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The other day we noted how Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam insisted that the "most important" thing that people needed to understand when talking about net neutrality was that heavy users should pay Verizon more. As we noted at the time
, the idea that heavy users must pay more -- or that there's some kind of pay inequity in place despite the fact that everybody
pays a lot for bandwidth already -- is the cornerstone of justifying low usage caps and per-byte fees, which until now aren't being imposed on FiOS.
Not helping Verizon's case any, Verizon spokesman Edward S. McFadden told the Huffington Post
yesterday that "some who stream a lot of movies and use data-intensive applications may pay a bit more." While I think
Verizon was largely talking about recent Netflix peering developments
, many took the comments to mean usage caps would be reaching FiOS any day now.
Verizon has since reached out to me to insist they have no intention of imposing usage caps on FiOS for the time being. In addition, McFadden posted a blog entry
reiterating that FiOS won't be capped:
Verizon’s fiber to the home high-speed broadband network, FiOS, doesn’t cap usage in any way. But I noted that, in general, the usage-based pricing model also already is in use nowadays. As an example, I noted: “But as you know, wireless customers already pay for the data they use.
In June of last year Comcast announced
that the company was launching a new, Fon-like effort that involved new router firmware that turns your gateway into a publicly-accessible hotspot. More specifically, update routers would now offer two signals: one being yours, and the other being a "xfinitywifi" SSID signal providing free Wi-Fi to other Comcast users in your general area.
To get their acquisition of NBC approved by regulators, Comcast proposed a merger condition requiring they provide $10, 1.5 Mbps broadband to all of the homes that qualify for the National School Lunch Program. This "Internet Essentials" program has seen significant criticism
(and even some protests in Philly
) over the years for being a bit of a public relations show pony, with people complaining Comcast intentionally made the program cumbersome and difficult to qualify for.
Who are you? What do you do? Where are you going? Tell us in the comment section below. If you're just not sure, make something up.
As Karl Bode noted last month
, Google’s installation of a telecom cabinet in the middle of a sidewalk caused a bit of an issue with residents of Kansas City, MO. Now, others seem to be having similar issues with the installation of Google fiber boxes.
A new survey of US consumers has found that one in ten Americans think that html is some type of sexually-transmitted disease
. The full survey results
of the 2,392 adults polled is a real treat, noting that 29% thought a migraine was a type of rice, 42% thought a motherboard was a type of deck on a cruise ship, and 23% thought an MP3 was a "type of Star Wars robot."
15% thought that software was a type of especially comfortable clothing.
Speaking at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference today, AT&T CEO Randal Stephenson stated that the company will be launching their 1 Gbps "Gigapower" U-Verse tier somewhere in the Dallas area starting this summer. AT&T's Gigapower service currently only exists in select portions of Austin, providing users with speeds of 300 Mbps. story continues..
Comcast has quite a chore ahead of it in order to gain regulatory approval, given concerns about vertical integration, overall reach and concentrated market power when it comes to content licensing. One of the ideas being considered as a merger condition would be to spin off some of the acquired customers into an entirely new company. story continues..
The Center for Disease Control has long been an excellent source of statistics on cell phone and POTS usage, since they collect that data to maintain accurate polling statistical information (in large part because those with no landlines trend younger). The latest data from the CDC
(pdf) indicates that nearly 40% of American homes rely solely on wireless phones.
Sprint's new ownership by SoftBank hasn't born much fruit yet here early on, with Sprint continuing to flounder in most speed, latency and consumer satisfaction studies, while playing second fiddle to T-Mobile's recent bout of aggressive pricing promotions. But SoftBank boss Masayoshi Son has taken aggressive steps to shore up what the Japanese industry titan has declared is a "loser" mentality at the company. story continues..
Late last month we noted how
Google Fiber had announced they were working with 34 cities in nine regions on how to best prepare themselves for faster fiber broadband. While the press generally misread the announcement as saying that these cities would be getting Google Fiber, it seems like only one or two actually will by the time this new initiative is over.
A report in the Wall Street Journal
notes that Dish has struck a deal with ABC to prohibit users from using their Hopper ad-skipping technology on ABC content until three days after new episodes air. In exchange, the report claims, ABC will drop its ongoing lawsuit against Dish.
Speaking at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference this week, Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam again reiterated that Verizon is interested in offering an "over the top" Internet video service outside of the company's traditional FiOS and DSL footprint. According to McAdam, the company continues to be in talks with broadcasters, and the over the top option could be delivered to both fixed-line and mobile customers. story continues..
Netflix isn't available in Australia yet, either because the smaller market isn't large enough to take priority in Netflix's international expansion efforts, or because the company can't secure licensing agreements with Australian broadcasters. Consumers aren't waiting; a growing number of Australians are using VPNs to dodge region restrictions so they can pay Netflix for content while living Down Under, a trend that's starting to make both broadcasters and Australian Netflix competitors uncomfortable
Verizon today announced a new promotion that delivers new savings for users willing to bundle FiOS with Verizon Wireless service. According to a company announcement
, the new promotion, dubbed Double Up
, can save customers who buy both FiOS and wireless services $20 per month ($480 over two years).
Most of you are smart enough to check out your potential new home's broadband options before moving. As such it's not too surprising to see UK Property search website Rightmove claim that data they've collected indicates that slow or nonexistent broadband options can obviously kill a sale, but slow broadband can erode the value of a home by as much as 20%
. The website, which has started including broadband speed trackers next to home listings, note that a survey of 3,000 people found the majority of them were more interested in fast broadband than they were local school and transportation options.
While AT&T has been winning most of the recent LTE speed tests
, T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray has recently been promising that will soon change. The company is in the process of migrating to 2x10MHz channels to speed up LTE connectivity, and early indications were that they were starting to nip at AT&T's heels in terms of speed, after spending the last few months hitting AT&T in terms of pricing.
As Aereo's April 22 showdown with broadcasters at the Supreme Court looms, broadcasters got some significant if not unsurprising support in the form of the United States government. In a Supreme Court filing
(pdf) made by the Justice Department, the agency states their opinion that Aereo's OTA technology still violates copyright, while arguing Aereo can be defeated without impacting the fate of other technologies, like Cablevision's cloud DVR. "A decision rejecting [Aereo’s] infringing business model and reversing the judgment below need not call into question the legitimacy of innovative technologies that allow consumers to use the Internet to store, hear, and view their own lawfully acquired copies of copyrighted works," the Justice Department said.
Roku has officially announced the new $50 Roku Streaming Stick, which the company hopes will more directly compete with Google's $35 Chromecast Internet TV device. According to the company website
features an HDMI port on one end and a micro-USB port on the other, allowing inexpensive access to most of the content and channels made available on Roku's larger devices.
For years now, the UK government has given lectures on Internet morality whenever and however possible, forcing ISPs there to implement pornography filters that force broadband users to opt out, frequently filter entirely legitimate websites
, and can usually be bypassed by anyone with a modicum of technical know how. With that going so well, conversations are now currently underway in the to extend the porn filters to include government-determined "extremist content."
Given this righteous attempt to legislate morality, it's a bit ironic then that a scandal has broken out in the UK after Patrick Rock, a top aide to Prime Minister David Cameron and a chief architect of the country's porn filters, was arrested for possession of child pornography
HBO has announced that they continue to expand availability of their HBO Go streaming effort, which is this week being made available on the Sony Playstation 3
. However, once again highlighting the fractured and often annoying tendency of content agreements and the "TV Everywhere" approach, Comcast users won't be able to use the new functionality.
It appears that Deutsche Telekom is heeding warnings that the company's attempted sale of T-Mobile to SoftBank/Sprint would have a tough time getting past regulators. Deutsche Telekom CEO Timotheus Hoettges told directors yesterday that a sale of T-Mobile is "less likely in the near term" because of steep regulatory opposition
While selling its 67 percent holding in the fourth-largest U.S. wireless operator to SoftBank remains the preferred option, Bonn-based Deutsche Telekom is open to alternatives, said the people. Options include selling a part of the stake on the market, they said.
DT has long been eager to exit the states and sell their 67% stake in T-Mobile, but regulators worry a sale to Sprint would lessen competition at a time when T-Mobile is only just starting to make waves in wireless sector policies and pricing. About a month ago SoftBank stated they'd decide in weeks whether to keep pushing for a deal
, but every indication is they won't "pull an AT&T" and try and bully and bluff the deal through.
Dozens of people have sent in this new satirical ad
(please don't watch if adult language offends you) where a faux Comcast explains in clear detail just how little they care about you. Also explained by the company is their thoughts on their negative opinions many have about their proposed $45 billion merger with Time Warner Cable. The ad has been making the rounds the last four days, and apparently even DirecTV found it amusing if this Tweet
is any indication.
Viacom, NBCUniversal and ESPN are getting hit with a $1.9 million fine for using the emergency broadcast tone in advertising for their 2013 movie, "Olympus Has Fallen." The trailer in question
uses the tones briefly at the beginning, alongside banners like "this is not a drill," and "this is not a test." While it's pretty clear most people wouldn't confuse the trailer with an actual emergency warning, it's also pretty clear that the FCC is nipping the practice in the bud to prevent confusion from happening down the road
"Frivolous, casual, or other uses of EAS Tones for reasons other than their defined purpose can desensitize viewers to the tones and thereby undermine the effectiveness of the system in the event of an actual emergency,” the FCC said in its complaint. “Although admitting their inclusion of actual EAS Tones in commercials transmitted in their programming, the companies have questioned their liability under the Act and the Commission’s rules."
Viacom and ESPN say they've modified their advertising standards to prohibit the use of emergency warnings.
The country's top antitrust official, Bill Baer, will be recused from reviewing Comcast's proposed $45 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable, reports Reuters
. Baer represented NBC Universal owner, General Electric, when Comcast successfully acquired NBC Universal back in 2011. Leading the antitrust review will be Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Renata Hesse and Deputy Assistant Attorney General David Gelfand. Renata Hesse was the FCC's top antitrust official during the review of the AT&T's rejected attempted takeover of T-Mobile.
Just a few years ago, Nielsen proclaimed that the idea of TV cord cutting in favor of Internet video alternatives was "purely fiction." Subsequent Nielsen reports have often quite adorably gone out of their way
to downplay cord cutters to make TV executives (who want things to remain precisely as they are) happy.
All that time Nielsen, a company tasked with tracking TV viewing habits
didn't see fit to actually track Internet video viewers, making them probably the last organization one should ask regarding television's evolution.
A new study by wireless performance measurement firm Rootmetrics has declared that while AT&T has the fastest network across the country, Verizon has the most reliable. According to the company's findings
for the second half of 2013, Verizon took the top overall performance spot with an overall score of 89.7, which factored in speed and reliability data for data, text messaging, and voice.
Verizon today announced that the company is making a few tweaks to their prepaid data options, in the process providing users with roll over data. According to the Verizon announcement
, the company's new "AllSet" prepaid pricing plans lower prices, but also lower the data allotments of their previous prepaid offerings.
If you didn't know, Netflix's content selection continues to loom over other streaming options from the likes of Hulu and Amazon. LifeHacker
has crafted a simple diagram highlighting which content is available on what service, and Netflix comes out clearly on top when it comes to TV show availability (they've offered up the raw data, with a much longer list of what's available where, here
Customers already didn't like Comcast or Time Warner Cable very much according to most consumer satisfaction studies, where the two companies usually fall toward the bottom of the rankings. Now those reputations have become worse as consumers worry about the impact of the two companies' $45 billion merger. story continues..
TechCrunch story continues..
is the first to report that Facebook is preparing to purchase drone manufacturer Titan Aerospace for $60 million. The deal is being struck as part of Facebook's Internet.org effort
, which explores ways to bring broadband access to developing nations like Africa.
As we noted yesterday
, Dish has struck a new deal with ABC that would limit the ad-skipping functionality on their Hopper DVR, in exchange for broader licensing for an over the top video service. Speaking to Bloomberg
Dish Dave Shull says the company is still hashing out pricing detail, though an anonymous source tells the outlet the service could likely run around $20-$30 a month.
Dish can strike enough additional deals to flesh out the service's catalog, something that's no easy feat as the endless row of similar, failed efforts can attest. "We think there is a group of individuals, 18-to-34-year-olds, who would love to have a lower-cost product with some of the top content out there," Shull said. "That’s who we’ll be targeting."
Our belated attempt to build a nationwide emergency LTE network has already faced criticism
due to board members' close ties to wireless carriers; the organizations investigation of itself
not exactly eliminating those concerns. That was followed up with concerns about potential budget shortfalls
, with insiders concerned the $7 billion doled out to the program may not be anywhere near enough.
By this point, most of us are familiar with the concept of COWs
, or cellular towers on wheels. They're usually brought in either during major events like the Superbowl -- or during natural disasters to quickly shore up cellular infrastructure.
Earlier this week Dish struck an agreement with ABC
that would disable ad-skipping on Dish's Hopper DVR for three days when viewing ABC content. In exchange, ABC agreed to back off a lawsuit claiming the DVR's ad-skipping technology violated copyright, in addition to giving Dish a broader licensing agreement that could open up the possibility of a Dish over-the-air Internet video service.
by Revcb 08:50AM Thursday Mar 06 2014
Virgin Media, one of the UK’s biggest broadband providers, has rolled out a huge, and completely free, broadband speed increase to their customers. The internet service provider’s packages have been boosted by up to 66%, as follows (see also, Virgin site
•Up to 30Mb now up to 50Mb
•Up to 50Mb now up to 100Mb
•Up to 100Mb now up to 152Mb
The increase allows Virgin Media to steam far ahead of their main rival, BT, which is building a fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) network throughout the UK.
by Revcb 08:43AM Friday Mar 07 2014
by Revcb 07:01AM Tuesday Mar 04 2014
by Revcb 07:35AM Monday Mar 03 2014
by Revcb 08:07AM Wednesday Mar 05 2014