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by Karl Bode 06:38PM Monday Sep 15 2014
Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam says the CEO won't rule out further expansion of the company's FiOS services, but eager customers probably shouldn't hold their breath. FiOS just passed its ten year anniversary, though with the exception of the finishing up of promised deployments in major cities, the expansion of FiOS has been frozen for several years now. Speaking at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia conference last week, McAdam stated that he's not ruling out the possibility, but it would need to be a unique opportunity:
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"Expansion into other areas I wouldn't rule out, but it would have a very high bar," McAdam said. "If you look at some of the things that Google is doing around fiber, I think that's opened up a new model for us."
That's code for the fact that Google Fiber has made cherry picking deployment neighborhoods acceptable. Verizon might jump in and offer new FiOS deployments to upscale developments, universities, and MDUs -- but the not-small number of east coast cities waiting for serious investment (Alexandria, Baltimore, Buffalo, Boston) will likely still be waiting a very, very long time.

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by Karl Bode 04:10PM Monday Sep 15 2014
Tom Wheeler spoke to Multichannel News in an interview that touches on a number of subjects, covering everything from net neutrality and the reclassification of ISPs under Title II, to the possible renaming of the Washington Redskins. Wheeler doesn't show his hand on most of the subjects related to neutrality and Title II, given the agency is still fielding comments (and about to have a series of roundtable discussions on the matter over the next two months.
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by Karl Bode 02:22PM Monday Sep 15 2014
Janko Roettgers over at GigaOM scoops the news that Dish's long-in-gestation Internet TV effort is likely to use the "NuTV" brand name. The information came courtesy of a series of trademark filings for the new brand, filed for by Dish back in February of this year. Dish boss Charlie Ergen recently stated that the company should launch the service before the end of the year, though securing proper licensing has -- as always -- been a challenge. Rough estimates suggest the service should cost somewhere between $20 to $30, with the company specifically targeting younger cord cutters with the effort.

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by Karl Bode 12:43PM Monday Sep 15 2014
On the heels of T-Mobile's announcement last week that they've started a heavy push toward Wi-Fi calling, AT&T says they'll also be offering Wi-Fi calling starting in 2015. AT&T Mobility CEO Ralph de la Vega stated last week the company will be offering it next year, but hasn't been in a rush because, they claim, their network coverage is good enough (unlike T-Mobile's, the CEO implied).
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by Karl Bode 10:30AM Monday Sep 15 2014
A report over at DeepDotWeb claims that Comcast has contacted some users telling them that they risk disconnection if they continue using the privacy-minded Tor browser. Tor (as our recent report explores) is an entirely legal browser used by 1.2 million people, only some of whom use the browser to buy narcotics and other black market goods.
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by Karl Bode 09:01AM Monday Sep 15 2014
The slow and small but steady phenomenon known as cord cutting isn't going away. A new survey of 2,400 TV subscribers aged 24-34 indicates that around 5% of them plan to cut the cord sometime in the near future.
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by Karl Bode 08:36AM Monday Sep 15 2014
Back in May TDS Telecom (see our user reviews) became the latest company to throw its hat into the 1 Gbps broadband ring, offering 1 Gbps speeds for $100 a month (if bundled) to residents of Hollis, New Hampshire and London, New Hampshire. Now the company states that Waterford, Wisconsin will be the latest town to get the 1 Gbps treatment, either later this year or in early 2015. Like so many other ISPs, TDS is hoping to grab some of the press attention received by Google Fiber with very selective deployment of similar speeds (they've even mirrored Google's "Fiberhood" efforts with something they're calling "Fiberville").

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by Revcb 08:11AM Monday Sep 15 2014

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by Karl Bode 07:11PM Friday Sep 12 2014
Deposit your carefully constructed comments into the comment section below.

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by Karl Bode 04:07PM Friday Sep 12 2014
For forty years now, regulators have enforced a rule that blacks out local NFL games on television if locals didn't buy enough tickets to see the games. The idea at the time was to aid a young and struggling league, but as time has passed the rules have proven burdensome on communities, and an unnecessary "subsidy" for a hugely profitable NFL.
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by Karl Bode 02:13PM Friday Sep 12 2014
Sprint has slowly but surely been expanding the company's "Spark" LTE upgrades, which combine the company's 2.5 GHz, 1900 MHz and 800 MHz bands for improved regional capacity and speeds Sprint promises should top out around 60 Mbps. According to a Sprint announcement, the company just added Cincinnati, Ohio and Rockford Illinois to the list of markets where Spark has been deployed. You can find a list of all Spark deployed markets here, and all of the Sprint smartphones that support Spark here. You can find Sprint's master list of deployed LTE markets here.

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by Karl Bode 12:10PM Friday Sep 12 2014
With the entertainment industry's "six strikes" program now a year and a half old, the entertainment-industry organization behind the effort (Center for Copyright Information) says that the program is set to double in size this year. That means not only more warnings, but more partner ISPs, and more content industries demanding that warnings be sent out to broadband subscribers:
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In addition to sending more notices, the CCI will also consider adding more copyright holders and ISPs to the mix.
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by Karl Bode 10:48AM Friday Sep 12 2014
An Iranian Gran Ayatollah has declared that broadband -- specifically 3G connections -- are morally unsound. Grand Ayatollah Nasser Makarem Shirazi, in a response to questions on his website recently, proclaimed that "all third generation [3G] and high-speed internet services, prior to realization of the required conditions for the National Information Network (Iran's own censored, internal network), is against Sharia and against moral and human standards." In 2009, Iran made it a criminal offense to bypass the country's Internet filters using VPNs or any other technology.

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by Karl Bode 09:37AM Friday Sep 12 2014
Speaking at the Goldman Sachs' Communacopia conference this morning, AT&T Mobility CEO Ralph de la Vega stated that (assuming their merger gets approved), AT&T would offer a wireless broadband, DirecTV bundle sometime late in 2015. AT&T has technology "ready to go" to deliver speeds of 50 Mbps or faster delivered over a dedicated swath of spectrum, claims the CEO.
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by Karl Bode 08:45AM Friday Sep 12 2014
For a few years now Digital Rights Corp (aka Rightscorp) has been trying to turn copyright infringement notices into a revenue stream, sending accused pirates letters telling them they can avoid court battles if they just pay a $20 fee. While most ISPs have agreed to turn over customer information quickly, some ISPs like Mediacom Communications and Windstream have been fighting these requests for several years now.

TorrentFreak notes that Texas-based Grande Communications is another smaller ISP engaged in a battle with Rightscorp over the company's use of DMCA subpoenas -- a shortcut toward getting subscriber info that doesn't require a Judge's involvement. In telling the court it refuses to grant Rightscorp's request for data on 30,000 users, the company makes it clear they don't like being bullied:
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“The Subpoena is part of an ongoing campaign by Rightscorp to harvest ‘settlements’ from Internet subscribers (who may or may not have been the users of their accounts at the times and dates in question) located across the nation through an abuse of the subpoena power of the federal courts in California..."

“As can be seen from the PACER listing, Rightscorp has avoided sending subpoenas to any of the national ISPs (such as Verizon, AT&T, or Comcast), but instead has sent subpoenas to regional ISPs in various locations around the nation,” Grande writes. “Presumably, Rightscorp is hoping that the regional ISPs, with smaller in-house legal departments, will be likely to simply comply with its subpoenas, especially given that those subpoenas bear the signature of the Clerk of the Court.”
Grande argues that Rightscorp is abusing the law to bypass the scrutiny of a Judge, which would result in said Judge finding problems with a "litany of issues" regarding Rightscorp's methods.

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by Karl Bode 08:25AM Friday Sep 12 2014
AT&T has sued Cox Communications, claiming that the cable operator has infringed on seven patents covering various DVR and modem technologies. In the complaint (pdf, via Ars Technica), AT&T alleges that Cox has avoided paying AT&T by "repeatedly delaying and rescheduling negotiations." "Given every opportunity, Cox has failed to provide substantial arguments for either non-infringement or invalidity of AT&T's patents," complains AT&T. "Cox’s conduct constitutes a steadfast refusal to take a license, even though Cox generates billions of dollars in revenue every year through its use of AT&T’s technologies."

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by Karl Bode 08:25AM Friday Sep 12 2014
Back in July French telco Iliad lobbed a rather underwhelming softball offer of acquisition at T-Mobile, offering $15 billion in cash to acquire 56.6 percent of T-Mobile. Deutsche Telekom wasn't impressed, though reports suggest that the company is still very much open to a deal to sell the freshly-disruptive US carrier, which the company has been trying to offload since 2011 or before. Reuters indicates that Iliad is preparing to make an improved offer, "but has set specific limits on how much money it would raise to fund any deal." Deutsche Telekom spent a year negotiating a T-Mobile sale to Sprint, only to have it scrapped on fears that regulators would block the deal.

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by Revcb 08:10AM Friday Sep 12 2014

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by Karl Bode 05:49PM Thursday Sep 11 2014
Canadian Heritage Minister Shelley Glover last year made waves by promising that government would be urging Canadian regulators the CRTC to push Canadian Pay TV providers toward offering a la carte TV programming. Like in the States, Canadian consumers desire greater flexibility in the prices and programming lineups they're offered.
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by Karl Bode 03:58PM Thursday Sep 11 2014
CBS appears to be seriously considering offering a standalone Showtime streaming option that won't require a traditional cable subscription to use. Nothing in Showtime’s contracts with cable operators "restricts us from doing something direct to consumer," CBS COO Joseph Ianniello stated last week at an investor conference. Ianniello proceeded to insist that teh company will have to "evolve as a business to be sure we’re where consumers want to be" and "give it to them on their terms." This is of course the same company that has historically sued Aereo and Dish for trying to do just that, so the interest in a standalone option probably should be taken with a grain of salt.

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