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AT&T has officially announced that the company's first 1 Gbps fiber to the home users (who'll initially see 300 Mbps until next year) have come online in Austin. The "GigaPower" service was announced one day after Google Fiber announced they were coming to Austin
, though AT&T to this day Google Fiber played no role in this announcement. AT&T had been mum on pricing for the new service, but a new announcement
indicates that users are going to have two options for just Internet service:
• Premier**: Internet speeds up to 300 Mbps – download an HD movie in less than two minutes² – for $70 per month, includes waiver of equipment, installation and activation fees.
• Standard: Internet speeds up to 300 mbps – download your favorite TV show in less than nine seconds² – for $99 per month.
The asterisks (**) on the Premiere offer indicates that you must agree to participate in AT&T Internet Preferences behavioral tracking and ad service if you want that price point. Internet Preferences "may use your Web browsing information, like the search terms you enter and the Web pages you visit, to provide you relevant offers and ads tailored to your interests," says AT&T. That's a thirty dollar markup from Google Fiber pricing simply for not wanting to have your online activity watched and monetized by AT&T
. While Google tracks search history, cookies and GPS location data, AT&T's Internet Preferences
appears to use deep packet inspection (a la Phorm or NebuAD) to monitor each and every packet, including how long you spend on specific websites.
AT&T's GigaPower website
indicates you can tack on TV services for $120 a month, or voice services for $150 a month.
As we noted yesterday
, Sprint has launched their new "Spark" LTE network upgrade in Chicago, which combines the company's 800 MHz, 1.9 GHz and 2.5 GHz LTE spectrum to provide more capacity and faster speeds to users -- if you have a triband device. Sprint has previously claimed these upgrades would provide users with real world speeds of 50-60 Mbps, though CEO Dan Hesse has decided to up the ante.
DirecTV may announce streaming TV ambitions at an investor conference later this week insists Citigroup analyst Jason Bazinet
. "If management does unveil this platform, we expect limited testing in 2014 and rollout to ethnic niches and/or multi-dwellings shortly thereafter," Bazinet said. "If deployment proceeds smoothly and data caps don't restrict rollout, we could see broader U.S. deployment in the future." Reports last month suggested
DirecTV was considering a Aereo-like service as a way to battle soaring retransmission fees, which the company called "not sustainable."
AT&T last week unveiled their new mobile share value plans
, aimed at getting users off contract and driving them to larger, more expensive data plans. The service was in response to T-Mobile, though AT&T continues to insist that T-Mobile is having no effect on their pricing strategies.
Sprint today announced that the company's faster "Spark" LTE upgrades have gone live in Chicago. Last month Sprint announced
they'd be combining the company's 800 MHz, 1.9 GHz and 2.5 GHz LTE spectrum to provide what Sprint promises will be real-world downstream speeds of 50-60 Mbps.
One year after launching a limited beta, NimbleTV
today announced that they've launched their live streaming TV service in the New York City market. New York residents can head here
to sign up for the service, which allows users to watch live TV on a variety of mobile devices and set tops.
Calculating the impact of shifting an entire industry to an a la carte TV pricing model is probably impossible, but that doesn't stop investment analysts Needham and Co. from trying. story continues..
For much of the last decade Seattle has explored the idea
of building their own ultra-fast broadband network. Much of that motivation was fueled by the sub-standard service provided in the region by regional telco Qwest (now CenturyLink), which in turn resulted in regional cable operator Comcast not working very hard.
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competitors have complained about AT&T and Verizon cornering the special access market, allowing them to jack up prices on competitors for backhaul and other cross connectivity. For just about as long, the FCC has stated they'd investigate
the potential anti-competitive ramifications, with nothing much coming of it.
Last month AT&T and Verizon shareholders pressured the two companies into detailing their cooperation with the NSA
, arguing that their relationship with the agency harmed consumer trust, and therefore the companies as a whole. AT&T's response to those investors? It's none of your business. In a letter sent to investors this week
, AT&T stated that its dealings with the NSA were "ordinary business matters" not subject to shareholder approval, and that "protecting customer privacy is a management function" not involving shareholders. As such, AT&T says they'd prefer it if any mention of the NSA was excluded from the ballot for AT&T’s annual shareholder meeting next spring.
The cable industry has historically tried to argue that cord cutters either don't exist or are so lame they aren't relevant
. That same industry, as it faces a very real trend of growing user defections, has now launched a strange new media campaign intended to change the mind of intended cord cutters.
Last Wednesday, the New York Public Service Commission ordered Verizon to provide the public with un-redacted cost information about providing phone service on Fire Island, New York. The directive denied Verizon’s request to be exempt from disclosing cost documents. story continues..
It was rather clear that Google TV landed with a bit of a thud, though it was made clearer when Logitech CEO Guerrino De Luca in 2012 stated their launch of the Google TV powered Revue was "a mistake of implementation of a gigantic nature," and that Google's product was a glorified beta
Now reports indicate that Google is working hard on the next chapter of this effort, a new TV set top that will fall under the Nexus brand.
Google, AOL, Yahoo, Microsoft and other companies named as previously cooperating with the NSA's PRISM program
have launched a new campaign urging global governments to reform their surveillance practices, and are asking the United States to take the lead. A new Reform Government Surveillance
website will operate alongside ads placed in numerous papers calling for governments to begin designing rules for surveillance oversight, while being more transparent about what kind of data is being collected. Empty PR gesture to deflect attention from themselves, or a serious call for reform?
Nearly two months after announcing that they'd be offering 1 Gbps service to a select few development residents in Las Vegas
, CenturyLink has announced that they've started lighting up their first ultra-high-speed customers. The company's announcement
goes out of its way to avoid specifics of any kind, only stating that 1 Gbps connections are being offered to "select northwest Las Vegas communities" in the Northwest area of the city.
As recently noted
, Verizon has started using the AWS spectrum won at auction years ago to bolster their existing LTE network, the results on an unloaded network showing 80 Mbps down and 15 Mbps up, improving both overall capacity and per user speed. On the third anniversary of their LTE launch, Kevin Fitchard at GigaOM
notes that Verizon has very quietly launched the upgrades in "dozens" of major cities, with 5,000 AWS sites online by year's end:
These new network upgrades should solve any capacity problems for the next few years. At the very least, they will restore Verizon’s LTE service to its former glory, but most likely customers in bigger cities with AWS-compatible phones will see dramatic speed increases in the near-term. Palmer said Verizon has already completed the upgrade on thousands of cell sites, and by year end it will have 5,000 AWS sites online with an additional 5,000 sites in various stages of completion.
While Verizon's LTE network consistently ranks highly in terms of reliability, the company had been losing ground in terms of speedtest results when running up against both AT&T and T-Mobile's less loaded LTE networks.
Republican FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai tells the Wall Street Journal
that the Obama administration would be unlikely to approve a Comcast takeover of Time Warner Cable. Pai appears to largely be speculating, suggesting that because the Obama administration blocked the clearly troublesome AT&T T-Mobile merger, they'd block any Comcast acquisition as well.
For many years CableCARD technology has struggled to see adoption for a number of reasons. Incompetent regulators and cable operators deserve an even share of the blame. story continues..
Frontier Communications executive Dana Waldo stormed out of a public meeting at the West Virginia Capitol on Wednesday, after he was asked if Frontier's broadband technology would provide households with basic DSL speeds in Tyler County, West Virginia. Waldo got angry while Council members were reviewing grant applications from a Frontier competitor that plans to bring broadband service to Tyler County. story continues..
Incoming 46-year-old Time Warner Cable CEO Rob Marcus insists he's just the guy to manage a sale or merger involving Time Warner Cable. "I am the perfect guy to manage the M&A component out there," Bloomberg
quotes the COO-turned-CEO from his company's headquarters in New York. "As much as I’d like to be modest, I am kind of built to manage situations like this." Granted with the $56 million golden parachute built into his contract
, a sale is certainly in his best interest, whether he actually does anything or not. Bloomberg meanwhile quotes an anonymous insider who claims Time Warner Cable would sell for between $150 and $160 per share, putting their desired asking price at around $45 billion.
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