Some years ago Verizon froze FiOS expansion to focus on making more money off of FiOS users (rate hikes), improving uptake rates in existing FiOS areas, and converting stubborn DSL users in those areas to FiOS. Speaking recently at an investor conference, Verizon CFO Fran Shammo estimated that the 300,000 DSL to FiOS migrations Verizon performed this year saved the company about 600,000 truck rolls and $100 million
in repairs and maintenance in 2013 alone.
T-Mobile's "uncarrier" strategy
may be making waves with pricing, but the party will be short lived if the company can't improve network coverage and capacity. To that end, T-Mobile is in the middle of raising $3.65 billion via stock and debt offerings, which the company is expected to use toward a spectrum purchase. Anonymous sources tell Reuters
that T-Mobile has already approached Verizon about buying some of the company's spectrum, quite possibly in the A Block. Verizon has been rather flush with spectrum courtesy of the 2008 700 MHz AWS auction (spectrum that's only just starting to be deployed
) and their 2011 massive spectrum and marketing deal
with the cable industry.
Verizon has ceased deploying FiOS to new areas (unless you're in a major city that's part of a previous franchise obligation), with their focus being on converting "stubborn" DSL users in their FiOS footprint to the company's more reliable and cheaper-to-maintain fiber network. According to statements made by Verizon this week, the company converted 250,000 homes to fiber so far this year -- on pace to reach 300,000 by year's end. story continues..
Back in September 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.
As we've covered in detail Verizon has taken a lot of heat by telling Sandy victims, a year after the storm, that they will never see their POTS and DSL lines repaired
. Instead, Verizon foisted a wireless service called Voice Link upon those customers, a service that didn't include data, suffered from numerous feature shortcomings, and generally wasn't much of a replacement for DSL and POTS whatsoever.
Sprint today announced that with the launch of 45 additional LTE markets, the company's LTE network is now available in 230 total LTE markets. Continuing the company's trend of focusing on small to mid-sized markets, Sprint's 45 launch markets today include Lexington, Kentucky; Abilene, Texas; Spokane, Washington; Tallahassee, Florida; and Lafayette, Louisiana. According to the Sprint announcement
, they've also expanded their existing LTE footprint in Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island, New York. The full list of market launches can be found here
Denver isn't officially listed
as an Aereo launch market yet, but several users have written in to note that they've received an e-mail from Aereo stating that users who pre-registered are now being given Aereo access. "To show our appreciation for your early interest, we're excited to offer you exclusive access to Aereo before it becomes available to the general public in Denver," the e-mail tells users.
Aereo was also scheduled to launch in Detroit today on the heels of previous market launches in New York City, Boston, Atlanta, Salt Lake City, Houston, Dallas and Miami.
AT&T has announced that the company will expand their Digital Life
home automation and security services to another seven markets. According to the AT&T statement
, AT&T users in Birmingham, Las Vegas, Louisville, Nashville, Raleigh, Richmond and Tucson can now sign up for the option.
Almost two thirds of UK homes can now access "superfast" broadband, according to Ofcom's annual infrastructure report, which was released today
. The UK communications regulator also found an increase in public Wi-fi availability and in the number of regular users.
After being one of the only towns or cities to hold up Google Fiber because of liability concerns
, Overland Park this week appeared poised to do a 180 and approve the deal
, which city officials tell me remains identical to other deals in the region. Unfortunately for the city, locals who attended a town meeting Monday night informed me that instead of accepting the deal, Google stated
that their deployment to Overland Park was going to experience an "indefinite continuance."
While Overland Park is home to Sprint -- and local incumbent Time Warner Cable certainly has a history of scuttling competition using underhanded tactics
-- there has been no evidence that Overland Park's trepidation was anything other than the city looking out for its own best interests.
You might recall how Spanish startup named Fon
aimed to build a global network of one million wireless hotspots by the end of four years. Originally the company urged users to install Fon firmware on their Linksys residential routers, turning them into a unified community of global hotspots.
With LTE launches in Alexander City, Alabama; Concord, New Hampshire; and Jamestown, New York, AT&T this week has moved past 400 LTE equipped markets covering 240 million potential customers. According to an AT&T announcement
, the company has also expanded existing LTE coverage in Fresno, San Francisco and Stockton, Calif.; Washington, D.C.; Springfield, Mo.; Columbus, Ohio; Nashville, Tenn.; Houston, Texas; Seattle and Tacoma, Wash.; and Charleston, W.Va. With 400 markets now live, it should be easy for the company to meet and surpass their recently expanded
end-of-year LTE market goal of 420.
The FCC has released a map
highlighting who precisely is going to be aided by the agency's second round of broadband stimulus funding under the Connect America program. Providers in 44 States and Puerto Rico had requested over $385 million from the fund, and the map highlights the up to 600,000 homes and businesses that will be connected to broadband for the first time under the program. Many of the companies that had refused funding in round one of the program accepted funding this time thanks to looser regulatory oversight and slower provisioned speed standards
When people think of the center of the technology world, places such as California's Silicon Valley, home to Google among others, come to mind. Others might envision the Seattle area where Microsoft and Amazon are based. story continues..
Google has announced they'll be offering their $70, symmetrical 1 Gbps fiber to the home service in more Kansas locations. According to a company blog post
, Merriam, Kansas is the latest Kansas market to get approval for Google Fiber. "We want to hook up Merriam residents as soon as possible, but we still need to plan our network and start construction before we can start installations," notes Google. Merriam is the 17th city in the Kansas City region to sign up for the speedier service, though some larger suburbs (such as Overland Park and Independence) have yet to join the party.
Former Sanford Bernstein analyst Craig Moffett is the
go to quote machine for mainstream media when writing about the telecom industry (do a Google News search
), though he's building quite a reputation for being inconsistent. Now at his own firm, Moffett recently did a complete 180 on cord cutting
, going from mocking them and pretending they didn't exist a few years back, to acknowledging they're a serious trend worth watching.
While all four major wireless carriers profess to have the nation's "largest 4G network," there remains some obvious differences in LTE deployment. Fierce Wireless
has compiled a good breakdown of where things currently stand among the country's big four in terms of LTE coverage. Verizon
continues their lead with 301 million potential customers (POPs) covered, followed by AT&T
(225 million POPs), T-Mobile
(167 million POPs), and Sprint
(POPs not provided). Both Sprint and T-Mobile got late starts, but are rapidly gaining ground in their fight against AT&T and Verizon. Have you noticed improvements?
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