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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. Pay TV and ISPs are ranked on par with or worse than most airlines (never a good thing), and well below the rankings seen by banks and government organizations like the Postal Service and IRS.
The pay TV industry's average score of 68 (out of 100) is helped slightly by Verizon FiOS (who saw a slight drop to 73 likely due to price hikes), but continues to be dragged down by the likes of Comcast and Time Warner Cable.
Despite seeing a 3% bump in customer satisfaction year over year, Comcast's score of 63 still sits near the bottom of the industry. Time Warner Cable meanwhile saw a 5% drop in satisfaction, and is the worst of the bunch with a score of 60.
Broadband ISPs, notes the ACSI, do "not deliver on any aspect of customer service in any particular fashion."
For the first time ever the folks at the ACSI rank broadband service providers, and the results aren't encouraging. The broadband ISP overall average ranking sits at 65, lower even than the historically dismal pay TV segment, and "the lowest among all industries in the index." Broadband ISPs, notes the ACSI, do "not deliver on any aspect of customer service in any particular fashion."
For ISPs, Verizon FiOS tops the rankings with an overall score of 71. From there it's all downhill, with ISPs like Cox (68), AT&T U-Verse (65), Charter (65), CenturyLink (64), Time Warner Cable (63), and Comcast (62) all vying for the worst performance crown. The study attributes high costs and significant continuing connection speed and reliability issues for the dismal rankings.
Over the years there have been no shortage of studies showing that pirates actually buy significantly more content
from legit outlets than anybody else. That point was brought up repeatedly as the entertainment industry tried to pass rules requiring these users be kicked off the Internet.
Speaking at the J.P. Morgan Global Technology, Media and Telecom Conference earlier this month, Verizon CFO Fran Shammo stated that the company's earliest FiOS markets are now reaching penetration targets
and that most of their new customers are signing up for faster speeds.
Cash set aside for broadband development in urban areas is sitting idle thanks to EU bureaucracy, according to those overseeing the project. Its likely that the £150 million, which was set aside for upgrading infrastructure to provide 80Mbps and up speeds, will instead be used to provide public wi-fi in city centres, for other projects that dont require EU approval or, if the opposition Labour party get their way, redirected completely to provide access for rural areas. story continues..
A new joint study by Aalborg University, Northeastern University, and the Copenhagen Business School has found that piracy of video games on BitTorrent networks has been unsurprisingly over-stated by industry
. The study analyzed a the BitTorrent trading of some 173 different computer games across 14 different gaming platforms over a three-month period between 2010 and 2011. "First and foremost, P2P game piracy is extraordinarily prevalent and geographically distributed [at least it was during the period analyzed]," said the researchers. "However, the numbers in our investigation suggest that previously reported magnitudes in game piracy are too high." The full study is available here
This picture (click to enlarge) says it all, though Dan Frommer says some more
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.
Just a few years ago, Nielsen proclaimed that the idea of TV cord cutting in favor of Internet video alternatives was "purely fiction." Subsequent Nielsen reports have often quite adorably gone out of their way
to downplay cord cutters to make TV executives (who want things to remain precisely as they are) happy. All that time Nielsen, a company tasked with tracking TV viewing habits
didn't see fit to actually track Internet video viewers, making them probably the last one anyone should ask about cord cutters or television's evolution.
The writing has been on the wall for SMS for some time. The cash cow service that costs carriers nothing to provide
yet billions in revenue is inevitably going to be replaced by smartphone push IM services.
Earlier this month the Department of Justice warned the FCC
that they should potentially cap the amount of spectrum AT&T and Verizon can acquire moving forward to prevent the two companies from hoarding spectrum anti-competitively. "Today, the two leading carriers have the vast majority of low-frequency spectrum, whereas the two other nationwide carriers have virtually none," wrote the DOJ.
Akamai's latest state of the Internet report
proclaims that the average (not median) downstream connection speed in the United States is 7.4 Mbps. The company's press release
notes the data is now culled from over 700 million IP addresses across 240 countries.
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.
According to Prolexic, a company that sells DDoS protection, the average DDoS attack strength has jumped 718% in a very short period of time. According to the company's latest annual attack report
, the average DDoS attack went from 5.9Gbps to 48.25Gbps in just one quarter. Ten percent of all attacks clocked in at 60Gbps, and the biggest attack Prolexic saw was 130 Gbps. The company believes that last month's claimed attack of 300 Gbps was over-inflated nonsense
, even if attack size and scope is surging. Why the soaring potency? Prolexic blames two things: cheaper botnets for hire and open and misconfigured DNS resolvers
While we all lust over 1 Gbps connections most of us can't get, Sony-run Japanese ISP So-net Entertainment this week pushed the residential needle to 2 Gbps in Japan
. The speedy service is named "Nuro," and will cost 4,980 yen ($51) per month, providing Japanese customers with 2 Gbps downstream and 1 Gbps upstream. The service requires users sign a two-year contract and pay a 52,500 yen ($539) installation fee -- which the company says they're waiving if users order the service online. The Nuro service is being offered primarily to smaller apartment complexes in Chiba, Gunma, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Tokyo, Kanagawa and Saitama.
It has been interesting to watch the responses of the two companies impacted most by Google Fiber's deployments: AT&T and Time Warner Cable. Both companies have fought competition tooth and nail over the years, and now that they're finally staring a little bit of it in the face, their responses have very much matched their corporate character. story continues..
On the heels of their new, if rather unspectacular prepaid pricing last February
, Verizon is preparing a new prepaid offering this year that aims at the bottom of the barrel. Fierce Wireless
is the first to report that the company will begin offering a new $35 plan that includes 500 minutes and unlimited mobile web and texting (non-smartphones only). Verizon's likely well aware that prepaid customers have been growing 15% year over year -- compared to 1% for postpaid
. While prepaid has been growing fast, Verizon's prepaid subscriber numbers have been dropping, the company adding 142,000 prepaid users in the fourth quarter of 2012, down from the 228,000 one quarter earlier.
A new report by OpenSignal
investigates just how much bigger screens (increasingly the rage as Android phones get continually larger) impact data usage. According to the firm, each additional square inch of screen area leads to 75 MB of additional data downloaded per month over a cellular connection. Over Wi-Fi, each additional square inch of screen area leads to 288 MB of additional data consumed per month. Specifically, the firm found that the bigger the screen is -- the more likely you are to use it for entertainment or your primary computing device, leading to more data consumption. The study was based on 9,962 data usage patterns collected from 9,962 mobile devices.
A new study
by WDS, a research firm owned by Xerox, claims that just 13% of consumers are truly loyal to their wireless carrier, meaning they can't be lured away by new promotions or aggressive pricing. 36% of those surveyed stated they'd likely be leaving their current carrier sometime in the next 12 months.
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Recent news contributorsJKukiewicz , Karl Bode , swintec