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by Karl Bode 06:14PM Wednesday Apr 23 2014
AT&T's first quarter 2014 earnings indicate that the telco giant posted a quarterly profit of $3.7 billion on revenues of $32.5 billion. That's obviously again thanks to wireless, with AT&T brushing off T-Mobile pesky "uncarrier" marketing push by adding 625,000 postpaid wireless subscribers -- many of which continue to be drawn by the better overall coverage of the larger two carriers. Wireless revenues jumped 7% over last year thanks largely to the company's shared data plans and their "Next" handset upgrade program. The company today stated that 46% of their wireless customers are now on plans of 10 GB or larger (whether they actually need those sized buckets isn't clear).

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by Karl Bode 04:20PM Wednesday Apr 23 2014
After Verizon managed to defeat the FCC's already fairly wimpy net neutrality rules in court earlier this year, the FCC stated they wouldn't try to reclassify ISPs under common carriers, but would try to craft new rules based on some of the same shaky legal footing that got them in trouble in the first place.

For months now FCC boss Tom Wheeler has been painfully ambiguous about precisely what these rules will include, though Wheeler this week stated the agency will consider the new draft neutrality rules at the FCC meeting on May 15:
quote:
As we reported in February, Wheeler will propose basically the same rules that the agency had tried before, but justify them under a different part of the law.
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by Karl Bode 02:35PM Wednesday Apr 23 2014
Akamai's latest State of the Internet report notes that average United States Internet speeds have just bumped past the 10 Mbps mark -- largely due to faster DOCSIS 3.0 cable upgrades. While that's a 25% bump over last year, it's still only enough to put the United States in tenth place among all countries worldwide.
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by Karl Bode 12:18PM Wednesday Apr 23 2014
We've increasingly seen a fracturing of streaming video content as more and more companies strike exclusive deals for content, resulting in consumer confusion as to what content is available on what service. In a move that continues that trend yet expands HBO content availability at the same time, HBO has struck an exclisive deal to allow Amazon to offer older HBO series on the company's Prime streaming service.
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by Karl Bode 10:32AM Wednesday Apr 23 2014
AT&T's 1 Gbps "Gigapower" product is currently only available in a portion of one market: Austin, Texas. At the moment users pay $70 ($100 if you don't want AT&T monetizing your browsing habits) for 300 Mbps, though AT&T insists users will be able to get 1 Gbps service later this year.
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by Karl Bode 09:14AM Wednesday Apr 23 2014
In January of last year, unlocking your cellphone technically became illegal after the Librarian of Congress removed it from the DMCA exception list. It technically remains legal for you to jailbreak your phone, but you can't unlock it without carrier permission.
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by Karl Bode 08:29AM Wednesday Apr 23 2014
Bloomberg quotes anonymous sources who claim that Dish Network will be unveiling a new Internet TV service sometime this summer. According to those sources, Dish aims to target the 18 to 34 year old demographic with a live TV channel package that will cost $20 to $30 per month.
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by Karl Bode 08:21AM Wednesday Apr 23 2014
The idea of broadband by sewer has been floated several times over the years, and was even the subject of a very amusing Google April Fool's joke a few years back. But user nightdesigns See Profile directs our attention to the fact that a London-based company is still pushing the broadband by sewer design, and hopes to use their technology to offer 1 Gbps service to several California communities:
quote:
Last week, the P.G.
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by Revcb 07:10AM Wednesday Apr 23 2014

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by Karl Bode 06:27PM Tuesday Apr 22 2014
On the same day that Netflix was calling out AT&T's U-Verse network for poor streaming performance, AT&T announced that it was investing in an over the top streaming video service of its own. According to AT&T's press release, AT&T and the Chernin Group will contributing $500 billion toward a new venture that will "acquire, invest in and launch over-the-top (OTT) video services.
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by Karl Bode 05:06PM Tuesday Apr 22 2014
Late last year security researcher Eloi Vanderbeken exposed a backdoor in a 24 different older DSL modem gateways made by both Netgear and Linksys that allowed an intruder to reset a machine's configuration and gain access to the devices' administrative control panel. While the companies originally claimed the problem had been patched, Vanderbeken is back with a new report that notes the backdoor wasn't really patched -- it was simply hidden from view. Vanderbeken's full Powerpoint presentation (pdf) offers significantly more detail and insists that the backdoor isn't a coding error -- it's "deliberate."

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by Karl Bode 02:31PM Tuesday Apr 22 2014
While Charter has left their options open to acquire Time Warner Cable in case Comcast's attempt to acquire the company falls through, the company's consolation prize continues to be the 3 million or so customers Comcast is willing to divest to try and make regulators approve the deal. Insiders say talks are ongoing between Comcast, Charter and Time Warner Cable to offload around 3 to 5 million of the impacted customers to Charter. Those sources claim (though the valuation seems absurdly high) the total assets being talked about are in the range of $20 billion or so. Another option still under discussion is Comcast and Time Warner Cable spinning off those users into a new company, with Charter taking a minority ownership stake.

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by Karl Bode 12:28PM Tuesday Apr 22 2014
Aereo and Broadcasters today finally square off before the Supreme Court, with broadcasters trying to shut down Aereo under the claims their live broadband TV service violates copyright. Aereo, as stated previously, is one of several parties warning that a Supreme Court ruling in favor of broadcasters could not only threaten Aereo, but it could threaten a bevy of other technologies such as cloud DVR services:
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What broadcasters don’t like about Aereo – that it enables numerous users to access content that they’re entitled to access, but over the Internet – is also one of the fundamental benefits of cloud-based services. In other words, if the Supreme Court holds that Aereo is infringing for the reasons broadcasters say, then cloud computing – the innovation of remotely providing Internet users access to content they’re entitled to have – may be in jeopardy.
While the case will get a lot of coverage today, an actual ruling remains months away. Aereo says they have no plan B should the Supreme Court not rule in their favor.

Update: You can find the full argument transcript here (pdf) for those interested.

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by Karl Bode 10:09AM Tuesday Apr 22 2014
Shortly after Google announced Google Fiber in Austin, AT&T announced that they too would be offering 1 Gbps "Gigapower" service in the city as well (though it's currently 300 Mbps). At the time, AT&T denied that the move was in any way motivated by Google Fiber, and that AT&T was planning all along to offer 1 Gbps connections (even if no evidence supports that claim, and millions of AT&T users are lucky to get 6 Mbps).
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by Karl Bode 09:10AM Tuesday Apr 22 2014
Roughly a month after lambasting unspecified big ISPs for plans for "potentially escalating fees for the interconnection required to deliver high quality service," Netflix has jumped face first into the Comcast merger debate. In yesterday's letter to investors, the company lashes out at both Comcast and AT&T for what the company calls "arbitrary interconnection tolls" now being imposed on content companies.
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by Karl Bode 08:03AM Tuesday Apr 22 2014
Comcast's first quarter 2014 earnings were released this morning, indicating that Comcast is one of the only large cable operators not losing basic cable subscribers. According to the earnings, Comcast added 24,000 video subscribers on the quarter, the second straight quarter of customer additions, and up from the 25,000 customers the company lost this time last year. Comcast also continues to see strong broadband subscriber gains as they leech DSL users the telcos don't want and are intentionally driving to cable -- adding 383,000 broadband subscribers on the quarter. Though growth is slowing, Comcast also added 142,000 digital voice customers on the quarter.

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by Karl Bode 07:53AM Tuesday Apr 22 2014
Earlier this month Verizon Wireless announced that the company was acquiring Cincinnati Bell's wireless spectrum, assets and customers in a deal estimated to be worth $120 million. Now Verizon's expanding its size and scope slightly further, with two more deals in Hawaii and California. The company says they're acquiring California's Golden State Cellular and will be integrating those users over to Verizon in the next fifteen months. Verizon's also acquiring the spectrum of Mobi PCS in Hawaii, leasing it back to them as that company "makes the transition away from being a facilities-based services provider."

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by Karl Bode 06:13PM Monday Apr 21 2014
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings today stated in a letter to investors (pdf) that new Netflix streaming customers will be seeing a small rate increase very soon. "Our current view is to do a one or two dollar increase, depending on the country, later this quarter for new members only," stated the CEO. According to Hastings, existing customers will be able to stay at their current rates for a "generous time period" (read: prepare for a rate hike next year). According to Hastings, the price hikes will allow Netflix to "acquire more content and deliver an even better streaming experience."

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by Karl Bode 03:57PM Monday Apr 21 2014
Two years ago wireless carriers and the government announced that they'd be collaborating on building a new nationwide database to track stolen phones (specifically the IMEI number, not just the SIM card ID). The goal was to reduce the time that stolen phones remain useful, thereby drying up the market for stolen phones and reducing the ability of criminals to use the devices to dodge surveillance.
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by Karl Bode 02:11PM Monday Apr 21 2014
AT&T today announced that the company is "eyeing" 100 potential target cities as locations they may deploy faster 1 Gbps "Gigapower" service. According to the company's press release, this "major initiative" will target 100 "candidate cities and municipalities" across 21 metropolitan areas nationwide.
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