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by Karl Bode 09:43AM Monday Sep 22 2014
DSLReports regular Darknessfall See Profile directs our attention to the fact that AT&T is running a new promotion for U-Verse customers that offers users broadband, HBO, and a year of Amazon Prime for $40 for one year. Like Comcast, Verizon and others, AT&T has been offering a $40 broadband, HBO and limited TV bundle the hopes of appealing to (almost) cord cutters.

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AT&T started offering that bundle back in April, though the monthly price jumped to a far-less-sexy $70-$80 a month after the promotional period ended.

AT&T's latest promotion adds a year of Amazon Prime to that mix, and comes on the heels of AT&T's exclusive partnership with Amazon for the Amazon Fire Phone. Here's the specifics from the promotion e-mail AT&T is sending to customers:
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"For customers purchasing $39 U-verse bundle with 1-year term online at att.com. Online activation through Amazon required. Redemption email with fulfillment instructions will be emailed to customers after installation of qualifying U-verse services. If an existing Prime member, the included year will be added to the end of your existing subscription.
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by Karl Bode 09:07AM Monday Sep 22 2014
Torrent Freak has an interesting piece on the 21 "raid proof" virtual machines (VMs) currently running The Pirate Bay website. Two years ago the website switched all operations to the cloud, scattering their operations across a number of cloud storage providers located all around the world.
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by Karl Bode 08:26AM Monday Sep 22 2014
Back in May Verizon Unveiled their new "XLTE" branded speed upgrades, powered by the 1700/2100 MHz AWS spectrum Verizon acquired that spectrum from the cable industry back in 2011. Since last year Verizon has been using this spectrum to bolster their existing LTE network, bringing speed and capacity improvements to existing LTE markets. Verizon has announced that they've extended these XLTE upgrades into an additional 22 markets, and now offers the upgrades in 400 of the company's roughly 500 LTE markets.

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story category
by Revcb 08:24AM Monday Sep 22 2014

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by Karl Bode 03:58PM Sunday Sep 21 2014
Please deposit your most interesting thoughts carefully into the comment section provided below.

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by Karl Bode 04:44PM Friday Sep 19 2014
Back in May Verizon proclaimed that when they did finally launch voice over LTE (VoLTE), the higher-quality voice service would arrive on a "robust" assortment of handsets. This week Verizon announced that VoLTE, or what they're calling Advanced Calling 1.0 has launched, though for now it's only available on two phones.
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by Karl Bode 02:45PM Friday Sep 19 2014
Virgin Atlantic has chosen GoGo to provide in-flight broadband connectivity, the two companies have announced. According to the press release, GoGo will retrofit Virgin Atlantic's entire fleet with GoGo's 2Ku connectivity solution, which should be commercially launched sometime in 2015. When GoGo unveiled the new tech last year, the company noted the technology fuses satellite and Air to Ground (ATG) cellular network technology to provide up to 70 Mbps per plane (when GoGo started, it was around 3 Mbps). GoGo says they're working on advancements that should bump throughput to around 100 Mbps per plane.

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by Karl Bode 12:34PM Friday Sep 19 2014
Baltimore is one of a number of cities that Verizon skipped over when deploying FiOS, leaving most city residents with only the uncomptitive option of either sluggish Verizon DSL or Comcast (if they're lucky). They're also one of the countless cities who begged for Google Fiber attention to no avail.

Baltimore's now hoping to take matters into their own hands, and have hired a consultant to explore a number of possible ideas ranging from reworking their protectionist citywide franchise agreement with Comcast, to possibly building some or all of the kind of network nobody else wants to:
quote:
"Baltimore is still in the exploratory stages of the initiative but the city will likely build out some of its own fiber infrastructure that it will use to lure new competitors to the area. Jason Hardebeck, the executive director of the Greater Baltimore Technology Council, tells the Business Journal that the city may also consider making its own municipal Wi-Fi network that will be run more like a public utility."
Of course paying a consultant $157,000 is certainly no guarantee anything gets accomplished, but it's interesting how the one-two punch of Google Fiber and Wheeler's criticism of state protectionist broadband law has seriously reheated a subject that for a decade had largely flown under the radar.

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by Karl Bode 11:16AM Friday Sep 19 2014
If you're like me, you've tried to explain the concept of net neutrality to the non-technical, only to have them nod a lot but generally get a glassy, far-off look in their eyes (though admittedly that could just be my painful lack of charm). With protests heating up around the FCC's so-called "fast lane" proposal, which critics insist gives telecom giants everything they want, comedians have been forced to do their best to amusingly explain the concept. John Oliver recently did a fairly decent job of it, and now Jimmy Kimmel tries his hand at it (hat tip to Techdirt).

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by Karl Bode 09:01AM Friday Sep 19 2014
Cox Communications says the company is on schedule to deploy 1 Gbps services in the Phoenix area sometime before the end of the year. Back in May Cox announced that they'd soon offer 1 Gbps fiber in parts of Phoenix, Las Vegas and Omaha, with most of the company's other areas getting such speeds starting in 2016 once the DOCSIS 3.1 standard sees commercial launch.
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by Karl Bode 08:28AM Friday Sep 19 2014
Following on the heels of Apple's announcement that moving forward they won't unlock devices for law enforcement or intelligence agencies, Google has stated that they too will soon leave devices encrypted regardless of law enforcement requests and warrants. The new functionality is coming as part of Google's next operation system, which has been in the works for months. "For over three years Android has offered encryption, and keys are not stored off of the device, so they cannot be shared with law enforcement,” Google told the Washington Post. “As part of our next Android release, encryption will be enabled by default out of the box, so you won't even have to think about turning it on.”

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by Revcb 08:20AM Friday Sep 19 2014

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by Karl Bode 06:55PM Thursday Sep 18 2014
To get their acquisition of NBC approved by regulators, Comcast proposed a merger condition requiring they provide $10, 1.5 Mbps broadband to all of the homes that qualify for the National School Lunch Program. This "Internet Essentials" program has seen significant criticism (and even protests) over the years for being a political show pony that in reality was intentionally hard to qualify for.
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by Karl Bode 04:46PM Thursday Sep 18 2014
In a sane world, protecting the Internet marketplace from giant ISPs who've all-but purchased the government would be a bi-partisan issue, since everybody benefits from a healthy, vibrant broadband industry. But this isn't a sane world, and net neutrality over the last decade has become a highly toxic, partisan issue with Republicans generally against neutrality rules, and Democrats generally in favor of them (even if neither side understands half of the technical issues being discussed).
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by Karl Bode 02:36PM Thursday Sep 18 2014
Apple this week announced that the company will no longer unlock the company's phones and tablets at law enforcement and intelligence community demand. The announcement was made this week alongside the unveiling of a new privacy policy and the company's new iOS 8 operating system.
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by Karl Bode 12:26PM Thursday Sep 18 2014
In a speech made yesterday before the U.S House of Representatives Committe on Small Business, FCC boss Tom Wheeler declared that the United States should stop funding the deployment of any speeds slower than 10 Mbps downstream. The speech is part of Wheeler's recent push to raise the minimum broadband definition from 4 Mbps down, 1 Mbps up -- something that has been greeted with a significant amount of hand-wringing from incumbent ISPs.
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by Karl Bode 10:37AM Thursday Sep 18 2014
In a new blog post Verizon hopes to somehow assure consumers and the public that they really are great lovers of an open Internet, despite a very long and clear history of proving the exact opposite. Verizon has spent $100 million to lobby Congress on net neutrality since 2009, and successfully sued to overturn FCC neutrality rules they themselves helped write just in case the FCC ever seriously decided to help consumers.
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by Karl Bode 08:52AM Thursday Sep 18 2014
You can add Atlantic Broadband (see our user reviews) to the list of ISPs now offering a smattering of 1 Gbps services in highly select areas. The company has announced they've beaten AT&T to the punch and will soon offer a symmetrical 1 Gbps service to one relatively-small community in the Miami, Florida area.

Like so many announcements in this era of fiber to the press release, Atlantic fails to offer a price, schedule, or specific deployment metrics for their upcoming offering, though in a press release the company is quick to take a veiled shot at AT&T and pat itself on the back for its entirely-ambiguous offering:
quote:
“Atlantic Broadband is proud to be the first company to deliver 1 Gigabit Internet service to its customers here in the Miami Beach area,” said Atlantic Broadband’s Senior Vice President and General Manager of South Florida, David Keefe. “While other companies are talking about what they will be doing, Atlantic Broadband moved forward and started offering this service in one of its communities. We look forward to extending access to our Gigabit Internet service to other properties and communities within our Miami footprint.”
As it stands, the only Atlantic customers who can currently get the 1 Gbps speeds reside in Indian Creek Village, a wealthy island resort community comprised of "a golf course and 40 beachfront properties."

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by Karl Bode 08:06AM Thursday Sep 18 2014
Speaking at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Media Conference this week, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts stated he was "cautiously optimistic" his company's mega-merger gets regulatory approval, despite the growing chorus of opposition to the deal. "All of the cable deals have always gone through," Roberts said. "The process is underway in earnest and we've got many states and local communities to already approve of the transfer." Comcast has set up this website and this list of people throwing their support behind the merger, and has worked hard to recommend voluntary conditions to regulators, such as a several year adherence to the FCC's defunct (and never very tough to begin with) net neutrality rules, and a continuation of Comcast's low-income "Internet Essentials" program.

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by Revcb 07:55AM Thursday Sep 18 2014

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