The Center for Disease Control has long been an excellent source of statistics on cell phone and POTS usage, since they collect that data to maintain accurate polling statistical information (in large part because those with no landlines trend younger). The latest data from the CDC
(pdf) indicates that nearly 40% of American homes rely solely on wireless phones. 39.4% of US households don't have a landline phone, but have at least one wireless telephone.
Some 38% of approximately 90 million American adults and 45.4% of approximately 33 million children now live in wireless phone-only households.
The study also studied these trends by State, and not too surprisingly, more sparsely populated states tend to cut the cord sooner. Idaho leads the country in terms of the percentage of 18+ adults living in wireless only households (52.3%) compared to New Jersey, where 78.9% of households still have a landline.
The CDC did note that the speed of POTS cutting has slowed significantly as the wireless market saturates, the 1.2% bump in the last six month period being the smallest the NHIS has recorded in the last six years. The percentages of adults (2.2%) and children (2.6%) who don't use phones of any kind have remained static.
A new study by wireless performance measurement firm Rootmetrics has declared that while AT&T has the fastest network across the country, Verizon has the most reliable. According to the company's findings
for the second half of 2013, Verizon took the top overall performance spot with an overall score of 89.7, which factored in speed and reliability data for data, text messaging, and voice.
Most of you are smart enough to check out your potential new home's broadband options before moving. As such it's not too surprising to see UK Property search website Rightmove claim that data they've collected indicates that slow or nonexistent broadband options can obviously kill a sale, but slow broadband can erode the value of a home by as much as 20%
. The website, which has started including broadband speed trackers next to home listings, note that a survey of 3,000 people found the majority of them were more interested in fast broadband than they were local school and transportation options.
Cablevision released the company's fourth quarter earnings
(pdf) today, which indicate the cable operator lost 18,000 video subscribers on the quarter, slightly less than the 29,000 or so most Wall Street analysts expected. On the plus side the company posted $46.5 million in income from continuing operations for the fourth quarter, up from a $73.9 million operating loss one year earlier.
Still, the company isn't seeing much growth; Internet phone additions were flat and the company added just 6,000 broadband subscribers on the quarter (though they lost 13,000 subscribers last quarter). That's in part due to the fact that the company is cutting back on promotions
, company CEO James Dolan stating last fall
he thought promotional discounts were a "dead end."
Cablevision now lays claim to 2.8 million video subscribers and 2.78 million broadband users.
For a while there the United States consistently mediocre showing in the fixed-line broadband rankings (speed, price, penetration and usage caps) was seemingly excused because at least we were building the LTE networks of tomorrow
. Except as a study by Open Signal indicated last week
, the United States offers the second-slowest average LTE streams among they countries they track (and dropping).
According to a new Ranker.com poll
, AT&T is considered the worst at customer service with Time Warner Cable ranked second and Comcast ranked sixth. The next telecom company doesn't even appear on their list until Verizon Wireless shows up at spot 21. "Younger consumers appear particularly frustrated by Time Warner and Comcast, naming them the #1 and #3 worst companies in our data, which suggests that these companies’ reputations are worst amongst the very consumers most likely to opt for internet television," states Ranker.com Data Analyst Ravi Iyer.
Ars Technica story continues..
crunches some wireless network performance numbers from the recent Super Bowl courtesy of Nexgen Wireless. The report notes that AT&T's LTE network generally outperformed both Verizon and Sprint's in terms of overall speed with an average throughput of 5.31 Mbps (compared to 2.08 for Verizon and 1.15 Mbps for Sprint), though AT&T suffered the lowest call completion rate.
Akamai has released the company's latest State of the Internet Report
, which now tracks everything from average broadband speeds to IPv6 adoption by tracking the millions of users who traverse the Akamai network annually. According to the latest data, there was a global 29 percent speed increase.
Comcast has released the company's fourth quarter earnings
, which indicate the company posted net income of $1.91 billion on revenues of $16.9 billion. More importantly perhaps for Comcast, the company reversed the overall cable sector trend of video losses by adding 43,000 video subscribers during the fourth quarter (though they still lost 305,000 on the year). Comcast executives claim that deployment of their updated X1 platform, which is gradually making its way to all Comcast markets
, was largely to thank for the subscriber boost (it's worth noting that reports suggest Comcast may license the X1 to Cox
). Comcast also added 379,000 broadband and 227,000 Internet voice customers on the quarter.
While there's no shortage of studies examining consumer satisfaction, research firm Marchex has added a new wrinkle in analyzing which companies wind up with the most users swearing at them over the phone. According to the firm's latest study
, satellite companies take top honors in being the most curse-inducing, with one out of every 82 calls resulting in users cursing at the company.
While HBO still refuses to offer their HBO Go streaming service unless you sign up for traditional cable, you might recall there was an exception made last year wherein Finland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark were the first anywhere to see HBO Go standalone
. If you were hoping the standalone offer to be so successful it prompted HBO to extend the option elsewhere, you may be waiting a while.
According to the latest data from Akamai
, Internet speeds are still improving overall, but quarter to quarter speed improvements appear to have slowed. According to Akamai, the average U.S.
According to the latest Internet Access Services report from the FCC
(pdf, hat tip, Light Reading
), 69.7% of the country's 92.6 million fixed-line broadband connections met the FCC's broadband speed threshold definition of 3 Mbps downstream and 768 kbps upstream. You might recall that after some industry complaining, the FCC raised that standard definition from 768 kbps downstream several years ago. The agency's report, which features data that's roughly a year old, also notes that 37.8% of mobile connections met the FCC's 3 Mbps broadband definition threshold (though that was up from 28% six months earlier).
For all the talk about how piracy, alternative video options and elaborate home entertainment systems hurt Hollywood's bottom line, data suggests that the film industry saw another record year last year. Variety
notes that 2013 set a new record by besting the $10.837 billion record tally set by Hollywood in 2012. Data suggests that international totals are between 4% and 5% higher than 2012, thanks largely to China's box office returns. The latest record-setting year was helped in large part by the gross returns of "Iron Man 3" ($410 million) and “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" ($391 million). Seven of the top ten grossing films were either sequels or prequels, according to Variety.
According to data from the American Television Alliance
, 2013 was a record year for retransmission disputes resulting in blacked-out content for television viewers. The group, which is backed by companies like Dish, DirecTV and Time Warner Cable, states that there were 127 content blackouts resulting from retransmission fee disputes in 2013, up from 91 in 2012. That in turn was up significantly from 51 in 2011 and a dozen in 2010. Granted the biggest of last year was Time Warner Cable's fight with CBS, which resulted in a record number of customers leaving the cable provider
for other pay TV providers including Aereo.
The entertainment industry and ISP joint "Copyright Alert System" (aka "six strikes) has had little to no impact on piracy statistics, judging from a preliminary look at popular BitTorrent website traffic levels. The six strikes program was launched back in February
with the cooperation of major ISPs including AT&T, Verizon, Comcast and Time Warner Cable.
The cable industry has used their "TV Everywhere initiative" to try and make existing customers less likely to cut the cord, by ramping up the ways users can consume TV content over PCs, tablets and smartphones. But according to a new survey by video search firm RAMP
, 82% of consumers appear to have no idea what TV Everywhere even is.
Using the latest data from Ookla, the New York Times
laments that the United States is "falling behind" in broadband. Traditionally the country's vast geography is used as an excuse, which is why the Times highlights how San Antonio, the nation's seventh largest city and home to 1.7 million people, pales in broadband connectivity when compared to the Latvian capital of Riga, population 700,000 where faster broadband can be had for a quarter the cost.
Pay TV set top boxes and DVRs have long been some of the home's largest energy hogs
, though new set top standards should soon start making the devices more energy efficient. According to an announcement by the U.S. Energy Department
, a new agreement struck with the cable industry should reduce set top box energy consumption by between 10 to 45 percent by 2017, resulting in a possible overall savings of up to $1 billion in energy costs annually. Comcast, DirecTV, Dish Network, Time Warner Cable, AT&T, Verizon, Cox Communications, Charter Communications, Cablevision, Bright House Networks, and CenturyLink have all signed off on the new deal.
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