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Confirming rumors that began bubbling forth earlier this week
, Google today confirmed that Charlotte, Raleigh Durham, Atlanta, and Nashville will be the next deployment locations for the company's speedy Google Fiber service. According to a Google blog post
, the company is also still considering potential deployment to Phoenix, Portland, Salt Lake City, San Antonio and San Jose.
Pricing has yet to be announced, but you can be fairly certain it will be the same we've seen in Austin, Kansas City and Provo.
$70 a month nets you a symmetrical 1 Gbps connection, while $120 a month nets you a symmetrical 1 Gbps connection and TV service. Users also have the option of a free 5 Mbps tier if they're willing to pay a $300 installation fee (which can be paid in installments).
"Our next step is to work with cities to create a detailed map of where we can put our thousands of miles of fiber, using existing infrastructure such as utility poles and underground conduit, and making sure to avoid things like gas and water lines," said Google.
From there, Google surveyors and engineers will hit the street to analyze these cities further, after which the company says it will design the network (something they say will take a few months) before beginning construction. As with other Google Fiber locations the company will hold "fiberhood" rallies to determine which ares will see construction first.
With the exception of major city franchise obligations (and even those have lots of wiggle room
), Verizon all but ended their FiOS expansion plans around five years ago. With so many un-served cities still begging to be upgraded Verizon continually has to remind folks that they're simply not interested in upgrading their fixed line networks any more.
AT&T will likely have a hard time crying spectrum poverty after reports suggest the company gleaned the lion's share of spectrum at the AWS-3 spectrum auction. The auction tallied more than $45 billion in proceeds for the federal government, and estimates analyzing AT&T's financial moves suggest that AT&T alone may have spent between $20 and $22 billion
. One analyst firm AT&T likely purcharsed the J Block ($18.2 billion) and part of the G Block ($2.6 billion); while Verizon purchased the H Block ($8.4 billion) and I Block ($8.4 billion); With T-Mobile nabbing 30% of the G Block ($2.2 billion) and Dish nabbing the 15 MHz of unpaired uplink spectrum (for around $2 billion)."
Last Friday we reported
how indications are that Google was getting ready to announce new Google Fiber build locations in Charlotte and Raleigh. Now additional reports suggest that up to four new Google Fiber cities may be announced as soon as tomorrow.
HughesNet today announced new satellite broadband plans the company claims will usher in "a new generation of performance-enhancing innovations in downloading, browsing and data usage management." According to the company announcement
, the new plans come alongside an improvement to the company's SmartFetch and SmartCompression technologies that try to create the impression of faster speeds.
The company appears so proud of their new plan specifics and pricing, they've hidden them behind a prequal wall
Like many outlets I was given an early look at Dish's new Sling TV streaming video service, which the company announced back at CES
. The service won several awards at the show, and it's an the vanguard at a slew of offerings scheduled to be released in 2015 that finally appear ready to challenge the traditional cable TV paradigm.
Cablevision this week jumped face-first into the Wi-Fi calling pool, unveiling a new service they're calling "Freewheel." According to the Freewheel website
, the service will offer non-Cablevision users unlimited data, texts and voice for $30 a month starting in February. If you're a Cablevision customer, that price tag falls to $10 a month.
We've noted how
the FCC has been working hard to increase the minimum definition of broadband from 4 Mbps down, 1 Mbps up to 25 Mbps down to 3 Mbps up. As part of that push the agency has been making the rounds noting how roughly two-thirds of American households don't have more than one choice at speeds above 25 Mbps.
A new survey of Computer World readers
suggests that T-Mobile is making huge strides in customer satisfaction thanks to the company's "uncarrier" efforts. Verizon usually sits on top of most surveys when it comes to overall satisfaction, and does so again here with 69% of Verizon customers satisfied (compared to 67% for AT&T, 54% for T-Mobile, and 39% for Sprint).
While this is sadly the status quo for most companies in most industries, The Verge
does a good job in a report highlighting how Comcast has been ghost writing letters for politicians expressing gushing support for their merger with Time Warner Cable. Comcast has been frequently crowing about the amount of support their merger enjoys, often forgetting to mention
that the lion's share of this support has to be paid for in some fashion.
Back in October we noted that Marriott agreed to pay a $600,000 fine to the FCC
for blocking user access to their own tethered phones or mobile hotspots, instead forcing convention center attendees to use Marriott's pricey Wi-Fi. At the time we noted how this was a pretty clear example of Marriott simply using technology in an uncompetitive fashion, though in filings since Marriott has attempted to argue they were only looking out for the welfare and security of their customers.
Last year, AT&T backed off their European expansion ambitions in part because European regulators weren't thrilled with AT&T's ties to the Edward Snowden leaks
. Since then AT&T has shifted their attention to Mexico, buying Mexico's Iusacell for $2.5 billion
, giving AT&T domain over 400 million combined Mexico & U.S.
Last year, Frontier Communications CEO Maggie Wilderotter stated that people don't really need 1 Gbps, and that the 3 to 6 Mbps most of her customers can get was just fine for most people
. Last summer, trying to downplay the fact said 3-6 Mbps is painfully uncompetitive, Wilderotter called Google Fiber "hype" that "confuses customers
," and that even talking about 1 Gbps services was something that was "disrespectful" to the customer base.
The FCC this week announced
that Verizon will be paying $5 million to settle an investigation into the company's failure to investigate and repair rural phone call completion issues. According to an FCC investigation, Verizon failed to respond to a spike in call completion complaints during a several month stretch in 2013. Verizon has agreed to pay a $2 million fine, and spend another $3 million on shoring up the company's internal reporting systems. Verizon has increasingly been looking to offload rural POTS and DSL users it's not interested in upgrading, and this effort frequently involves trying to pretend these users (or the employees that support them) exist
Rumors had existed for years that Google was planning to get into wireless service, though last week Google's plans to launch an MVNO became notably more solid
. What we know so far: Code named "Nova," Google's MVNO will have a heavy emphasis on free Wi-Fi calling and will use both the Sprint and T-Mobile networks.
by Revcb 07:32AM Tuesday Jan 27 2015
by Revcb 06:51AM Monday Jan 26 2015
by Revcb 06:35AM Wednesday Jan 28 2015