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by Karl Bode 02:33PM Friday Mar 06 2015
According to the latest wireless carrier network rankings by JD Power and Associates, Verizon Wireless once again took top honors in all geographic regions. According to a JD Power statement, the study ranks carriers based on ten criteria: dropped calls; calls not connected; audio issues; failed/late voicemails; lost calls; text transmission failures; late text message notifications; Web connection errors; slow downloads; and email connection errors.

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The study found that data-related issues on mobile devices have steadily increased from 2014.

The average number of problems with mobile Web connections, excessively slow mobile Web loading, and email connection errors specifically jumped from 14 PP100 (problems per 100 network connections) in 2014, to 17 PP100 so far in 2015.

Verizon and AT&T took first and second places respectively in all six geographic areas ranked by the survey. Sprint found itself in last place in five out of the six geographic areas (with the exception of the North Central region).

"Smartphone users send a high volume of calls, text messages and emails, which strains carrier networks. As tablet ownership continues to rise, increased frequency of mobile video downloads further exacerbates network strain," states JD Power's Kirk Parsons. "Given the increase in network connection problems, carriers providing faster and more reliable connections may have a competitive advantage, particularly for cellular tablet owners, who have a high propensity to switch carriers in pursuit of quality connections."

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by Karl Bode 01:14PM Friday Mar 06 2015
Anonymous sources tell Peter Kafka at ReCode that Dish Network's Sling TV service has signed up 100,000 subscribers during the product's first month. The sources don't apparently know if those users have stuck around, meaning the total number of current subscribers could be less than that. Either way, the company is apparently "encouraged" by the early showing for the $20 a month streaming service. As noted earlier this week, Dish continues to expand the offering, adding a number of new $5 add on packs for sports and other entertainment options.

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by Karl Bode 11:27AM Friday Mar 06 2015
Time Warner Cable says that the cable company has begun its "Maxx" network upgrades in portions of North Carolina. According to a company blog post, customer in Raleigh are being informed they'll soon be seeing the improvements, and Time Warner Cable says they'll also be reaching out to Charlotte customers in April.
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by Karl Bode 09:28AM Friday Mar 06 2015
Tennessee Representative Marsha Blackburn, a major recipient of Comcast, AT&T and Verizon campaign contributions, has pushed forth two bills that attack the FCC's recent decisions on municipal broadband and net neutrality. In the case of the former, the FCC voted to pre-empt protectionist state laws (often written by ISPs) that prevented towns and cities from improving or expanding their own broadband infrastructure (even if it's with private help).
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by Karl Bode 08:19AM Friday Mar 06 2015
As we've been discussing, Google is on the cusp of creating a new wireless MVNO that will lean heavily on Wi-Fi, but use the Sprint and T-Mobile networks as backups. Google confirmed the efforts a few days ago, stating that the effort would be conducted on a "small scale" to "show what's possible." Now a new report in the Wall Street Journal indicates that while the service may launch sometime this month, initially availability may be quite small indeed:
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The service, designed to switch among Wi-Fi and cellular networks, will initially be available only on the latest Nexus 6 smartphone designed by Google and made by Motorola Mobility, a former Google unit now owned by China’s Lenovo Group Ltd. , two people familiar with the matter said. One of the people said the service won’t work with older Nexus devices, such as LG Electronics Inc. ’s Nexus 5.
The report goes on to state that while the launch could occur in weeks, sources state the launch may be delayed if Google can't get all its ducks in a row.

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by Karl Bode 07:35AM Friday Mar 06 2015
Since the FCC passed its new net neutrality rules we've seen no limit of entertaining claims when it comes to what the rules purport to do, whether that's outright destroying the Internet to killing startups. Speaking at Mobile World Congress Nokia joined the fun, CEO Rajeev Suri proclaiming that net neutrality isn't a good idea because intelligent, automated cars might not work properly:
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"There are some services that simply require a different level of connectivity," says Suri.
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by Revcb 07:02AM Friday Mar 06 2015

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by Karl Bode 05:21PM Thursday Mar 05 2015
Google may want to differentiate itself from the often-loathed traditional broadband and TV industries, but there's one thing it certainly doesn't have control over: the high cost of programming. A Google Fiber customer recently posted to Reddit noting that they were informed that Google will be increasing the price of TV services in Kansas City.
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by Karl Bode 03:14PM Thursday Mar 05 2015
According to the latest data from the Leichtman Group, the pay TV sector has seen notable subscriber losses for the second consecutive year. According to Leichtman's analysis of the top thirteen pay-TV providers (who in total represent about 95% of the market), those companies lost about 125,000 net video subscribers in 2014.
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by Karl Bode 01:09PM Thursday Mar 05 2015
Netflix has been taking heat for leaving its net neutrality principles behind for its Australian launch this month, though the company has defended the move by pointing out that cap-exemption is standard practice in Australia due to higher transit costs. But now the company is taking some additional flack for comments made by CFO David Wells, who at an investor conference this week proclaimed that Netflix wasn't actually happy about the FCC's decision to push Title II-based rules.
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by Karl Bode 11:11AM Thursday Mar 05 2015
After years of complaints that you couldn't just buy a standalone streaming version of HBO Go without also having a traditional cable subscription, HBO last October finally buckled and announced they'd be launching such a service sometime in 2015. The latest leaks on the plan suggest the service will be called "HBO Now," and will run users about $15 a month -- or roughly the same amount it costs users to add the premium channel to their traditional cable lineup.
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by Karl Bode 08:50AM Thursday Mar 05 2015
Speaking at the Goldman Sachs' Communacopia conference last year, 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 15 Mbps or faster delivered over a dedicated swath of spectrum, said the CEO.
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by Karl Bode 08:00AM Thursday Mar 05 2015
The release of the third season of Netflix's "House of Cards" has triggered an expected bump in Netflix traffic as users flock to binge watch all thirteen new episodes. A Sandvine blog post has detailed anonymous data from one unnamed ISP.
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by Karl Bode 07:39AM Thursday Mar 05 2015
Charter Communications continues to make it clear that the cable provider plans to take another run at Time Warner Cable should Comcast's attempted acquisition be blocked by regulators. Speaking at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecom conference this week, Charter and Liberty Media execs said that while they'd like the deal to go through (since they'll be acquiring some subscribers through the Greatland Communications spinoff), they're better positioned than ever to make a deal. Execs were quick to point out that Charter’s stock is up 47.5% over the last 12 months while Time Warner Cable stock is up just 11.7%.

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by Karl Bode 07:22AM Thursday Mar 05 2015
Remember: we're willing to pay community members or guest contributors who'd like to write content for the front page! Contact me if you're interested. Topics can range from networking tips or your review of a new router, to your experiences as a cable installation technician, involvement with the transition to IPv6, or your effort to get your town wired with better broadband service. Be creative and pitch me a topic. The latest examples of community-crafted content range from pjsutton See Profile's efforts to get his community wired, to pandora See Profile's exploration of life as a cord cutter.

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by Karl Bode 06:00PM Wednesday Mar 04 2015
Comcast has oddly been blocking Comcast users from enjoying HBO Go on select devices for years now. Since 2011 users complained that the cable giant didn't allow HBO Go to work on Roku if you're a Comcast cable subscriber, and while that was only recently remedied, Comcast's also been blocking its customers from using HBO Go on the Playstation 3 for around a year now.
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by Karl Bode 04:28PM Wednesday Mar 04 2015
DSLReports reader lordpuffer See Profile writes in to point out that Cable One has announced another speed bump for the company's broadband customers. According to an e-mail being sent to subscribers, Cable One is bumping the upload and download speeds for the company's Premier and Ultra service plans starting in April.
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by Karl Bode 02:20PM Wednesday Mar 04 2015
Dish Network's Sling TV streaming video service just got a littler fatter. According to a company blog post, the company has added AMC Network and IFC to the company's base $20 "Best of Live TV" channel package. On the heels of adding a $5 sports channel pack add on, another blog entry states the company has also added a $5 "Hollywood Extra add-on pack," which includes EPIX, EPIX2, EPIX3, EPIX Drive-In and Sundance TV. We shared our thoughts on Sling TV's cord killing effort back in January; the short version: watching live TV with ads is strange and disappointing if you've been away from cable for a while (or if you love your DVR).

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by Karl Bode 12:44PM Wednesday Mar 04 2015
Frontier Communications CEO Maggie Wilderotter will be stepping down. According to a company announcement, Wilderotter will be replaced by Daniel J. McCarthy, currently President and Chief Operating Officer and a member of the Board of Directors. Wilderotter endeared herself to Frontier Communications customers back in 2008 by trying to impose usage caps and overage fees the company then had to walk back from after customer backlash. More recently the CEO declared that speeds of 1 Gbps were little more than "hype" that simply acts to confuse customers (the company then proceeded to offer its own, very limited 1 Gbps deployments shortly thereafter).

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by Karl Bode 10:14AM Wednesday Mar 04 2015
FCC boss Tom Wheeler spent some time this week at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona defending his agency's new net neutrality plans, while attempting to walk hyperbole-prone neutrality opponents back from the edge. While a lot has been made about how the rules are "heavy handed" and will somehow obliterate the Internet, Wheeler made it clear that the agency actually will not apply most of the heavier-handed utility aspects of Title II:
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"There are 48 sections in Title II," Wheeler said.
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