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by Karl Bode 06:10PM Tuesday Aug 19 2014
A few years ago, the courts shut down a dirt-cheap broadband TV service named Ivi, arguing that over the top video services weren't technically cable companies, and couldn't just start paying retransmission fees to become them. Fast forward to the Supreme Court's recent ruling on Aereo, which seemingly argued the exact opposite -- that Internet services could be cable operators if they pay retransmission fees.

It's not surprisingly then that Aereo's latest legal argument is to effectively agree with the Supreme Court (who one can legally argue overturned the Ivi ruling in their ruling against Aereo), and argue they can be a cable company if they just pay retransmission fees. The Washington Post notes that broadcaster lawyers are urging the courts to pre-empt Aereo's argument and impose an injunction across the board:
quote:
Broadcasters are trying to go for the kill, calling for a nationwide ban on Aereo. They're also demanding that any injunction address not just Aereo's retransmission of content in near real-time, but also even content that's played back online hours or days after the original broadcast. (Time-delayed playback has, for a long time, been considered fine under the law if the recording is being made for personal use. That's how we got VCRs and DVRs.)
Of course to hear CBS CEO Les Moonves tell it, the Aereo legal defeat and subsequent shutdown was very a "pro consumer thing" and a "terrific victory for anybody who is involved in the content business."

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by Karl Bode 03:55PM Tuesday Aug 19 2014
Comcast's historically abysmal customer customer service has many causes, not least of which is the company's fairly obvious lax standards when it comes to subcontractors, which over the years has resulted in installers falling asleep, murdering people, digging in the wrong yard, blowing up laptops, dishwashers and homes or even animal cruelty. But to hear many Comcast insiders tell it, another major reason for Comcast's problems is the fact that the company has spent much of its existence growing for the sake of growing.
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by Karl Bode 01:28PM Tuesday Aug 19 2014
A new report by RootMetrics effectively declares Verizon the king when it comes to mobile network coverage, reliability, speed, and overall performance. The study, which collected data from 5.6 million test samples while driving some 234,000 miles across the country, gave the crown to Verizon for all metrics except text message performance, which Verizon closely lost to AT&T.
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by Karl Bode 11:26AM Tuesday Aug 19 2014
New Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure insisted last week that better prices would be one of his first priorities, and the company this week has introduced their first attempt at that promise. According to a company announcement, Sprint's new "Sprint Family Share Pack" allows a family to share 20 GB of data, unlimited text and voice for $100 a month under a limited-time promotion.
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by Karl Bode 08:58AM Tuesday Aug 19 2014
To get their merger approved by regulators, one of Comcast's key arguments is that the company faces so much competition on so many fronts that this competition will keep them honest. Most people know that Comcast enjoys little to no competition on the last mile, with AT&T and Verizon's retreat from many DSL lines making things less competitive than ever.
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by Karl Bode 08:15AM Tuesday Aug 19 2014
The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has filed suit against the FCC's for it's upcoming "incentive auction" of 600 MHz spectrum, claiming the auction as currently designed would harm broadcast television and cost the broadcast industry millions of dollars. The FCC's auction rules allow broadcasters to voluntarily give up spectrum to be auctioned off to wireless carriers.
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by Revcb 07:29AM Tuesday Aug 19 2014

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by Karl Bode 05:46PM Monday Aug 18 2014
The Wall Street Journal notes that Time Warner Cable's existing relationship with Bright House Communications complicates Comcast's proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable. Bright House is currently its own company, but Time Warner Cable has an ownership interest and historically handles programming, some engineering and technology acquisitions for the company (they even historically shared the "Road Runner" branding).
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by Karl Bode 03:27PM Monday Aug 18 2014
Verizon tinkered with wireless pricing over the weekend, offering a new $60 plan for individuals that offers unlimited text, unlimited voice and 2 GB of data. Obviously this precludes being able to add additional devices like tablets to the plan, and the overages remain steep at $15 per each additional gigabyte consumed. Users who participate in Verizon's EDGE early handset upgrade program can grab $10 off the plan cost per month. There's oodles of additional detail provided by Verizon in a new FAQ posted to the company's website.
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by Karl Bode 01:05PM Monday Aug 18 2014
While Comcast certainly has its faults, the cable giant has led the way when it comes to IPv6 deployment while many larger ISPs have napped. Comcast recently announced they've officially completed their residential IPv6 deployments, and around 30% of their customers are now actively running IPv6.
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by Karl Bode 10:26AM Monday Aug 18 2014
Though TV subscriber declines had eased off the last few quarters, cable operators again lost subscriber at a faster rate during the historically slow second quarter. According to the latest data from Leichtman Research Group, the thirteen largest pay-TV providers in the US -- representing about 95% of the market -- lost about 300,000 net video subscribers in the second quarter.
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by Karl Bode 09:05AM Monday Aug 18 2014
Anti-Piracy firm Rightscorp has historically targeted non "six strikes" ISP customers with legal threats unless a $20 fine is paid. As it stands, the firm tracks user behavior and then forwards on the warning letters used by ISPs, who then forward those warnings (and a request for payment) on to the end user.
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by Karl Bode 08:18AM Monday Aug 18 2014
Stop the Cap amusingly notes how New York State Assembly Leader Joe Morelle's enthusiastic support of Comcast's Time Warner Cable merger was so enthusiastic -- his letter of support sent to the New York Public Service Commission copies previous Comcast statements on the merger almost verbatim. "They provided a draft letter of support for our consideration. We made several edits of the letter. This is common practice for any organization asking for an elected official’s support to provide a sample letter," insists Morelle's office when asked about the plagiarism from local news outlets. They're right -- this has been common practice for a decade; it's just that usually the politicians in question at least pretend to be having original and unique thoughts.

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by Revcb 07:29AM Monday Aug 18 2014

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by Karl Bode 06:04PM Friday Aug 15 2014
Hi there. Come here often?

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by Karl Bode 04:45PM Friday Aug 15 2014
Earlier this month Moody's investment service predicted that the cable industry's broadband subscribers should pass the total number of cable industry TV customers sometime next year. But according to the latest data from Leichtman Research Group, that has already happened -- at least when analyzing subscriber data from the largest cable operators.
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by Karl Bode 02:36PM Friday Aug 15 2014
A few days ago we noted that Suddenlink was the latest to throw its hat into the 1 Gbps ring, insisting that the company would be offering 1 Gbps to 90% of its customers by 2017. The move is an aggressive one for a company not historically known for aggressive upgrades, leading one to wonder how exactly Suddenlink hopes to manage this feat. While DOCSIS 3.0 can achieve a lot via channel bonding, we're several years out from seeing reliable 1 Gbps on cable, especially upstream.

The as-yet unfinished DOCSIS 3.1 standard might be able to get part of the way there when it's finished two years or so from now, but Suddenlink insists that's not what they'll be using:
quote:
Given that DOCSIS 3.1, an emerging CableLabs spec that is targeting multi-gigabit speeds, is about two years away from scaled deployments, I asked the MSO if Operation GigaSpeed “hinged on” the 3.1 technology, and the answer was no. And the company declined to answer if FTTP would factor into Operation GigaSpeed, particularly in greenfields.
2017 isn't really that far away, leaving you to wonder if Suddenlink has developed a miracle technology they're keeping hidden in the wings, or if their promise is hot air designed largely to deflect criticism for lagging behind in the age of Google Fiber.

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by Karl Bode 12:59PM Friday Aug 15 2014
Earlier this week Comcast stated they were "insulted" by concerns that the company (alongside Time Warner Cable) was helping to fund a dinner to honor an FCC Commissioner currently deciding on the fate of their planned merger. Comcast was contributing $110,000 and Time Warner Cable was contributing $22,000 to sponsor the Walter Kaitz Foundation’s annual dinner, which promotes diversity in the cable industry.
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by Karl Bode 10:58AM Friday Aug 15 2014
It was just last week that we noted how Sprint CEO Dan Hesse seemed terrified of cutting prices to compete with T-Mobile, expressing concern that if the company reduces prices -- they by proxy reduce revenues necessary to get the company's LTE network up to snuff. Hesse of course has since been informed he'll be fired from the new CEO spot, replaced by former BrightStar boss Marcelo Claure.
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by Karl Bode 08:46AM Friday Aug 15 2014
One of Verizon's big arguments against net neutrality rules is that if you have a truly neutral network, the bits managing grandma's pacemaker or services for the deaf will somehow get lost in the shuffle. That of course is a massive red herring, given that informed neutrality supporters obviously don't oppose reasonable network management, as long as it's fair and transparent.
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