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The cable industry today announced that their creatively named joint "CableWiFi" initiative now offers access to more than 150,000 hotspots if you're a paying customer of Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cablevision, Bright House Networks, or Cox Communications. That number is up from the 50,000 offered just last year. The initiative piggybacked initially on the back of Cablevision's idea to deploy free Wi-Fi to paying customers across NYC commuter regions. Users simply have to look for the CableWiFi SSID and log in with their cable credentials. Time Warner Cable offers this hotspot location map
, as well as a Wi-Fi finder app available both via Google Play
or the iTunes store
Cablevision's quarterly earnings
this week indicated that the company posted a net loss of $16.1 million for the quarter, while also seeing a drop in video revenues and a quarterly loss of about 4,700 customers. The company did add 23,000 broadband and 23,000 Internet voice subscribers on the quarter, increasing those customer totals to 2.8 million and 2.3 million, respectively. Cablevision insists that a large part of their problems relate to continued Sandy recovery, and that they still haven't been able to contact many of the customers hit hardest by the storm last fall. Cablevision's continued struggles come after a stretch of high profile executive departures from the company
, which have also been accompanied by renewed rumors of a possible sale
Cablevision was the first of the major cable operators to deploy Wi-Fi as a free added bonus to customers, paying $300 million to upgrade to DOCSIS 3.0 and deploy hotspots all along NYC commuter zones. The company this week announced that Optimum Wi-Fi is now available to some 75,000 hotspots across the NYC Tri-State area. "Using Optimum WiFi can help reduce dependence on overpriced, slower, and constrained cellular data networks and mobile data plans that come with steep overage charges," insists Cablevision. According to Cablevision, more than a million customers have connected to their Wi-Fi network, which provides users with 15 Mbps downstream and 5 Mbps upstream.
Rumors of a Cablevision sale to someone like Time Warner Cable have long been a centerpiece of broadband industry gossip, but those rumors appear to be gaining some serious momentum. Cablevision executives have been leaving the company in a steady stream
since last year, including marketing's Jonathan Hargis, President John Bickham, and COO Tom Rutledge, who left to become Charter CEO.
Cablevision's network DVR, which stores content remotely but has faced legal battles from the entertainment industry since 2006
, is finally starting to see some meaningful deployment. Speaking on their earnings call last week, Cablevision stated that the offering is now available to the "vast majority
" of the company's New York, Connecticut and New Jersey core footprint. The $10.95-per-month remote storage option provides users enough space for 24 hours of HD content or 100 hours of SD content. Cablevision says the system currently supports 10 million recordings and more than 3 million playbacks per week.Update
: Some of our readers say Cablevision's being very generous with their definition of the phrase "vast majority," since some are being told nobody in New Jersey can currently get the service.
Cablevision's latest quarterly earnings
were released yesterday, with the company taking a bit of a beating related to repairs from hurricane Sandy. According to Cablevision, 60% of the company's New York area customers had services disrupted, and the carrier had to repair more than 450 miles of damaged cable at more than 16,000 locations. Thanks partially to the storm and destroyed homes, Cablevision lost 50,000 TV subscribers on the quarter, on top of losing 5,000 broadband customers and 10,000 voice customers. That's the first time Cablevision has posted a quarterly net loss for broadband subscribers in the company's history.
In what's an interesting twist to the usual retransmission fee fisticuffs, Cablevision today sued Viacom, alleging that the company is violating antitrust law by force-bundling channels. The lawsuit is just the latest scuff up in an industry that utterly refuses to lower prices or offer channels a la carte -- and refuses to let anyone else do so, either. 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).
Cablevision has joined DirecTV
in charging a new "sports surcharge" that places the costs of offering regional sports networks into a below-the-line fee. The new $2.98 a month fee will begin showing up on subscriber bills beginning in April.
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..
Charter has announced
that the company will be buying Cablevision's "Optimum West" territories for $1.625 billion in cash. The 300,000 customers in Colorado, Montana, Wyoming and Utah have only just seen the paint dry on their last sale, from Bresnan Communications to Cablevision
for $1.37 billion just two years ago. Charter beat back companies like Suddenlink and Time Warner Cable who were also interested. "Optimum West is an ideal fit for Charter and we anticipate an efficient integration process," said Charter CEO Tom Rutledge.
Cablevision has filed suit against the Communications Workers of America, claiming the union has been making "patently false and defamatory claims" about the company's broadband services in New York City. According to a Cablevision statement
, the CWA has repeatedly made claims that Cablevision service is slower in Brooklyn than in other parts of the company's footprint.
Time Warner Cable, Suddenlink and Charter are all bidding to acquire the Cablevision territories the company nabbed when it itself acquired Bresnan Communications several years ago. According to a Bloomberg
report, the network in question is home to some 300,000 customers across Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and Utah, and a finalized acquisition deal should be announced sometime in either January or February. Cablevision would of course continue to focus on its core service area and 3 million subscribers in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut.
While Charter Communications guts their entire social networking presence to save a buck, Cablevision is expanding further into social networking support. As noted recently, new Charter management decided it would be a good idea to gut their entire UMatter2Charter support team
, which provided users with a way to break through traditional support gridlock via Twitter, Facebook, and even here in our direct forums
Cablevision appears to be doing the exact opposite, Fierce Cable
directing our attention to the fact that Cablevision is hunting for numerous new executives to tackle social media support:
Earlier this month, Cablevision began advertising three new social media positions: director of social media, social media editor and social media analyst. The executive it hires for the director of social media position will be "responsible for developing and overseeing the execution of strategic social media initiatives, including developing and managing social media campaigns to grow the audience, creating and supervising high-profile channel accounts, and integrating social media into the overall business strategy," Cablevision said in a listing posted on its Cablevision Jobs & Careers site.
As noted previously, such efforts aren't that expensive, but provide a company with a very human face while helping customers break through what can often be insurmountable red tape. Unless you're looking to save a buck and don't care that, as is the case with Charter, numerous customer satisfaction studies consistently rank you in last place among all carriers.
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.
Cablevision has announced that the company will be raising rates for its broadband services just in time to ring in the new year. According to the company, Cablevision will be hiking the price of their broadband tiers by $5 starting January 1. story continues..
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..
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