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News tagged: CenturyLink


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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.

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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.

"Consumers deserve to get the broadband service they pay for," FCC boss Tom Wheeler said in a statement. "After today, no broadband provider can claim they didn’t know we were watching to see that they disclose accurate information about the services they provide."

"We expect providers to be fully transparent about the details of their services, and we will hold them accountable if they fall down on this obligation to consumers," continues Wheeler.

Will they? The transparency rules Wheeler mentions are also supposed to govern pricing, requiring that ISPs are transparent about monthly pricing and various fees tacked on to user broadband bills.

Yet as I've noted numerous times over the last decade, ISPs consistently are allowed to bury all manner of nonsensical fees below the line, allowing them to covertly jack up consumer broadband bills while leaving the advertised price the same. This is technically false advertising, but I've never seen the FCC (or any other regulator) seriously address the practice.

The practice not only fools consumers into paying more for service, it skews telecom policy debate and discussion.
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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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53 comments


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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."

44 comments


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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:
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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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57 comments


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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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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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71 comments


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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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by Karl Bode 04:45PM Friday Dec 06 2013
Nearly two months after announcing that they'd be offering 1 Gbps service to a select few development residents in Las Vegas, CenturyLink has announced that they've started lighting up their first ultra-high-speed customers. The company's announcement goes out of its way to avoid specifics of any kind, only stating that 1 Gbps connections are being offered to "select northwest Las Vegas communities" in the Northwest area of the city.
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by Karl Bode 10:27AM Wednesday Nov 13 2013
With all the quarterly earnings reports in, telecom analyst firm MoffettNathanson notes that the Pay TV industry lost about 113,000 subscribers on the quarter. Cable operators lost 687,000 subscribers in Q3, and while telcoTV and satellite providers added 574,000 subscribers, it couldn't prevent the industry from seeing a net loss -- attributed to the slow and small but steady growth of cord cutters.
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by Karl Bode 09:18AM Monday Nov 11 2013
Netflix has updated their rankings of ISP Netflix streaming performance with October data. The Netflix ISP Speed Index pulls data from more than 37 million Netflix members viewing over 1 billion hours of TV shows and movies streaming from Netflix per month.
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by Karl Bode 09:21AM Friday Nov 01 2013
For much of the last decade Seattle has explored the idea of building their own ultra-fast broadband network. Much of that motivation was fueled by the sub-standard service provided in the region by regional telco Qwest (now CenturyLink), which in turn resulted in regional cable operator Comcast not working very hard.
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23 comments


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by Karl Bode 04:34PM Wednesday Oct 09 2013
According to a CenturyLink press release, the company says they'll be expanding the "pilot" for 1 Gbps service into Las Vegas. The announcement comes on the heels of a similar announcement that the company would be offering 1 Gbps service to a small subset of users in Omaha (the the back of old Qwest Choice TV infrastructure), though none of those users have been connected yet.
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by Karl Bode 08:41AM Wednesday Oct 02 2013
Thanks to FiOS, Verizon has taken top honors in the JD Power and Associates "2013 U.S. Residential Internet Service Provider Satisfaction Study" in the East, West and South regions, while WOW! (Wide Open West) scored the best among all ISPs in the North Central region.
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