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AT&T this week announced
that the company has extended LTE service into another twenty-two markets, while expanding LTE coverage further in ten existing markets. The new markets: Batesville, Ark.; Blytheville, Ark; Forrest City, Ark; Colorado Springs, Col.; Clewiston, Fla; Blackfoot, Idaho; Idaho Falls, Idaho; Pocatello, Idoha; Rexburg, Idoha; Columbus, Ind; Fort Wayne, Ind; Seymour, Ind; Muskegon, Mich.; Vineland, N.J.; Farmington, N.M.; Wooster, Ohio; Miami, Okla; Williamsport, Pa.; Texarkana, Texa; Heber, Utah; Olympia, Wash; and Spokane, Wash. This week's upgrades bring AT&T's total LTE market count to 261.
by Revcb Friday 31-May-2013
A Florida woman has filed a $5 million class action lawsuit against Apple because the power button on her iPhone 4 broke. According to the lawsuit
, Apple knew about a defect in a flex cable that controls the on-off button, but refused to acknowledge the flaw in order to sell more phones. The plaintiff's lawyers are claiming Apple colluded with AT&T to violate federal RICO racketeering laws -- while also claiming that Apple has violated California consumer protection laws. Apple just got done sending out $15 checks
after settling a lawsuit over the faulty antenna design in the iPhone 4, which resulted in users in low signal areas losing connectivity if they held the phone in a certain way.
While there's absolutely no doubt that Google Fiber has been a positive thing for the industry, critics have singled out two problems with Google's ultra-fast offering. One, the company backed off of open access promises
that would have allowed multiple companies to come in and truly compete over the infrastructure.
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.
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.
Early last year we noted that AT&T, the company that really started the network neutrality debate to begin with
, had come up with yet another awful new idea: charging app makers a fee if they wanted to send data to consumers without impacting their usage caps. While AT&T presented the idea as akin to a 1-800 number for data or "free shipping," what it actually is a troll toll imposed by AT&T allowing them to rake in new cash -- and impose their power on a content ecosystem and app marketplace that operates better with companies like AT&T out of the way.
As promised, AT&T has seriously expedited their deployment of LTE service, and with launches this week now says they offer LTE in more than 200 markets (LTE arrived this week in Manhattan, Kansas, Sedalia and Warrensburg, Missouri, and Jacksonville and Palestine, Texas). That's still a far cry from the roughly 500 markets where Verizon currently offers LTE, though AT&T should be able to close that gap rather quickly. AT&T also seems to be winning the speed race, with early studies suggesting that AT&T's LTE implementation offers the best speeds
. The company says they intend to cover 250 million potential customers with LTE by the end of this year, with 77 markets
slated for summer launch.
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.
AT&T this afternoon released their first quarter earnings
, which detailed revenues of $31.4 billion and net income of $3.7 billion. AT&T sold a record 6 million smartphones during the first quarter, (4 million of which were iPhones) and added 1.2 million smartphones -- most of which were feature phone upgrades. Still, growth has some investors nervous; AT&T added a net 296,000 contract wireless devices on the quarter, though when you subtract tablets AT&T lost 69,000 net devices on contract plans
. That slowed growth means you can expect more "because we can" fees like this one
to keep hungry investors fed. On the wireline front, AT&T added 731,000 U-Verse broadband and 232,000 U-Verse TV subscribers, but lost 607,000 DSL customers.
AT&T has announced that the company's LTE network has been extended into another seven markets
: Jackson, TN; Kalamazoo, MI; Napa, CA; Orangeburg, SC; Rocky Mount, NC; Santa Rosa-Petaluma, CA; and Wilson, NC. The company this week also announced that they'll be bringing LTE to another major slew of markets by the end of the summer (you can find a full list here
). AT&T says that the company's LTE network is currently live in some 182 markets. AT&T hopes to reach 250 million potential customers with LTE by the end of 2013, and 300 million total potential customers by the end of 2014.
AT&T this week was forced to pay $27.5 million in damages for violating a Colorado companys patents for streaming online video and audio. According to Bloomberg
, AT&Ts U-verse TV services infringed two patents owned by Two-Way Media LLC -- one of which covered content streaming, and the other of which allows for the tracking of consumer use of those streams. "While the verdict was a small fraction of what the plaintiff sought in this case, we will challenge the amount that was awarded," AT&T said in a prepared statement. AT&T's battle with Two-Way has been ongoing since 2008, when Two-Way sued AT&T, Akamai, and Limelight Networks (the latter two companies settled).
A new report
from research firm OpenSignal found that T-Mobile LTE is currently live in nine United States cities ahead of the company's official network launch expected tomorrow. Only Kansas City and Las Vegas were specifically mentioned as launch markets, though the firm notes they've also seen significant LTE presence in Seattle, Denver, New Orleans, New York, San Diego, and the Bay Area.
AT&T has been speeding up their LTE deployment of late, this week announcing that AT&T LTE is now available in 158 markets. That total includes launches this week in Sebring, Florida
, Athens, Georgia
, and Dyersburg and Ripley, Tennessee
-- on top of launches last week in Cleveland, Williamsburg, and Augusta. In addition to a faster pace on LTE deployment, AT&T is enjoying some awards for network performance. Rootmetrics was the latest to recently declare that AT&T's current LTE is notably faster
than LTE from either Verizon or Sprint -- hopefully a trend that continues as the network gets more saturated.
A new marketing promotion by AT&T
offers new U-Verse users their choice of any number of Wi-Fi connected tech gear (valued up to $350). According to AT&T, they're now offering new U-Verse broadband the choice of an Xbox 360, Sonos Play 3, Kindle Fire or Nexus 7 tablet -- if they also bundle U-Verse voice or TV service. Stop the Cap
directs our attention to the fact that the fine print
on another version of the press release states users could be waiting up to 34 weeks after their account goes live to receive a "reward notification," and then the actual devices are sent another 23 weeks after that.Update
: We've confirmed with AT&T that the reconstituted press release linked above forgot rather important hyphens. Times should be a much more sane 3-4 weeks, then 2-3 weeks.
Back in June of 2010
, you might recall that a security hole in AT&T's website allowed two individuals to gain access to the e-mail addresses of 114,000 owners of 3G Apple iPads, including "dozens of CEOs, military officials, and top politicians." A group calling itself Goatse Security at the time claimed responsibility for the hack, which in addition to e-mail addresses resulted the group obtaining user ICC-IDs -- used to identify their specific iPad on the AT&T network.
One of those involved in the "hack" today found themselves sentenced to 41 months in prison
, to be followed by three years of supervised release and $73,000 in restitution to be paid to AT&T.
Yesterday we noted that despite the copyright industry's new "six strikes" anti-piracy campaign launch, just one ISP had bothered to put anything about the plan on their website
. AT&T sent us a statement justifying their lack of website information by saying they intend to communicate directly with impacted users.
After several significant delays, the entertainment industry and most of the nation's largest ISPs are set to launch their "six strikes" graduated response anti-piracy efforts starting today. Sources familiar with the plan timetable have told both Daily Dot
and Torrent Freak
that six strikes starts today, and a new Center for Copyright Information website
run by the entertainment industry appears to have been freshly launched for the occasion (see new video, below).
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