Verizon just got done selling all of its fixed-line network assets in California, Texas and Florida to Frontier Communications
, and the company is giving every indication that more deals may be in the works. Speaking to investors during the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference 2015, Verizon CFO Fran Shammo told attendees the company will consider additional deals if they are at the "right price" and geographically make sense:
"For the right price and right terms, if there's an asset we don't believe is strategic to Verizon and can return shareholder value, we'll dispose of that asset," Shammo said. "If you look at Florida, Texas and California, these are three island properties and FiOS is a small footprint of those properties compared to the copper footprint except for Florida because it was just Tampa."
Of course there's still plenty of areas in the Northeast Verizon doesn't have much interest in upgrading from DSL -- including most of upstate New York and cities like Boston, Buffalo, Alexandria and Baltimore. Pressed again for whether Verizon might expand FiOS again someday, Shammo politely stated no:
"You should expect wireline capex to trend up and wireline capex to trend down," Shammo said. "Within the wireline business we still have legitimate LFAs that we have to complete in cities like New York City, Philadelphia and D.C."
Capped wireless service is significantly more profitable, less regulated and less unionized that fixed-line service, and Verizon has made their intentions to continue veering sharply away from the latter abundantly clear.
Complaints have increased of late about GoGo's in-flight broadband service, which mysteriously seems to be getting more expensive in ratio to increasingly poor performance
. To that end, GoGo says it's deploying faster 2ku satellite-based broadband service to Delta's fleet starting sometime next year. According to the announcement
, these upgrades should help provide peak speeds of 70 Mbps downstream per plane (and ultimately 100 Mbps per plane). Delta says the company is also busy upgrading the technology that powers its current air to ground (ATG) service.
Earlier this month Frontier Communications announced it would be acquiring all
of Verizon's fixed-line assets in California, Florida and Texas in a deal worth $10.5 billion
. Before that, Frontier acquired all of AT&T's fixed-line assets in Connecticut in a deal worth $2 billion
New York State has announced a $1 billion plan to improve the state's broadband infrastructure. According to the government's announcement
, the State plans to use $500 million in "capital funds from bank settlements to incentivize the private sector to expand high-speed broadband access in underserved and unserved areas." Companies interested in gaining access to this money will need to contribute a 1:1 funding match.
You can add Sir Richard Branson to the growing list of companies that are exploring satellites, drones and hot air balloons to deliver broadband services to developing nations. Branson and Virgin announced
that they're building the "world's largest ever satellite constellation," which will be run by OneWeb and utilize Virgin Galactic's LauncherOne programme for satellite launches "at a much lower cost and with greater reliability."
"According to the International Telecommunications Union, as of the end of 2014, more than half the world’s population lacks internet access – this new satellite constellation could dramatically improve that figure, bringing fresh opportunities to the billions of people who are currently held back by a lack of technology," says the company.
There's of course been a long line of similar efforts with a mixed track record of success. We've also been seeing a significant ramp up on this front by the likes of Google, Facebook and 03b, with the motivation sometimes being to help developing nations -- but just as often to empower devices that will sell ads to billions upon billions of potential new eyeballs.
There's a little more detail over in the company's official release
Pushing the marketing mania over gigabit speeds to new heights, Minnesota-based US Internet this week announced that the company would begin offering 10 Gbps speeds to residential and business customers. According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune
, the company will begin offering the 10 Gbps offering in portions of Southwest Minneapolis starting this week. The company says they'll be offering the ultra-fast speed tier at a price point of $400 per month, though only if you're one of the company's 30,000 locations served in the city. The company's 1 Gbps service currently costs $65 a month, while their 100 Mbps service is $47 a month.
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 October we noted
that thirty-two cities had joined forces to form the "Next Century Cities
" coalition, tasked with improving local broadband services. "The leaders whose communities participate in Next Century Cities know that reliable, affordable, and fast Internet is no longer a luxury," states the organization. "Like electricity and plumbing, it is now essential infrastructure." The Washington Post
notes that the coalition topped 50 members this week, and has been funded by numerous foundations -- and Google.
Back in April, AT&T stated they were in advanced talks
with the North Carolina Next Generation Network (NCNGN) to offer Gigapower over the region's core fiber ring, which was constructed with the cooperation of numerous companies. By June, AT&T said they had ratified an agreement with the City of Winston-Salem
to offer 1 Gbps service in parts of the Triangle and Piedmont Triad regions, with pending ratification looming for Carrboro, Cary, Chapel Hill, Durham, and Raleigh.
Verizon's experiment in technology blogging appears to be over. At the tail end of October news broke that Verizon would be entering the blogging business via a new website dubbed SugarString
While Seattle residents wait for Comcast and CenturyLink to follow through on promises of eventual 1 Gbps speeds, Wave Broadband appears to be the first in line to light up portions of Seattle with ultra-fast service. The Seattle Times
notes that Wave has started offering 1 Gbps service in several select neighborhoods for $80 per month.
September of last year wireless operator C Spire issued a rather surprising announcement
saying they were going to start deploying fixed-line broadband networks capable of 1 Gbps in several markets within their (mostly Southern) footprint. C Spire's initial focus will primarily be on Mississippi, where nine cities are currently in the running to be the first to get the speedier service.
AT&T has announced a significant expansion across North America with the company's $2.5 billion acquisition of Mexican provider Iusacell. According to AT&T's announcement
, Iusacell currently serves around 8.6 million subscribers but covers roughly 70% of Mexico's nearly 120 million residents. The deal, notes AT&T, makes their network the first in North America to cover 400 million combined Mexico & U.S. consumers and businesses. "This is an opportunity for us to provide Iusacell the financial resources, scale and expertise to accelerate the roll-out of world-class mobile Internet speeds and quality in Mexico, like we have in the United States," insists AT&T in their statement.
T-Mobile's latest earnings
again confirm that being the pesky kid on the block is working in terms of adding new subscribers. The company added 2.3 million customers total and 1.4 million new postpaid subscribers on the quarter, though the company's expansion of its LTE network continues to drag on earnings. T-Mobile expects to add around 4.3 million to 4.7 million new customers this year as users respond to the company's more customer-friendly approach to doing business. "Despite our competitors' best efforts, the Un-carrier revolution made huge advances in the third quarter with record net new customers," CEO John Legere said in a statement. "More proof of the resurgent strength of our brand and the massive momentum behind the Un-carrier consumer movement."
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is promising to spend $500 million to improve broadband in upstate New York if he's re-elected, notes the Albany Times Union
. Cuomo, fresh from his defeat of Zephyr Teachout and net neutrality champion Tim Wu in the Democratic primaries, states he'd like to see private industry match that investment. "The next big challenge, especially for upstate New York in my opinion, is the availability of broadband," Cuomo stated, adding that "broadband availability is going to be what the interstate road system was in the '50s." Many upstate New York communities only have the choice of either Time Warner Cable (Cuomo hasn't publicly stated whether he supports the Comcast merger) or Verizon DSL -- if they're lucky.
Sprint has slowly but surely been expanding the company's "Spark" LTE upgrades, which combine the company's 2.5 GHz, 1900 MHz and 800 MHz bands for improved regional capacity and speeds Sprint promises should top out around 60 Mbps. According to a Sprint announcement
, the company just added Cincinnati, Ohio and Rockford Illinois to the list of markets where Spark has been deployed. You can find a list of all Spark deployed markets here
, and all of the Sprint smartphones that support Spark here
. You can find Sprint's master list of deployed LTE markets here
While Comcast certainly has its faults
, the cable giant has led the way when it comes to IPv6 deployment while many larger ISPs have napped. Comcast recently announced they've officially completed their residential IPv6 deployments
, and around 30% of their customers are now actively running IPv6.
100% of Europeans now have access to broadband, the European Union commission announced earlier this month. Total coverage was one of the 2012 goals of the EU's Digital Agenda for Europe (DAE) and has been achieved, where the market wasn't providing already, largely by forcing networks to increase coverage from 3G and LTE networks and funding affordable access to satellite broadband. story continues..
Back in May TDS Telecom (see our user reviews
) became the latest company to throw its hat into the 1 Gbps broadband ring, offering 1 Gbps lines to residents of Hollis, New Hampshire. TDS Telecom now says they're expanding their 1 Gbps service into a second community: London, New Hampshire. According to a company announcement
, the 1 Gbps down, 400 Mbps offering can still be had for "less than $100 per month with a bundle." According to TDS, they plan to announce additional market deployments in the "coming weeks."
Regulators have formally approved Frontier's acquisition of AT&T's networks and operations in the state of Connecticut. According to an announcement by the companies
, the $2 billion deal to acquire AT&T’s local wireline, broadband and video operations in Connecticut (originally announced last December
) has received approval from the FCC. The deal has already received approval from the Depatment of Justice, but is still awaiting approval from Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA). AT&T is working to back away from millions of DSL users they don't want to upgrade under the guise of the "IP transition
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