AT&T is the latest ISP to strike a direct interconnection deal with Netflix that should improve buffering for Netflix users on AT&T's network. While no official announcement has been made by either company, anonymous insiders tell Mashable
that the deal took effect today. Netflix struck a direct interconnection deal with Comcast back in February
, and Verizon Verizon back in April
A report by Netflix released earlier this month showed that while streaming performance on Comcast's network has improved since the deal, Verizon Netflix streaming performance is actually getting worse
. AT&T U-Verse and DSL streaming performance has been as bad or worse than Verizon's.
have accused AT&T, Verizon and Comcast of intentionally leaving peering points un-upgraded to force content companies like Netflix to pay them for direct interconnection to bypass these intentionally congested links.
Despite the noise made by Netflix about how ISPs are using their massive size to extract an additional toll, the company seems content to pay companies for direct interconnection. Despite the noise made by both sides about these deals, the insiders speaking to Mashable note that "an announcement isn't planned" and that details of the agreement will remain confidential.
The FCC claims to be conducting an ongoing investigation into allegations that last mile ISPs are engaged in anti-competitive behavior.
In a leaked memo to employees
by Time Warner Cable CEO Rob Marcus, Marcus worries that the FCC is so busy with other issues (DirecTV AT&T merger, looming Sprint T-Mobile merger, net neutrality, municipal broadband) that the company's merger with Comcast will very likely see delays. "At a minimum, these other deals in the telecom space may put a strain on the resources of the FCC, which is already busy with its proceedings on 'net neutrality' and the auction of additional wireless spectrum," notes Marcus. "In the meantime, recent speculation about mergers and acquisitions in the content world are adding more fuel to the public debate about whether consolidation is good or bad for consumers."
Add San Antonio to the list of cities where some select users will have access to 1 Gbps speeds courtesy of AT&T. Like with the announcements on their planned Dallas
deployments, this latest announcement
offers absolutely no detail on overall deployment numbers, pricing, or timeframe for deployment. As noted previously, these deployments will only target a limited number of higher-end developments, MDUs and college campuses, though the announcements omit that fact (something I affectionately refer to as "fiber to the press release").
Even though in some instances consumers may wind up paying more, recent wireless earnings reports indicates that many users are happily signing up for early upgrade handset programs
. Such programs allow users to spread the cost of a device out over numerous payments, in some instances in exchange for a lower monthly rate (programs, of course, vary).
These programs are about to get another boost on the news that Apple will soon start pushing AT&T's Next, T-Mobile's JUMP, and Verizon's Edge upgrade programs in stores
Apple is preparing a significant expansion of its iPhone sales capabilities in its official retail stores, according to sources. Late in August, many Apple Stores in the United States will kick off a pilot program for customers to be able to purchase a new iPhone via the latest carrier upgrade programs: AT&T Next, T-Mobile JUMP, and Verizon Edge.
As it currently stands, iPhones purchased at an Apple store must either be bought subsidized with a new two-year contract, or unlocked at full retail price. Apple employees are to be trained on the new programs during August ahead of a presumed new iPhone(s) launch announcement late summer, early fall.
Add Major League Baseball to the list of organizations that isn't particularly impressed with Tom Wheeler and the FCC's latest neutrality rules in their current form. "Fast lanes would serve only one purpose: for Broadband ISPs to receive an economic windfall," MLB’s Advanced Media unit wrote in a filing
). “American consumers would be worse off as the costs of fast lanes are passed along to them in new fees or charges where there were none, or higher fees or charges where they existed.”
As we noted last week
, two different cities with their own broadband networks (Wilson, NC and Chattanooga, Tennessee) have formally asked the FCC to declare that laws in their states hindering community broadband aren't enforceable, giving FCC boss Tom Wheeler the perfect opportunity to back up claims that he'd take action. Such bills are written and lobbied for by companies like Comcast, AT&T and Time Warner Cable, and often restrict local citizen rights to determine for themselves what the best course of action for their community is.
T-Mobile offered up a new deal on Monday that significantly undercuts most of the company's competitors, specifically Sprint and their Framily plans. According to an announcement posted by T-Mobile CEO John Legere
, the company is now offering a Simple Choice plan at $100 a month that provides 10 GB of data over four lines -- the only catch being that each line is limited to 2.5 GB of data each before a specific user is throttled.
back in 2011
both AT&T and Apple were sued for pitching a $30 unlimited data plan for the 3G-enabled iPad, then withdrawing the unlimited data plan option one month after Apple began selling the device. Last year AT&T and Apple settled the lawsuit, and those impacted users are now receiving checks for $40
. Don't spend it all in one place, kids!
Several years back story continues..
Verizon implemented what they call "network optimization" for their 3G network, though their LTE network wasn't impacted. As Verizon explained it to me at the time
, the system de-prioritizes user packets if that user is in the top 5% of the heaviest users and if a local tower (or node) is suffering from congestion.
Verizon has announced that the company will be dropping the $5 monthly fee for the NFL Mobile app, allowing customers to get NFL news and watch games for free -- provided they're on Verizon's MORE Everything shared data plans. According to the announcement
, NFL Mobile provides live streaming video of Thursday, Sunday and Monday night NFL games as well as Sunday afternoon games in local markets, the latest news, schedules and scores from around the league. Verizon clearly hopes the offer will lure more users on to shared data plans (a study this week showed Verizon leads the industry
at getting users off of grandfathered unlimited plans), and that you'll eat more data by watching the games over cellular instead of Wi-Fi.
Back in March AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson insisted that AT&T's 1 Gbps "Gigapower" service would arrive in Dallas sometime this summer
, but like much of the company's 1 Gbps deployment, specifics (deployment areas, total cost, number of users) was left ambiguous. Today AT&T got a little more specific, stating the company would be offering the ultra-fast service in "Dallas, Fort Worth, and surrounding cities" before the summer is out.
AT&T has released the company's second quarter earnings report
, indicating the company posted a net profit of $3.55 billion on revenues of $32.6 billion. The company added 1 million net postpaid subscribers on the quarter, most of them being smartphone subscribers.
As I noted last month
, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has been cooking up a new open-source firmware that the group claims will make it easier for users to more securely share their Wi-Fi connection. The EFF's new firmware is now available for download
, though the group warns the firmware (based on the CeroWRT fork of OpenWRT) is a "work in progress and is intended only for developers and people willing to deal with the bleeding edge." If any of our numerous bleeding edge readers are willing to experiment with the firmware, we'd love to pay you
to share your thoughts with the DSLReports community.
Billing glitches for Verizon's new "free" symmetrical FiOS upgrades are resulting in rate hikes for some users. Verizon recently announced that the company would be bumping FiOS upstream speeds
so they match the company's downstream speeds, effectively making all FiOS tiers symmetrical.
Verizon has been taking a hammering of late for their decision to tell Sandy victims, a year after the storm, that they will never see their POTS and DSL lines repaired
. Instead, Verizon foisted a wireless service called Voice Link upon those customers, a service that didn't include data, suffered from numerous feature shortcomings, and generally wasn't much of a replacement for DSL and POTS whatsoever.
It's no mystery that wireless carriers have pushed hard to get users on metered data plans, hoping to raise data revenues as the SMS and voice minute cash cows
head out to pasture. After introducing shared data plans carriers grandfathered unlimited usage users, but have used every trick in the book to get those users to switch to metered options.
Verizon's second quarter earnings
once again topped Wall Street expectations as the company posted a net income of $4.32 billion on revenues of $31.48 billion. The company added 1.4 million postpaid wireless connections on the quarter, most of which were tablet customers taking advantage of the company's shared data plans.
Could the FCC soon have the ability to stop a large amount of regional sports network blackouts? Regional Sports Network (RSN) prices are out of control. Time Warner Cable wants every cable subscriber in Los Angeles to pay $3.84 in order to watch JUST
the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Google announced back in February
that they were working with 34 potential new Google Fiber cities, requesting those cities fill out and agree to a fiber ready checklist
to make installation easier. Speaking on the company's earnings call last week
, Google SVP and CFO Patrick Pichette stated that the economics behind Google Fiber continue to improve, and that their work with those 34 cities continues. "Over the coming months we’ll actually be going through all of the details with them, whether it would be right away or permitting or otherwise, and that’s what we’re going to use to make decisions as to how broad a program will have," states Pichette. It remains entirely unclear how many of those 34 cities will actually see future Google Fiber builds.
Verizon's shaking things up by making all of the company's FiOS broadband tiers symmetrical, bringing upstream speeds in line with downstream offerings. When Verizon FiOS originally came out the company's fiber-based offering was the cream of the crop, though Verizon has dulled their market-leading edge in recent years with a seemingly endless series of rate hikes and annoying fees
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