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Comcast, like most of their contemporaries, in late 2010 started offering a home security and automation platform
under the Xfinity brand. Xfinity Home Security has slowly been deployed nationally since, and offers users two packages ($30 and $40 per month) of combined security and automation tools ranging from window sensors to remote climate and lighting controls. Now Comcast says they're offering just a stand alone package of home automation tools
starting at $10 a month and requiring a $100 starter pack. The platform offers users all manner of options including the ability to receive a text when windows open or close, though in many cases users can save a lot over time by buying and installing third party options themselves.
You can add AT&T to the growing list of companies considering shelling out money to acquire Hulu. Sources tell the All Things D
blog that AT&T is pondering entering into a joint acquisition bid for Hulu alongside the Chernin Group.
As I've been covering in detail
, Verizon has been going around telling many Sandy victims who have been waiting almost eight months for DSL repair -- that repairs will never happen. In its place, Verizon is giving those users "Voice Link," a service that lets users connect home phones to the Verizon Wireless network.
AT&T appears poised to begin offering new U-Verse speed tiers that should offer a belated speed increase for bandwidth-hungry users. Earlier this year AT&T promised users
they'd eventually see 75-100 Mbps using line bonding, though the company was somewhat murky on deployment time -- or upstream speeds.
Comcast today stated that customers in California will now be seeing some of the speed upgrades we've been seeing deployed elsewhere
around the country at no extra cost. Specifically, Comcast's Blast tier is going from 25/4 Mbps to 50/10 Mbps, their Extreme tier will be going from 50/10 Mbps to 105/20, and their Performance tier will be going from 12/2 Mbps to 25/5 Mbps for all users. The Comcast press release
lists a handful of communities that won't be getting the upgrades until later on this summer -- because you were bad I'm guessing. An insider tells me that the 12/2 Mbps to 25/4 is running behind the other upgrades for many users, who'll see that specific bump in April.
Comcast's fourth quarter earnings
indicate that the cable company almost managed to not
lose video subscribers on the quarter, but still shed 7,000 anyway. CEO Brian Roberts points out that the company would have gained subscribers for the first time in many years if not for superstorm Sandy, also noting that Comcast has improved on its video subscriber losses for nine consecutive quarters. Comcast also said that they added 341,000 broadband subscribers and 168,000 voice customers for totals of 19.36 million and 9.95 million, respectively. Comcast posted a profit of $1.52 billion on revenues of $15.94 billion.
Apple, Sony, Microsoft, Google; there have been no limit of companies eager to disrupt the pay TV ecosystem, though every one of them have run face first into licensing restrictions imposed by a pay TV sector that very much doesn't want to be disrupted. That doesn't seem to stop the tech press from getting blindly bubbly and enthusiastic every time another company says they're going to try. story continues..
ESPN has dramatically expanded the volume of ESPN content available to Xbox 360 owners via broadband, though you'll still need a traditional cable account to view any of it. According to a Microsoft blog post
, Xbox live Gold members can now access all
ESPN live programming, including ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPNU, Buzzer Beater and Goal Line.
Time Warner Cable's "six strikes" anti-piracy measures won't include the filtering of any websites, Broadband Reports
has learned. The six strikes plan, scheduled to launch later this year, will vary from ISP to ISP -- with Verizon last week acknowledging they'll be throttling repeat offenders
to an as-yet-unspecified speed.
Comcast tells the Philadelphia Business Journal
(via Light Reading
) that the company's new X1 set top box should make its debut in the Philadelphia market in just a few weeks. Comcast has already launched the redesigned platform in Atlanta and Augusta, Georgia, Boston, and Chattanooga, Tennessee. The new widget and app-heavy platform is essentially Comcast playing catch up with a number of interactive advancements we've seen satellite and phone companies doing for the last several years. In addition to apps from Pandora and Facebook, the X1 allows users to add Skype services for an additional $10 a month. Comcast insists the DVR, which is being aimed primarily at triple play customers, has been "very well received" in initial launch markets.
The Wall Street Journal
has realized that ISPs jack up the cost of standalone Internet so users are less likely to ditch bundled television or phone services. This is something most of you have known for years of course, with many carriers charging more for just broadband than they often do for promotional bundles.
Over the years several communities have gotten upset
about the AT&T VRAD cabinets required to deliver the company's U-Verse FTTN/VDSL service. In some areas, complaints involved anger of AT&T ignoring easement rights or childhood traffic dangers, while in other markets the complaints have been aesthetic or property-value driven.
is one of the first we've seen in our forums to order Comcast's new 305 Mbps downstream, 65 Mbps upstream service tier --- and is sharing his install experience in our forums
. According to the user all that speed (delivered via a Ciena 3931) is certainly coming with a steep price tag -- the user signed a three-year contract for the service which will run him around $320 a month. The user also notes that Comcast is imposing a $1,111 early termination fee if he cancels service in the first three months, though the ETF is pro-rated down the line. There's also a $250 activation fee and
a $250 installation fee. "Per megabit, it's cheaper what I can get at most co-location providers for such low commits," says the admittedly heavy user.
Comcast has filed a new trademark for DOWNLOAD2GO ahead of what appears to be a new mobile video offering by the cable giant. According to Fierce Cable
, the patent application covers "computer application software for mobile devices, mobile phones, smart phones, cell phones, tablet computers, handheld computers, computers and/or other portable computer devices, namely, software for downloading and viewing audio-video content on such a device." Comcast's co-marketing deal with Verizon so far only covers giving bundle users prepaid gift cards, though both companies have promised they're working on tech that allows users to share cable content between their fixed line and wireless services. Many cable operators are also planning on services that allow place-shifting of content from DVRs to local devices.
Comcast today announced that the company is now offering free Wi-Fi to existing paying customers in California. According to a Comcast press statement
, the company is now offering Wi-Fi to users in Northern and Central California plus Santa Barbara County, including: the San Francisco Bay Area, Sacramento, Fresno, Monterey, Santa Maria and Chico (we've included the full list below).
The announcement comes on the heels of the news that Comcast would be expanding free Wi-Fi to 2,500 more hotspots on the East Coast
. Comcast originally piggybacked on Cablevision's idea (and some of their infrastructure) in offering Wi-Fi to combat FiOS, with installs along major commuter zones around New York City. Comcast customers can sign in wherever they see the "Xfinity WiFi" SSID.
Xfinity WiFi will provide fast wireless Internet access via hotspots in cities throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, as well as Aptos, Atwater, Buellton, Cameron Park, Carmel, Chico, Chowchilla, Colusa, Corcoran, Davis, Diamond Springs, Dinuba, El Dorado Hills, Elk Grove, Fairfield, Folsom, Fresno, Galt, Grass Valley, Hanford, Kerman, Lathrop, Lemoore, Lodi, Lompoc, Los Banos, Madera, Manteca, Marysville, Mendota, Merced, Modesto, Monterey, Murphys, Nevada City, Newman, Oakdale, Oroville, Parlier, Patterson, Placerville, Rancho Cordova, Reedley, Roseville, Sacramento, Salinas, San Andreas, Sanger, Santa Maria, Selma, Solvang, Sonora, Soquel, Stockton, Tracy, Tulare, Twain Harte, Vacaville, Vallejo, Visalia, Willows and Yuba City.
A full coverage map is available here
FCC boss Julius Genachowski has been busy lately paying lip service to Silicon Valley, most recently telling a bunch of Silicon Valley conference attendees that caps were something we should be "concerned" about
, after telling cable companies just a few months earlier he thought caps and overages are nifty and innovative
. Speaking again to Silicon Valley folks yesterday at a speech
at Vox Media headquarters, Genachowski hashed out his muddy position a little further, again insisting he was "concerned" about caps -- sort of -- maybe:
(Growing usage) presents challenges for broadband providers in managing the growing loads on their networks while earning returns to drive capital investment in network upgrades and expansion.
by Revcb Wednesday 26-Sep-2012
Comcast says there's going to be no cap on their recently launched
305 Mbps tier, at least for now. The company tells Light Reading
the $300 tier is "being offered as unlimited," and Comcast has "[n]o further plans to announce at this time." It's unclear if it will stay that way; Comcast recently suspended their old caps
while they trialed new caps
, so most Comcast users are uncapped at the moment. Caps and overages are already hard to justify
given the dropping cost of bandwidth and hardware, and at $300 a month those justifications become even more tenuous. We recently exclusively reported
that Comcast intends to offer different cap sizes for different speed tiers, something the company is already doing in a trial in Tucson
, where customers see 300, 350, 450 or 600 GB caps depending on their speed tier.
Comcast has introduced caps as high as 600 GB in Tucson as the company moves forward with the idea of offering higher caps for faster services. As we exclusively reported last week
, Comcast has decided to offer users on faster tiers higher caps, with the company's basic tier seeing a 300 GB cap, and the service caps increasingly from there incrementally.
Last week we noted that the GOP Internet policy platform released at the national convention was a lot of hot air with a dash of hypocrisy
, the GOP professing to love "Internet freedom" yet pushing for broader filters on pornography while spending all their time opposing network neutrality and protecting the nation's wireless duopoly. With the Democratic National Convention coming this week (of which AT&T is the official carrier
), it's their turn to shovel manure atop the national tech discourse as is par for election season, releasing their Democratic Platform
for your perusal.
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