Verizon today announced a new promotion that delivers new savings for users willing to bundle FiOS with Verizon Wireless service. According to a company announcement
, the new promotion, dubbed Double Up
, can save customers who buy both FiOS and wireless services $20 per month ($480 over two years). To get the promotion, you need to have a Verizon Wireless account with a smartphone on it, and you need to subscribe to a FiOS Quantum triple play (at speeds of 50 Mbps Internet or higher).
The offer starts today and lasts through April 19. In an age where existing customers don't get much promotion love, it's important to note this is for new and
existing users. Still you have to wonder if this even fully counters the suite of rate hikes Verizon has been hitting FiOS users with over the last few years.
A new survey of US consumers has found that one in ten Americans think that html is some type of sexually-transmitted disease
. The full survey results
of the 2,392 adults polled is a real treat, noting that 29% thought a migraine was a type of rice, 42% thought a motherboard was a type of deck on a cruise ship, and 23% thought an MP3 was a "type of Star Wars robot."
15% thought that software was a type of especially comfortable clothing.
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..
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
In June of last year Comcast announced
that the company was launching a new, Fon-like effort that involved new router firmware that turns your gateway into a publicly-accessible hotspot. More specifically, update routers would now offer two signals: one being yours, and the other being a "xfinitywifi" SSID signal providing free Wi-Fi to other Comcast users in your general area.
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..
Our belated attempt to build a nationwide emergency LTE network has already faced criticism
due to board members' close ties to wireless carriers; the organizations investigation of itself
not exactly eliminating those concerns. That was followed up with concerns about potential budget shortfalls
, with insiders concerned the $7 billion doled out to the program may not be anywhere near enough.
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
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.
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.
The other day we noted how Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam insisted that the "most important" thing that people needed to understand when talking about net neutrality was that heavy users should pay Verizon more. As we noted at the time
, the idea that heavy users must pay more -- or that there's some kind of pay inequity in place despite the fact that everybody
pays a lot for bandwidth already -- is the cornerstone of justifying low usage caps and per-byte fees, which until now aren't being imposed on FiOS.
In addition to Google Fiber, Google has been quietly spending a lot of time pushing Wi-Fi in a number of new locations around the country including San Franciso parks
. However, hometown locals have been complaining the company has been neglecting the health of the network that started it all: the Wi-Fi operation they launched near their Mountain View, California headquarters back in 2006.
Surprising absolutely nobody, Dish should announce this week that the company is the big winner in the FCC's H Block auction, which officially closed today after meeting the $1.56 billion set reserve price exactly. The "win" wasn't hard; other potential suitors for the spectrum dropped out months ago
Snowden leaks had already indicated that the NSA had been busy hacking into Yahoo servers
(and Google, Microsoft), obtaining data via the back door in addition to PRISM data they were collecting up front. Now another Guardian release of Snowden documents
indicates that UK intelligence agency GCHQ, with help from the NSA, intercepted and stored webcam content from millions of Yahoo users, regardless of whether or not they had been suspected of any wrong doing:
GCHQ files dating between 2008 and 2010 explicitly state that a surveillance program codenamed Optic Nerve collected still images of Yahoo webcam chats in bulk and saved them to agency databases, regardless of whether individual users were an intelligence target or not. In one six-month period in 2008 alone, the agency collected webcam imagery – including substantial quantities of sexually explicit communications – from more than 1.8 million Yahoo user accounts globally.
Yahoo, one of the few companies to try and stand up to PRISM data collection in court, unsurprisingly wasn't pleased with the revelations, calling project optic nerve "a whole new level of violation of our users' privacy."
According to a new Consumer Reports study
, 71% of broadband customers would try to switch from an ISP that attempted to "block, slow down, or charge more for bandwith-heavy services." 70% of respondents said they'd complain to the ISP, 46% claim they'd complain to Congress or the FCC, 39% said they'd whine on Facebook or Twitter, 10% said they'd drop broadband service completely, and 7% claimed they'd do nothing.
Amusingly unmentioned by the Consumer Reports study is the fact that you can't switch to another carrier if you don't have one to switch to (or if your only other options also
tinker with services or impose unreasonable new tolls). That lack of competition is generally what lets ISPs get away with bad ideas and "creative" pricing practices in the first place.
Wireless operators and vendors haven't really truly even defined fifth generation wireless networks (5G) yet, but that's certainly not going to prevent them from hyping their deployment of it
-- even if they're not really even sure what it is yet. South Korea is expected to take the lead in the technology (whatever it winds up being), the government there investing $1.5 billion in an attempt to have the ultra-fast networks deployed by 2020
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