Please carefully deposit your most interesting thoughts into the receptacle provided below.
As noted recently
, the most interesting thing about Apple's latest round of announcements was probably the AppleSIM
, which allows users to use their new iPad Air 2 or iPad Mini 3 on different devices without swapping out the SIM card. As also noted that's an idea that likely terrifies the biggest carriers, as keeping people's devices locked down goes a long way toward keeping real competition at bay.
Last year, Frontier Communications CEO Maggie Wilderotter stated that people don't really need 1 Gbps, and that the 3 to 6 Mbps most of her customers can get was just fine for most people
. Last summer, trying to downplay the fact said 3-6 Mbps is painfully uncompetitive, Wilderotter called Google Fiber "hype" that "confuses customers
," and that even talking about 1 Gbps services was something that was "disrespectful" to the customer base.
Speaking on Comcast's earnings conference call this week, Comcast NBCUniversal CEO Stephen Burke stated that he was "surprised" by HBO and CBS recently announcing they would provide what customers wanted and make it easier to acquire their content online. HBO's announcement for a 2015 streaming service
came after years of consumer clamoring for a service that didn't require a traditional cable TV subscription.
Some AT&T U-Verse users in our forums
say that an emergency alert warning appears to have hijacked their cable boxes, preventing them from changing the channel. Users say the alert switches them to a local channel to receive the alert, but the alert doesn't appear to deliver any information of note.
Broadcasters got their wished-for death blow to Aereo this week as NY Judge Alison Nathan approved an injunction and denied the company's request to be licensed as a cable company. The Supreme Court's shutdown of Aereo
effectively declared Aereo a cable company -- provided as it was willing to pay retransmission fees like a cable company.
Comcast this week stated that the cable giant has deployed around 5 million of the company's shiny new "X1" set top boxes after beginning the deployment two years ago. Comcast says they're on target to have X1's in the majority of homes within the next three years
, though that doesn't include potentially-acquired Time Warner Cable customers who are getting new set tops of their own
. Comcast's 5 million deployed X1's are only a fraction of the company's 22.3 million video subscribers, however. Comcast states that those customers on X1 are 20% less likely to leave the company.
by Revcb 07:52AM Friday Oct 24 2014
Critics of Comcast's proposed $45 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable have heated up their assault on the merger, with more than thirty economics and antitrust law experts this week warning the FCC that the proposed merger would hurt competition and be a detriment to consumer welfare. According to the sixteen-page letter
, the Comcast merger would give the cable giant control of 40% of the broadband market, and the leverage necessary to wage an aggressive anti-competitive war on both large and small competitors alike.
In a new blog post
, the FCC's Gigi Sohn notes that the agency has so far received 3.9 million comments on the agency's net neutrality proceedings to date, filed both through the FCC's Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS) and the agency's dedicated firstname.lastname@example.org email address. If you're in the mood for some light reading this weekend, Sohn notes that the agency has ow released some 2,444,672 of those comments in one zipped XML file
. "As before, we encourage those with the requisite technical skills to analyze the raw data and build visualizations or other tools and to share them with the public," states Sohn.
While T-Mobile's industry disruption has resulted in some pricing shifts by AT&T and Verizon, most of these changes by bigger players have been cosmetic in nature, focusing on upselling heavy users by reducing prices for bigger data allotments (usually customers on 10 GB plans or above). Today Sprint bucked that trend slightly by announcing some changes to one of their lower-end plans
: upping the 600 MB allotment on their $20 Family Share plan to 1 GB. "That’s double the data offered by Verizon and more than 3 times the data offered by AT&T at the same price point," Sprint crows in their release.
Over the last few years, arguably the biggest factor for rising cable bills can be attributed to the price of sports programming. DirecTV is spending close to $1.5 billion annually
to offer the NFL Sunday Ticket.
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.
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