News tagged: alternatives
As Karl Bode noted last month
, Google’s installation of a telecom cabinet in the middle of a sidewalk caused a bit of an issue with residents of Kansas City, MO. Now, others seem to be having similar issues with the installation of Google fiber boxes. Reports of uprooted trees and large holes have been sent in by viewers to KCTV
in Kansas City.
One resident woke up one morning to find a crew digging behind, in front, and besides her residence:
Betty Ulschak has been in her Kansas City home on Drury Lane for over 50 years. "My husband totally rebuilt this house. It used to look like that but he rebuilt it," she said. When she saw crews digging in her yard, in front and beside her home, she didn't understand what was happening. "I said, ‘who are you and what are you doing in my yard?' And they said, ‘we are just doing our job' and I said, ‘well, what job is that?' ‘We are Google people and we are doing our job,'" Ulschak said.
As the article notes, Betty most likely doesn’t realize what is and isn’t ‘technically’ her property as Kansas City owns the easements and right-of-ways near her home. Additionally, a Google spokesperson told KCTV that the ten feet surrounding a utility pole in her yard belonged to the city.
Although Google would most likely win any legal challenge from residents of Kansas City about this type construction, it should be noted that contractors are required to leave a note on a person's door if their crews are planning to walk through that person’s property.
Seeing as how Google is beginning to install fiber huts in Shawnee, Kansas
, Google can and should make it a point going forward to stay on top of these types of notifications for homeowners whose yards are about to be ripped up.
While AT&T has been winning most of the recent LTE speed tests
, T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray has recently been promising that will soon change. The company is in the process of migrating to 2x10MHz channels to speed up LTE connectivity, and early indications were that they were starting to nip at AT&T's heels in terms of speed, after spending the last few months hitting AT&T in terms of pricing.
By this point, most of us are familiar with the concept of COWs
, or cellular towers on wheels. They're usually brought in either during major events like the Superbowl -- or during natural disasters to quickly shore up cellular infrastructure.
Speaking at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference today, AT&T CEO Randal Stephenson stated that the company will be launching their 1 Gbps "Gigapower" U-Verse tier somewhere in the Dallas area starting this summer. AT&T's Gigapower service currently only exists in select portions of Austin, providing users with speeds of 300 Mbps. story continues..
Earlier this week Dish struck an agreement with ABC
that would disable ad-skipping on Dish's Hopper DVR for three days when viewing ABC content. In exchange, ABC agreed to back off a lawsuit claiming the DVR's ad-skipping technology violated copyright, in addition to giving Dish a broader licensing agreement that could open up the possibility of a Dish over-the-air Internet video service.
If you didn't know, Netflix's content selection continues to loom over other streaming options from the likes of Hulu and Amazon. LifeHacker
has crafted a simple diagram highlighting which content is available on what service, and Netflix comes out clearly on top when it comes to TV show availability (they've offered up the raw data, with a much longer list of what's available where, here
HBO has announced that they continue to expand availability of their HBO Go streaming effort, which is this week being made available on the Sony Playstation 3
. However, once again highlighting the fractured and often annoying tendency of content agreements and the "TV Everywhere" approach, Comcast users won't be able to use the new functionality.
Speaking at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference this week, Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam again reiterated that Verizon is interested in offering an "over the top" Internet video service outside of the company's traditional FiOS and DSL footprint. According to McAdam, the company continues to be in talks with broadcasters, and the over the top option could be delivered to both fixed-line and mobile customers. story continues..
Roku has officially announced the new $50 Roku Streaming Stick, which the company hopes will more directly compete with Google's $35 Chromecast Internet TV device. According to the company website
features an HDMI port on one end and a micro-USB port on the other, allowing inexpensive access to most of the content and channels made available on Roku's larger devices.
As we noted yesterday
, Dish has struck a new deal with ABC that would limit the ad-skipping functionality on their Hopper DVR, in exchange for broader licensing for an over the top video service. Speaking to Bloomberg
Dish Dave Shull says the company is still hashing out pricing detail, though an anonymous source tells the outlet the service could likely run around $20-$30 a month.
Dish can strike enough additional deals to flesh out the service's catalog, something that's no easy feat as the endless row of similar, failed efforts can attest. "We think there is a group of individuals, 18-to-34-year-olds, who would love to have a lower-cost product with some of the top content out there," Shull said. "That’s who we’ll be targeting."
TechCrunch story continues..
is the first to report that Facebook is preparing to purchase drone manufacturer Titan Aerospace for $60 million. The deal is being struck as part of Facebook's Internet.org effort
, which explores ways to bring broadband access to developing nations like Africa.
Late last month we noted how
Google Fiber had announced they were working with 34 cities in nine regions on how to best prepare themselves for faster fiber broadband. While the press generally misread the announcement as saying that these cities would be getting Google Fiber, it seems like only one or two actually will by the time this new initiative is over.
Netflix isn't available in Australia yet, either because the smaller market isn't large enough to take priority in Netflix's international expansion efforts, or because the company can't secure licensing agreements with Australian broadcasters. Consumers aren't waiting; a growing number of Australians are using VPNs to dodge region restrictions so they can pay Netflix for content while living Down Under, a trend that's starting to make both broadcasters and Australian Netflix competitors uncomfortable
A report in the Wall Street Journal
notes that Dish has struck a deal with ABC to prohibit users from using their Hopper ad-skipping technology on ABC content until three days after new episodes air. In exchange, the report claims, ABC will drop its ongoing lawsuit against Dish.
Virgin Media, one of the UK’s biggest broadband providers, has rolled out a huge, and completely free, broadband speed increase to their customers. The internet service provider’s packages have been boosted by up to 66%, as follows (see also, Virgin site
•Up to 30Mb now up to 50Mb
•Up to 50Mb now up to 100Mb
•Up to 100Mb now up to 152Mb
The increase allows Virgin Media to steam far ahead of their main rival, BT, which is building a fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) network throughout the UK.
Just a few years ago, Nielsen proclaimed that the idea of TV cord cutting in favor of Internet video alternatives was "purely fiction." Subsequent Nielsen reports have often quite adorably gone out of their way
to downplay cord cutters to make TV executives (who want things to remain precisely as they are) happy.
All that time Nielsen, a company tasked with tracking TV viewing habits
didn't see fit to actually track Internet video viewers, making them probably the last organization one should ask regarding television's evolution.
Verizon today announced that the company is making a few tweaks to their prepaid data options, in the process providing users with roll over data. According to the Verizon announcement
, the company's new "AllSet" prepaid pricing plans lower prices, but also lower the data allotments of their previous prepaid offerings.
Comcast has quite a chore ahead of it in order to gain regulatory approval, given concerns about vertical integration, overall reach and concentrated market power when it comes to content licensing. One of the ideas being considered as a merger condition would be to spin off some of the acquired customers into an entirely new company. story continues..
Dozens of people have sent in this new satirical ad
(please don't watch if adult language offends you) where a faux Comcast explains in clear detail just how little they care about you. Also explained by the company is their thoughts on their negative opinions many have about their proposed $45 billion merger with Time Warner Cable. The ad has been making the rounds the last four days, and apparently even DirecTV found it amusing if this Tweet
is any indication.
AT&T today announced that their first "IP transition" trials as the company eyes shutting down its copper networks will occur in West Delray Beach, Florida (Kings Point) and Carbon Hill, Alabama. According to an AT&T announcement
, these locations will be the sites of multi-year trials with FCC oversight aimed at studying the impact of migrating away from copper networks and the PSTN.
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