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News tagged: CenturyLink


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by Karl Bode 06:10PM Thursday Dec 18 2014
Several CenturyLink customers have e-mailed me to note that the company is reaching out to users with a not-so-welcome holiday gift: rate hikes in the new year. According to the notification being sent out to users, standalone broadband customers can expect to start paying $2 more per month in the new year, while bundled phone and broadband customers will see a $1 increase.

The hikes come on the heels of the addition of several nonsensical fees -- such as the company's $1 "Internet cost recovery fee", or its $1.55 "non telecom surcharge". It's unclear if next year will see an increase in these fees in addition to the vanilla rate hike for users.

Thanks to CenturyLink customer John M. in Denver who passes on an image of his standalone broadband rate hike notification below:
Click for full size

17 comments


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by Karl Bode 02:33PM Thursday Nov 20 2014
The New York Times recently explored the statewide protectionist bans paid for by incumbent ISPs that hinder or outright prohibit communities from building their own networks. As we've long covered, these bans don't really care if ISPs aren't willing to service these same areas, and some even block public/private partnerships.
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90 comments


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by Bill Neilson 10:33AM Thursday Oct 09 2014
The National Advertising Division (NAD) is telling CenturyLink to stop lying when they compare their Internet speeds versus those offered by Comcast. As noted previously NAD is essentially an industry self-regulatory firm that avoids regulatory intervention by settling marketing disputes in house.
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33 comments


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by Karl Bode 09:16AM Monday Sep 08 2014
A report at Bloomberg states that CenturyLink is expanding the company's cloud position with a potential acquisition of Rackspace Hosting. According to the report the deal may or may not actually go through, but talks have been ongoing for some time. CenturyLink acquired hosting provider Savvis back in 2011, and last year acquired Tier 3. Rackspace has been conducting an internal review of its options after being approached by numerous suitors earlier this year.

12 comments


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by Karl Bode 12:30PM Wednesday Sep 03 2014
It's fairly obvious that Google Fiber's entry into the broadband market has made significant waves. While the actual deployments have been limited (with only just Kansas City significantly online just yet), the service's very presence has rekindled debate over the abysmal state of broadband competition in the United States.
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35 comments


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by Karl Bode 10:44AM Thursday Aug 28 2014
In the company's filing with the FCC opposing the Comcast merger (via Ars Technica), CenturyLink accuses the cable giant of making it difficult to obtain franchise agreements and compete with the company across numerous markets. CenturyLink complains that Comcast has been "uniquely and extraordinarily aggressive" in blocking the telco's expansions into new markets, sending letters to the handful of local franchising authorities where CenturyLink is trying to expand its Prism TV services.
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29 comments


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by Karl Bode 02:56PM Wednesday Jul 23 2014
While Verizon's legal victory over the FCC did gut the agency's net neutrality rules, it kept some of the FCC's authority over ISPs intact -- specifically the agency's transparency rules -- which require that ISPs be straightforward about the "network management practices, performance, and commercial terms" of their broadband services.

In a statement issued today, the FCC "reminded" wireline and wireless ISPs alike that those rules are still intact and need to be adhered to, lest the agency lightly slap a wrist or two -- maybe.
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19 comments


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by Karl Bode 02:37PM Wednesday Jun 18 2014
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.
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by Karl Bode 12:48PM Wednesday Jun 18 2014
Though Omaha and Las Vegas are the only formally announced 1 Gbps CenturyLink markets, the ISP keeps vaguely hinting at additional deployments. With Google Fiber maybe coming to Portland, CenturyLink has been promising 1 Gbps to some customers there if they sign long-term contracts now.
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16 comments


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by Karl Bode 04:41PM Wednesday Jun 11 2014
The United States' largest community fiber broadband effort is Utah's UTOPIA, which has been under assault by large incumbent ISPs like Qwest (now CenturyLink) since before the first customer was even connected. UTOPIA has for much of a decade successfully fended off both these ISPs and a good deal of managerial incompetence on their own part, and is on the cusp of securing a significant cash boost from an Australian investment firm.
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29 comments


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by Karl Bode 02:21PM Thursday May 29 2014
CenturyLink's solution to a customer base that continues to flee traditional phone service? Raise rates! Users in our CenturyLink forums notes that CenturyLink is now charging customers $5 a month (up from 75 cents) if you don't want your number published in the directory. In addition to paying $60 a year to be relatively anonymous, calling directory assistance will now cost all users $3 per call.

Why? CenturyLink tells the Tacoma News Tribune it's because everything's just so competitive:
quote:
CenturyLink spokeswoman Jan Kampbell said the WUTC decision “was based on the extraordinary level of competition that CenturyLink faces in today’s telecommunications market...As with other industries, CenturyLink must reflect rising costs in the rates it charges its consumers."
Except the costs to provide POTS and DSL over copper to customers has been dropping for a decade (while revenues from broadband have risen), and competition should help keep prices low, not drive them upwards. In reality, it's a lack of real competition and the fact that many of these users are elderly that lets CenturyLink get away with nickel and diming users, whether that's charging $60 a year for privacy, or imposing nonsensical fees like their recent $1 "Internet Cost Recovery Fee" or $1.50 "Non Telecom Surcharge."

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by Karl Bode 04:27PM Wednesday May 07 2014
Portland is one of the 34 target cities potentially being targeted by Google for the next wave of Google Fiber expansion, and is currently re-tooling several city ordinances in the hopes that they're selected. In the hopes of beating Google to the punch and locking some folks down in long-term contracts before that potentially happens, CenturyLink is now promising a select few local Portland apartment complexes (about 15) "up to" 1 Gbps GPON-based fiber service at what's some fairly reasonable prices:
quote:
The promotional sheet claims CenturyLink will offer speeds "up to" 1 Gig for $79.95/month for 12 months.
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by Karl Bode 12:29PM Monday Apr 14 2014
Netflix has released their monthly ranking of ISP streaming video performance, and not too surprisingly Comcast has seen huge gains in the rankings after signing a new interconnection deal with Netflix back in February. Comcast jumped a whopping six spots in the rankings to number five among major ISPs, and to number 28 if you view the extended list, which includes smaller ISPs.
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by Bill Neilson 04:17PM Monday Mar 24 2014
How many times has this site written stories of customers begging and pleading with their local internet companies for faster speeds all the while those internet companies release PR pieces telling the world that those customers don’t really need or want such speeds? Example 1, Example 2 and Example 3.

Enter CenturyLink in Boise, Idaho.
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47 comments


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by Karl Bode 02:31PM Monday Mar 10 2014
Netflix has released the company's latest month rankings of ISP Netflix streaming performance. Not too surprisingly, the results show that Comcast Netflix streaming performance has improved two spots after Comcast and Netflix last month struck a new interconnection agreement that eliminated middlemen like Cogent Communications from their transit routes.
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32 comments


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by Karl Bode 05:05PM Tuesday Feb 18 2014
Last year we noted how CenturyLink was unveiling a new "Non Telecom Surcharge" on the bills of customers who receive Voicemail (a rather telecom-ish "non telecom service") or Lineguard -- a $4.50 per month insurance program CenturyLink has a history of signing users up for without asking. The fee came on the heels of an equally nonsensical nonsensical $1 "Internet Cost Recovery Fee" introduced to user bills last year.
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11 comments


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by Karl Bode 06:19PM Monday Feb 10 2014
Netflix today released their latest ISP streaming rankings, which, as the name suggests, track the average performance of all Netflix streams on each ISPs network. The latest report shows that Verizon (both FiOS and DSL), AT&T U-Verse and Mediacom all slipped in the rankings, while Time Warner Cable, Bright House, Windstream, Centurylink and Clearwire all saw performance improvements.
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by Karl Bode 02:22PM Thursday Feb 06 2014
The United States' largest community broadband effort is Utah's UTOPIA, which has been under assault by large incumbent ISPs like Qwest (now CenturyLink) since before the first customer was even connected. UTOPIA has for much of a decade successfully fended off both these ISPs and a good deal of managerial incompetence on their own part, and is on the cusp of securing a significant cash boost from an Australian investment firm.
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66 comments


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by Karl Bode 12:22PM Thursday Jan 30 2014
The FCC today voted unanimously to begin conducting voluntary trials to ensure a relatively smooth and reasonable transition away from the PSTN and copper networks. The push for such trials began in earnest after Verizon refused to repair the DSL and copper POTS lines of hurricane Sandy victims, instead forcing them to instead use an inferior wireless-based product known as VoiceLink, which doesn't work with alarm systems, has numerous glitches, and doesn't provide data connectivity.
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78 comments


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by Karl Bode 10:22AM Wednesday Jan 15 2014
Most folks who've been watching the last several years of serious net neutrality rule death throes weren't particularly surprised by this week's ruling (pdf). As Marvin Ammori at Slate astutely points out, former FCC boss Julius Genachowski's refusal to classify ISPs as common carriers set the stage for the agency's tenuous footing to begin with.
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101 comments


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