, the nation's largest deployment of municipal broadband service, has been turning heads for a wave of non-disclosure agreements they've made the mayors of the network's 11 partner cities sign. According to the Standard Examiner
, the NDAs require that Utopia partners remain quiet about a "possible major new partner and project." That partner isn't named, but the story calls said partner an "Internet giant."
After Google acquired the Provo, Utah municipal network
for a song, obvious speculation leads to wondering if Google would be interested in acquiring Utopia as well and integrating the two networks. Utopia executives recently penned an editorial
defending the NDAs from the usual assortment of opponents to taxpayer-funded telecom infrastructure:
Our discussions centered on the potential restructuring of the UTOPIA partnership along the lines of Google/Provo city, which could potentially bring huge benefits to our member cities. We understand why some might feel offended by such agreements; we certainly avoid them in general. But if critics will take the time to fully consider the circumstances, we believe they will understand that confidentiality at this very early stage is necessary for exploring such options.
Insisting that the partnership their keeping secret is "along the lines of Google/Provo city" could be a way to hint that it's Google without explicitly saying so in order to garner enthusiasm. Or the partner really may not be Google, and could be one of several companies exploring limited gigabit deployments (AT&T, CenturyLink, C Spire, Sonic.net).
One problem with Google as an owner or partner in Utopia would be open access. Utopia currently runs as an open access network, with ISPs invited to come in and compete over the infrastructure (several now offering 1 Gbps lines for around $70). Google in contrast, while they original insisted they were interested in running an open access network, strayed from those ideals
as Google Fiber slowly came to fruition.
A rather amazing story has bubbled up over the last week after half of the onion sites in the TOR
network were compromised, revealing the supposedly anonymous identities of Tor users. Malware popped up last Sunday morning on numerous sites hosted by anonymous hosting operation Freedom Hosting, the code exploiting a critical memory management vulnerability in Firefox (see the Tor security advisory
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.
by Revcb 06:41PM Wednesday Dec 14 2011
by Revcb 07:12PM Wednesday Aug 24 2011
by Revcb 07:17AM Wednesday Mar 30 2011
For as long as we've been in operation there have been several rumors that just never seem to die -- and AT&T's supposed interest in buying either DirecTV or Dish Network is one of them. Rumors of an AT&T acquisition of then-named Echostar got particularly hot in 2007, though like previous rumors nothing every materialized
. Fast forward to 2011 and Credit Suisse analyst Jonathan Chaplin is doing his best to bring the undead back to life -- insisting in a report that Dish's "assets are so appealing, that AT&T could bid for DISH again." Among those assets are 14.3 million video customers and significant wireless spectrum, including new spectrum just acquired in their acquisition of DBSD
. Keep in mind that as our exclusive leaked photos from last year
suggest (confirmed by a loose lipped executive
) DirecTV is testing an LTE-based home-broadband service in conjunction with Verizon, so Dish might want to partner with AT&T on a residential rural LTE bundle, but an outright AT&T buy of Dish is probably about as likely as it was in 2007.
by Revcb 08:16AM Thursday Sep 30 2010
by Revcb 08:14AM Thursday Sep 23 2010
by Revcb 09:19AM Thursday Sep 02 2010
Back in 2008, Charter CTO Marwan Fawaz told attendees of the CableNEXT conference in Santa Clara that "eventually, we will go to a usage-based solution." In February of last year, we reported
how Charter planned to impose a 100GB cap upon any Charter connection of 15Mbps or less, and a 250GB usage cap for broadband tiers "over 15 Mbps up to 25 Mbps." Charter's Eric Ketzer subsequently confirmed the plans
, while noting that their $150, 60 Mbps DOCSIS 3.0 tier wouldn't have a cap.
We have no plans to introduce metered billing...we have not enforced and do not have plans to enforce (caps).
But instead of new caps, Charter fell into bankruptcy. Still, even as recently as last November now-departed CEO Neil Smit stated that Charter would be considering "consumption based billing" once they emerged.
However, there have been no announcements concerning a migration to metered billing, nor has the company been enforcing their caps, according to users in our forums.
For years the rumor has floated out there that either Verizon or AT&T would buy DirecTV in order to have direct control of the company's satellite TV operations. Sometimes these rumors are based in conjecture, but more often than not they're based on nothing whatsoever
. With DirecTV prepared to get a new CEO (their last CEO just departed to be Rupert Murdoch's right-hand man at News Corp.), the rumors are apparently bubbling up once again. According to Reuters
, representatives from both AT&T and Verizon have
approached Liberty Media over the last few years about a sale, and the outlet cites sources who believe new CEO Michael White is little more than a "babysitter" until this endlessly-rumored deal can be accomplished.
As it stands, the fastest tier AT&T offers is the company's "Max" 18Mbps/1.5Mbps U-Verse tier, which costs $65 a month as part of a TV bundle. We're now seeing rumblings in our forums
that the carrier may unveil a $75, 24Mbps downstream 2Mbps upstream tier in the middle of August.
An insider at Comcast tells us the company will soon be dropping the price on their rather pricey 50Mbps/10Mps tier, which currently costs $139.95 a month. Additional documentation obtained by Broadband Reports seemingly confirm the price cuts -- at least in California. story continues..
writes in to note that Chatter
on AT&T's U-verse forum suggests that the company is cooking up a new, 18mbps tier they'll offer U-verse customers this November. At least one member in our forums here says they've been offered the new tier by an AT&T salesperson
. In both cases, it has been suggested that it will be priced at $10 more than AT&T's "Max" tier, which would put it at $65 per month.
Last week an insider told me
that in addition to the $150, 50Mbps/5Mbps tier Comcast is deploying in DOCSIS 3.0 upgraded regions, the cable company is planning on unveiling a slower, 22Mbps/5Mbps tier as well. While Comcast will never officially comment on unreleased products, posts to our Comcast forums
seem to confirm the upcoming tier, and suggest it will be priced at $62.95 a month.
Cable operator Wide Open West (WOW) offers service in portions of Colorado, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan and Illinois, but hasn't upgraded their top speed tier (for most customers that's 6Mbps
) for going on three years now. However, industry gossip seems to indicate that a 15Mbs/2Mbps tier is currently in testing, and some customers have been told that unofficially, the new tiers are scheduled to drop this fall. Officially, WOW isn't yet willing to publicly comment on the new speeds (fairly common practice until launch). Currently, the fastest standalone broadband service WOW offers is 6Mbps/1Mbps for $63.99.
by KathrynV 10:58AM Saturday Jul 26 2008
Earlier this month, FCC Chief Kevin Martin announced
that he believes Comcast should be punished for the actions that they have taken to throttle P2P traffic. That punishment is pending agreement from the other FCC commissioners which won’t be official until August 1st. However, rumors
indicate that a majority of the members intend to vote in favor of punishing the company.
Even if punishment is approved when the official vote is announced, the result will probably not be too damaging to Comcast – a slap on the wrist
and the requirement that they make changes they’ve already agreed to make (more consumer disclosure about network management practices, for example). But the decision would set precedent
and could have a more widespread impact on future violations.
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