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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.
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.
AT&T over the weekend got about as close as they're likely to in admitting they messed up the acquisition of T-Mobile. "I wouldn't say it was a bad decision, but it was a decision that didn't go the way I wanted," AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said at a conference over the weekend
. "We didn't execute well."
Granted a big reason the deal fell through is because AT&T kept repeatedly lying to regulators
about job creation and deal benefits, lies that in at least one instance were debunked by AT&T's own attorney
who accidentally posted un-redacted documents online for everyone to see.
Aside from the fact that killing off T-Mobile was anti-competitive (and, as it has turned out, totally unnecessary
), AT&T hubris was a major reason the deal fell through, and there's little to no indication
AT&T learned much of anything from the whole affair.
by Revcb Monday 11-Feb-2013
Last year Verizon completed a mammoth deal with the cable industry that involved Verizon buying $3.6 billion in spectrum, and included cable operators co-marketing Verizon LTE services. An unwritten wink-wink portion of the deal involved Verizon letting unwanted DSL customers flee to cable
, a plan that creates all manner of competitive issues for millions of customers, since it strengthens the cable industry's monopoly over broadband further across a huge swath of the country.
AT&T customers in our forums
note that AT&T has been experiencing a service outage across numerous states. According to our users in Louisiana, Kentucky, Texas, Georgia Tennessee, Florida, and Arkansas, they have been unable to use U-Verse voice, television or Internet services -- in some cases since yesterday morning.
Former Virginia Demoratic Congressman Rick Boucher used to have a lot of nerd credibility in the technology field, urging regulators to aim high when it came to broadband goals
, while being one of the pre-eminent voices for fair use rights. What has been he doing since leaving Congress? Working for AT&T as a paid sockpuppet, penning pro-AT&T editorials in major news outlets without disclosing his ties to AT&T.
Originally, AT&T only allowed users to use Facetime over Wi-Fi. Then, they allowed Facetime over cellular, but only if users signed up for their new shared data plan with its $15 per gigabyte overage fees. story continues..
For a company whose U-Verse fiber to the node broadband service has consistently under-performed in the battle against cable, AT&T executives were very confident in future U-Verse speed claims while speaking at their developer conference this week at CES. AT&T recently announced that they'd be expanding their U-Verse footprint from 24.5 million homes to 33 million, though the company used some fuzzy math to make the expansion seem much larger than it was
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..
A prodigious patent troll is now taking aim at ISPs large and small, hoping to extract cash from ISPs for simply using DSL gear. According to numerous court filings
, a company by the name of Brandywine Communications Technologies is on a suing spree, claiming that numerous ISPs have violated seven different DSL-related patent Brandywine claims to own.
The FCC has hired a new chief economist with a history of cheerleading broadband usage caps for the cable industry. According to the FCC, they've hired Steven Wildman, an economist and professor at Michigan State University, as the agency's new chief economist. story continues..
As we noted last month
, the Senate Judiciary Committee had been working on an update to the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 that would have strengthened consumer e-mail privacy protections, requiring that the government obtain a warrant before snooping user e-mail or remotely stored data (like cloud storage). It was a surprising direction for a government that has relentless pushed to eliminate all citizen privacy protections, so not too surprisingly the Amendment has been killed without explanation
Last month, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved an amendment attached to the Video Privacy Protection Act Amendments Act (which deals with publishing users Netflix information on Facebook pages) that would have required federal law enforcement to obtain a warrant before monitoring email or other data stored remotely (i.e., the cloud). The Senate was set to approve the video privacy bill along with the email amendment, which would have applied to a different law, the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act. But then senators decided for reasons unknown to drop the amendment.
Current law allows the government to sift through emails and other cloud data without a warrant provided the data has been stored for 180 days or more. However, with wiretaps installed at most large carriers
providing the government user communications in real time, it's believed that those laws are generally laughed at by intelligence services.
Back in February 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 reach consumers without hitting 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 that operates better with AT&T out of the way.
helpfully writes in to note that AT&T today launched LTE service if five additional cities as the company's deployment picks up pace. According to AT&T the company today launched LTE service in Green Bay, Wisconsin; Springfield, Massachusetts; Tucson, Arizona; Melbourne, Florida; and Oxford, Mississipi.
"White space" broadband, a technology that rides on the unlicensed spectrum freed by the migration to digital television, only recently got off the ground
and has significant potential promise as a new, inexpensive, long range niche wireless alternative. As such, wireless carriers like AT&T have been trying their best to kill it in the metaphorical cradle to prevent potential future competitors.
See update at bottom of post. AT&T has removed tools and functionality for some grandfathered unlimited data wireless users that allowed them to track and monitor their data consumption. story continues..
AT&T has yet again found itself at the bottom of the Consumer Reports rankings for wireless service, though there are hints that AT&T's LTE network could improve the company's fortunes. The latest rankings
, as usual buried behind a pay wall, surveyed 63,253 cellphone subscribers to get their impressions of their wireless carrier.
After previously saying they'd only back off of Facetime restrictions for some users, AT&T quietly this week started letting everyone -- including grandfathered unlimited iPhone users -- use the feature they paid for. Originally, AT&T only allowed users to use Facetime over Wi-Fi. story continues..
AT&T's recently announced DSL expansion
may not be all it was cracked up to be after closer examination. AT&T announced in a press release on November 7 that they'd be expanding their U-Verse coverage total from 24.5 million homes to 33 million, suggesting an additional 8.5 million new users.
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Recent news contributorsKarl Bode , telcodad