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FCC boss Tom Wheeler has made it clear that the agency is being very careful when it comes to the "IP transition" away from copper networks. Speaking recently at Comptel, Wheeler proclaimed
that he wouldn't tolerate companies using the idea of an IP transition as justification to erode competing options. "There has been competition before the transition and there will be competition after the transition," stated Wheeler.
We've discussed at length how AT&T's version of the "IP transition" is being framed as some sort of evolutionary transition toward a "glorious all-IP future," but is really largely about AT&T gutting regulations in order to hang up on POTS (plain old telephone) and DSL users they simply don't want to upgrade
. The name of the game is terminating these unwanted users and pushing them users toward significantly more expensive (and capped) LTE wireless service.
That's a big win for cable companies, who face less fixed-line competition than ever before, and it's a big win for companies like AT&T and Verizon, who push DSL users on to expensive and heavily capped and monetized LTE connections.
To make this dream a reality, AT&T and Verizon have been going state by state, trying to convince local governments that if they kill off regulations requiring they keep providing POTS and DSL, those communities will somehow enter telecom infrastructure investment Utopia
, where they're suddenly awash in improved technology, networks and opportunity.
AT&T's even gone so far as to pay a slew of people (like Steve Forbes
and Rick Boucher
) to pen editorials circulating in national newspapers claiming again that if we allow AT&T to kill off DSL and POTS lines, we'll enter some type of golden era of telecom investment.
The long-expected cloud storage functionality embedded in Comcast's X1 set top box upgrade has been quietly expanding into new markets, with the company announcing that San Francisco users this week should see the upgrade. The service has already been launched in the Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Houston, and Washington DC markets after first being launched in Comcast's hometown of Philadelphia back in March of this year
. According to the company's announcement
, Comcast "expects that most of its X1 customers will have access to these features by the end of the year." The ability to store recorded programs in the cloud is free for Premiere and Complete triple play customers -- but otherwise costs an additional $20 per month.
Users in our forums
note that Verizon has started pushing out a new software update for the company's FiOS TV set top boxes that again significantly revamps what was already one of the more popular guides in the industry. Users in the thread offer up numerous images illustrating the graphical changes in IMG 1.9.7, which an insider says is being deployed currently only on Cisco and Motorola boxes starting today in New York and Pennsylvania.
The government has reached a settlement with several of the nation's biggest Internet companies (Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Microsoft and Apple) which had (to various degrees) to be able to reveal more information on how many data requests they receive from government. While the government has allowed increased disclosure on national security letters (NSLs, or gag letters), companies have been restricted to only stating a range of numbers of such letters they've received (see Verizon's recent transparency report
Security research firm Renesys has authored an interesting blog post
noting how they're seeing a significant uptick in the number of large-scale man in the middle attacks. What's more, insists the firm, these attacks are increasingly gobbling up a larger and larger share of overall Internet traffic without most people bothering to notice.
Comcast is sending their users an e-mail noting that the company will be discontinuing their "Secure Backup & Share
" service as of December 1. Files on Secure Backup & Share will be deleted and no longer available as of December 1, 2013," notes the company, adding that "If you purchased Secure Backup & Share Preferred or Premier, you may be eligible for a refund." Comcast had included 2 GB of storage free for broadband users, but also offered plans ranging from 50 GB ($5 a month) to 200GB ($10 a month).
A new study by NetNames commissioned by Comcast NBC Universal released this week
tries to get a handle on the global scope of online piracy. According to the study, some 432 million people engaged in copyright infringement during January of this year in North America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific alone.
For as long as most of you can probably remember, your ISP's terms of service has prohibited you from running a server, given the more intensive bandwidth demands. Ryan Single directs our attention to one Kansas City resident who filed a complaint with the FCC
insisting that Google Fiber's ban on running your own servers is a network neutrality violation.
According to documents obtained by CNET
, the DEA is upset because the encryption used by Apple's iMessage foils their ability to snoop on those communications. Even with a warrant (increasingly seen as optional these days by law enforcement and intelligence agencies) and the fact that carriers let the NSA snoop on everything in real time
, "it is impossible to intercept iMessages between two Apple devices."
Well not entirely impossible; the memo notes that sometimes interception is possible, but it would require the government to conduct man in the middle attacks using spoofed cell towers, something the feds just got busted for using for years without properly informing Judges
Apple, Sony, Microsoft, Google; there have been no limit of companies eager to disrupt the pay TV ecosystem, though every one of them have run face first into licensing restrictions imposed by a pay TV sector that very much doesn't want to be disrupted. That doesn't seem to stop the tech press from getting blindly bubbly and enthusiastic every time another company says they're going to try. story continues..
You might recall that iiNet
, one of Australia's largest ISPs, was sued
by the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT) and the Australian arms of various movie studios for failing to stop the transfer of pirated content across their network. iiNet fought back and won; Company CEO Michael Malone at the time argued the industry's demands for iiNet to play traffic cop were unreasonable if not impossible, and that "these guys are asking us to be judge, jury and executioner."
iiNet's making headlines once again for balking at industry demands, this week walking out of discussions
with the Australian government and the entertainment industry over continued efforts to make ISPs responsible for the pirated transfers occurring on their networks.
In the hopes of making global efforts to shut down the website nearly impossible, The Pirate Bay this week announced on their website
that they've shifted their entire operation to the cloud. The website is now serving up its bevy of copyrighted goods using a smattering of cloud providers from around the world, a move the group says will not only reduce takedown threats, but will cut costs, improve reliability, and improve security.
by ryan711 09:47AM Monday Oct 15 2012 story continues..
You may have read my other article
on the various cloud storage services that are available. While that is a fine solution for most people, some want to have a little more control and flexibility over their files and what they can do with them.
A new post over at the Google Fiber blog
notes that with pre-registration now closed, 180 out of 202 potential "fiberhoods" in the Kansas City region have qualified for Google Fiber. As we noted back in July
, Google encouraged Kansas City communities to participate in a six week rally to determine which neighborhoods were connected first.
Last Friday we noted
that broadband streaming game service OnLive mysteriously and suddenly fired all of their employees with no notice or severance package. Significant additional detail has surfaced since then, with the company announcing that OnLive and all assets have been acquired by a newly formed company, with VC firm Lauder Partners being the new company's"first investor." About half of the fired employees will be hired back, with some additional employees brought in on a consultant basis.
During the company's earnings conference call this week (see transcript
), Cablevision CEO Jim Dolan said the company hopes to have their network DVR service available to all of the company's customers by the end of the year. After a long but successful legal battle against broadcasters, Cablevision quietly launched their network DVR service (aka the RS-DVR) back in January
in portions of The Bronx. The cable operator then expanded the service's footprint to portions of Brooklyn, Long Island and Connecticut. The service stores content at the network head end, eliminating the need for local storage on the DVR -- and Cablevision's currently offering test customers 160 GB of storage for $11 a month.
by ryan711 08:14AM Wednesday Jul 18 2012
"Cloud" is the new industry buzzword, but really, it is just a new name for what we’ve already had for the past 10+ years: online server storage. Of course the term "cloud" can mean many other things, but in the consumer space, the marketing speak is typically referring to online storage. story continues..
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