News tagged: AT&T U-Verse
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While there's absolutely no doubt that Google Fiber has been a positive thing for the industry, critics have singled out two problems with Google's ultra-fast offering. One, the company backed off of open access promises
that would have allowed multiple companies to come in and truly compete over the infrastructure. Two, whereas old franchise models aimed for uniformity (the very reason many of you even have cable at this moment) Google's deployment model heavily celebrates cherry picking, or only deploying services to the most profitable areas.
Google countered this somewhat early on in Kansas City with Google Fiber "rallies
" determined to help the community decide which areas got service first. Still, it soon became clear that lower-income communities still found themselves lagging
for attention, with wealthier neighborhoods doing things like hiring their door to door salesmen to improve their chances. It's just a variation on the same problem of selective deployment.
For obvious reasons AT&T clearly loves cherry picking, CEO Randall Stephenson telling investors this week
that they'd just love to offer 1 Gbps to people, but government requirements make that impossible (not true, but more on that later). Stephenson also argued that now that Google has made cherry picking more acceptable, deployment of 1 Gbps lines nationwide will surely pick up speed:
"I think you are going to see that begin to manifest itself around the United States, and in not just AT&T and Google, Stephenson said.
ISPs including AT&T, Cox, Bright House and Verizon have filed an appeal
in their ongoing battle against porn copyright troll AF Holdings. AF Holdings has accused 1,058 broadband users of illegally sharing adult movies on BitTorrent, and last year won their initial legal attempt to force the ISPs to hand over the identities behind those IP addresses.
A few weeks back, in response to Google Fiber, AT&T announced a plan for fiber to the press release in Austin
. That is, the company issued a very weaselly-worded statement claiming they were "prepared to build" an "advanced fiber optic infrastructure" technically capable of 1 Gbps if
they saw the precise perks they wanted from regional regulators.
While AT&T took the cheaper route when upgrading portions of their network to fiber to the node, the company has historically offered fiber to the home to a few locations (less than a few hundred thousand), primarily in upscale housing developments. While those lines are capable of significantly higher speeds, AT&T has traditionally capped those users at the same speed as other U-Verse users. story continues..
In the apparent hopes of reducing the PR impact of today's Google Fiber in Austin announcement
, AT&T has decided their best tactic is to play a little make believe. In traditional AT&T fashion, a company press release
picks its words very carefully, insisting that AT&T is "prepared" to offer "an advanced fiber optic infrastructure" capable of 1 Gbps, which is like totally
the same thing as offering 1 Gbps residential lines for $70 a month, right?
Like Time Warner Cable
, AT&T's press release very much wants the press and public to conflate their ability to offer 1 Gbps over the core network (and to businesses for a small fortune) with offering 1 Gbps lines inexpensively to consumers and businesses alike.
Back in May of 2011 we were the first to exclusively report
that AT&T would be imposing usage caps on the company's DSL and U-Verse users. Users were told DSL users would see a cap of 150 GB a month and U-Verse users would see a cap of 250 GB a month -- with both sets of users paying $10 for every additional 50 GB of data they use.
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.
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.
Verizon and AT&T want to get out of maintaining or upgrading the tens of millions of DSL users so they can focus on wireless, a move that makes obvious business sense from their perspectives. Verizon Wireless isn't unionized, so Verizon gets rid of union headaches. story continues..
After several significant delays, the entertainment industry and most of the nation's largest ISPs are set to launch their "six strikes" graduated response anti-piracy efforts starting today. Sources familiar with the plan timetable have told both Daily Dot
and Torrent Freak
that six strikes starts today, and a new Center for Copyright Information website
run by the entertainment industry appears to have been freshly launched for the occasion (see new video, below).
On the heels of new rate hikes, AT&T is informing U-Verse users that they'll also be seeing several new fees on their broadband and TV bills. Several users have told me they received no advance notice of these fees whatsoever -- they simply appeared on user bills (AT&T tells me users were notified of the price hikes in November and December). story continues..
Back in 2011 the FCC began collecting real-world user broadband data from customized routers, then issuing reports on which ISPs were failing to deliver advertised speeds. It's one of the few FCC policies in recent years that has truly paid dividends for consumers. story continues..
If you happen to live in an area that has what passes for United States broadband competition, you're probably all too aware of the massive load of junk mail you get from carriers. Here in New York, you could probably build an entire second home out of the junk mail received from Cablevision, Comcast and Verizon, as the three companies engage in bundle promotion battles.
One Consumerist reader decided to save and photograph an entire year of AT&T U-Verse junk mail
, and the results are very impressive.
Where we live the variety of marketing pitches is always fun, ranging from shiny flyers to official-looking documents that proclaim to be time sensitive and require you carefully rip off each end -- only to deliver more triple play spam.
It has been about half a decade now that I've been pointing out that most of the meters used by ISPs to track and bill consumers for usage aren't accurate. Customers of Canadian cable operator Cogeco have long complained the company's meter is inaccurate when users can load it at all
, and every so often the meter simply goes mad -- like last Spring when the meter was horribly confused by leap year
Over the last few years Microsoft, Comcast and Verizon have all filed patents for DVR technology
that would monitor people in your living room to deliver more suitable ads. An embedded DVR camera would, for example, notice if you have a dog and then deliver more pet care product advertisements.
While AT&T is promising that 250 million potential customers will be covered by the 4G technology by the end of the year, the company remains intentionally vague about U-Verse build out goals. AT&T recently announced a significant network expansion for both U-Verse and LTE, though as we noted at the time
the company used some flaky math to make the U-Verse portion of that expansion seem much larger than it actually is.
Both AT&T and Verizon are currently hanging up on tens of millions of DSL and copper POTS customers they don't want to upgrade, letting them either flee to cable competitors, or to their pricier and heavily capped LTE services. To achieve this dream however, the companies have to entirely dismantle the regulations overseeing most of these networks -- networks built with the help of tens-of-billions in taxpayer dollars and several generations of massive
tax breaks (quite often with few results to show for them
"U-verse service has been restored for the vast majority of our customers affected by the outage," AT&T tells Broadband Reports. As we've been tracking, numerous users in both the Southwest and Southeast have been without service since Monday after an AT&T DHCP server decided it had other aspirations. "We expect any remaining customer issues will be resolved this morning," says AT&T. "We will provide a credit to customers who were affected. We know our customers count on their U-verse service and we apologize for the inconvenience."
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Recent news contributorsKarl Bode , telcodad