A new report by the General Accounting Office
(pdf) (GAO) found that in areas where the government invested stimulus dollars to shore up middle and last mile infrastructure, businesses were unsurprisingly able to receive faster and less expensive broadband than elsewhere.
The funds, which have been delivered via the FCC, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration and the Rural Utilities Service, often shore up infrastructure in places where private investment has stalled, either due to a lack of competition or rural deployment challenges.
"GAO examined broadband services for 14 federally funded and municipal networks and found they tended to have higher speeds than other networks," notes the report. "For example, in 9 of the 14 communities where GAO collected information on broadband speeds and prices, federally funded or municipal networks offered higher top speeds than other networks in the same community and networks in nearby communities."
Prices similarly saw a slight decline in those same markets. The result, insists the GAO, is more efficient regional small business operations. The lion's share of the funding came courtesy of the $787 billion economic stimulus package passed by Congress in 2009.
"According to small businesses GAO met with, the speed and reliability of their broadband service improved after they began using federally funded or municipal networks," says the report. "Furthermore, according to small business owners, the improvements to broadband service have helped the businesses improve efficiency and streamline operations."
Sprint Chairman and SoftBank boss Masayoshi Son doesn't seem prepared to take no for an answer. The Japanese cellular titan insists he'd still like to see Sprint buy T-Mobile
, even if every indication coming from regulators so far suggests that a deal wouldn't be approved.
There's really no doubt that Comcast has its tendrils in deep when it comes to lobbying for approval of their $45 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable. The revolving door helps; former FCC boss Michael Powell now heads the NCTA, the cable industry's largest lobbying group. story continues..
RCN has announced that the company is significantly boosting upstream broadband speeds for most of the company's users. According to a company announcement
, the upgrades should already be live for most users -- though you may need to reboot your modem to see them. The latest bump:
•25Mbps Customers – from 2Mbps to 4Mbps upload
•50Mbps Customers – from 5Mbps to 10Mbps upload
•75Mbps Customers – from 10Mbps to 15Mbps upload
Back in December we noted
that a software bug in the Xbox One game console prevented Comcast users from using the console's Wi-Fi connection -- if they were connected via IPv6. According to a Comcast blog entry
(via Multichannel News
), the companies have squashed the bug. The software glitch only impacted Arris-made XB2 (TG852/TG862) integrated wireless DOCSIS 3.0 gateways that were operating in Comcast areas where IPv6 had been enabled. "Comcast and Microsoft have collaborated closely since this issue was discovered and are happy to report that this issue has been resolved," Comcast states.
by Revcb 06:46AM Tuesday Mar 11 2014
Back in the middle of February US District Judge Dale Kimball of Utah issued an injunction
forcing live TV streaming operator Aereo to not only shut down existing operations in Denver and Salt Lake City, but blocking the company from expanding anywhere in Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, New Mexico, and Oklahoma. While Aereo managed to get a 14 day stay on the injunction
that time is now up, and the service went dark in Salt Lake City and Denver last Saturday morning.
Despite all the drama surrounding T-Mobile's price disruption, overall industry prices continue to rise, notes the Wall Street Journal
. While T-Mobile's moves may have had some positive impact on policies like early termination fees and contracts, overall prices aren't trending downward, and companies (including T-Mobile) are being very careful to avoid a price war.
Netflix has released the company's latest month rankings
of ISP Netflix streaming performance. Not too surprisingly, the results show that Comcast Netflix streaming performance has improved two spots after Comcast and Netflix last month struck a new interconnection agreement
that eliminated middlemen like Cogent Communications from their transit routes.
T-Mobile continues to disrupt the sector on price, and its latest effort involves tweaking their Simple Choice plans even further. According to a company announcement
, data allotments on a lot of the plans, originally launched last fall, will be boosted while a few prices will be increased.
Time Warner Cable has fired off an e-mail to the company's users to assure them that being acquired by Comcast will be in everyone's best interests. In the e-mail, embedded in its entirely below, new Time Warner Cable CEO Rob Marcus (who stands to net more than $56 million personally from the deal
, should it be approved by regulators) claims that the new company will "innovate faster" and "deploy even better products and features, including a superior video guide, faster Broadband Internet speeds and even more WiFi access points so you can access the Internet wherever you go."
Dear Valued Customer:
Recently, Time Warner Cable announced plans to merge with Comcast, forming an industry-leading technology and media company dedicated to delivering great customer experiences.
Responding to T-Mobile wireless pricing pressure, AT&T announced over the weekend that the company is dropping the price of its 2GB Mobile Share Value no-contract plan by $15, to $65 a month for customers with one or two lines. According to the company announcement
, as of Sunday one line with unlimited talk, text and 2 GB of data will cost $65, while two lines of unlimited talk, text and 2 GB of data will cost $90. It's only the latest volley in an ongoing AT&T, T-Mobile price battle that never would have happened had AT&T been allowed to buy the company.
70% of consumers have never heard of the 4K high definition TV standard, according to a new study by Leichtman Research Group
. Of the 30% who have heard of the higher-resolution standard, only about a third of those
has actually seen a 4K set. That said, expectation and awareness changes quickly, and awareness and ownership of 4K sets should rise dramatically as prices begin to fall in line with more traditional high-definition televisions.
"Nearly 60% of TV sets used in US households are now HD sets, up from less than 20% just five years ago," notes Bruce Leichtman. Other notable bits from the study:
•88% with annual household incomes over $50,000 have an HDTV -- compared to 68% with household incomes under $50,000
•Among those getting HD programming from a cable, satellite, or Telco provider, the perceived mean number of channels of HD programming is 82 -- up from 42 five years ago
•28% of those who have seen a 4K Ultra HDTV are very interested in getting it, while 15% of all who have heard of 4K HDTV are very interested in getting it
•14% of households have a Smart TV set that is connected to the Internet, including 3% of households that have more than one connected Smart TV set -- connected Smart TVs account for about 7% of all television sets used in US households
•22% of all households purchased a TV set in the past 12 months -- an annual level that has been fairly consistent for the past decade.
HBO's popular crime series "True Detective" appears to have broken the company's online streaming service. "Due to overwhelmingly popular demand for #TrueDetective, we've been made aware of an issue affecting some users," stated HBO's Twitter account
last night as users tried to watch the television show online.
by Revcb 07:34AM Monday Mar 10 2014
Who are you? What do you do? Where are you going? Tell us in the comment section below. If you're just not sure, make something up.
Sprint's new ownership by SoftBank hasn't born much fruit yet here early on, with Sprint continuing to flounder in most speed, latency and consumer satisfaction studies, while playing second fiddle to T-Mobile's recent bout of aggressive pricing promotions. But SoftBank boss Masayoshi Son has taken aggressive steps to shore up what the Japanese industry titan has declared is a "loser" mentality at the company. story continues..
Verizon today announced a new promotion that delivers new savings for users willing to bundle FiOS with Verizon Wireless service. According to a company announcement
, the new promotion, dubbed Double Up
, can save customers who buy both FiOS and wireless services $20 per month ($480 over two years).
As Karl Bode noted last month
, Google’s installation of a telecom cabinet in the middle of a sidewalk caused a bit of an issue with residents of Kansas City, MO. Now, others seem to be having similar issues with the installation of Google fiber boxes.
While AT&T has been winning most of the recent LTE speed tests
, T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray has recently been promising that will soon change. The company is in the process of migrating to 2x10MHz channels to speed up LTE connectivity, and early indications were that they were starting to nip at AT&T's heels in terms of speed, after spending the last few months hitting AT&T in terms of pricing.
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