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27 Apr

Comcast® Shifts Focus to Internet Following Q1 Results on Cable Subs

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Stream Online Channels

Comcast Cable® officials recently reported that they experienced a significant loss in the number of video subscribers as of this year’s first quarter. As per reports, this decline in Comcast® video subs is 96,000 as of Q1 of 2018. However, being one of the best internet providers in the US, Comcast® has also achieved more than 350,000 high-speed internet subscribers during the same period.

This only goes to indicate the Philadelphia-based Telco giant’s role in nationwide markets of being an internet service provider that bundles cable TV packages and best internet plans. Slowly but surely, Comcast® treats internet as the core competency of their overall service portfolio to stay competitive in a market that is shifting toward streaming services. In other words, more and more customers are choosing internet to stream online channels on Comcast Xfinity® TV. Besides, their home security and Xfinity Mobile® offerings also serve as adds to their product portfolio.

To retain customers and drive sales, Comcast® sales reps are now pitching broadband packages first, and then, the company’s other offerings such as cable TV. “Our focus is very much centered on broadband,” said Dave Watson, who is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Comcast Cable®.

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This focus of Comcast® on internet offerings may seem surprising even at a time when the company has made a billion dollar bid, which is $31bn as per reports, to acquire Pay-TV broadcaster Sky plc. Comcast Corporation®, the parent company of Comcast Cable®, is surely trying everything it can to improve byline profits through broadband offerings even as their actions may seem to the contrary.

Trade analysts say that selling broadband would seem much profitable to Comcast® than selling cable TV packages, for which profit margins are thinner in comparison owing to programming costs. No wonder Comcast® is looking to acquire what is often billed as the largest satellite broadcaster in the UK namely Sky plc. In fact, Comcast® is not alone in bidding for the broadcaster – even Walt Disney Company and 21st Century Fox Inc. join them in the bidding process. The board members of Sky plc welcomed the Comcast® bid and withdrew a suggestion that shareholders have accepted an earlier proposal from 21st Century Fox.

Despite trying to cement their status of being one of the top internet providers, Comcast® also sees an opportunity in the form of wireless subscriber growth. It has added 196,000 subscriber lines to Xfinity Mobile® service in Q4, bringing its aggregate to 577,000 lines.

21 Apr

Comcast® Introduces New Gigabit Service in Vermont

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New Gigabit Service

In recent news, Comcast® declared that they are launching a new internet service in Vermont. After this, the business customers, as well as the residential customers of Comcast® in this area, will be able to enjoy an internet speed of 1 gigabit per second. This is among the fastest internet speeds that are widely available in the country.

The services also include the access to the largest Wi-Fi network of the nation that includes more than 19 million hotspots. In fact, reports say that the telecommunications company has plans to install the new internet service to the majority of its service areas throughout the year.

With the latest move, the gigabit internet service is now available in Bethel, Brookfield, Berlin, Braintree, Calais, East Montpelier, Duxbury, Montpelier, Middlesex, Greensboro, Johnson, Hyde Park, Moretown, Morrisville, Morristown, Randolph, Walden, Rochester, Worcester and Woodbury, Waterbury, and Vermont.

Officials said that the DOCSIS 3.1 technology is employed in the new gigabit service. This technology makes it possible and easier to deliver this fastest speed over the existing communication cable lines that are already available in almost every home and office building in the neighborhood. Yet in order to avail this ultra-fast internet service, all the customers, both residential and businesses, will have to install a digital cable modem that supports DOCSIS 3.1 technology.

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Michael Parker, the Senior Vice President of Comcast® in the Western New England Region, said, “With the launch of our 1 Gigabit service, we continue to deliver an unparalleled Internet experience for our customers in terms of speed, control, and reliability. We’ve increased internet speeds 17 times in the past 17 years and we will continue to bring customers the absolute fastest speeds possible by proactively investing in our advanced, high-performance network.”

With the launch of this high-speed internet service, the customers can download a TV episode 600 megabyte in just 4 seconds and an HD movie of 5 gigabytes in 40 seconds. Similarly, the Comcast® customers also can download a music album of 150 megabytes in just two seconds and a video game of 15 gigabytes in two minutes using this internet service.

Comcast® is providing their DOCSIS 3.1 based 1-gigabit internet service for their business customers in Vermont as well. For the existing customers of the company in this area, the available speed tiers are “Business Internet 500” and “Business Internet 1 Gig”. This service helps the companies to prevent the need for the expensive construction of latest network facilities. The affordability and the ultra-high speed of “Business Internet 1 Gig” are best suited for industries such as hospitality, education, healthcare, government, manufacturing, and retail.

13 Apr

Subscribers Will Start Moving to Xfinity® Mobile Indicate Research

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Xfinity® Mobile Service

According to the findings of New Street Research firm, the wireless service known as Xfinity® Mobile is set to have significant growth in the number of subscribers in the next two years. To be specific, the research firm projected that the MVNO service, which one of the best internet providers deliver through the network of Verizon Wireless®, would get twice number of subscribers in this year’s fourth quarter compared to last year.

“We expect Comcast’s wireless net adds to remain sluggish in the first half of 2018, and then to ramp sharply in the second half of the year,” noted New Street Research officials. The research firm also disclosed several other revelations in their report as mentioned below.

  • Comcast® now pays Verizon® $5 per gigabyte data its subscribers use, although it is subject to change and is not fixed
  • Xfinity® Mobile subscribers use around 15 percent more internet data than similar subs
  • Cable providers, in general, will get up to fifteen percent of total postpaid subscribers in their targeted markets by 2020 and it would steal customers of rivaling wireless providers such as AT&T® and T-Mobile®

Findings of the research firm are startling in view of Comcast’s disclosure that Xfinity® Mobile service had signed up 380,000 subscriber lines by 2017. Although that was an increase from 250,000 subscribers as disclosed by Comcast® in October, it was below the figures most trade analysts had projected last year.

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Nevertheless, executives of Comcast® have promised that Xfinity® Mobile is on track to grow. David N. Watson, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Comcast Cable®, said in January, “We like our game plan. We like the fact that it’s connected to our existing business line. It’s a really simple business plan that can scale. We’re finding that the by-the-gig approach is working. It’s early still the branding is just kicking in, and we’re expanding distribution to our existing retail locations. We’re well positioned going into 2018 with mobile.”

Xfinity® Mobile, the wireless service Comcast® that delivers over Verizon’s network, is “very irrelevant, and I assume that [Charter’s soon-to-launch mobile service] will be irrelevant squared,” said the Chief Executive Office of T-Mobile®, John Legere, in February. “The furthest thing from my mind is any concern about the impact of cable.”

05 Apr

Comcast® to Launch Gigabit Internet Service in Savannah in April

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Gigabit Internet Service

One of the best internet providers in the US, Comcast® recently announced that their business and residential customers in Savannah would soon have accesses to 1 Gbps speeds. Comcast® plans to launch gigabit internet service this month in the area. It delivers faster internet to both Xfinity® and Comcast Business® customers, over existing communication lines in the customers’ residences or offices, and using a cable modem that supports DOCSIS 3.1 standard.

“Now more than ever, our customers require the fastest available speeds to support the growing number of devices at home and in the workplace,” said Comcast’s Big South Region Sr. VP, Doug Guthrie. “By using DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem technology, we can now bring gigabit-caliber speeds to the most homes and businesses of any provider across the region.”

With gigabit internet connection, Comcast® subscribers can download a 5 GB High-Definition movie in just 40 seconds, not to mention lesser sized video or audio content, which can be downloaded in less time than that. Besides Comcast Xfinity® subscribers, DOCSIS 3.1 technology also benefits Comcast Business® customers having a requirement for much faster download speeds.

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The company also plans to launch “Business Internet 500” and “Business Internet 1 Gig” for Comcast Business® subscribers in Savannah. Both tier speed packages will complement other gigabit offerings the business subscribers already have accesses to, such as Ethernet service. Comcast® subsidiary’s Ethernet service supports 100 Gbps speed over fiber network.

The residential subscribers of Comcast® who need to get faster speeds with gigabit internet service will require a cable modem that is compatible with DOCSIS 3.1 standard such as Xfinity® xFi gateway. Comcast’s recent announcement comes hot on heels of several other strategies the cable giant has made for enhancing their internet offerings, comprising Wi-Fi network expansion and introduction of xFi® digital dashboard. It lets Xfinity® subscribers to setup wireless network, find out user password and connected devices, configure parental controls, troubleshoot any issues, and pause wireless access at home.

In addition to launching the xFi® gateway, Comcast® also introduced internet services for residential customers with 1 Gbps and 2 Gbps speeds in the recent past. The best internet provider not only has a policy of doubling their network capacity each eighteen to twenty-four months but also expanded internet speeds up to seventeen times in as many years.

29 Mar

The Public Safety Network of AT&T® is Set to Launch Nationwide

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Public Safety Network

AT&T® said that its public safety network, FirstNet, is about to be ready for nationwide consumers. The best internet provider has recently announced that local agencies can start connecting to the core infrastructure of FirstNet. AT&T® is set to keep trialing the 4G wireless network with a set number of subscribers in order to “validate that the network will be there when public safety needs it,” said Jeff Bratcher, ‎First Responder Network Authority’s Chief Technology Officer and Director of Operations. He also said AT&T® should complete the final phase of FirstNet trials by May.

The congress acquired First Responder Network Authority from broadcasters through auctions held in 2012 for that. Its purpose is to create a nationwide communication system based on emergencies, such as a natural disaster, and to serve first responders. The notion behind FirstNet was to make sure efficient use of an FCC reserved spectrum and provide network access to nationwide first responders based on priority needs.

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FCC Reserved Spectrum

The public safety network makes use of FCC’s wireless spectrum with 700 MHz radio frequency band. This spectrum with low frequency enables wireless signals to not only cover long distances, but also penetrate barriers that may hinder indoor coverage such as walls. Experts in the field of public safety point out the fact that live testing of FirstNet is an important milestone in the country, although it is yet to be made available for public safety organizations.

“A lot of hard work went into this and congratulations are in order, but it is a waypoint, not a destination,” said Rear Admiral Jamie Barnett, who is also the Chair of Venable’s Telecommunications Group and the former Chief of Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau at FCC. “Public safety needs FirstNet’s deployment everywhere to know whether the promise of a nationwide, interoperable public safety network has been fulfilled.”

In the meantime, Verizon® has also unveiled that their 4G LTE, public safety network for first responder customers is going to be ready in the upcoming week. Upon nationwide launch by AT&T®, FirstNet will complete a suggestion that was laid out by National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States or 9/11 Commission, that documented first responder communication follies that took place during rescue operations commenced after the terrorist attack on September 11.

27 Mar

Public Service Commission is Seeking 1 Million Dollars from Charter Communications®

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Spectrum® Internet Service

Reports from several reliable sources indicate that the state Public Service Commission is seeking 1 million dollars from Charter Communications®. The Commission states that they are penalizing the telecom giant because they failed to satisfy the terms of an agreement to expand their high-speed Spectrum® internet service in New York.

The commission added that the telecom company had promised to expand the availability of their high-speed internet service to approximately 36771 additional businesses and homes with no broadband service by the end of December. However, it seems that Charter® has failed to meet the deadline.

In a recent statement, the Commission Chair, John Rhodes, said, “It is critically important that regulated companies strictly adhere to the state’s rules and regulations. If a regulated entity like Charter’s cable business decides to violate or ignore the rules, we will take swift action and hold them accountable to the full extent of the law.”

The officials from Charter Communications®, which is one of the best internet providers in the country, confirmed that they have decided to fight against the order from the state Public Service Commission. Spokesman Andrew Russell said, “Charter® is committed to bringing more broadband to more people across New York State.”

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He added, “We exceeded our last buildout commitment by thousands of homes and businesses. We’ve also raised our speeds to deliver faster broadband statewide. We are in full compliance with our merger order and the New York City franchise, and we will fight these baseless and legally suspect actions vigorously.”

The commission had approved the acquisition of Time Warner Cable® by Charter® a couple of years ago. In addition to that, they have also approved a subsequent compliance agreement a few months ago. However, the commission had ordered Charter® to expand the availability of their high-speed internet to approximately 45,000 homes and businesses within four years and to meet all the incremental milestones during the timeline. Reports claim that Charter® had agreed to pay $1 million each time if they were unable to meet any one of the milestones.

The executives from the telecom company, Charter® filed a report in January and said that they have expanded their internet service to 42,889 residential and business properties. However, the Commission responded to Charter’s report and stated that about 14,000 of those locations already had access to a high-speed internet service. The Commission also pointed out that Charter® had to expand their service to more than 8,000 additional locations to meet the deadline.

22 Mar

Comcast® Faces a Program Carriage Complaint in Violation of FCC Rules

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Program Carriage Complaint

Comcast® is now facing a complaint lodged by beIN Sports, who states that the cable provider is in direct violation of Federal Communications Commission’s program carriage rules as well as a non-discrimination condition mentioned in Comcast’s acquisition of NBC Universal. The sports network stated that the violation of the condition occurred prior to January 20, 2018, which was also its expiration date.

The program carriage complaint filed with FCC points to the fact that Comcast® has put the networks under one sports tier providing low penetration as opposed to Comcast’s own sports programming. The global network owning sports channels now requires the court to urge Comcast® to provide carriage based on “equitable terms,” that won’t “unreasonably restrict beIN’s ability to compete fairly.”

In fact, beIN Sports says in the complaint that Comcast® or NBC Universal have discriminated against the company in preference of similar sports programming to NBC Universo and NBC Sports. In the complaint, it is also stated that some of the other channel distributors give the networks better penetration and that Comcast® is not treating beIN’s networks in the same manner.

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The sports network said that Comcast® is wrong in stating that “similarly situated,” language is applicable to the networks instead of programming. “The Commission has already found that a sports network focused on football (the NFL Network) is similarly situated to Comcast-affiliated networks focused on golf, fishing and hunting programming,” beIN mentioned in the FCC filing. “Here, the similarity among the programming of the four networks in question is much more pronounced.”

In a late response to the complaint, the cable provider said, “Comcast® was one of the first distributors to launch both beIN Sports channels in 2012 and continues to be a good partner to the network. In fact, we have maintained our market-based distribution of beIN Sports, consistent with how it is carried by most other cable and satellite providers.”

“Unfortunately, rather than continue to engage in good-faith commercial negotiations for a renewal of its current agreement, which does not even expire for several months, beIN Sports has disappointingly filed this complaint, which is completely without merit,” they added. “Comcast® has not discriminated against beIN Sports. Instead, beIN has demanded substantial increases in fees and carriage that make no business sense for our company and our customers.”

19 Mar

AT&T® May Extend its Fiber Gigabit Service to Warren County

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Fiber Gigabit Service

AT&T® is considering extending its high-speed fiber internet service to Warren County. The launch of fiber to the region will enable more homes and offices of the county to access superfast internet connectivity for various applications. The Telco intends to offer the Internet 1000 option for the residents of Warren County that provides them with broadband gigabit internet speeds of about 1000 megabits per second. As the fastest internet provider, AT&T® intends to further expand its broadband services to more underserved regions of the country.

Two other telecommunications companies, North Central Communications of Lafayette, Tennessee, and South Central Rural Telecommunication Cooperative of Glasgow have also announced their plans to extend high-speed internet connectivity to various regions of Warren County. This has prompted AT&T® to come up with plans to offer its own improved high-speed fiber service to the county than the two communication providers. However, the officials from AT&T® did not disclose any details related to the specific areas that it intends to offers its Internet 1000 service.

According to the statement of Cathy Lewandowski, the Lead Public Relations Manager of AT&T®, “This is our initial launch announcement, and additional details of where it will launch in parts of Warren County are not available at this time.” The Telco has already invested considerably in expanding its high-speed internet to other locations in the country. Its popular Internet 1000 service has already become functional in areas of Lexington, Louisville, and Kentucky.

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Warren County Judge-Executive, Mike Buchanon, has expressed optimism regarding the extension of AT&T’s fiber gigabit service to the county. He said, “We have worked with several providers, including AT&T®, over the past several years. Although we have had no direct communication recently from them and have been given no information as to their intended timing, scope of their commitment or which parts of Warren County they intend to commit to serve, we are happy that they have responded to our efforts.”

Warren County has become a potential investment source for telecommunication companies like AT&T® and other regional service providers for offering their services. According to Buchanon, “We have worked hard to level the playing field, to create a competitive marketplace in Warren County. We continue to meet regularly with new companies and work toward the goal of countywide accessibility of high-speed internet service to every home.”

The Internet 1000 service if made available can provide the residents of Warren County with better services that can tailor the growth of jobs and the economy. Residents can opt for this Internet 1000 service for $70 per month by bundling with another service offered by AT&T®. The internet only service will cost about $80 per month.

16 Mar

Comcast Business® Introduces One Click Conferencing App to its VoiceEdge™ Service

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One Click Conferencing App

Comcast Business® has announced that it had added a new VoiceEdge™ Conferencing app to its cloud phone service. The addition of this new app will radically improve the service by making it easier to carry out and manage conference calls.

With the VoiceEdge™ Conferencing app, a single click can help in initiating a conference call and resolve any of the issues for a smoother calling experience. Available to all Comcast Business® VoiceEdge™ subscribers, this new facility can add up to 50 participants for a conference call and initiate the call using the “click to start conference” feature.

John Guillaume, the Vice President for Product Management at Comcast Business® said, “With an increasingly distributed and mobile workforce, conference calls are an important tool for keeping teams connected, but this can become challenging from a user standpoint when different people are trying to access a conference call while traveling, in remote locations, from a different office.”

“We’re continually innovating and evolving our voice platform with a focus on improving the end-user experience and overall business impact,” he further added. “With Comcast Business® VoiceEdge™ Conferencing, the days of remembering long phone numbers and PINs or asking ‘who joined the call,’ are now a thing of the past – saving our customers both time and resources.”

The Conference app for VoiceEdge™ will also make it easier for users to join a conference call by simply clicking on the “join conference” link. The app comes with several management tools and options that allow those who host the conference calls to view and identify the users who are connected to the call.

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The VoiceEdge™ Conference app is an award-winning feature developed by Comcast Business® that was conferred the 2018 Internet Telephony Product of the Year by TMCNet. Comcast® being one of the best internet service has made a new development by introducing this feature as it allows business services to become more advanced and user-friendly. Besides, the VoiceEdge™ Conference app is also available for many of the standard tools and software used for business, such as Microsoft OWA, Skype for Business, and Google Chrome.

The VoiceEdge™ Conference allows the addition of 50 participants along with a moderator for making the conference call. It essentially takes away the elaborate processes of making a conference call by providing a one-click access feature. This makes it much easier and fast to make and manage conference calls with multiple users.

It also provides improved security with the feature of PIN-protected conferencing, which is crucial for business communications. The VoiceEdge™ Conference app is compatible with various PC and mobile operating systems, including Android, iOS, Mac, and Windows.

13 Mar

AT&T® to Roll out Its 5G Services in Dallas, Atlanta, and Waco

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Rolling Out 5G Services

The development of 5G services took a major turn when AT&T® declared that it intends to first roll out its 5G network across the cities of Dallas, Atlanta, and Waco. AT&T® has been working on introducing its 5G services and the latest announcement conveys the rapid development of its 5G network. The Telco is also planning to open a 5G innovation center and test lab in Austin for further extending its best internet service. According to the official statements, AT&T® intends to debut its 5G services later this year with further upgrades planned for the beginning of 2019.

AT&T® is using the non-standalone (NSA) 5G 3GPP standards for deploying its 5G networks across the selected cities. The 5G network will use the millimeter-wave spectrum for providing the service. The customers can enjoy basic 5G services after AT&T® launches the network in the three cities. However, the Telco intends to include further additions to the network such as 5G capable smartphones and devices in 2019. Several additional spectrum bands will also be allocated in the coming years to accommodate the traffic.

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AT&T’s Senior Vice President of Wireless Network Architecture and Design, Igal Elbaz, said, “After significantly contributing to the first phase of 5G standards, conducting multi-city trials, and literally transforming our network for the future, we’re planning to be the first carrier to deliver standards-based mobile 5G — and do it much sooner than most people thought possible. What this means for our customers in these cities is that they will be the very first to access this next generation of wireless services.”

AT&T® is also planning to release the name of more cities that it intends to roll out 5G services in the coming months. It has already signed up with the Swedish telecommunications major, Ericsson for advancing its Internet of Things (IoT) solutions platform. According to AT&T®, “The experience we’ve gained by leading the industry transformation to network virtualization and software control will help our customers to get the most out of 5G. Ultimately, this means new experiences with augmented reality and virtual reality (AR/VR), future autonomous cars, and delivery drones.”

The setting up of the new test lab and innovation center will help AT&T® to carry out extensive testing and trials of its standards-based 5G network. The engineers are provided with a conducive environment where they can build and test the 5G networks and devices. The outdoor 5G testbed of AT&T® Labs, known as Advanced 5G NR Testbed Systems (ANTS), will be used to carry out trials 5G applications and real world user cases.

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