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According to a report in the Globe and Mail
, both AT&T and Verizon are contemplating buying a stake in the Canadian wireless market. According to sources speaking to the paper anonymously, both companies have held talks to acquire one or several of the struggling Canadian upstart operators, including Wind Mobile. The source claims Verizon in particular is taking a "hard look" at buying either Wind or Mobilicity, then bidding on spectrum at Canada's upcoming spectrum auction in order to create a stronger fourth wireless carrier. The move wouldn't be a new one for Verizon, who was a major investor in Telus until 2004.
A new Washington Post-Pew Research Center poll
states 56% of Americans consider the NSA's practice of obtaining telephone call records through secret court orders "acceptable." As the Post's exploration of the poll results notes
, some 45% of those surveyed insist the government should be allowed to go further than it actually is. 45% say the government should be able to monitor "everyones email and other online activities" if officials were to say this "might" help stop terrorist attacks.
Long after this week's surveillance firestorm erupted, the White House has finally seen fit to grace the public with some justifications for their wholesale secret spying on pretty much everyone, everywhere, all the time. In a speech (full video here
), Obama effectively stated that spying on such a ridiculous scale is a "critical" tool in the country's arsenal, and that both
of the programs
exposed in more detail this week were approved by Congress, and therefore perfectly ok.
In continuing what is not a particularly great week for the government's surveillance programs, hacker group Anonymous last night leaked a cache of internal DOD documents
(pdf). The documents are from 2008, shortly after the NSA began its just-unveiled PRISM spying program
, and outlines key portions of the DOD's "strategic vision" for monitoring and controlling information online.
by Revcb Friday 31-May-2013
Cisco's latest Visual Networking Index
is chock full of interesting data nuggets on Internet growth, like the fact that annual global IP traffic will pass the zettabyte mark (1.4 zettabytes) by the end of 2017. According to Cisco, by 2017, global IP traffic should approach around 1.4 zettabytes per year, or 120.6 exabytes per month.
The latest report
(pdf) from the American Consumer Satisfaction Index highlights that consumer satisfaction with cable TV services remains among the worst in any industry -- and broadband ISP service satisfaction is even worse. While some companies made small strides, they haven't been enough.
Amtrak has been offering Wi-Fi on board some of their trains for several years
(a full list is here
), though historically the quality of the connections have been ridiculed. Since earlier this year the company has been promising upgrades.
Last week reports emerged
that ESPN has at least been in talks to take AT&T up on their idea of cap-exempt content contracts. In short, AT&T has been pitching content companies on the idea of paying AT&T a toll that would allow users of their specific content to bypass user caps.
As I've been discussing a lot lately
(because it's the most important issue facing the broadband sector right now), both AT&T and Verizon are in the process of gutting regulations that require they continue offering copper landlines -- and by proxy DSL -- to tens of millions of Americans. Both companies insist that they're simply interested in "modernizing regulations" and ushering us into an "all IP age." In reality, both companies simply want to exit the fixed-line market in areas they're unwilling to upgrade.
The Justice Department is under fire for obtaining two months of telephone records for twenty different lines used by reporters and editors for The Associated Press. Said data included phone numbers, names, calls made, and potentially call duration. story continues..
As noted last week, Verizon is informing Sandy victims who've been waiting for seven months that they'll never have their DSL lines repaired
. Instead, users are being given Voice Link, a service that connects home phones to the Verizon Wireless network but has a few kinks and fails to offer data.
CenturyLink has announced plans to offer a small fiber to the home pilot providing speeds of 1 Gbps. While Google Fiber's expansion hits competitively-challenged AT&T and Time Warner Cable hard in a few markets, their recent announcement of expansion into Provo, Utah
hits smaller, regional incumbent CenturyLink even harder.
Verizon's launch of higher audio quality voice over LTE (VoLTE) has seen some delays, largely because initial implementations of the service gobbled up smartphone battery life
. Speaking at Genband's conference in Orlando, Verizon CTO Tony Melone stated
that they should have the network ready for VoLTE service this year, but it will be up to the company's marketing department as to when it actually gets launched. "When we do it, we want to make sure it reaches the same high-quality standards of our current voice network," Melone said. "We'll be network ready this year. How we decide to roll it out is still being discussed within our marketing organization."
Windstream users say that they've spent much of today unable to use Windstream phone service. A statement
posted to our forums by the company insists the outage only impacts 1-800 numbers, though users say that the outage impacts all long distance service and some local calls.
Washington State's Attorney General is hammering T-Mobile over the company's new no contract claims
, insisting that the carrier is engaging in false advertising. Washington AG General Bob Ferguson seems to have taken particular issue with T-Mobile's promises of a $99 iPhone 5, which requires users pay $99 down, then twenty four monthly payments of $20.
By now AT&T's total disregard for privacy and wiretap laws in their cooperation with the government's warrantless wiretap program is fairly well established. As numerous NSA and AT&T whistleblowers have illustrated, the company dumps all voice and data from any carrier that touches their network directly into the lap of the NSA
-- with no warrants or transparency and only marginal government oversight.
Numerous Verizon executives are on record stating that Verizon has more than enough spectrum to deploy LTE nationally -- before
Verizon nabbed another massive swath of spectrum from the cable industry. Studies
have shown Verizon has plenty of spectrum, particularly after re-farming spectrum currently being used for 2G and 3G (EVDO) services.
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