For many years Verizon has wanted to offer an Internet TV service outside of the company's traditional FiOS and DSL footprint
, earlier this year paying $500 million for Intel's failed dreams and streaming TV technology
. Efforts on this front so far haven't gone as planned; the company was forced to shutter their underwhelming streaming joint venture with RedBox
due to low interest.
Like Intel (and everybody else), Verizon has struggled to get the broadcast industry to sign off on the kind of licensing deals needed to make a truly successful over the top video play, though executives continue to hint they're not giving up on the effort.
Back in September Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam stated the company was cooking up some form of TV platform for 2015, likely with a heavy focus on wireless. The company stated they were looking at a wireless TV "bundle with major broadcast providers" (read: likely Comcast) that provided users a variety of "custom channels."
"There’s no doubt in my mind we can make it a win-win," stated McAdam. "Over the last six months to a year that dialogue has changed dramatically," he added, referring to content licensing negotiations with broadcasters.
On this week's earnings call
company CFO Fran Shammo was again asked about when Verizon would get more aggressive on the over the top (OTT) video front, Shammo stating the company is exploring a number of Internet video options, now that broadcasters are "trying to penetrate that millennial base."
"We’re having discussions with a lot of content providers around innovative models going forward," Shammo stated.
As with most large pay TV providers, Verizon's enthusiasm for Internet video only goes so far, obviously, for risk of cannibalizing their traditional FiOS TV footprint. During a recent meeting with the FCC, public documents indicate
the company wasn't entirely thrilled with the FCC's proposal to let OTT companies play by cable rules
, calling such a move potentially "fatal."
Bruce Kushnick laments
how cable promotional offers can very quickly become costly, illustrating how his $90 Time Warner Cable Promotional bundle quickly ballooned to $190.77. Most readers will quickly and correctly state that this is how promotional offers work
While T-Mobile's tactics may not yet be truly hurting Verizon
, AT&T's latest earnings report indicates they're feeling the pesky upstart's assault. AT&T's latest earnings
missed Wall Street estimates, and the company had to lower growth projections due to what has largely been superficial price competition
with T-Mobile. Still, AT&T posted net income of $3 billion on revenues of $32.9 billion, adding a healthy 785,000 postpaid wireless subscribers. AT&T also sports a 0.99% churn rate, suggesting that the majority of the company's customers are staying put, unswayed by John Legere's sultry advances.
Comcast's latest earnings
indicate the company's third-quarter net income jumped nearly 50% courtesy of income tax "adjustments," leading to profits of $2.59 billion on revenue of $16.79 billion on the quarter. Comcast lost 81,000 net video subscribers on the quarter, but managed to add 315,000 broadband users and 68,000 voice users. Those voice additions are down from 169,000 the previous quarter, and most analysts expect voice totals to slow then start to reverse as users look for ways to reduce soaring TV costs (read: cut digital voice and go cell only). The average Comcast customer bill climbed 4% to $137.24 per month, largely courtesy of early 2014 price hikes for most users.
The FCC today announced that the regulatory agency is pausing the 180-day "shot clock" on both the Comcast/Time Warner Cable and AT&T/DirecTV mergers. According to the FCC's order
, eight content companies including Disney, Time Warner, CBS, Twenty First Century Fox and Viacom raised opposition to competitors and other companies being able to see confidential carriage agreement details, even though companies that view this information must sign non-disclosure agreements.
For years many of our more "serious" rural users have chosen to give their business to Verizon Wireless reseller Millenicom
, since they've continued offering larger data allotments and unlimited options (they're a "no drama
" company to quote one of our forum users). The plans were particularly popular among more rural users, whose only alternative is often very expensive and heavily capped satellite service, heavily capped LTE, or dial-up.
Last November we noted story continues..
that Time Warner Cable, historically a bit sluggish when it comes to next-gen broadband upgrades, was considering a brand refresh named "Maxx" that would include significant speed and TV improvements. In addition to bumping select markets
to 300 Mbps (Los Angeles, New York, Austin, Charlotte, Dallas, Hawaii, Kansas City, Raleigh, San Antonio and San Diego), that will include a fancy new DVR that the company unveiled this week in Los Angeles and New York City.
The Broadband Forum's G.fast certification program has offered up more testing schedule and testing details for G.fast, a standard many hope will be able to deliver 1 Gbps speeds over copper lines. At the Broadband World Forum in Amsterdam this week, it was announced that the University of New Hampshire InterOperablity Laboratory (UNH-IOL) will be the first and only testing lab for the Broadband Forum's G.fast certification program. story continues..
If you've followed the recent net neutrality debate, you'll recall that most consumer advocates believe the most sensible way forward is to reclassify ISPs as utilities and regulate them under Title II. Combined this with forbearance, argues groups like the EFF
, and you've got a system that will protect consumer effectively while at the same time keeping the FCC from aggressively over-reaching.
Eager to expand government coffers, Hungarian politicians have pushed forward a new draft bill to be debated in 2015 that would tax Internet service providers for traffic carried. A report in Reuters
indicates that the upcoming proposal sets forth a tax of 150 forints (60 US cents) per gigabyte of data traffic, though the report also notes the laws would allow companies to offset corporate income tax against the new levy.
The news was immediately received poorly, with possible protests planned for Sunday. One firm estimates Hungary's annual traffic to be 1.15 billion gigabytes on fixed line networks and 18 million gigabytes via wireless, which would generate around 175 billion forints (around $725 million) for the Hungarian government annually.
by Revcb 06:57AM Wednesday Oct 22 2014
Verizon's latest earnings
were released this morning, the company seeing a net income of $3.79 billion on revenue of $31.6 billion. While Verizon slightly missed Wall Street estimates, competition from T-Mobile didn't dent big red much: the company added 1.5 million wireless customers in the third quarter, 1.1 million of which were tablets.
According to a new schedule posted to their website
, CableLabs is prepped to host a DOCSIS 3.1 "plugfest" in "a multi-vendor environment" during the week of December 1. The company also plans to host a follow up interoperability testing session during the week of January 19, 2015. Most of the 1 Gbps promises you're seeing made by companies like Cox
will rely on the DOCSIS 3.1 standard, which isn't expected to see significant commercial deployment until sometime in 2016. Back in September CableLabs said they were slightly ahead of schedule
with development of the standard, which will take significantly less time to deploy than it did to design.
Sprint's latest promotion has the company waiving tablet access fees -- if
you're signing up for enough data. The company has announced they're now selling the Apple iPad Air 2 and the iPad Mini 3
, and interested individuals can add the tablets to the company's Sprint Family Share Pack for an access charge of $10 per month per line. Sprint stated the company will be waiving that $10 monthly fee "throughout 2015" if users sign up for a data plan of 20 GB or larger. It's worth noting the Air 2 supports Sprint's faster Spark upgrades, while the Mini3 does not. User IPPlanMan
writes in to note that users only have ten days left if they want to sign up for Sprint's double data promotion
Dish customers are the latest to lose access to channels they're paying for thanks to yet another retransmission fee dispute. Turner Broadcasting channels including CNN, Cartoon Network and Headline News were pulled from Dish's lineup yesterday after the two sides failed to agree to terms. story continues..
Already under investigation in West Virginia
for possible mishandling of government subsidy money, Frontier Communications is now facing a new class action in the state for failing to offer the services they advertised. According to the Charleston Gazette
, the suit complains of frequent outages and accuses Frontier of failing to deliver speeds paid for.
In December of 2011, right after the cable industry struck their massive spectrum and marketing arrangement with Verizon
, Sprint filed suit against Comcast, Time Warner Cable, CableOne, and Cox
for supposedly violating Sprint VoIP patents. In early 2013 Comcast returned the favor, suing Sprint for violating numerous patents related to core network services, SMS/MMS, and 3G modem technology. After a four day federal trial, this week Sprint was forced to pay $7.5 million
to settle the case. Sprint's original suit, which resulted in this counter-suit, isn't expected to see a court room until next year.
The Department of Justice is taking a very hard look at the anti-competitive impact of the Comcast merger, notes Reuters
. The report notes that the DOJ is "digging deep" into a wide variety of issues, from programming negotiations and interconnection deals, to Comcast's growing overall share of the broadband market and the use of data caps. Cogent CEO Dave Schaeffer tells Reuters the DOJ asked a lot of questions about the Netflix peering feud in particular. "The majority of the inquiries are around very technical data showing congestion, the timing, showing the impacts on our customers," said Schaeffer. "They're very in the weeds."
32 cities in nineteen different states have formed a coalition aimed at building networks in those cities that private ISPs have so far refused to. Dubbed the Next Century Cities
coalition, the organization will aim to share knowledge and resources that aid the delivery of next-generation 1 Gbps networks. "The leaders whose communities participate in Next Century Cities know that reliable, affordable, and fast Internet is no longer a luxury," states the organization. "Like electricity and plumbing, it is now essential infrastructure." The group arises as the FCC looks to dismantle
portions of ISP-written protectionist state laws that prohibit towns and cities from building their own networks -- even if nobody else will. The full city member list can be found here
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