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22 May

Comcast® Begins Enrollment For Xfinity Internet

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Xfinity Internet Enrollment

Comcast Corporation®, one of the major internet providers in the country, has begun the enrollment for its Xfinity Internet customers. This new announcement comes after the company has launched its Xfinity Mobile service last month. In this, the data options consist of an unlimited offer according to a per-gigabyte plan. Comcast® is also offering an unlimited data plan that provides unlimited data, talk time, and text for just $45. This will be available for speeds about 1.5 Mbps for downloads and 750 Kbps for uploads with a 20 GB usage cap in a billing period.

After the end of the promotional period, the rate of this plan’s will increase to $65 per month. However, customers that have initially signed up for the $45 monthly rate would be provided with connectivity at the same rate for a period of two years. Yet again, the maintaining of this starting rate is subjected to the users keeping up their accounts and the Xfinity Internet subscription.

There are other plans offered by Comcast® as well, which are suited for customers who do not require unlimited data offers. The “By the Gig” offer by Comcast® is available for customers at a rate of $12 per GB consumed. Moreover, customers can also share this data across all the lines of their account while also allowing them to use the Xfinity Mobile app for monitoring their data usage.

For accessing the wireless cheap internet service, customers must have an Xfinity Internet account with them. It also allows customers who wish to cancel their internet service to have access to the wireless service for extra fees. One of the bonuses of the service is the $10 per month access fee that is added to the accounts of unlimited and “By the Gig” customers.

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For accessing the new features, customers have to resort to the newer model of phones. The “Bring Your Own Device” option is not yet established by Comcast® and is only offering through newer smartphone models like the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S8 and Apple’s iPhone 6s, 7, and SE. Comcast’s latest launch of their mobile services comes ahead of the new partnership announced with Charter.

However, the unlimited plan offered by Comcast® is much cheaper when compared to the unlimited offering from Verizon that is priced at $80 per month. Verizon is the main backup offering for LTE coverage for Xfinity Mobile’s hybrid Wi-Fi and cellular service.

22 May

AT&T® Expands Internet Capability To Jasper County

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Expanding Internet Capability

In the middle of many allegations, AT&T® has announced that selected rural areas in the Jasper County will now be able to access high-speed internet service via AT&T’s Fixed Wireless service. It is reported that Jasper County is one of the first locations in the United States where the fastest internet provider is offering their service.

In the announcement, AT&T® said that they have finished the first wave of fixed wireless internet availability for many of the underserved and rural areas in Georgia, as part of the FCC Connect America Fund commitment to offer the service to more than 400,000 locations by 2017 end and 1.1 million locations by the end of 2020.

“It is essential that we continue to work to bring greater access to high-speed Internet to rural Georgians, and this announcement today, marks a positive step in that direction,” said State Representative Susan Holmes. “I am glad to see the innovative approach by private industry to help close the remaining connectivity gap.”

“I am thrilled to see Jasper County residents among the first in the nation to be able to connect to this service and have the high-speed Internet connections that we need in our homes,” said State Senator Burt Jones. “While private industry is investing heavily in our state, we need to make certain that rural communities are not left behind, and I will continue working with the private sector to extend the high-speed connectivity that Georgians want.”

“The more than 19,000 men and women who work for AT&T and call Georgia home, are working every day to turn our investments into the high-speed connectivity that Georgia’s residents and businesses demand,” said Bill Leahy, president of AT&T® Georgia. “Through this innovative service, we are further closing the remaining connectivity gap in rural Georgia.”

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Fixed Wireless service

The fixed wireless internet from AT&T® offers their best internet service to homes with download speeds of minimum 10 Mbps. The wireless connection comes from a remote tower to an antenna that is fixed at the home of the subscriber. This is a very cost effective way to offer high-speed and high-quality internet to subscribers living in the underserved rural areas.

“Access to the internet is an important tool for advancing opportunities in communities. It creates economic growth, helps increase community engagement and makes education accessible,” said Eric Boyer, senior vice president of Wireless and Wired Product Marketing at AT&T®. “We’re committed to utilizing available technologies to connect hard-to-reach locations.”

18 May

Charter CEO Shares His Views On Cord Cutting

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Multichannel Video Programming Distributor

The CEO of Charter Communications, Tom Rutledge, recently made a statement in which he downplayed the growing threat of cord cutting even though some experts in the field of telecommunications are still obsessed over the subscription losses at ESPN. Rutledge said, “The whole MVPD [multichannel video programming distributor] marketplace has shed about 3 million customers over five years how. Some people are talking about Disney, with ESPN losing 11 million customers over that period of time I do think there will be some chipping around the margins.”

“It used to be when a young guy went off to college, if he lived off-campus, he’d subscribe to cable to get ESPN, but now he gets it over-the-top from his parents’ account,” Rutledge added. “So a lot of the loss on margin is really about lack of security and the inability of content companies which are becoming distributing companies controlling where their product goes.”

He continued by stating “If you look at the whole pie, the vast majority of people are still subscribing to a video package and an MVPD package, at that.” Rutledge also added that he discovered the different promotional offers offered by his company right after Charter acquired Time Warner Cable. He added that several customers opted out of their service once the promotional period ended. “It was a Turkish bazaar,” he said.

The Charter CEO also added that the cable service of the company passes approximately 50 million homes but just 26 million of them have subscribed to their services. He indicated that the growth of the service would come through marketing to the non-subscribers and more consolidation. However, Rutledge acknowledged the fact that there are not many companies left for Charter Communications to acquire.

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Cord Cutting Views

“I love the cable assets and think they’re good. If they were available, they would be interesting to me,” He said. When asked about the acquisition of a content company, Rutledge said, “You have to run it as a programming business. It’s hard to run it for your own internal purposes. I see that as a fundamental issue with owning content.”

Charter is also one of the leading internet providers in the country and they have been offering attractive internet packages to their customers for a very long time. In fact, with their cheap internet deals and TV packages, Charter has made a place for itself among the top players in the industry.

18 May

AT&T And DirecTV Might Have Overcharged Subscribers

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Complaints On Overcharging

It is truly frustrating when you are promised a rate by internet providers and charged another. When this happens to many users of the same service provider, it can be a leading to a systematic problem within the provider. A latest report now claims that many AT&T and DirecTV users have been complaining about this for years.

CBS News found that more than 4,000 complaints have been registered against DirecTV and AT&T in the previous two years regarding promotional pricing, deals, and overcharges. CBS News highlights the experience of two subscribers, where the first one signed up for a $99.99 promotional offer and got a bill for almost twice the amount. The other user, a Florida-based woman, said, “I keep getting bills for $79.49 and my contract says I was only going to pay $24.99 for two years.”

An AT&T customer representative replied, “There’s some specials on discounts that I’m thinking was actually being removed in error. Your bills are no longer combined. It wasn’t done on our end — it was done on your end.” Another representative said, “The pricing you were getting was because you were a new customer with the services, now you are an existing customer.”

The customer pointed out that she had signed up for a two-year agreement and that the rate change came before the expiry of the two-year agreement. It is not clear in both of the cases how much of the increase in the bill amount was due to an increase in the base rate of the package and how much was the change in add-on charges and fees.

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Add-On Charges

AT&T and DirecTV have agreed that the pricing process might have had an error and they promised to credit the difference to the affected customers. AT&T has made its own place as the fastest internet provider in the country and has gained about 150 million subscribers in the last two years.

“In my experience, when a large company has a lot of consumers coming forward and saying we feel like we were bait and switched. We were promised one thing and then we got something else. The company knows about it,” consumer advocate and attorney Paul Bland explained. “So it turns out to be a license to steal.”

18 May

AT&T CEO Speaks About Social Concerns

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Speaking About Social Concerns

Usually, the CEOs of the Fortune 500 businesses do not make any political or cultural statements, but the Chairman and CEO of AT&T, one of the best internet providers in the US, is different. Randall Stephenson turned many heads last year when he urged his employees to take part in conversations about race to understand each other in a better way as human beings. The 12-minute speech of Stephenson went viral as an AT&T employee uploaded the same to YouTube.

Stephenson was recently honored by the UJA-Federation with their Steven J. Ross Humanitarian Award for those words and the many other actions that AT&T has taken to make a social connection with its employees. The award ceremony that was conducted at Cipriani 25 Broadway brought in about 2.5 million dollars for the many charitable activities of the organization.

The presence of many media CEOs was the proof and testament that AT&T is growing in prominence as the best internet service in the telecom industry, as they are awaiting approval for the 85.4 billion dollars merger with Time Warner. Conan O’Brien was the host of the ceremony, and it included a four-song set by the Zac Brown Band.

Peter Chernin, whose business has a joint venture with the AT&T, said that Stephenson is “one of the most caring, honest and decent men I have ever met.” He also said, taking into consideration the gentle background of Stephenson, that “not since Menachem Begin shook hands with Anwar Sadat have Jews reached so far into a different culture to embrace the greater good.”

In a 20-minute question and answer session with the Time Warner chairman and CEO, Jeff Bewkes, Stephenson explained his statement that “tolerance is for cowards.” He made the statement because of the incidents of racially charged police shootings. “I’m not suggesting we have fixed racial tension,” Stephenson said. “But within our circle at AT&T it is wide open — and not just about race. There are folks in the LGBT community, Latino groups — we’re having those conversations and it’s amazing what’s been transpiring.” Stephenson also spoke about broader social concerns and explained on “what’s good for AT&T is good for America.”

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“What is in the interest of AT&T is a good, healthy, prosperous, growing economy. What a company like AT&T really needs is a good, prosperous, growing middle class,” Stephenson said. “What are the things that are fundamental for having that kind of environment? It starts with things like a good, civil, peaceful environment (and) the rule of law. When you think about racial tension, it’s hard for people to feel secure and wanting to engage in commerce when they’re very insecure about things such as race and racial tension. Those are issues that I think we CEOs should speak out about. If there are remedies, things that can make them better, we ought to press for those things.”

17 May

Verizon Beats AT&T In The Bidding War For Straight Path Communications

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AT&T – Verizon Bidding War

One of the fastest internet providers in the US, AT&T, had earlier announced their plans to buy Straight Path Communications (SPC) in a proposed $1.6 billion deal. However, reports from several reliable sources indicate that AT&T has recently decided to pull out of the deal after SPC accepted the $3.1 billion counteroffer by Verizon.

AT&T had earlier signed a similar agreement in the month of January for acquiring the spectrum assets of FiberTower. The proposed purchase of SPC by AT&T was to bolster the long-term ambition of the telecom giant, which was to offer 5G network services to their customers with the help of highly coveted millimeter wave channels in spectrum bands above the frequency of 24 GHZ.

FiberTower offers backhaul service to wireless carriers in the country through their stable of millimeter wave licenses in the frequency range of 24 MHz and 39 GHz bands. The millimeter wave spectrum assets of SPC represent approximately 95% of the commercially available 39 GHz spectrum capacity in the entire nation.

The agreement between AT&T and SPC contained a provision, which allowed the telecom company to pull out of the deal if SPC received a “superior offer.” Just a few days after the announcement of AT&T-SPC deal, the officials from Straight Path Communications admitted that a “multi-national telecommunications company” has submitted a counteroffer, but they refused to reveal the name of the bidder.

AT&T went on to revise their previous offer within a five-day window, but the third-party bidder once again responded with an improved offer, which initially raised the proposed price to $2.3 billion and then finally to $3.1 billion.

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Straight Path Communications

The officials from SPC recently issued an official statement, in which they confirmed that the third party bidder was Verizon. The press release from the company also added that their board of directors had “determined, in good faith, after consultation with its financial advisors and outside legal advisors, that the transaction with Verizon constituted a superior proposal under the AT&T merger agreement.”

The telecom giant, AT&T then notified SPC that they have decided “not to make any new bids or proposals or to propose any amendments to the AT&T merger agreement.” AT&T has been trying to lure in more customers to their internet service by offering a few attractive packages to their customers, and the proposed deal was an initiative to offer the best internet deal all around the country.

17 May

Hillsdale City Council Approves Site Plan For An AT&T Tower

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Site Plan Approved

In a recent unanimous voting, the Hillsdale City Council approved a site plan for a new AT&T tower at the Fayette Street, even though the Planning Commission of the city and public shared mixed feelings about the decision. City Manager David Mackie said, “We have received letters of support and opposition to this.”

John Debacker, who serves the zoning board of appeals of the city, was the first person to speak about this issue. “I’m concerned with the location of the tower along the bike path and river,” he said. “It’s a bit of an eyesore.” On a similar note, a local resident said, “We live in a dead-zone. Speaking on eyesores, we have rail cars with graffiti in the immediate area. I don’t see where there would be an eyesore.”

However, some of the candidates for the Council this fall also spoke in favor of the location of the tower. One among them, Dennis Wainscott, said, “I am for the tower. I think it is well needed.” Another candidate from the Council, Ted Jansen, also stated that he is happy with the decision. Jansen even suggested the AT&T to build a small parking near the new tower for the individuals, who wants to use the nearby bike trails. “Perhaps put in a parking lot for maybe three cars so people could use the bike path instead of parking across the street in the grass,” he said.

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AT&T Tower Coverage

On the other hand, Laura Smith who serves the planning commission of the city expressed her disappointment against the proposed location of new AT&T tower. However, she admitted that she is actually in favor of the tower but she is worried that the allotted location might not follow the master plan of the city. “The Planning Commission’s job is the master plan and to make sure the city is following the master plan. This is not the only location for this development,” Smith said. “Pausing for another month or two to reinvestigate for something that is going to be there for 100-years doesn’t seem like it’s that long of a time.”

However, reports indicate that the unanimously voted decision will bring several benefits to the city. Compare the internet plans of AT&T and other internet providers in your location, as it will help you to acquire the best internet deal.

17 May

The Launch Of DirecTV Now On Roku Has Been Postponed

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DirecTV Launch Postponed

The online video streaming service from AT&T, DirecTV Now, was launched in the second half of 2016, and it quickly become a popular streaming service among many customers in the US. As DirecTV Now is a budget-friendly cable TV alternative, it gained a lot of attraction among the cable cutters.

DirecTV Now is currently offering four different subscription packages or plans to their customers. The basic package from DirecTV Now is available to subscribers for just $35 a month and it offers them access to over 60 popular channels. If you are a person who has already subscribed to the best internet service, then choosing DirecTV Now’s basic pack over other streaming services will allow you to save much money.

Many experts in the field of telecommunications firmly believe that the streaming service from AT&T is the best match for Roku Setup. However, many Roku owners are still frustrated with the fact that there is no DirecTV Now channel available to Roku users. A blog post on the official website of Roku earlier confirmed that a new DirecTV Now app is in the works, and even Roku had earlier promised to deliver a channel to their customers by Q1 of the year. However, the company has miserably failed to do so.

The original blog post on the official website of Roku, which stated that “DirecTV Now coming to the Roku platform in Q1 2017” has also been edited by the officials to “DirecTV Now coming to the Roku platform in 2017.” The post also added that the subscription fee for DirecTV packages would be in the range of $35 and $70 a month.

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DirecTV Now App

Many customers are desperately waiting for the arrival of DirecTV Now support on Roku streaming platform but the officials from the company have not yet given a specific date for the launch. The officials from the company also refused to share any insight on why the release is taking so long than expected. However, several reports claim that the technical glitches in DirecTV Now service during the initial stages of its launch may be the reason for this, even though AT&T has successfully resolved all the issues.

The parent company of DirecTV Now, AT&T, is the fastest internet provider in several regions across the country. The telecom giant has also been offering a wide variety of budget-friendly internet, cable, and home phone packages to their customers for a very long time. Having a channel on Roku for DirecTV Now would surely help them gain a lot of new customers.

16 May

Comcast Is Also Planning To Offer Internet TV Service

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Internet TV Service

Internet TV packages and skinny bundles are now trending in the telecom business sector. More and more players are now starting to offer internet based television services. As the competition in the field of internet television is rising, Comcast is also planning to offer their own online video streaming service, and experts say that Comcast’s offering might be more appealing than what is already available in the market.

The internet based streaming TV service from Comcast is expected to be named Xfinity Instant TV, and it will include local channels, an unnamed premium channel offering, and DVR capabilities just for fifteen dollars per month. Matt Strauss who is the head of cable service of Comcast, said that the offer would be for the users of Comcast Home Internet service. He added that additional cable TV channels packages would be offered for extra charges.

“If you want to add on top of that, skinny packages like a sports and news pack or kids and family pack or a TV and entertainment pack, you’ll have the ability to do that,” Strauss said. The latest offering from Comcast is much like the Sling TV offering from Dish Network, or the DirecTV Now service of AT&T, and PlayStation Vue from Sony, although with a low starting price. However, the service will not be available across the entire country and not for those people who are not subscribers of the best internet service from Comcast.

“We are not focused on delivering a national over-the-top service,” Strauss said. “We’re very focused on delivering products and services within the markets that we serve today, like Chicago.” This move from Comcast is due to the result of many people dropping their cable services for other TV watching alternatives.

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Internet TV packages

Comcast and the other internet providers believe that internet TV services can help them attract the cord cutters and cord nevers as these services do not require a cable set top box or wired installation. Statistics shows that streaming television services has been filling the gap for those users who prefer to use services like Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime Video.

Comcast said that they have not suffered much from the cord-cutting trend, at least not yet. In fact, they said that they have managed to add 98,000 new cable TV customers in the last year. At the same time, they have also managed to add about 1.2 million residential internet users to their subscriber base.

16 May

Charter Introduces Its Spectrum Internet Assist Program In Chicopee

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Spectrum Internet Assist Program

Charter Communications, the fastest internet provider in the US, has entered into a partnership with the Chicopee Council on Aging for introducing its Spectrum Internet Assist program. With this, Charter intends to link the digital divide prevailing in Chicopee by offering cheap internet services for low-income residents living in the region.

The Spectrum Internet Assist initiative is a high-speed internet package from Charter that provides broadband connectivity at an affordable price. The aim of the program is to make accessible faster and reliable internet to the low-income families and seniors across the country. According to Heidi Vandenbrouk, Charter’s Senior Communications Manager, “Charter really believes in bridging the gap for the digital divide; being able to offer opportunities for those families and seniors that may not have the opportunity to have such a program.”

The program was officially launched at the RiverMills Senior Center in the presence of the Mayor Richard Kos and State Sen. Eric Lesser. Extending the Spectrum Internet Assist program will effectively assist in making available internet connectivity to all the sections of the region.

The Spectrum Internet Assist program offers high-speed internet service at speed of about 30 Mbps. It is available for the residents of Chicopee at a monthly subscription rate of $14.99. There are no data caps for the package offered under the program along with the requirement of no contracts. Also included in the package is an internet modem with the ability to opt for an in-home WiFi service at a rate of $5 per month.

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In-home WiFi Service

Note that only households that are eligible for the program, such as low-income families, would be offered this service. Moreover, this offer is not valid for the existing subscriber of Spectrum Internet. The Internet Assist program is also available to families with students that have participated in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and Community Eligibility Provision of NSLP. It is also accessible for seniors aged above 65 years having Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

Existing customers of Charter’s phone and video services that meet the above-mentioned criteria are also eligible to opt for this service. Charter’s broadband internet subscription, however, is not available to the enrollees within 30 days after signing up. The service is only made available to customers who have cleared any remaining debts from the previous twelve months with Charter, Time Warner Cable, and Bright House Networks.

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