps upstream U-Verse connections in select areas. According to an AT&T blog post, AT&T U-verse "High Speed Internet 75" is launching today in "parts of" Monterey and Sacramento, California, Toledo, Ohio; and El Paso, Texas. "In 2015 we plan to expand availability in these markets and across the 21 states where AT&T offers high-speed Internet service today," says AT&T's Bob Bickerstaff of the new tier. AT&T says the new 12-month promotional pricing for the tier starts at $75 per month standalone, or $40 per month when bundled. As with the company's 45 Mbps tier, your copper line quality and length determines whether you'll be able to get this faster offering.

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by Karl Bode 02:10PM Thursday Dec 18 2014
You might recall that back in February Blackberry CEO John Chen insisted he was "outraged" that T-Mobile was running a promotion aimed at selling discounted iPhones to Blackberry users. A few months of subsequent snark resulted in Blackberry stating they wouldn't be renewing an expiring licensing arrangement with T-Mobile. Comments made by both T-Mobile and Blackberry suggest that the companies are healing any rifts made by the verbal scuffle, even though it remains entirely unclear when exactly an actual deal could emerge:
quote:
Answering media questions after T-Mobile's Uncarrier 8.0 launch on Tuesday, Legere said that he's open to finding a way for T-Mobile customers to have BlackBerry phones, provided the handset maker cooperates. Chen then told CNet today at its BlackBerry Classic event that he was also open to it and should connect with Legere (although I imagine he'd like to do it in person and not over Twitter).
Chen's move was curious given that after the last few years, Blackberry still needs all the friends it can get.

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by Karl Bode 11:46AM Thursday Dec 18 2014
A new study by the Commerce Department confirms something FCC boss Wheeler has been repeating in recent months: competition for faster speeds in the U.S. barely exists because of lagging DSL networks.
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by Bill Neilson 09:03AM Thursday Dec 18 2014
As this site has written about for many years, one of the biggest abuses found in the telecom industry continues to be the way that incumbent cable companies go about threatening lawsuits against cash-strapped cities if the cities allow for another cable company to enter the incumbent’s area.

The cable companies like to reference language found in most franchise agreements called the most-favored-nation provisions.
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by Karl Bode 08:16AM Thursday Dec 18 2014
While there's a smattering of video services (like the BBC iPlayer), Netflix customers waiting for a day when they can download content instead of just stream it shouldn't hold their breath. Netflix director of corporate communications Cliff Edwards tells TechRadar "it's never going to happen," oddly claiming poor Wi-Fi quality is the reason why (it's more likely broadcaster licensing restrictions and DRM-related issues). While it might be a nice feature for those worried about their cellular data allotments, Netflix insists it's a "short term fix for a bigger problem." Amazon, in contrast, states they support the concept and will be expanding offline viewing (aka downloading) across additional devices in the future.

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by Karl Bode 08:08AM Thursday Dec 18 2014
Time Warner Cable and Boingo have announced that they've expanded a Passpoint roaming agreements the two companies first announced back in June. According to the companies' press release, this means that Boingo and Time Warner Cable customers can use and log in to the Wi-Fi hotspots of each company automatically without re-entering credentials for each.
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by Revcb 08:07AM Thursday Dec 18 2014

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by Karl Bode 05:26PM Wednesday Dec 17 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 02:35PM Wednesday Dec 17 2014
Dish Network appears to be the first major pay TV player willing to integrate Netflix into the company's set top box hardware. Reports recently emerged that Netflix was making a refocused push to get Netflix on the set tops of the biggest cable operators.
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by Karl Bode 12:10PM Wednesday Dec 17 2014
We've discussed at length how AT&T's "IP transition" is being framed as some sort of evolutionary transition toward a "glorious all-IP future," but is really largely about AT&T gutting regulations in order to hang up on POTS (plain old telephone) and DSL users they simply don't want to upgrade. The name of the game is terminating these unwanted users and pushing them users toward significantly more expensive (and capped) LTE wireless service.
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by Karl Bode 10:07AM Wednesday Dec 17 2014
Add Tucows' MVNO Ting to the growing list of companies pushing into the 1 Gbps field after being inspired by Google Fiber and community broadband efforts. Ting was one of several companies to try and disrupt wireless industry pricing last year by incorporating a "free" tier of mobile data service, layered with a more civil treatment of its subscribers.
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by Karl Bode 08:34AM Wednesday Dec 17 2014
Users in our Shaw forums point out that the company thought it was a good idea to not only raise rates for all its tiers, but in a roundabout way reduce speeds for users as well by eliminating the company's fastest 100 Mbps tier (for now). These two Reddit threads appear to have leaked Shaw's plans. Users are calling these downgrades, and argue that what Shaw is basically doing to their usage tiers is this:

• Shaw 100mbps becomes Shaw 60mbps
• Shaw 50mbps becomes Shaw 30mbps
• Shaw 25mbps becomes Shaw 15mbps
• Shaw 10mbps becomes Shaw 5mbps

It appears that existing users will be grandfathered at their existing speeds for now, but everybody will be getting the following price hikes, as this user's chart indicates:



Confirming the leaks over at the company's forums, Shaw officials would like users to know you shouldn't see speed reductions and price hikes as a downgrade, because they provide "greater value for customers" by providing "more value per Mbps":
quote:
These new services will introduce faster download speeds and greater value for customers who have our most popular tiers by providing more value per Mbps (Megabits Per Second) download rate.

HS 10 improves to Internet 15
HS 25 improves to Internet 30
BB 50 improves to Internet 60
Whether you consider that a speed upgrade or downgrade, the fact you're paying more remains the same. Happy new year?

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by Karl Bode 07:25AM Wednesday Dec 17 2014
As part of a broader effort to appeal to would-be cord cutters and join the modern era, Comcast's NBC Universal is preparing to offer live streams of the company's programming. According to the Wall Street Journal, the streams will be available on computer starting next Tuesday, with tablets and smartphones supported sometime next year. The catch? As with all cable industry "TV Everywhere" initiatives, you'll need to prove you're a cable customer and authenticate your credentials before gaining access to the streams. Despite this, the NBC mantra for marketing the new initiative will be "Watch TV Without the TV."

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by Revcb 07:02AM Wednesday Dec 17 2014

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by Karl Bode 05:15PM Tuesday Dec 16 2014
In June of last year Google unveiled Google Loon, the latest in a long line of similar projects that will use hot air balloons to deliver broadband and wireless services to under-served or emergency prone areas. Project Loon will use hot air balloons 49 feet wide stationed 12 miles above the planet, well above the range of commercial aircraft.
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by Karl Bode 03:10PM Tuesday Dec 16 2014
The country's biggest ISPs (and their vast and assorted policy tendrils) have spent the last six months claiming that Title-II based net neutrality rules would destroy the Internet, crush sector innovation and stall network investment. That's why it was curious last week when Verizon stated at an investors conference that Title II really wouldn't hurt the company much at all.
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by Karl Bode 12:32PM Tuesday Dec 16 2014
T-Mobile this morning unveiled their latest "Uncarrier" press salvo, announcing that the company will now be offering customers roll over data. According to a company announcement, both new and existing T-Mobile customers will be given what T-Mobile's calling a "Data Stash," or a data allotment where they can store unused data at the end of each month.
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by Karl Bode 10:16AM Tuesday Dec 16 2014
HBO Go this week announced that the streaming service has been made available to Amazon Fire TV owners today, with Fire Stick customers having access to the app sometime in the Spring. Of course if you head to activate your device, you'll find that Comcast and Charter aren't supported.
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by Karl Bode 09:00AM Tuesday Dec 16 2014
I've noted for years that while the government likes to take smaller companies quickly to task for cramming, they've long ignored the role larger telecom carriers play in the practice. That's been changing in recent months, with the FCC hitting AT&T with a $105 million fine for facilitating cramming back in October.
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by Karl Bode 07:49AM Tuesday Dec 16 2014
The Pirate Bay has remained down since last week's raid by Swedish authorities, and one of the website's admins has admitted it may never be brought back online. Speaking anonymously to TorrentFreak, an anonymous Pirate Bay admin by the name of "Mr.
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