Confirming rumors that had been circulating for weeks
, the FCC has adopted a Notice of Proposed Rule Making aimed at treating streaming video providers like traditional cable companies. The rules mean that OTT players would technically be classified as MPVDs, meaning they'd get FCC-enforced access to vertically integrated programming, but they'd also have to negotiate retransmission consent with broadcasters. You can check out both the FCC announcement
, and a statement by FCC boss Tom Wheeler
explaining how he hopes this will encourage streaming providers to be more serious competition to cable, phone and satellite television.
Mexico's competition watchdog has signed off on AT&T's $2.5 billion acquisition of Mexican wireless carrier Iusacell, a deal that was originally announced last month
. According to Reuters
, Mexico's Federal Competition Commission did impose some unspecified conditions on the deal to "avoid risks to the process of competition." AT&T's Iusacell will compete with Carlos Slim's America Movil, in which AT&T owned a minority stake until shortly before this new deal was announced.
As we've been covering, the nation's biggest carriers have been fighting Title-II based net neutrality rules tooth and nail. While they've acknowledged recently that Title II really won't hurt investment
as previously claimed, most are worried that such rules would restrict their ability to engage in "creative" monetization schemes.
Google has delayed the company's planned announcement specifying the next city or cities to get Google Fiber. Back in February Google announced
it was working with 34 potential cities for future Google Fiber deployment.
Back in September, representatives of state and local governments in Hartford, New Haven and Stamford joined forces
to try and bring faster broadband networks to Connecticut. The collective group issued an RFQ to promote the deployment of gigabit broadband networks and services in "targeted commercial corridors" and locations "with demonstrated demand."
At the time, the group also put the call out to any additional under-served communities, who can add an addendum to the RFQ to get involved.
Dish customers lost access to the Fox News Channel over the weekend as Dish found itself in the midst of yet another retransmission feud. It has been a busy retrans dispute season for Dish, which also recently battled CBS
and Turner Broadcasting
over soaring carriage fees.
by Revcb 08:07AM Monday Dec 22 2014
Please tell us what you want for Christmas in the comment section below.
In a network build blog update
, Sprint says the company has reached all of its major milestones in 2014. According to Sprint Chief Network Officer John Saw, Sprint finished their Network Vision deployment (consolidating, removing/replacing gear), finished rolling out HD Voice by July, expanded the company's footprint across all 3 bands at 1.9 GHz, 800 MHz and 2.5 GHz and reached 100 million people with 2.5 GHz LTE by the end of 2014.
As part of the government's announcement this week that they'd be easing restrictions on Cuba, it announced that U.S. telecom firms will now be able to do business in Cuba. story continues..
T-Mobile has settled with the government over claims the wireless carrier aided cramming and turned a blind eye to the practice because it was profitable. Earlier this year the FTC sued T-Mobile over the practice
, and now the FTC says T-Mobile will pay at least $90 million to customer refunds.
CableLabs continues to push the DOCSIS 3.1 standard to completion, which means that significantly faster cable speeds are just over the horizon. According to a CableLabs announcement
, six unnamed hardware vendors have completed the first round of interoperability tests for new DOCSIS 3.1 products, gear that will someday be capable of offering 10 Gbps downstream and 1 Gbps upstream.
After months of heated battle between T-Mobile and AT&T over roaming costs, this week the FCC issued a declaratory ruling
that could open the door toward T-Mobile having to pay less to connect to incumbent networks. The FCC says they're not technically changing the rules, but says they'll provide guidance on what precisely constitutes a "commercially reasonable" data roaming agreement.
Relatively new Comcast "Senior VP of Customer Experience" Charlie Herrin blogs
that the company has introduced a new wrinkle for its customer support. According to Herrin, customers can now schedule a specific time for Comcast to call them instead of waiting on hold (and those hold times can sometimes be a killer
) using the company's new Xfinity "My Account" app. "Simply enter in your phone number, select the time you want us to call you (call times are available in 15-minute windows), and you're all set," claims Herrin.
Cox Communications says the company has begun the company's migration to digital television, starting with customers in parts of Connecticut
. As with other cable providers, the migration to digital will free up spectrum used by analog video -- that spectrum being repurposed for additional VOD options, more channels, and ultimately part of the company's DOCSIS 3.1 speed bumps. Cox has stated they plan to begin migrating most of their users to 1 Gbps, DOCSIS 3.1 connections starting sometime in 2016
. Cox says some additional markets will be migrated throughout next year, but has not provided a deployment schedule.
by Revcb 07:29AM Friday Dec 19 2014
Several CenturyLink customers have e-mailed me to note that the company is reaching out to users with a not-so-welcome holiday gift: rate hikes in the new year. According to the notification being sent out to users, standalone broadband customers can expect to start paying $2 more per month in the new year, while bundled phone and broadband customers will see a $1 increase. story continues..
AT&T today announced that the company will begin offering 75 Mbps downstream, 8 Mbps upstream U-Verse connections in select areas. According to an AT&T blog post
, AT&T U-verse "High Speed Internet 75" is launching today in "parts of" Monterey and Sacramento, California, Toledo, Ohio; and El Paso, Texas.
You might recall that back in February Blackberry CEO John Chen insisted he was "outraged
" that T-Mobile was running a promotion aimed at selling discounted iPhones to Blackberry users. A few months of subsequent snark resulted in Blackberry stating they wouldn't be renewing an expiring licensing arrangement with T-Mobile. Comments made by both T-Mobile and Blackberry
suggest that the companies are healing any rifts made by the verbal scuffle, even though it remains entirely unclear when exactly an actual deal could emerge:
Answering media questions after T-Mobile's Uncarrier 8.0 launch on Tuesday, Legere said that he's open to finding a way for T-Mobile customers to have BlackBerry phones, provided the handset maker cooperates. Chen then told CNet today at its BlackBerry Classic event that he was also open to it and should connect with Legere (although I imagine he'd like to do it in person and not over Twitter).
Chen's move was curious given that after the last few years, Blackberry still needs all the friends it can get.
A new study
by the Commerce Department confirms something FCC boss Wheeler has been repeating in recent months: competition for faster speeds in the U.S. barely exists because of lagging DSL networks.
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