News tagged: AT&T Midwest
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A few weeks back, in response to Google Fiber, AT&T announced a plan for fiber to the press release in Austin
. That is, the company issued a very weaselly-worded statement claiming they were "prepared to build" an "advanced fiber optic infrastructure" technically capable of 1 Gbps if
they saw the precise perks they wanted from regional regulators. AT&T currently struggles to match cable speeds -- much less 1 Gbps fiber -- so the flimsy worded announcement made AT&T come off as disingenuous.
Not helping themselves, AT&T is now claiming they had been planning to deploy this 1 Gbps network all along, and that the project actually had nothing to do with Google Fiber. Speaking at the Jeffries 2013 Global Technology, Media and Telecom Conference, Bill Smith, President of AT&T Network Operations had this to say
"Our 1 Gbps plans were not in response to Google's announcement," Smith said. "We had a team suit up and developing that plan for some time, but they accelerated our need to go public with it but we had been planning to do it."
To be clear, AT&T does not offer 1 Gbps residential service anywhere. More than half of AT&T's customers remain on last-generation DSL with speeds slower than 6 Mbps. Most of their U-Verse customers are on slower fiber to the node technology.
AT&T appears poised to begin offering new U-Verse speed tiers that should offer a belated speed increase for bandwidth-hungry users. Earlier this year AT&T promised users
they'd eventually see 75-100 Mbps using line bonding, though the company was somewhat murky on deployment time -- or upstream speeds.
AT&T has started using push polls and astroturf to convince Kentucky residents losing their DSL lines, paying higher prices, and losing all state consumer protections is going to work out really well for them. AT&T is of course going state to state
insisting their telecom regulations need "modernizing" for an all IP age.
As I've been noting, both AT&T and Verizon have been busy trying to gut absolutely all regulatory oversight of those companies
, in the process severing the DSL and landlines of tens of millions of users
, who'll have to flee to an even less-competitive cable monopoly, more-expensive and capped LTE service, or even pricier and more-heavily capped satellite broadband.
The gadget-obsessed press and incumbent-beholden regulators so far have napped through the implications of this, as AT&T's claim that regulations simply need to be "modernized" as we go all IP appears to have lulled most of them into a compliant slumber.
Yesterday we noted that despite the copyright industry's new "six strikes" anti-piracy campaign launch, just one ISP had bothered to put anything about the plan on their website
. AT&T sent us a statement justifying their lack of website information by saying they intend to communicate directly with impacted users.
Verizon and AT&T want to get out of maintaining or upgrading the tens of millions of DSL users so they can focus on wireless, a move that makes obvious business sense from their perspectives. Verizon Wireless isn't unionized, so Verizon gets rid of union headaches. story continues..
After several significant delays, the entertainment industry and most of the nation's largest ISPs are set to launch their "six strikes" graduated response anti-piracy efforts starting today. Sources familiar with the plan timetable have told both Daily Dot
and Torrent Freak
that six strikes starts today, and a new Center for Copyright Information website
run by the entertainment industry appears to have been freshly launched for the occasion (see new video, below).
Back in 2011 the FCC began collecting real-world user broadband data from customized routers, then issuing reports on which ISPs were failing to deliver advertised speeds. It's one of the few FCC policies in recent years that has truly paid dividends for consumers. story continues..
It has been about half a decade now that I've been pointing out that most of the meters used by ISPs to track and bill consumers for usage aren't accurate. Customers of Canadian cable operator Cogeco have long complained the company's meter is inaccurate when users can load it at all
, and every so often the meter simply goes mad -- like last Spring when the meter was horribly confused by leap year
While AT&T is promising that 250 million potential customers will be covered by the 4G technology by the end of the year, the company remains intentionally vague about U-Verse build out goals. AT&T recently announced a significant network expansion for both U-Verse and LTE, though as we noted at the time
the company used some flaky math to make the U-Verse portion of that expansion seem much larger than it actually is.
Both AT&T and Verizon are currently hanging up on tens of millions of DSL and copper POTS customers they don't want to upgrade, letting them either flee to cable competitors, or to their pricier and heavily capped LTE services. To achieve this dream however, the companies have to entirely dismantle the regulations overseeing most of these networks -- networks built with the help of tens-of-billions in taxpayer dollars and several generations of massive
tax breaks (quite often with few results to show for them
AT&T told CES attendees this week that the company will soon be offering their AT&T Digital Life home security and automation service in eight unspecified markets starting in March. According to the AT&T press release
, the all-digital, all wireless service allows users to manage home lighting and home security from any mobile device, be it a laptop, tablet or smartphone.
Netflix has once again ranked the best ISPs for streaming content. According to this Netflix blog post
, the company's rankings come from 30 million members viewing over 1 billion hours of Netflix each month.
With the entertainment industry's "six strikes" anti-piracy plan very close to launch, some ISPs are finally willing to talk a little about the new steps they'll be taking to thwart pirates on their networks starting later this month. CNET's Declan McCullagh moderated a panel discussion on the new six strikes initiative this week, where ISPs and the RIAA and MPAA tried to downplay concerns about the program. story continues..
AT&T's recently announced DSL expansion
may not be all it was cracked up to be after closer examination. AT&T announced in a press release on November 7 that they'd be expanding their U-Verse coverage total from 24.5 million homes to 33 million, suggesting an additional 8.5 million new users.
AT&T broadband users continue to claim there's something not quite right about the way AT&T calculates data usage for their capped DSL and U-Verse users. As Broadband Reports
was the first to exclusively report last year, AT&T began imposing 150 GB caps on DSL users and 250 GB caps on U-Verse users -- with $10 per 50 GB overage fees.
AT&T has announced their long-awaited plan to address the upgrade path for the company's DSL networks. According to AT&T's plan
, the company will spend $14 billion on a new network expansion initiative that will include upgrading some current DSL users to U-Verse, but will also involve pushing many DSL users in outlying areas to their LTE network.
AT&T's third quarter results
, like Verizon's, were yet again driven by wireless -- the company announcing today that they sold 4.7 million iPhones during the last quarter. Like Verizon, AT&T's new shared data plans, which offer users unlimited voice and SMS but come with device fees, data caps and $15 per overages -- drove better-than-expected profits at the carrier.
Suggesting a leak somewhere in AT&T's supply chain, a second analyst this week is magically predicting that AT&T will be upgrading at least a few additional DSL customers to U-Verse. As we noted this week
any significant landline upgrades would run contrary to AT&T's character, and recent FCC filings
suggest AT&T's interested in actually shuttering the majority of their 18 million un-upgraded DSL users.
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Recent news contributorsKarl Bode , telcodad