by Karl Bode 06:20PM Friday Jul 25 2014
Get it off your chest and into the comment section below.
by Karl Bode 04:53PM Friday Jul 25 2014
Last month Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Charles Grassley (R-IA) introduced the "Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act (pdf), which aims to make unlocking one's cell phone technically legal again, even if it doesn't fully address the myriad of problems with the DMCA. In January of last year unlocking your cellphone technically became illegal after the Librarian of Congress removed it from the DMCA exception list.story continues..
by Karl Bode 03:31PM Friday Jul 25 2014
Historically, incumbent ISPs like to try and win debates by simply flipping arguments completely on their head, even if doing so frequently doesn't make any coherent sense. For example, if you're a cable company accused of violating free speech and net neutrality, you can claim that net neutrality rules violate your First Amendment rights.story continues..
by Karl Bode 01:35PM Friday Jul 25 2014
Several years back Verizon implemented what they call "network optimization" for their 3G network, though their LTE network wasn't impacted. As Verizon explained it to me at the time, the system de-prioritizes user packets if that user is in the top 5% of the heaviest users and if a local tower (or node) is suffering from congestion.story continues..
by Karl Bode 11:41AM Friday Jul 25 2014
We've already noted many times how despite the chorus of cries when they were struck down -- the FCC's original network neutrality rules didn't actually do much of anything. Crafted from language provided by AT&T, Google and Verizon, the rules contained numerous loopholes letting companies do effectively whatever they wanted -- provided they offered up a flimsy, reasonable-sounding faux-technical justification for it.story continues..
by Karl Bode 08:24AM Friday Jul 25 2014
A report over at ProPublica breathlessly proclaims this week that there's a new advertising and tracking system that's "virtually impossible to block." The technology, being developed by a company called AddThis, utilizes something called "canvas fingerprinting." Canvas fingerprinting, first discussed in a 2012 paper by Keaton Mowery and Hovav Shacham (pdf), uses your computer's unique graphics rendering capabilities (graphics card, browser, driver variant) to track your movements across the Internet --without storing any data locally.story continues..
Reliability of canvas fingerprinting has been somewhat iffy; especially on wireless networks (where device hardware and software is far more uniform), and large scale Internet use is far off if it happens at all.
by Karl Bode 08:23AM Friday Jul 25 2014
Verizon has announced that the company will be dropping the $5 monthly fee for the NFL Mobile app, allowing customers to get NFL news and watch games for free -- provided they're on Verizon's MORE Everything shared data plans. According to the announcement, NFL Mobile provides live streaming video of Thursday, Sunday and Monday night NFL games as well as Sunday afternoon games in local markets, the latest news, schedules and scores from around the league. Verizon clearly hopes the offer will lure more users on to shared data plans (a study this week showed Verizon leads the industry at getting users off of grandfathered unlimited plans), and that you'll eat more data by watching the games over cellular instead of Wi-Fi.
by Karl Bode 06:09PM Thursday Jul 24 2014
Back in March AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson insisted that AT&T's 1 Gbps "Gigapower" service would arrive in Dallas sometime this summer, but like much of the company's 1 Gbps deployment, specifics (deployment areas, total cost, number of users) was left ambiguous. Today AT&T got a little more specific, stating the company would be offering the ultra-fast service in "Dallas, Fort Worth, and surrounding cities" before the summer is out.story continues..
by Karl Bode 03:11PM Thursday Jul 24 2014
New FCC boss Tom Wheeler has now stated several times he's going to take aim at incumbent-ISP state laws that ban or prohibit towns and cities from deploying their own broadband -- even in cases where nobody else will. Chattanooga utility EPB broadband is ready for Wheeler to actually start following through with this promise any day now, and is giving the FCC boss the opportunity to show his rhetoric on the subject isn't empty.story continues..
by Karl Bode 01:38PM Thursday Jul 24 2014
Insisting they're interested in protecting states rights, the rather official-sounding "National Conference of State Legislatures" this week sent a letter (pdf) to the FCC, saying it intends to file a lawsuit if the agency acts to pre-empt state bans on community broadband builds.story continues..
FCC boss Tom Wheeler has lately proclaimed several times he intends to take actions against such bans, which are usually written and lobbied for by incumbent ISPs, eager to thwart the faster, cheaper services such networks can provide.
by Karl Bode 11:26AM Thursday Jul 24 2014
A few months ago I noted how Verizon had been claiming that we shouldn't have tough consumer net neutrality protections -- because they could harm deaf people and the disabled. To hear Verizon tell it, banning the creation of "fast lanes" would in turn harm services for the deaf and disabled, though as I noted at the time this was quite the straw man and red herring (straw herring?) that even the disabled didn't agree with.
Now Jon Brodkin at Ars Technica directs your attention to the fact that some additional deaf and disabled groups have responded to Verizon's recent claims, and they're not particularly impressed with Verizon's use of their disability as a revenue-protection tool. In comments filed with the FCC, a number of deaf advocacy groups like the National Association of the Deaf make their positions clear:
quote:Not only do the deaf groups disagree with Verizon's bogus contention that Verizon's fighting net neutrality on their behalf, groups ranging from the National Association of the Deaf ranging to the American Association of People with Disabilities also strongly support the reclassification of ISPS as utilities under the Communications Act, something Verizon and other large ISPs have vehemently opposed.
by Karl Bode 08:30AM Thursday Jul 24 2014
AT&T has released the company's second quarter earnings report, indicating the company posted a net profit of $3.55 billion on revenues of $32.6 billion. The company added 1 million net postpaid subscribers on the quarter, most of them being smartphone subscribers.story continues..
by Karl Bode 08:29AM Thursday Jul 24 2014
As I noted last month, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has been cooking up a new open-source firmware that the group claims will make it easier for users to more securely share their Wi-Fi connection. The EFF's new firmware is now available for download, though the group warns the firmware (based on the CeroWRT fork of OpenWRT) is a "work in progress and is intended only for developers and people willing to deal with the bleeding edge." If any of our numerous bleeding edge readers are willing to experiment with the firmware, we'd love to pay you to share your thoughts with the DSLReports community.
by Karl Bode 06:06PM Wednesday Jul 23 2014
Billing glitches for Verizon's new "free" symmetrical FiOS upgrades are resulting in rate hikes for some users. Verizon recently announced that the company would be bumping FiOS upstream speeds so they match the company's downstream speeds, effectively making all FiOS tiers symmetrical.story continues..
by Karl Bode 02:56PM Wednesday Jul 23 2014
While Verizon's legal victory over the FCC did gut the agency's net neutrality rules, it kept some of the FCC's authority over ISPs intact -- specifically the agency's transparency rules -- which require that ISPs be straightforward about the "network management practices, performance, and commercial terms" of their broadband services.story continues..
In a statement issued today, the FCC "reminded" wireline and wireless ISPs alike that those rules are still intact and need to be adhered to, lest the agency lightly slap a wrist or two -- maybe.
by Karl Bode 11:44AM Wednesday Jul 23 2014
Verizon has been taking a hammering of late for their decision to tell Sandy victims, a year after the storm, that they will never see their POTS and DSL lines repaired. Instead, Verizon foisted a wireless service called Voice Link upon those customers, a service that didn't include data, suffered from numerous feature shortcomings, and generally wasn't much of a replacement for DSL and POTS whatsoever.story continues..
by Karl Bode 09:25AM Wednesday Jul 23 2014
It's no mystery that wireless carriers have pushed hard to get users on metered data plans, hoping to raise data revenues as the SMS and voice minute cash cows head out to pasture. After introducing shared data plans carriers grandfathered unlimited usage users, but have used every trick in the book to get those users to switch to metered options.story continues..
by Karl Bode 09:25AM Wednesday Jul 23 2014
The inventory issues that plagued Comcast's deployment of their newish X1 set top box late last year are a thing of the past, and the company is speeding up deployment of the more sophisticated set top. “Our X1 additions nearly doubled this quarter, and we are looking again at further increasing the eligibility,” Comcast chairman and CEO Brian Roberts said on this weeks earnings call with analysts and the media. Comcast has long offered the set top to triple play customers, and recently started offering it to double play customers.
by Karl Bode 06:24PM Tuesday Jul 22 2014
Verizon's second quarter earnings once again topped Wall Street expectations as the company posted a net income of $4.32 billion on revenues of $31.48 billion. The company added 1.4 million postpaid wireless connections on the quarter, most of which were tablet customers taking advantage of the company's shared data plans.story continues..
by Karl Bode 04:34PM Tuesday Jul 22 2014
Back in March I pointed your attention to a study that noted just 30% of all consumers had even heard of 4KTV, and of that 30%, less than a third actually had a 4K set. Four months later and a new study notes that of broadband users, just 17% have any idea what 4KTV is.story continues..
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