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09 Jul

New Deal Fails to Go through, Leaves Local TV Viewers High and Dry

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AT&T® and Nexstar® Broadcasting had been in talks about a deal where subscribers of the DirecTV and U-Verse services from the former, got to watch local TV programming as well as CBS network programming. Amid deliberations as to what it should pay Nexstar Broadcasting for the rights to retransmit its signal, AT&T® had its DirecTV® service pull programming from WCIX and WCIA.

General Manager and VP Gary Hackler at WCIA said on Saturday that they have had “about 100 calls” from TV viewers, mainly in the Illinois area. “They are wanting clarity and all I can say is we are negotiating. Ultimately, we will come to some sort of a resolution but I’m not sure when,” he opined. According to Hackler, Nexstar® had asked for a month-long extension whilst negotiations were on, “but that didn’t happen.” He also said, “We felt like we were close enough that the extension would have gotten us to a resolution.”

AT&T®’s statement in a press release was that the company had hoped against a Nexstar®-GoCom Media® merger, and this is what prompted it to pull WCIX-MNT and WCIA-CBS from its lineups meant for its Springfield, Champaign, and Decatur customers. The cable and best internet provider said it offered Nexstar “more money to keep WCIA-CBS and WCIX-MNT available, but Nexstar simply said no and elected to remove them instead. Nexstar® has chosen to hold our customers in Champaign, Springfield and Decatur hostage and put them into the center of its negotiations.”

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AT&T®, or in this instance, DirecTV®, has not been carrying WRSP and WCCU (both Fox affiliates), since May-end, after it failed to come to an agreement on retransmission fees. It blames Nexstar® for the deal going not happening, saying that latter either removes or threatens to remove signals from many distributors’ ‘free customers, in order to up the fees on its TV stations. According to the cable giant, this has happened with DISH®, Cox Cable®, and Charter Spectrum® before now. The spokesperson opined that GoCom Media® not long back removed WBUI-CW, WCCU-FOX, and WRSP-FOX from AT&T®’s same customers’ lineups as this time, in a bid to get substantial rate increase.

Texas-based Nexstar® (which owns 174 television stations in total which are broadcast across the country), said in the meantime that AT&T® was offered the same rate as other cable providers buying retransmission rights.

01 Jul

Major Company Releases 5G Services In Las Vegas

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AT&T released mobile 5G service in Las Vegas and will be open to business customers. This takes the total count of the cities where 5G was introduced by the company to 20. The company did not mention the spectrum it was using.

Presently, 5G services are available to business customers only. They would be able to get AT&T’s 5G network by using the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G. Note that this is available on the Business Unlimited Preferred plan provided by the company. Besides, this is a free service throughout the year. This allows them to test and make more 5G-enabled applications through AT&T’s network.

AT&T has already released the mobile 5G service in limited areas of 19 cities before launching it in Las Vegas. This includes 7 places in April. These were Nashville, Orlando, Austin, San Jose, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego.

The company said that it was looking to provide “new experiences that digital natives crave,” although it did not explain further regarding the details that it may contain.

 “We are proud to introduce 5G+ to Las Vegas,” said AT&T Nevada state president Stephanie Tyler. “Being the first to Las Vegas, and the first to 20 cities across the U.S., is a testament to AT&T’s commitment to our future.”

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Before this, AT&T mentioned that San José, California as the very first within the country to use the specialized first responder network FirstNet. It was employed at full potential in the city.

Some of the Best Internet providers in the country had a very eventful period in recent days. Initially, Verizon announced that their 5G network was running in Denver. They also revealed the plans to switch on mmWave mobile 5G service in Rhode Island from the upcoming month.

Meanwhile, T-Mobile said that customers belonging to 6 different internet providers would be able to access the web in 5G. This would be a result of the release of Galaxy S10 5G.

The six cities are Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Dallas, Atlanta, New York, and Cleveland. T-Mobile has upgraded its methods for 5G. It assures 5G coverage with lower frequency 600 MHz spectrum combined with mid-band 2.5 GHz which would be provided by Sprint if the two internet providers decide to collaborate. T-Mobile is deploying mmWave spectrum that comes with 39 GHz for Las Vegas and 28 GHz for the other locations.

21 Jun

Telecom Giant Invests Huge Amounts for Dakota Wireless Networks

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FirstNet Communications Platform

AT&T invested more than $60 million in the wired and wireless networks of South Dakota during the period of 2016-18. This investment was aimed at offering speeds, reliability, and coverage for the residents and businesses. The company has also enhanced services that provide public safety through the FirstNet communications platform. AT&T has its wireless network covering over 99% of the country and has established itself as one of the cheap internet providers. These are the results based on the first quarter of the year 2019.

It has been revealed that the company made 569 wireless network enhancements throughout South Dakota. There were additional cell sites added, improved backhaul, and added network capacity. Besides, there was also an upgrade of the 4G LTE network allowing higher speeds and capacity. These steps, according to the company, has strengthened and boosted its performance.

Steve Westra, the Commissioner of the South Dakota Governor’s Office of Economic Development, commented, “We commend AT&T for continuing to build state-of-the-art infrastructure in our state that makes business growth possible and assures our residents have the tools to stay connected and entertained.”

“AT&T is proud to boost our investment in our wireless network and upgrades across South Dakota,” Cheryl Riley, president, AT&T Northern Plains went on to say, “Our goal is to continue to expand not only our geographic reach but our depth of service, and provide our customers and businesses with the reliable, high-speed coverage that they’ve come to trust and rely on.”

Transforming Public Safety Communications

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FirstNet is a dedicated countrywide communications platform dedicated to Public Safety. It is meant for all the first responders including the rural, tribal, volunteer folk. It brings public safety with new enhanced capabilities, providing the first responders with the critical information they require in any case of emergency.

One of the best internet providers of the country says that its release of the First Responders Network Authority contract aimed at a public safety LTE network was an important step in its way ahead. According to the company, when it touches the FirstNet build-out, it enables 60 megahertz across AWS, WCS and the Band 14 700 MHz, and deploy all of its fallow spectra. Besides, it would be able to upgrade the software and electronics capacities to bring in LTE Advanced Pro features like four component-carrier aggregation, 256 QAM modulation, and 4×4 MIMO. Besides, it would make the components upgradable to 5G, making it prepared to deploy the technology whenever it is ready.

13 Jun

Telecom Company Announces Plans To Test CBRS System

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Charter®, which is one of the best internet providers, is planning a 200-node Citizens Broadband Radio Service network. This is being planned in the Los Angeles region. The company is also testing different mobile network equipment and a site at Inglewood Oil Field. As per the Federal Communications Commission, the operations of the test network are scheduled to begin the coming month. This comes in succession to the company’s request to construct a 100-node CBRS network in Denver in the Colorado region to check the efficiency of the technology in serving a corporate campus. The indoor usage was the main subject of analysis.

Charter® commented that it would use several approaches to deployment. This includes building or pole mounting to a maximum of 100 feet in the air and trying it indoors till the third floor which included a height of 40 feet. It would also test the approach of strand mount deployment over the already existing cable strand which stood 18 feet in the air. Furthermore, it would conduct tests inside an 8-mile distance of Ladera Heights at the Inglewood Oil Field, the Baird Park area, Anaheim, and a site near Valley Glen.

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Private LTE networks dedicated to Private LTE networks like gas and oil production areas are one of the key opportunities open for CBRS. The company said that it aims to install a minimum of 200 fixed transmitters and 50 mobile transmitters while the testing program, develops. Besides, it also said that it would conduct capacity testing, throughput testing, propagation test, and connectivity. It says it would analyze inter-cell interference and “compatibility and individual performance of each vendor” that contributes to its test network. Charter® will reportedly use Federates Wireless’ Spectrum Access System.

One of the fastest internet providers in the country said that it would operate its network in the 3650-3700 MHz region of the band to prevent interference with the radars. The company commented that it knows about the fixed-satellite service earth stations which are another set of users in the spectrum. They operate in the 3650-3700 MHz range but the company would take care to ensure there is no interference. “Given the low [Effective Isotropic Radiated Power] transmit levels of the proposed radios, coupled with their low installed elevation, Charter expects limited RF propagation distances as well as limited and localized aggregative contribution to the RF noise floor,” the company commented. Charter® also said that it would be testing 6 models of end user devices too.

06 Jun

Xfinity Customers can now keep an eye on their Pets Using their Smart Home Camera

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Smart Home Camera

Comcast® is one of the best internet providers in the United States. Currently, the cheap internet provider introduced a unique idea that can make a stir in the communication field. The Telco added a pet detection camera to their Xfinity smart home camera. This will enable their customers to keep an eye on their furry friends. Comcast® made it possible for their consumers to detect the movement of their pets utilizing the AI platform. This will let the customers sort through long videos quickly and identify the ones with just their pets. The company decided to incorporate a pet filter to the Xfinity Smart home camera since a recent survey reported that 94% of their internet-enabled camera users tend to check on their pets frequently.

Even though Pet filter is one of the latest AI features, this isn’t the first time that the company is coming up with this type of unique element. Two years ago, Comcast® unveiled certain thumbnails for their customers who tend to use the 24×7 video recording feature of the company. With these thumbnails, the company enhances the ability of their customers to find the relevant motion episodes quickly. After a year, the feature was upgraded by incorporating computer vision models. This allows the Xfinity cameras to automatically detect the motion triggered by vehicles or people.

The vice president and general manager of Comcast’s® Xfinity Home, Dennis Matthew said, “We developed this feature to help our customers quickly filter motion-triggered events by people, vehicles, or pets because we wanted to bring them the video clips that matter most even faster. It’s an intelligent home security solution that enables our customers to easily check in on their loved ones from anywhere, anytime.”

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The latest innovative pet filter is developed by the computer experts from the applied AI team of the company in Washington DC along with the engineers from the camera team of the company in Philadelphia. The vision specialists in the company analyzed thousands of home security camera visuals donated to the company by employee testers using machine learning as well to ensure its efficiency. Finally, this trendsetting feature that allows the Comcast® customers to check in on their furry friends throughout the day was introduced on 06-06-2019.

In a press release, a representative of the company said, “The goal was to build an algorithm that could quickly and consistently detect movement from a pet, and clearly distinguish it from a car, or a person, or anything else that might trigger motion detection. Initially, we looked into commercial solutions that might work for our cameras, but we weren’t satisfied with the accuracy we were seeing. Detecting a dog photographed from five feet away, standing still in perfect lighting isn’t the same as detecting one running across the backyard 30 feet away, and we needed an algorithm that could do both – so the cameras could reliably spot … Spot.”

29 Apr

Telecom Forecast Predicts a Tough Time Ahead for Leaders

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Recent studies on the major studio groupings and pay-TV companies reveal that there will probably not be any significant growth in their businesses. The only group that is projected to show considerable growth at this point is Netflix®.

One of the best internet service providers currently in business, AT&T® recently splashed out $85 billion to bring Time Warner® under its umbrella. Disney, meanwhile, acquired 21st Century Fox® for $71 billion. The owners of NBC-Universal®, Comcast®, purchased Sky® for $39 billion on European soil. Each of these three groups will see some effect from their huge spending as they are set to face a dry period economically. It is said that these purchases are set to hamper their efforts to attain more ground in the existing market in the streaming business.

The reports suggest that AT&T® will have a difficult time spreading its image in advertising. However, Comcast® is set to perform impressively outside the US territory in pay-TV and advertising, but might fall short in its hunt for SVoD subscribers. Disney® holds a strong ground along with ESPN+, but it too is set to face an uphill struggle in SVoD.

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The reports say that by 2014, Netflix® would become the most dominant player in the streaming domain. It is projected to earn more revenue in streaming than the three-telecom giants combined. Its market share is predicted to drop from 63 % as of 2019 to 52 % in 2024. This, however, would not stop it from claiming and holding top position.

The huge success of Netflix® has raised several questions regarding the Hollywood studios’ strategies to stay in the game. There have been several doubts on Netflix® being able to hold its dominant status on several platforms. On the other hand, it has brought the content strategies of the three big companies under the scanner. Companies like Facebook® and Apple® would also have to stay on top of their game to hold strong against Netflix®’s domineering approach.

Most of these companies would survive, but being successful is certainly not a matter that changes overnight. Comcast® and AT&T® would continue to rely on their cheap internet and cellular revenues for growth.

The big three are known to have a huge reserve of content which will keep them afloat in their respective areas. However, they would definitely struggle to become the dominant name. Disney® is projected to reach 96.5 million subscribers at the climax of this forecast period, which would take its tally to 12.5% across the world.

06 Apr

How to Find the Better Home Internet Service Providers This Year

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It is really hard these days to choose well among the different home internet service providers operating in the market, mainly because of the overwhelming number of options one has to choose from. It helps to be sure on the factors that make a difference in most of the cases. The least this would do is let you narrow down options to the providers that are good for meeting your requirements. Below are some regularly useful questions regarding ISPs which would help in picking out the perfect ISP for you.

The Area Where You Live

When it comes to choosing the best ISP, the area where you live is really important, because prices and plans vary based on this. Before considering going in for a home internet connection, you would need to search for the best plans available in your area. You may not find each and every plan or carrier in every location and therefore, in order to get a good idea of the best ones, you would first need to filter based on the location where you are based at the moment. After completing that step, the next thing you have to figure out are your priorities. Heavy internet users, as well as large families or groups using a connection simultaneously, would typically give more importance to connection speed. On the other hand, if it is the price that concerns you more, then you will have to balance different aspects and even start looking at bundle packages which are offered in your area.

The Broadband Speed You Need

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In order to find out the total amount of internet speed that you actually need, you would need to consider a number of factors, including the way you use your internet connection, the number of devices you use, and the number of people living in your home.

It would always be a wiser choice to increase the bandwidth available, especially if two or more people in your home are often trying to download videos or stream movies online at the same time. For instance, it is a good idea to get 3 mbps or higher speed for standard quality streams, 5mbps speed for HD streaming, and 25mbps speed for ultra HD streaming. If your internet connection is shared among multiple users, and there are also using multiple devices online at any given time, then you will probably need speeds between 30mbps and 50mbps. If your only use of the internet is for web browsing and getting on social media, even a relatively measly connection speed of 1mbps would be fine to work with.

30 Mar

Ways to Lower your Bills with the Help of Cheap Internet

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Money Saving Tips

It is possible for you to be happy with the current internet service you are using, but even then, it is also true that you may be paying a lot for it. However, there are actually a number of ways, by which you would be able to find a good internet connection at cheaper rates. Using these simple techniques would really be helpful for you in order to cut short your monthly bills.

Buy a Router or Modem Rather than Renting

Most of the internet provides would charge a sum of $10 to $15 every month as the rent of their equipment. Consider that you are keeping on with a single provider for about two years; then you would be paying about $240 to $360 as the total rental cost. By this, you are actually making too many additional expenses because it is indeed possible to buy a good router or modem under $200.

While you buy a modem, you would also have to keep this in mind that some internet providers do not provide troubleshooting services for personal hardware. Another thing you would have to look for is a negotiation, the game would be much better for you if you would jump for a better deal. Always keep researching the internet for promotional prices; it is always possible for another internet provider to offer better deals to new customers.

Decrease the Speed

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Most of the internet providers of the present times offer high-speed internet connection; some may guarantee you download speeds of 100 Mbps or even more. This service would be of real help if you actually need this. For most of the families, this is not the case though. If you would lower this speed, you would be able to save about $35 from your monthly bill or even more. Note that the amount you would be able to save would completely depend on the carrier you are using.

The online activates like web browsing, music, email, and HD video streaming requires only 30 Mbps speed if you are using one to three devices at a time. If you are using about four to seven devices for this, then you may need about 70 Mbps speed connection. Since these are the proposed speeds for more number of devices, you would be able to further adjust the speed if you are using only a single device.

21 Mar

How and Why Cheap Broadband Plans Were Introduced in the US

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There are several ways to get affordable internet service, which not all people know. Some cheap internet services are only available to low-income households, but there are other subsidized plans available to anyone. In other words, you can avail the latter no matter how little you earn or how much you make.

Almost all major internet providers in the country offer cheap internet plans to low-income customers or families. In addition, FCC’s broadband adoption program also offers such plans to low-income groups.

Affordable internet is offered separately to such customers by public or private services, as long as they meet certain criteria that make them eligible to enroll for the broadband program. However, the eligibility criteria might vary from one state to the other and one program/company to the other. You might qualify for one if you have a member in your family who participates in a governmental assistance program.

Why the Internet is Offered at Cheap Prices

Not all customers in the country have access to the internet because of the relatively high cost, which they cannot afford. For those with the spending power, the cost of a standard internet plan may not seem all that high, but for low-income families, it does.

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Bridge Connectivity Gap

The cause to provide customers with cheap internet is to bridge the connectivity gap. That exists in part because the deprived section of society also does not have access to the basic facilities to access the internet, The gap between those with the privileged section of the society is more apparent than what one can imagine, hence the need to bridge the digital divide. To this end, internet service providers also take certain initiatives, such as donating laptops or computers to the deprived families. Some of the telecom giants take part in such initiatives, but not all of them do.

All this is linked to one thing: availability of the basic facilities. Cheap internet plans are made available by companies in all US states, in addition to Washington DC and Puerto Rico. The first broadband adoption program was rolled out in 2011, and it was aimed at Americans who were struggling to make their ends meet. Existing technology advancements brought new private companies into the affordable internet business, giving more options to US customers.

18 Mar

Smart TV Basics That you Need to Remember

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Smart TVs are gaining popularity by the day, as there are newer features being introduced with each product, which make life easier overall for the user. Many of today’s Smart TVs are compatible with a number of other devices you typically find inside a modern home, and help you to control these from a single source. These features have definitely had a hand in transforming a lot of people’s lifestyles. Below are a few basic things about the average Smart TV that should help you understand it better than you do already.

Connecting Your Smart TV To The Internet

Smart TVs use the internet connection in your home in order to bring you quality photos, audio, movies, and TV shows. They use either Wi-Fi or wired Ethernet to stay connected. There are several things that you need to take care of after setting up a Smart TV. One of the main ones is ensuring that Wi-Fi coverage from a fastest internet provider is available in the immediate vicinity of your Smart TV. If you have a router on a different floor, for instance, you may not be able to enjoy uninterrupted streaming.

Keeping the Connection Strong

If your smart TV is facing issues while operating, there are a few simple things you can do to ensure its connection to the internet stays strong. Ensure that your internet router is not more than three years old, so that you have a reasonable chance of getting better than good performance out of it. Also, the use of Wi-Fi range extenders and routers with mesh network are great options in cases where nearby placement is hard to achieve.

Setup, Apps, and Streaming

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There are no standard operating systems in place for Smart TVs. Each TV maker uses different firmware as well as graphical presentation methods. Interfaces and operating systems used are different for different companies.

Your experience watching videos from streaming services would almost always benefit from having the speeds guaranteed by any of the best internet providers out there. Meanwhile, you also get to use a number of popular apps which come included with most smart TVs these days. While lower-priced models promote only the most popular applications, the higher-end TVs provide more comprehensive sets of options in that area.

Does a Smart TV Crash?

Smart TVs also employ computer chips for upscaling, video processing, multiple screen display, and internet connection. That means they need memory to buffer streaming music and video, aside from additional processing power needed to make proper adjustments to rendered graphics. Sometimes this can cause a TV to crash, or exhibit glitches. That issue is mostly being eliminated with the use of quad-core processors, which bring more computing power to the table.

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