T-Mobile continues to disrupt the sector on price, and its latest effort involves tweaking their Simple Choice plans even further. According to a company announcement
, data allotments on a lot of the plans, originally launched last fall, will be boosted while a few prices will be increased. The company's $50 a month LTE plan, for example, now offers unlimited voice, text and 1 GB of data -- up from 500 MB of data.
From there, users can bump their allotment to 3GB (up from 2.5 GB) for another $10, or 5 GB for another $20. The company says they're also offering a new unlimited LTE option that features 5 GB of tethering (up from 2.5 GB previously) for an extra $30 per month (up from $20 previously).
The chart to the left should help you sort it out. According to T-Mobile, roughly thirteen million of their users are currently signed up for Simple Choice plans.
In addition to larger bandwidth allotments, the plans also now include unlimited international texting from the United States to almost any country in the world.
Time Warner Cable has fired off an e-mail to the company's users to assure them that being acquired by Comcast will be in everyone's best interests. In the e-mail, embedded in its entirely below, new Time Warner Cable CEO Rob Marcus (who stands to net more than $56 million personally from the deal
, should it be approved by regulators) claims that the new company will "innovate faster" and "deploy even better products and features, including a superior video guide, faster Broadband Internet speeds and even more WiFi access points so you can access the Internet wherever you go."
Dear Valued Customer:
Recently, Time Warner Cable announced plans to merge with Comcast, forming an industry-leading technology and media company dedicated to delivering great customer experiences.
Despite all the drama surrounding T-Mobile's price disruption, overall industry prices continue to rise, notes the Wall Street Journal
. While T-Mobile's moves may have had some positive impact on policies like early termination fees and contracts, overall prices aren't trending downward, and companies (including T-Mobile) are being very careful to avoid a price war.
Netflix has released the company's latest month rankings
of ISP Netflix streaming performance. Not too surprisingly, the results show that Comcast Netflix streaming performance has improved two spots after Comcast and Netflix last month struck a new interconnection agreement
that eliminated middlemen like Cogent Communications from their transit routes.
Responding to T-Mobile wireless pricing pressure, AT&T announced over the weekend that the company is dropping the price of its 2GB Mobile Share Value no-contract plan by $15, to $65 a month for customers with one or two lines. According to the company announcement
, as of Sunday one line with unlimited talk, text and 2 GB of data will cost $65, while two lines of unlimited talk, text and 2 GB of data will cost $90. It's only the latest volley in an ongoing AT&T, T-Mobile price battle that never would have happened had AT&T been allowed to buy the company.
70% of consumers have never heard of the 4K high definition TV standard, according to a new study by Leichtman Research Group
. Of the 30% who have heard of the higher-resolution standard, only about a third of those
has actually seen a 4K set. That said, expectation and awareness changes quickly, and awareness and ownership of 4K sets should rise dramatically as prices begin to fall in line with more traditional high-definition televisions.
"Nearly 60% of TV sets used in US households are now HD sets, up from less than 20% just five years ago," notes Bruce Leichtman. Other notable bits from the study:
•88% with annual household incomes over $50,000 have an HDTV -- compared to 68% with household incomes under $50,000
•Among those getting HD programming from a cable, satellite, or Telco provider, the perceived mean number of channels of HD programming is 82 -- up from 42 five years ago
•28% of those who have seen a 4K Ultra HDTV are very interested in getting it, while 15% of all who have heard of 4K HDTV are very interested in getting it
•14% of households have a Smart TV set that is connected to the Internet, including 3% of households that have more than one connected Smart TV set -- connected Smart TVs account for about 7% of all television sets used in US households
•22% of all households purchased a TV set in the past 12 months -- an annual level that has been fairly consistent for the past decade.
Back in the middle of February US District Judge Dale Kimball of Utah issued an injunction
forcing live TV streaming operator Aereo to not only shut down existing operations in Denver and Salt Lake City, but blocking the company from expanding anywhere in Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, New Mexico, and Oklahoma. While Aereo managed to get a 14 day stay on the injunction
that time is now up, and the service went dark in Salt Lake City and Denver last Saturday morning.
There's really no doubt that Comcast has its tendrils in deep when it comes to lobbying for approval of their $45 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable. The revolving door helps; former FCC boss Michael Powell now heads the NCTA, the cable industry's largest lobbying group. story continues..
HBO's popular crime series "True Detective" appears to have broken the company's online streaming service. "Due to overwhelmingly popular demand for #TrueDetective, we've been made aware of an issue affecting some users," stated HBO's Twitter account
last night as users tried to watch the television show online.
Sprint Chairman and SoftBank boss Masayoshi Son doesn't seem prepared to take no for an answer. The Japanese cellular titan insists he'd still like to see Sprint buy T-Mobile
, even if every indication coming from regulators so far suggests that a deal wouldn't be approved.
RCN has announced that the company is significantly boosting upstream broadband speeds for most of the company's users. According to a company announcement
, the upgrades should already be live for most users -- though you may need to reboot your modem to see them. The latest bump:
•25Mbps Customers – from 2Mbps to 4Mbps upload
•50Mbps Customers – from 5Mbps to 10Mbps upload
•75Mbps Customers – from 10Mbps to 15Mbps upload
A new report by the General Accounting Office
(pdf) (GAO) found that in areas where the government invested stimulus dollars to shore up middle and last mile infrastructure, businesses were unsurprisingly able to receive faster and less expensive broadband than elsewhere.
The funds, which have been delivered via the FCC, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration and the Rural Utilities Service, often shore up infrastructure in places where private investment has stalled, either due to a lack of competition or rural deployment challenges.
Back in December we noted
that a software bug in the Xbox One game console prevented Comcast users from using the console's Wi-Fi connection -- if they were connected via IPv6. According to a Comcast blog entry
(via Multichannel News
), the companies have squashed the bug. The software glitch only impacted Arris-made XB2 (TG852/TG862) integrated wireless DOCSIS 3.0 gateways that were operating in Comcast areas where IPv6 had been enabled. "Comcast and Microsoft have collaborated closely since this issue was discovered and are happy to report that this issue has been resolved," Comcast states.
by Revcb 07:34AM Monday Mar 10 2014
by Revcb 06:46AM Tuesday Mar 11 2014
Google today announced
that they're expanding sign ups for Google Fiber in the Kansas City area. According to the company, residents in south Kansas City, Kansas City north, Grandview, Raytown and Gladstone can now sign up for the 1 Gbps service
. "We plan to start hooking up homes in these fiberhoods a few weeks after their deadlines, and expect to have all qualified fiberhoods connected by the end of this year," stated Google. "We are also extending this opportunity to the 21 fiberhoods in central KCMO and KCK that didn’t qualify for Google Fiber in 2012; these fiberhoods will have until June 19 to tell us they want Fiber."
AT&T has been chosen to power the in-car LTE service now being integrated by Audi, and the privilege of the data integration won't be cheap. According to an Audi announcement
(via The Verge
), the plans will be "competitively priced" at $100 for six months of LTE connectivity or a data cap of 5 GB, or $500 for 30 months of connectivity or a data cap of 30 GB.