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News tagged: alternatives


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by Karl Bode 12:18PM Monday Oct 20 2014
Back in May Cox Communications announced that the company would be launching faster 1 Gbps services. While the company said the majority of the company's footprint wouldn't even begin to see 1 Gbps until sometime in 2016 (when DOCSIS 3.1 sees broader deployment), Cox will start delivering 1 Gbps speeds to some new housing developments in portions of Phoenix, Las Vegas and Omaha well before that.

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Earlier this month Cox officially announced that they're launching the 1 Gbps service in Phoenix later this month under the "G1GABLAST" brand. According to the Cox announcement, the service will run users $70 a month -- if bundled with Cox television services.

Like with most recent fiber to the press release announcements of this type, the lion's share of deployment will only happen in high-end housing developments, but the marketing messaging is designed to imply a much larger overall footprint for these next-gen services.

To that end, Cox executives actually visited the home of the first GigaBlast customer in Phoenix last week to hold a small press event.

“The Atlas family is the first of many homes to embrace this ultra-fast Internet and the 'Gig Life' it brings," stated Cox President Pat Esser. "Our pace of investment and innovation will only increase to continue to help business and residential customers connect to the things they care about most."

Unlike the Atlas family, most Cox customers will have to wait at least several years before they see these kinds of speeds.

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by Karl Bode 10:10AM Monday Oct 20 2014
Sources tell The Information that HBO's recently announced streaming service will likely cost consumers at least around $15 per month. More specifically, the report claims the service will match HBO's existing cable price tag of $15, seemingly implying it could easily be more. As the report notes, a 2013 survey of broadband-only customers by the Diffusion Group found that only 6% were "moderately or highly likely" to sign up for a broadband HBO service priced at $15. Depending who you ask, this week's announcements of streaming services by HBO means either content prices are dropping, or prices for these services ultimately won't be that much different from traditional TV.

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by Karl Bode 09:02AM Monday Oct 20 2014
South Korea's SK Telecom today is showing off 10 Gbps connectivity SK Broadband at the Plenipotentiary Conference of the International Telecommunications Union. According to Akamai’s Q2 2014 The State of the Internet report, South Korea tops the charts by delivering an average Internet connection speed of 24.6Mbps, significantly faster than the fourteenth place 11.4Mbps seen by the US.
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by Karl Bode 08:24AM Friday Oct 17 2014
A Google filing with the SEC this week indicates that Google is exploring the possibility of a variety of wireless broadband technologies across a number of spectrum frequencies, including millimeter-wave. Google's interest in wireless hasn't been much of a secret; the company acquired wireless Seattle startup Alpental Technologies back in June (founded by ex-Clearwire folks), and a report back in April indicated that Google was interested in potentially forming an MVNO as a supplement offering alongside or instead of Google Fiber. This particular filing appears to hint at shorter distance technologies for last mile, likely as an inexpensive way to service MDUs or apartment buildings.

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by Karl Bode 06:13PM Thursday Oct 16 2014
Verizon Wireless this week made the company's Edge handset early upgrade program slightly worse, extending the time customers have to wait between upgrades. First spotted by Droid Life, Verizon is increasing the number of monthly customer payments for a device from 20 to 24 months.
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by Karl Bode 04:46PM Thursday Oct 16 2014
In April of last year when Google announced they'd be bringing Google Fiber to Austin, the company stated they expected Austin users to start being hooked up around the middle of 2014. The halfway of the year point rolled on past, without any new hard deadline for a launch or even the "fiberhood" system they use to determine deployment neighborhoods.
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by Karl Bode 12:29PM Thursday Oct 16 2014
CBS today jumped into the increasingly-crowded streaming video fray by announcing that the company would be launching a streaming service of their own. CBS's new service will offer users access to 15 primetime shows the day after they have aired on broadcast and cable -- for $6 a month.
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by Karl Bode 10:23AM Thursday Oct 16 2014
Netflix third quarter earnings released this week indicate that while the company's growth is slowing, international expansion continues to be successful, with Netflix now serving 53 million subscribers around the world. A letter to investors (pdf) notes that Netflix continues to focus on original content and states the company continues to battle on the net neutrality front to prevent large ISPs from keeping customers "hostage."

The company blamed its price hike earlier this year for new users for the slowdown in subscriber numbers.
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by Karl Bode 12:32PM Wednesday Oct 15 2014
It may have taken several years of prodding, but HBO is finally planning to offer a standalone version of their broadband video streaming service HBO Go -- one that doesn't require a traditional cable subscription. Speaking during Time Warner's investor presentationj, HBO CEO Richard Plepler stated that the service would be arriving sometime in 2015, but didn't specify precisely what the new service would look like or how much it would cost.
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by pjsutton 10:18AM Wednesday Oct 15 2014
Whether it's a cable company demanding thousands of dollars for a hundred yards of coaxial or a telco refusing to provide DSL, customers all over the country work tirelessly to get carriers to put in a little extra effort to shore up connectivity gaps. DSLReports reader pjsutton See Profile shares his story trying to get Verizon to upgrade DSL in Pennsylvania, a state with a rich history of magically forgotten broadband deployment promises.

In this day and age of telephone companies ignoring their copper infrastructure and leaving it to rot in the ground, Pennsylvania has placed pressure on telcos to maintain and actually upgrade those areas of the state that lack broadband access.
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by Karl Bode 04:14PM Tuesday Oct 14 2014
As recently noted, the FCC is considering to provide over the top operations like Aereo the same rights as traditional cable companies, providing them FCC-enforced access to vertically integrated programming -- just as long as they're willing to pay for it. While Aereo's business model was originally designed around not paying these fees, in a filing with the FCC (spotted by the Washington Post) the company threw their support behind being called an MPVD -- and by proxy the paying of retrans fees.
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by Karl Bode 10:29AM Tuesday Oct 14 2014
A group of privacy-minded developers have launched a Kickstarter project for their new anonabox -- a tiny, open-source embedded router that will redirect traffic via the Tor network. The developers, many of which say they've worked at large ISPs, were inspired when watching the recent wave of global government Internet censorship during protests.
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by Karl Bode 03:51PM Monday Oct 13 2014
Back in July French telco Iliad lobbed a rather underwhelming softball offer of acquisition at T-Mobile, offering $15 billion in cash to acquire 56.6 percent of T-Mobile. Deutsche Telekom wasn't impressed, though reports for months have suggested that Iliad was cooking up a more impressive offer.
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by Bill Neilson 01:25PM Monday Oct 13 2014
Comcast is looking for any sort of good promotion these days. When they aren't throwing pizza parties to promote their product or dealing with fallout from their security system being terrible, they are continuing to finish near last in customer satisfaction surveys.
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by Karl Bode 09:11AM Monday Oct 13 2014
Samsung claims they've found a way to boost the speed of Wi-Fi networks up to 4.6 Gbps, or about five times faster than the current maximum potential throughput. According to a Samsung announcement, the company says their 802.11ad 70 GHz technology uses millimeter-wave circuit design and a wide-coverage beam-forming antenna to achieve these significantly faster speeds. "Unlike the existing 2.4-GHz and 5-GHz Wi-Fi technologies, Samsung’s 802.11ad standard 60-GHz Wi-Fi technology maintains maximum speed by eliminating co-channel interference, regardless of the number of devices using the same network," claims the company in a statement. The company did not say when they expected commercial availability of this new technology.

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by Karl Bode 08:22AM Monday Oct 13 2014
Roku's over the top video platform and a la carte channel operations were supposed to be the exception to the rule -- or an example of how broadband can transform the viewing experience into a more democratic, consumer friendly process. But GigaOM has an interesting report exploring how as the company grows and gets more successful, some of their behavior has started to look uncomfortably familiar.
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by Karl Bode 03:07PM Friday Oct 10 2014
“Sprint will cease operating the Sprint 4G WiMAX network on or about November 6, 2015,” a Sprint spokesperson tells Wireless Week. Sprint had previously only stated that the network would be shut down sometime in 2015. Internal Sprint documents leaked to Android Central indicates that letters announcing the shutdown were sent to Sprint's corporate-liable customers this past Monday, with individual-liable and prepaid customers being notified of the shutdown 180 days in advance. If you travel with me for a moment in the way back machine to 2004, you might notice that the claims made about WiMax changing the world didn't quite live up to snuff.

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by Karl Bode 08:32AM Friday Oct 10 2014
There's no limit to obnoxious fees companies like Comcast apply below the line to covertly jack up their advertised price and grab even more revenue, but at least one annoying Comcast fee will soon no longer exist. The Consumerist has discovered that Comcast will soon no longer charge customers a several dollar fee for calling in and changing their TV package lineup (the fee doesn't apply if you make the same changes over the Internet). Of course this may not be that big of a deal in light of Comcast's new Broadcast TV Fee or the fact that the company appears to be bumping their modem rental fee to $10 a month.

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by Karl Bode 04:40PM Thursday Oct 09 2014
Canadian Heritage Minister Shelley Glover last year made waves by promising that Canadian regulators would start pushing Canadian Pay TV providers toward offering a la carte TV programming. Like in the States, Canadian consumers desire greater flexibility in the prices and programming lineups they're offered.
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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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