ISPs which in the past had historically improved in Netflix performance
because of faster speeds, are now finding themselves falling in Netflix's new monthly streaming ISP rankings
because they're not signing up for Netflix's CDN network. As noted recently
, Netflix stated they'd start offering users "Super HD" and 3D streams -- if
their ISP signed up for Netflix's new Open Connect Content Delivery Network.
As expected many bigger ISPs, most of whom have had neutrality fights with Netflix previously, have not agreed to Netflix's demand for special CDN treatment (AT&T, Comcast, Verizon, Time Warner Cable, Charter, Brighthouse, etc) and are dropping more and more in the Netflix ratings each month.
ISPs who agreed to sign up (Cablevision, Suddenlink, and obviously Cox) have seen miraculously huge gains. ISPs like Comcast and FiOS have even seen their overall average delivery speeds rise, yet because they've balked at Netflix's proposal have fallen to eighth and sixth place, respectively.
Carriers like Time Warner Cable have complained
that Netflix is closing off access to content for their own benefit, hoping you'll ignore that this has been standard operating procedure for all of these companies for years
. Netflix has countered by insisting that signing up for the Netflix CDN is free, and ISPs like Sonic.net have told me
the process is not only free, but simple.
Amusingly, the Netflix blog post
doesn't even mention the dramatic impact refusing to sign up for Netflix's CDN will have on an ISPs ranking. Some carriers aren't seeing any movement in the rankings simply because they continue to struggle to deliver a quality connection. Throttled Clearwire service, as well as sluggish DSL lines from like likes of Verizon, AT&T, Frontier and Windstream, continue to stumble around the bottom of the rankings.
ISPs who want to watch their performance in the rankings magically soar can simply head here
As noted last week, Verizon is informing Sandy victims who've been waiting for seven months that they'll never have their DSL lines repaired
. Instead, users are being given Voice Link, a service that connects home phones to the Verizon Wireless network but has a few kinks and fails to offer data.
Google today announced a flurry of news at their I/O Conference
, and while the company did not unveil a new Nexus phone, they did announce a new "Google edition" of the Galaxy S4 that will be sold unlocked and comes running a stock version of Android 4.2. According to Google, the phone will feature the "Nexus Google experience" and benefit from quicker Android updates than you traditionally see from the major carriers (which wouldn't be hard).
According to a company insider, additional Verizon customers impacted by Sandy will soon be informed -- some seven months after the fact -- that they too will never have their DSL lines repaired. As we've seen in New York and New Jersey
, the telco is foisting a service upon those customers called "Voice Link," which connects user home phones to the Verizon wireless network.
As I've been discussing a lot lately
(because it's the most important issue facing the broadband sector right now), both AT&T and Verizon are in the process of gutting regulations that require they continue offering copper landlines -- and by proxy DSL -- to tens of millions of Americans. Both companies insist that they're simply interested in "modernizing regulations" and ushering us into an "all IP age." In reality, both companies simply want to exit the fixed-line market in areas they're unwilling to upgrade.
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.
The Justice Department is under fire for obtaining two months of telephone records for twenty different lines used by reporters and editors for The Associated Press. Said data included phone numbers, names, calls made, and potentially call duration. story continues..
While Verizon has been essentially kicking Sandy victims to the curb, Comcast says it's taking great lengths to get them up and running again. As we've been discussing
, Verizon has been going up and down the coast telling Sandy victims who've been waiting seven months for repairs that they'll never see their DSL lines restored.
As part of many announcements at Google's I/O Conference this week, Google announced that they would now be integrating video chat within Google Hangouts
across platforms and devices. Well, unless you use AT&T.
Back in March T-Mobile unveiled their new "uncarrier" strategy
, which included killing subsidies for smartphones and no contracts, alongside a more "no nonsense" business approach. In the case of the iPhone, users were offered the phone for a downpayment of $100, plus $20 a month for twenty-four months.
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.
For much of the last year, Verizon Wireless has been blocking Google Wallet
, claiming that its use of a device's "secure element" is what has prohibited them from letting consumers use the app. Numerous people have explained in great detail (including the lawyer that filed the original complaint with the FCC
) that this excuse is simply being used to keep Google Wallet permanently stuck in approval purgatory, while the wireless industry's own, competing Isis
platform sees no such restrictions.
Verizon today announced that they're increasing the usage allotments on the company's prepaid wireless offerings. According to the Verizon statement
, Verizon's $60 prepaid plan will offer users unlimited voice, texting and 2 GB of data per month -- up from the previous cap of 500 MB per month. Verizon's $70 plan will now provide users with unlimited voice, texting and 4 GB of data per month -- up from the previous cap or 2 GB per month. As noted previously, these plans are for EVDO connectivity, not LTE. According to Verizon Wireless this new pricing is available to existing customers now, and to new customers starting on June 6.
Back in February, after more than a year of delays, the entertainment and most major ISPs launched their "six strikes" anti-piracy initiative
. The program integrates warning letters with graduated response punishments that range from being temporarily blocked off from the Internet to having your connection throttled.
In late January, unlocking your cellphone technically became illegal
after the Librarian of Congress removed it from the DMCA exception list last year. It remains legal for you to jailbreak your phone, but you can't unlock it unless you get your carrier's permission.
Earlier this month John McCain put forth a new bill
that would tie a la carte to the compulsory license, and eliminate the sports blackout rule. Most interesting however is a provision that would require the FCC to auction the spectrum of a broadcaster who tried to move its must-have programming to cable.
It is very quickly becoming clear that if you want the FCC to avoid enforcing their network neutrality rules, all you have to do is throw some half-assed, vague-sounding technical jargon at the agency to bog them down in inactivity indefinitely. With yesterday's news that AT&T is blocking yet another video chat application
in order to drive users to more expensive data plans, it's rather clear that the FCC lacks the stomach to actually enforce the rules they designed.
Please deposit your funniest, most insightful and intelligent commentary into the receptacle provided below.
As we've noted previously
, Obama and intelligence/law enforcement agencies are working on a new domestic surveillance expansion plan that would fine ISPs and companies who don't cooperate with wiretap requests. The FBI and DOJ have spent the last year or so whining about the fact that despite all their immense (and often legally dubious) wiretapping powers, they're having a hard time accessing encrypted services.
Google this week announced over at the Google Fiber blog
that Google Fiber will be expanding further into Missouri. According to Google, the Gladstone, Missouri City Council has voted to let Google bring their symmetrical 1 Gbps broadband service and IPTV platform to the city. "As weve said before, it takes awhile to plan, engineer, and start building our network in new communities, so it will still be some time before we can hook up our Gladstone customers," says the company. The news comes on the heels of expansion announcements for Shawnee, Kansas, Austin, Texas, and Provo, Utah. The Google Fiber website
tracks which locations currently have Google Fiber, and which locations have expansions looming.
Last week reports emerged
that ESPN has at least been in talks to take AT&T up on their idea of cap-exempt content contracts. In short, AT&T has been pitching content companies on the idea of paying AT&T a toll that would allow users of their specific content to bypass user caps.
Earlier this week the government came under fire for hoovering up the personal call logs
of more than twenty lines belonging to the Associated Press. Initially Uncle Same claimed the snooping and violation of press rights was due to an immediate and pressing life-risking investigation, but as the week rolled on it became clear the government was simply embarrassed by internal leaks
and annoyed an AP story stole some public relations thunder.
As you've probably been noticing, the streaming video market is getting rather fragmented, with different programs getting different exclusive licenses
with different streaming providers, a problem that's likely going to get much worse before it gets better. As licenses expire and these exclusive contracts shift underfoot, it's also difficult to know when a program you'd like to stream will be available or expire.
Samsung this week turned heads by announcing that the company had discovered the "world's first 5G mmWave mobile technology." The new technology is capable of transmiting data in the millimeter-wave band at a frequency of 28 GHz at a speed of up to 1.056 Gbps to a distance of up to 2 kilometers. story continues..
The shorter wavelengths being used traditionally weren't thought to be useful for wireless transmissions -- but Samsung is overcoming those problems using array transceiver technology with 64 antenna elements to tackle the weaker propagation characteristics of millimeter-wave bands.
According to the New York Times
, ABC is preparing to let New York City and Philadelphia users stream local broadcast channels live via smartphones and tablets -- if they have a traditional cable connection. "We keep a very close eye on consumer demand," a Disney-ABC Television Group executive tells the paper. "We watch how people are behaving with their devices, and we really felt that we needed to move faster." The company's "live" button is a clear response to pressure from streaming OTA upstart Aereo, though it rather impressively takes the Times
until the twelfth paragraph to mention this. ABC and other broadcasters are suing to stop Aereo
for copyright violations, while threatening to yank their broadcast channels off the air if they lose their legal fight.
AT&T is pulling the plug on selling the HTC First (aka the "Facebook phone") after the device failed to interest consumers. An anonymous source at AT&T tells the Boy Genius Report
that the device is being discontinued by AT&T with all unsold stock being returned to HTC. Sales were so tepid that AT&T reduced the price to $0.99 just a month after the phone launched, and even that didn't attract buyers -- with just 15,000 units moved after the price cut around a week ago. It's unclear if the phone's rather mundane specs -- or the obnoxiously tight integration with Facebook -- were to blame for the phone's failings.
Time Warner today announced that the company's TBS and TNT channels would offer subscribers the option to stream live television on their tablets and iPads
-- but only if you subscribe to traditional cable TV. The news comes on the heels of a similar announcement from ABC
that they'd be trialing live streaming in New York City and Philadelphia. All of these announcements are of course in response to Aereo, who the broadcasters are trying to sue into oblivion. By offering their own streaming options -- even if tying them to existing cable subscriptions makes them immensely less appealing -- the studios can claim they're giving consumers what they want, even if with the other hand they're suing innovators out of existence.
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.
On the heels of yesterday's pricing changes
, broadcast streaming company Aereo has now announced that they'll soon be expanding into the Atlanta market on June 17. According to Aereo, the Atlanta market (their third launch area so far) technically covers some 5.3 million consumers in 55 counties across Georgia, Alabama and North Carolina. The Atlanta launch comes as Aereo this week prepares to launch the service in the Boston market, which technically covers some 4.5 million consumers in 16 counties across Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont.
In late 2011 after several delays, ViaSat finally launched their new KA-band satellite ViaSat 1, which allowed the company to finally start offering consumers some faster residential bandwidth speeds via the Exede brand. Now the company has announced
that they're hard at work on ViaSat 2, with plans to launch it sometime in the middle of 2016 (in satellite launch parlance, that means probably around 2018). According to ViaSat, the launch of ViaSat 2 will double their existing bandwidth capacity and expand coverage across much of North and Central America. While satellite broadband is still considered the black sheep of the broadband industry because of high prices, high latency and low caps, the faster speeds made availability by this added capacity has clearly been reflected in our user Exede reviews
by Revcb Wednesday 15-May-2013
Canadian wireless operator Telus today announced that the company would be buying smaller wireless competitor Mobilicity for $380 Million, the first of what's expected to be several similar deals. According to the Globe and Mail
, while Telus is looking for quick regulatory approval, the government has suggested they're not entirely thrilled with the erosion of competition and the accumulation of floundering upstart spectrum by incumbents. As for Mobilicity, they insist they looked high and low for other options before sleeping with the enemy. "We beat the bushes as far as they could possibly be beaten and as hard as they could possibly be beaten ... There was not a deal to be found with the other new entrants," said the company.
Canipre is a Canadian company that helps runs anti-piracy campaigns, and is helping Voltage Pictures in their efforts to extort money out of pirates using settlement-o-matic mass lawsuits. They've most recently been helping Voltage target easier marks like Canadian ISP TekSavvy
. As such, it's interesting to note that this week a company so concerned about propriety has been accused of using other people's photos on their website without proper attribution
. "Our collective goal is not to sue everybody...but to change the sense of entitlement that people have, regarding Internet-based theft of property," Canipre Director Barry Logan stated in a recent interview.
by Revcb Monday 13-May-2013
by Revcb Wednesday 15-May-2013
Amtrak has been offering Wi-Fi on board some of their trains for several years
(a full list is here
), though historically the quality of the connections have been ridiculed. Since earlier this year the company has been promising upgrades.
by Revcb Monday 13-May-2013
by Revcb Tuesday 14-May-2013
by Revcb Tuesday 14-May-2013