According to a new schedule posted to their website
, CableLabs is prepped to host a DOCSIS 3.1 "plugfest" in "a multi-vendor environment" during the week of December 1. The company also plans to host a follow up interoperability testing session during the week of January 19, 2015. Most of the 1 Gbps promises you're seeing made by companies like Cox
will rely on the DOCSIS 3.1 standard, which isn't expected to see significant commercial deployment until sometime in 2016. Back in September CableLabs said they were slightly ahead of schedule
with development of the standard, which will take significantly less time to deploy than it did to design.
The Department of Justice is taking a very hard look at the anti-competitive impact of the Comcast merger, notes Reuters
. The report notes that the DOJ is "digging deep" into a wide variety of issues, from programming negotiations and interconnection deals, to Comcast's growing overall share of the broadband market and the use of data caps. Cogent CEO Dave Schaeffer tells Reuters the DOJ asked a lot of questions about the Netflix peering feud in particular. "The majority of the inquiries are around very technical data showing congestion, the timing, showing the impacts on our customers," said Schaeffer. "They're very in the weeds."
As we've covered in the past, Comcast has promised to adhere to the FCC's now-defunct net neutrality rules until 2018 in the hopes of getting their $45 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable approved by regulators. The problem? As we've noted time and time again -- those rules, largely written by AT&T, Google and Verizon lobbyists -- were intentionally crammed with loopholes permitting everything but the most heavy-handed fiddling with website and service access. story continues..
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.
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
The California man who recently made the media rounds accusing Comcast of getting him fired from his job at PriceWaterhouseCoopers has unsurprisingly filed suit against the company. In the complaint
(pdf) filed in California on Thursday, Conal O’Rourke accuses Comcast of applying pressure on his employer resulting in his dismissal.
Massachussets has long struggled with the Verizon and Comcast duopoly -- Verizon's refusal to upgrade a few tiny portions of the state (like oh, Boston) giving Comcast what's effectively carte blanche monopoly power in many areas. That has resulted in the usual assortment of high prices and awful customer service seen by Comcast in many areas. story continues..
Back in May Cox Communications stated
that they'd be bumping the company's Preferred & Premier tier speeds to 50Mbs & 100Mbs respectively, at no additional cost (for the time being). They've been deploying these speed increases on a market-by-market basis ever since, with users in Nebraska, Arizona, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Nevada already seeing the bump. This week, DSLReports forum users in Connecticut say they're now seeing the increases
. Based on the leaked upgrade schedule we posted back in September
, Cleveland, San Diego, and parts of Rhode Island can also look forward to the boost this month.Update
: Rhode Island users say they're also seeing the increase
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.
Netflix this year began offering subscribers a growing selection of 4KTV content, and now they're hitting those users with a price hike. HD Guru
was the first to notice that users who want to view 4K or "Ultra HD" content now have to sign up for the company's $12 a month "family" plan, which provides simultaneous streams of up to four programs at once. Customers previously could access 4KTV content via the company's standard, $9 a month streaming plan, which allows up to two simultaneous streams. The company tells Variety
that the hikes reflect the higher production and acquisition of 4K content.
“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.
As the net neutrality and Title II debate heats up, the President stopped by the conversation this week to offer his support of net neutrality -- yet fell well short of supporting a specific framework as to how to formally do so. During a Q&A during a public event in California on Thursday, the President stated that while he can't tell FCC boss Tom Wheeler what precisely to do, he wants to be sure that whatever the final rules are that they don't create "two or three or four tiers of Internet." story continues..
"I made a commitment very early on that I am unequivocally committed to Net Neutrality,” the President said.
While cord cutting does worry many TV industry executives, it's happening at such a glacial pace that many feel they'll have ample time to manage the phenomenon. Cord shaving -- or the act of cutting back on bundle options and channels -- is a much more immediate threat. story continues..
A new group named "Onward Internet" popped up a few weeks ago, offering a sassy, sexy website
that rather ambiguously discusses how the Internet is a "wild, free thing" that is "unbounded by limits" and "unfettered by rules." The website and accompanying video
discuss how it's "everyone's responsibility" to protect the Internet. The group doesn't really explain what its purpose is, though after a few weeks ProPublica
discovered that it's a new effort by the cable industry's biggest lobbying group, the NCTA.
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
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.
While Comcast's promises that a an even larger company simply isn't capable of shenanigans
will likely sway many regulators, the city of Lexington Kentucky isn't buying Comcast's argument. According to the Lexington Herald-Leader
, city leaders are refusing the transfer of ownership from Time Warner Cable to Comcast because local experiences with Time Warner Cable have simply been abysmal.
At the tail end of September I noted
how Comcast had hired a new VP of "Customer Experience," Charlie Herrin. Herrin was monumentally tasked with shoring up Comcast's dismal customer satisfaction reputation and being the face of damage control for what seems like an endless stream of consumer missteps.
Former Google Fiber boss Milo Medin recently proclaimed that the most difficult obstacle for Google in deploying fiber isn't digging ditches or dealing with government -- it's securing TV programming. Video "is the single biggest impediment" to Google Fiber deployment, Medin told attendees
of the COMPTEL telecom conference in Dallas this week. "We operate at a very significant difference than incumbents we compete against," said Medin, who called programming "biggest piece of our cost structure." "We may be paying in some markets double what incumbents are paying for the same programming," he added.
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