News tagged: Bright House
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ISPs including AT&T, Cox, Bright House and Verizon have filed an appeal
in their ongoing battle against porn copyright troll AF Holdings. AF Holdings has accused 1,058 broadband users of illegally sharing adult movies on BitTorrent, and last year won their initial legal attempt to force the ISPs to hand over the identities behind those IP addresses. As we've seen with other e-book and porn copyright trolls
, larger ISPs have a history of despising what they insist are en masse shakedown attempts -- in large part due to the hassle and cost of such operations.
As part of their legal strategy, the ISPs are using the recent implosion of copyright troll Prenda
as fodder to help their own legal case against AF Holdings. Interestingly, the ISPs are also arguing that the AF Holdings methods are unsound because, in part, an IP address does not necessarily automatically equate to guilt:
Due to unsecured and shared Internet connections in Internet subscribers' homes, the contact information that Plaintiff seeks is not necessarily a reliable indicator of the true identities of the Does who allegedly downloaded Plaintiffs pornography. Yet the record developed in Plaintiffs many cases shows that the information sought is being used primarily to compile a contact list for Plaintiff to demand "settlement" payments (typically ranging from $2,000-$4,000) from each subscriber identified in discovery, before any defendant is named or served in the lawsuits.
That's an interesting complaint, given that several of those ISPs are participating in the entertainment industry's six strikes campaign
, which uses that very same evidence to accuse customers of piracy, thereby resulting in user connections being temporarily blocked or throttled
. Recently, a good chunk of that data was requested as fodder for just these kinds of lawsuits
by a different copyright troll.
Bright House networks tells users in our forums
the company is preparing to offer a new, faster 90 Mbps tier in portions of Florida. The new "Lightning 90" tier will soon be available in portions of Tampa and Central Florida, and users in those markets can head here
to sign up for more details. The tier offers users 90 Mbps downstream and 10 Mbps upstream for $15 more if you're already signed up for the company's Lightning 60 tier. "Turbo customers can add Lightning 90 for as little as $30 more per month, plus tax and equipment," says the company. Base prices for those standard tiers vary on region, promotion and bundle, and are borderline impossible to find on the company website
Users in our Bright House Networks forum
say they're being notified of an increase in the fee charged for modem rentals. According to the notice, the modem rental fee will be increased from $2.00 to $3.50 starting on March 1. According to the company, the fee hike "reflects our continued investment in technology." The company is also informing users they're increasing the late payment processing charge from $5.50 to $6.00.
Both fees, the company claims, "reflect changes in programming, operating costs, and continued investment in technology and customer service." We of course recommend not paying your carrier any more than you have to by buying their own modem
Bright House Networks appears to be giving users a speed bump. According to discussion in our Bright House forum
, Florida Bright House tiers were bumped across the tiers, with standard customers now seeing 10 Mbps downstream, and Lightning customers now seeing 60 Mbps downstream.
On the heels of existing deals between Verizon and Comcast and Time Warner Cable, Bright House Communications now says their customers can also bundle Verizon Wireless services. According to a Bright House press release
, Bright House customers in central Florida can now bundle Verizon Wireless services and receive a prepaid debit card valued up to $200 -- depending on what bundle of services you sign up for. At the moment, Verizon's new partnership with the cable industry simply involves prepaid gift cards -- but the companies are working on new technologies and services that will allow users to consume content across wired and wireless networks.
Two new J.D. Power and Associates studies note that customers on pricier cable tiers claim they're more satisfied, while DSL users complain their connections aren't keeping pace with modern household bandwidth demands. story continues..
Directly on the heels of Time Warner Cable charging their customers a new $2.95 modem rental fee
, Bright House Communications has started charging a modem rental fee of their own. The company started informing customers Septmeber 15 that starting October 1, Bright House would be charging customers a $2 "maintenance & rental" fee.
With Verizon recently raising FiOS speeds
to 50/25, 75/35, 150/65 and 300/65 Mbps (with equally significant price hikes), the ball is in the cable industry's court when it comes to matching them -- particularly on the upstream side of the equation. In the Northeast Comcast for now appears to be ready to bump several of their speed tiers
. In Florida, Bright House Communications is responding to Verizon's marketing shot across the bow -- by blowing the upgrades off. "Research indicates that the vast majority of customers do not have Interest in these types of speeds for their homes, not to mention the potential expense," Bright House spokesman Joe Durkin tells the Tampa Bay Times
(via Stop the Cap
)."Our network can deliver these speeds if we felt there was a residential market for it," insists Durkin.
Bright House Networks, Cablevision, Comcast, Cox Communications, and Time Warner Cable this week announced they'll be partnering further on offering Wi-Fi for free to the companies' subscribers, allowing users of any of the cable operators the ability to access hotspots owned by any other participating ISP. According to the combined company press statement
, the initiative will be called "CableWifi" (that will also be the SSID) and involve over 50,000 hotspots that users can access with credentials from any participating cable ISP.
Bright House Communications has joined a growing number of broadband ISPs that have decided to offer private, direct support to users right here in the Broadband Reports forums. Now in addition to finding help and information from other users in our public Bright House forum
, users who need more personal support for technical or billing issues can post their problems in the Bright House direct forum
. The forum gives users a secure, private environment to discuss account information directly with certified Bright House support representatives. You can view our growing list of ISPs that are now offering official support via Broadband Reports here
, and we're working on adding additional ISPs all the time.
Last week Verizon Wireless announced they'd acquired $3.6 billion in spectrum from the cable industry
(Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Bright House) who had acquired it jointly years ago with the hopes of possibly getting into the wireless business. In addition to giving Verizon added spectrum legroom, the company prevented companies like T-Mobile or Clearwire from becoming go-to partners for the cable industry.
Under the name SpectrumCo, a coalition of the nation's largest cable companies managed to snag a large swath of spectrum during the FCC AWS auction a few years back -- technically enough to make them the nation's fifth largest wireless provider. Speculation raged for several years about what the companies planned to do with the spectrum, and while there was talk about them building their own wireless network, the majority (with the exception of Cox, who tried and failed to build a network) of them just sat on it. story continues..
In March of this year Time Warner Cable began offering users a new iPad application
that allowed users to access cable TV content if they already subscribe to Time Warner Cable TV and
broadband service. Despite an initiall legal scuff with Viacom, some trouble handling user demand, and a skimpy channel count -- the app continued to evolve through the year and most customers now enjoy having the added option of watching content on an additional device. Though belated, Bright House cable customers are now also getting access to the application
. It appears to be a direct clone of the Time Warner Cable version, though it's not the latest version and had yet to incorporate parental controls. Interesting users can find the app here
in the iTunes store.
We've talked for years about how a large number of companies (from Time Warner Cable to Qwest) that can't or won't pay for fiber to the home do the next best thing -- lie to customers and pretend that core network fiber is the same as last mile fiber
. A marketing distortion is certainly less expensive than a fiber build, and conveniently most consumers don't even know what a gigabyte is -- much less the difference between fiber optics and coaxial.
Users in our Bright House Networks forum note
that the carrier has been pushing faster DOCSIS 3.0 speeds, including a new "Roadrunner Lightning" tier, which comes complete with 40 Mbps downstream and 5 Mbps upstream speeds and a $50 installation fee. The tier costs Bright House users $15-30 more a month, depending on whatever broadband plan they're currently on (Bright House hides their current prices behind a pay wall
, which is very 2004 of them). Users don't seem particularly impressed
with the SMC wireless router Bright House swaps in for new customers. Slower users are getting a little something too: customers on the company's 7 Mbps/512 kbps tier say they're being bumped to 10 Mbps/ 1 Mbps at no cost
As the baby bell TV efforts increasingly begin to threaten cable TV revenues, disputes between carriers have flared up -- as carriers on both sides increasingly use truth optional
marketing to lure consumers. The latest fight involves Bright House Networks, who has filed a complaint with the FCC alleging that AT&T has been using the DTV transition to scare customers into switching to AT&T's U-Verse IPTV service. According to Multichannel News
, AT&T is blaming the DTV distortions on two "rogue" employees of an outside vendor that violated AT&T's code of business conduct. While AT&T says they've dealt with the problem, Bright House says the misleading ads persist.
Back in January of 2008 we were the very first to report
that Time Warner Cable was conducting a trial in their Beaumont, Texas market that imposed caps ranging from 5GB to 40GB on the company's existing tiers of service. More controversial perhaps was the news that trial participants would be charged $1 per every additional gigabyte consumed, a huge markup for Time Warner Cable over cost, and a first for a major US ISP.
Earlier this year, a routine New York State Public Service Commission inspection found a significant number of FiOS installs had not been grounded and/or bonded
, though Verizon has told us nobody had been hurt. Still, they don't technically meet the electrical code, so in order to get a NYC FiOSTV franchise, Verizon agreed to go back and revisit every single install in the State -- in some instances giving out refunds.
Bright House Networks is the latest cable operator to license Comcast's Powerboost technology, which delivers an extra kick of bandwidth for the first few
of a download (or upload). According to the Bright House press release
, Road Runner Turbo customers with a current speed of up to 15 Mbps will see bursts up to 22 Mbps, while customers with 20 Mbps service will now see temporary PowerBoost speeds up to 30 Mbps. It looks like they've yet to offer upstream Powerboost, something offered by several other cable operators who've deployed the technology.
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Recent news contributorsKarl Bode , telcodad