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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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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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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.

06 Mar

The Do’s and Don’ts to Follow When Using Public Wi-Fi

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Public Wi-Fi Guide

While it offers you free internet, public Wi-Fi network has little to no restriction. In a private network, on the other hand, restrictions as well as access rules are set up to give access to only a minimum number of users. However, if you are deprived of the internet or there are not many speedy and reliable services in your area, then you might want to look at the other options.

Not all residential users have direct access to some of the major internet providers in the nation. If that applies to you, and you do not have a connection from the best internet provider in your area, then you will want to rely on public Wi-Fi for your important tasks.

Some people hang around places such as a library, having access to the best internet provider therein, to connect to the internet. Seeing the lack of internet options there, such kinds of institutions and nonprofit organizations allow that as a gesture of goodwill. As you can see, in that case, one gets to access a private network, not a public network.

Do’s of Using Public Wi-Fi

  • Connect to a secured public network whenever possible.
  • Disable automatic connectivity option or setting in your device. This is one of the convenient features, available in most smartphones, tablets, and laptops, but it can connect your device to networks that you generally would not use. It is best to keep such settings disabled, particularly when you are traveling to an unfamiliar place.
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    Monitor Bluetooth connectivity. It is a good feature to use when in a private place. However, leaving it on when on a public place can pose a big threat to your cyber security. That is because while Bluetooth connectivity allows for communication from one compatible device to another, a hacker can also look for open signals to get access to your device.

  • Consider using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to make sure your anonymity and privacy are protected when on public Wi-Fi. VPN protection services can encrypt the data people send and receive when using public Wi-Fi hotspots, securing their information from others who use the same connection.

The Don’ts

  • Do not access your personal bank account, or any sensitive data, when on a public network. This may also apply while doing shopping over a public Wi-Fi network.
  • Do not leave your device unattended in any public place, or stay fully engaged in an activity in such a way that that presents a chance for someone to steal your property.
28 Feb

US Justice Department Not About To Appeal the AT&T-Time Warner Merger

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AT&T emerged victorious despite the drawn out attempts of the Trump administration to block its 85.4 billion dollars purchase of Time Warner, as the US Justice department said that they will not fight an appeal court ruling that approves the deal. The acquisition of Time Warner by AT&T has been watched very closely after it came under fire from president Donald Trump. Trump opposed the merger as he saw it helping the CNN unit of Time Warner, which was accused by the president of broadcasting fake news.

There was a three judge panel on the US Court of Appeals for the Columbia district and they unanimously ruled in favor of the deal. They said that the case of the government that the merger will lead to increase in consumer prices was very “unpersuasive.” The decision of the panel ended a long fifteen-month effort by the Justice Department to block the merger.

This is the second major court victory for AT&T in this regard, and has set the stage for the second best wireless carrier in the country to integrate their WarnerMedia business with their new Xandr advertising unit. “We are grateful that the Court of Appeals considered our objections to the District Court opinion. The department has no plans to seek further review,” said Jeremy Edwards, who is the spokesman for the Justice Department.

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Makan Delrahim, who heads the antitrust division of the US Justice Department phoned Paul Cappuccio, Time Warner’s former General Counsel, and David McAtee, AT&T current General Counsel, to congratulate them on the victory. McAtee said the merger “has already yielded significant consumer benefits and will continue to do so for years to come.” This deal is being seen as a very important turning point in the media industry, which has been upended by businesses like Google and Netflix that offer content online without any need for cable subscriptions.

The merger was announced in October 2016 and was closed on June 14 2018 after the U.S. District Judge Richard Leon ruling that the merger was legal under the US antitrust law. AT&T agreed to manage the Turner network till 28th of February, or until the conclusion of any appeal made by the US Justice Department. It was also agreed that AT&T will have no role in setting the prices of Turner to the distributors.

20 Feb

Telecom Giant in Trouble after Row with Employee

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One of the fastest internet provider in the country, Comcast® did not fail to yield to the requirements of an employee by declining to reassign her, according to a federal district court judge. The former employee had alleged that Comcast® failed to obey the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

The employee, Brenda Turcotte, had her position automated and she was transferred to another dispatch work. However, her job was not easy because of the increasing work volumes, and the number of inbound calls affected her peace of mind. As a result, she took leave and made a request to the firm regarding the reassignment of dispatch job. According to the court though, she demanded jobs that were highly similar to the dispatch job. Besides, she failed to produce medical evidence to support her request and was unsuccessful in applying for jobs internally. Finally, she became an intern at another firm, ending her commitment with Comcast®.

The judge favored the cheap internet provider Comcast® in this case because it found out that Turcotte would have ended up doing the same job as she was presently doing, even if the transfer request was accepted. The ruling remarked, “It defies logic to argue that those jobs would have been a reasonable accommodation. If she could perform this function, Comcast® would have no obligation to accommodate her at all.”

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Turcotte highlighted the importance that the court gives to the ADA’s interactive process. “Managers need to be trained to dedicate extra time and effort to employees with disabilities when determining accommodations,” David K. Fram, the director of ADA and Equal Employment Opportunity services for the National Employment Law Institute commented in an interview. According to the court, Comcast® made a reasonable effort to cope with the request and make a resolution that would satisfy both parties. It said that the HR representatives and managers dedicated time to counsel, train, retrain, and organize internal job quests alongside Turcotte.

Furthermore, there were also faults on the employee’s side, which led to the verdict. Turcotte did not respond to the company’s requests for more information. She also did not reveal her true intentions to the company. Although ADA does not say that the interactive process is mandatory, it certainly favors employers who communicate well with their employees. If the employer causes the breakdown of the process, then they would be adjudged guilty of trying to take advantage of the disability. Similarly, if there were evidence that the employee caused the breakdown, then the employer would be at an advantage.

12 Feb

A Pro/Con Comparison of Free and Paid Internet Security Programs

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You need an internet security software in order to protect your personal information from online threats. If you have been looking for an internet security program, you may have noticed there are plenty of options in the market that are fully free and some that necessitate a subscription. It need not always be an internet subscription, but anything that offers you the free service option.

Subscribing to an internet security product without having to pay for it might seem attractive at first, but the option is not all that it is cracked up to be. The first thing you have to note is that like most ‘free’ online services, free internet security suites are not actually so. They do not cost any money, though you have to ‘pay’ for them or they ‘cost’ you in some or the other way.

For instance, you subscribe to the best internet imaginable and your service provider offers you the so-called ‘free’ internet security suite for the subscription. On the plus side, you may even get it for a few of your devices from any of the internet providers that offer the same. This sort of internet security may not necessarily be bad, unlike the one that you choose to download from the internet and has only the basic security features.

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So be aware when someone tells you that all ‘free’ internet security suites are bad. There are some, which come at the cost of another subscription that actually offers advanced protection against threats such as phishing and so forth. However, a totally free internet suite from a no-name company might not be all that worth it.

Even the one from an internet service provider may mean that you will have to update it or activate a certain feature that consumes your data. However, even worse is that totally free internet suite option – instead of the free offer, you will have to give access to your browser use as well as internet activity. That is the one that costs you, may be not in the form of money but in the form of your privacy or data taken away.

If you already have an internet connection, and are just looking for a security suite, then your best option is to purchase one from a reputed antivirus company. Even the internet service providers are offering ‘free’ security suites of reputed brands. While you might be a touch daunted by the initial configuration options, the best internet suites will actually make configuring your preferred features as seamless as possible.

05 Feb

What you Need to Know about Internet Agreements and Related Costs

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The advertised price is seldom the same as what you actually pay. It is true of most services, including cable and internet. The costs outlined here are not the only ones that you might see on your invoice. They are the most common expenses, which the average consumer has to understand before signing up.

Contract versus No-Contract Internet

When you subscribe to an internet service, several companies will offer a cheaper price to you if you put pen to paper. Usually, the service contract period is up to two years. If you live in the US, your service provider might not give the best internet option to you sans a contract.

In the long run, contract service can at times be a relatively better deal. This is especially true for bundle subscribers, as the best pricing typically comes with an agreement. If you intend to live at your present address for a couple of years at the least, contracts with that duration are worth considering. Oftentimes, the pricing is significantly lower, and there are service providers who “lock in” the price, so that you do not have to bother about it rising unexpectedly, as it does at times with “month-to-month” service.

Nonetheless, you have to understand that breaking an agreement can result in early termination fees. Most service providers allow you to cancel at no cost in the initial fifteen days or so, though afterward, you need to pay to move, even when you are switching since it fails to deliver the promised speeds.

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A month-to-month plan is better for short-term residents and renters and usually more flexible on the whole. If you feel you might have to switch before your agreement is over, then consider a no-contract service. There are service providers who offer internet-only packages without a contract; some providers have this policy. Keep in mind that such internet plans often cost extra 10 dollars or so a month for the flexibility. If you intend to stay with the exact best internet service for multiple years, then this cost can add up quickly.

Most internet users usually rent a router and/or modem as part of service. TV subscribers also lease set-top boxes, DVRs, and other equipment from their cheap cable operator. Each of them comes with a leasing fee (typically about 5 to 15 dollars a month). They can show up on your cable bill as “modem fees”, “equipment fees”, “technology fees”, and the like.

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