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23 Mar

Is AT&T Blocking Quality Internet Access In Poor Neighborhoods

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Quality Internet Access

Telecom companies are much notorious and many consumers often complain about the slow services, issues in coverage, and high prices. However, what if you cannot stream your favorite show or research your term paper as the internet service in your area is very slow? What if the slow speed is based on your neighborhood and not because you have used up the data allowance?

Experts say that this might be happening in the poorest neighborhoods of Cleveland and AT&T internet might be the culprit. As per the report from internet consumer advocacy groups like Connect Your Community and National Digital Inclusion Alliance, the lack of investment and refusal to extend the available discounts services to poor neighborhoods is equivalent to income discrimination that was used by banks, called redlining.

The internet consumer advocacy groups analyzed the broadband availability data of FCC and they found that the Cleveland neighborhoods with highest poverty rates have the slowest internet connections. They also added that the old infrastructure in use by AT&T is the cause of the slow internet speeds. As per the report released by the groups, AT&T is not investing in fiber based broadband internet infrastructure and are excluding some of the neighborhoods from their discounted internet services for the low income users.

Gizmodo also reported that AT&T was blocking high-speed best internet access to those neighborhoods where at least thirty-five percent of the total population lived below the poverty line. This means that the more money a household makes, the more likely they are to have good internet access.

“Recognizing a publicly traded company’s first priority is to profit means we, as a country, must take the necessary steps to ensure broadband infrastructure is upgraded equally regardless of income, not just for today but for the future,” NDIA director Angela Siefer said. “Since the free market is clearly not solving this issue, we need local, state and federal policies that encourage build out in all neighborhoods, subsidizing when necessary.”

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Access to internet services from the various internet providers is an economic issue. It is estimated that thirteen percent of the adults in USA, who do not use the internet, make less than fifty thousand dollars per year. As per the report from the Center for Public Integrity, twenty percent of Americans in low-income families do not have access to the internet and among those, who make between 35,000 and 47,000 dollars, fifteen percent are not connected to the internet.

Many regulatory efforts are in place to mitigate these issues. One such regulation is the net neutrality that prohibits the broadband internet providers from blocking, throttling, and other techniques to control internet speeds. Nevertheless, experts believe that these regulations are at risk under the Trump Administration.

21 Mar

CBS Goes Dark On AT&T U-Verse Customers

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AT&T U-Verse Customers

A recent television contract dispute between AT&T and Raycom Media has resulted in the blackout of CBS on AT&T U-Verse in Charleston. This means that AT&T U-Verse customers in this region will miss some of the most crucial matches of the college basketball games this month.

Tensions between both parties started when the officials from Raycom Media made a statement that they are pulling their stations from AT&T U-Verse in Charleston. The timing of the blackout created frustrations among many AT&T U-Verse customers because it took place just a few hours before the first tip-off of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament on the CBS.

WCSC-TV, which is owned by Raycom Media, is the local affiliate for the Tiffany Network. In a written message, the officials from Raycom Media said that the “inconvenience to viewers is part of a broader business strategy to convert AT&T U-Verse customers to DirecTV because a DirecTV subscription is more profitable” for AT&T, which owns both services.

Reports indicate that the dispute between both the parties happened when the Dallas-based telecommunications giant, AT&T was asked to pay a new “retransmission” fee in order to secure the rights for carrying the programs offered by Raycom Media.

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Blackout Of CBS

The officials from AT&T blamed the broadcaster for the blackout of the channels. They also added that Raycom is looking for “a significant increase” in the retransmission fee and they are “deliberately preventing WCSC” from being delivered or brought to their U-Verse customers. “We have asked Raycom repeatedly to allow our customers to watch while we work this business matter out privately, but Raycom continues to refuse,” officials from AT&T said.

CBS Network was scheduled to bring the broadcast of four basketball games as a part of their March Madness coverage. However, AT&T U-Verse customers in Charleston missed the coverage of these games because both the parties failed to reach a settlement on the retransmission fee issue.

You can catch the live broadcast of the college basket basketball games online, but you will need to subscribe to any one of the best internet service in the country for that. Many internet providers including AT&T offer high-speed internet service to their customers that allow them to watch these games online without any delays or disturbances.

15 Mar

AW North Carolina Seeks Help From AT&T To Secure Business Operations

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Mobility Business Services

One of the best internet providers in the United States, AT&T offers mobility business services and security to AW North Carolina, who is a leading automatic transmissions manufacturer. The services offered by AT&T allow the company to protect their data and to connect their employees to the manufacturer’s network.

It is a fact that many major business corporations in the country face serious and growing cyber security threats. A research published by the telecom giant, AT&T pointed out that about 90% of companies encountered a preventable cyber attack in the year 2016.

This means that if you want to protect and secure the sensitive files and other data of your business, then you should certainly adopt a multilayered approach. However, many small-scale businesses do not have the necessary resources for developing and managing a multi-layered security approach on their own.

AW North Carolina went to seek the aid of AT&T after they experienced a number of service disruptions from viruses and ransomware. These service disruptions affected the day-to-day business operations of the company and it even went on to halt their production at times, which in turn resulted in a potential loss of revenue.

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AW North Carolina

The Cybersecurity Consulting Division of AT&T positioned an Incident Response and Forensics team who successfully identified and eliminated the ransomware, which in turn brought W North Carolina back online. The General Manager of Information Technology, AW North Carolina, John Peterson, said, “It was essential to find a solution to these attacks as quickly as possible. A highly secure network is key to our success. Now, it’s no longer a matter of chasing a virus from one network connection to the next to identify compromised computers. Throughout the process, AT&T was a trusted advisor.”

Vice President of AT&T Security Consulting, Todd Waskelis said, “Today, an attack could mean a loss of reputation, revenue, and resources. Reacting quickly and with the right tools is of the utmost importance. We worked with AW North Carolina to understand the root cause of this attack and how it happened using Incident Response and Forensics capabilities to not only protect their business but to also improve their security protections to help prevent further security issues.”

Reports indicate that the best internet service and highly efficient security solutions offered by AT&T will enable them to attract more customers towards their services.

14 Mar

AT&T Launches Cheap Internet Plan For GoPhone Customers

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AT&T Internet Plan

The telecom giant, AT&T recently introduced a cheap internet plan for their AT&T GoPhone customers. The officials from AT&T confirmed that the customers who are currently under their GoPhone plan would be able to enjoy unlimited data for just $60 per month. However, AT&T GoPhone customers will have to sign up for AutoPay in order to enjoy this latest offering.

The subscribers who sign up for AutoPay will receive unlimited text, talktime, and data with a maximum internet speed of 3 Mbps. This plan is ideal for web browsing, accessing social media platforms, and for streaming standard definition video content at a maximum speed of 1.5 Mbps.

This is one of best internet deals available to AT&T customers now, because they will not have to pay any extra charges for their basic internet needs with this plan. However, the officials from AT&T stated that they would temporarily slow the internet data once the consumer exceeds the usage of 22 GB during periods of network congestion.

If you are traveling to Canada or Mexico on your vacation, then you might have earlier spent hundreds of your dollar to make calls to your friends and relatives and for using the internet. However, the latest AT&T GoPhone Unlimited plan allows you to make texts and calls to and from Canada, Mexico, and the US, which means that you will no longer have to worry about additional charges.

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AT&T GoPhone

AT&T vice president of wireless voice and prepaid products, Bob Bickerstaff said, “We’re excited to offer a truly unlimited plan for our AT&T GoPhone customers. AT&T GoPhone customers now have even more flexibility to pick the plan that fits their needs as well as the perfect device from a selection of premium smartphones they really want.”

If you are an AT&T customer who is planning to subscribe to a plan without a credit check or an annual contract and if you don’t unlimited internet data, then AT&T GoPhone plan of 6GB for just $40 a month after AutoPay is undoubtedly the best choice for you.

You will be able to access 6 GB of your internet data at a high speed, but the internet speed will be eventually reduced to 128 Kbps once you exceed the 6 GB limit during your plan cycle. You will be also able to make texts and calls to and from Mexico, Canada, and the U.S.

10 Mar

AT&T Offers LTE-M Technology To Capstone Metering For Water Conservation

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LTE-M Technology

AT&T has successfully implemented its LTE-M technology for conserving water by offering its network to Capstone Metering, a water management solutions company. The carrier has also planned to introduce LTE-M technology all across the country this year.

Capstone has become one of the first customers using AT&T’s LTE-M technology in water management. For this, the LTE Category M1 is utilized that differs from the conventional categories of LTE networks focused on smartphone usage. Reports say that it uses very low amounts of bandwidth for sending smaller amounts of data at intervals, which is ideal for low power modems that connect meters and other sensors to the network.

Capstone Metering LLC was founded in 2007 and it offers innovative water management solutions to ensure effective conservation and usage. Their efforts focus on metering and monitoring water usage for the thousands of water authorities spread across the nation. For achieving this, the company connects their meters and sensors to the AT&T internet network. Apart from that, Capstone Metering also offers numerous other additions including the meter, installation, platform, training, analytics, maintenance, connectivity, and cloud database.

AT&T adviser James Brehm explains that, “Water as service moves the small and medium water districts from a [capital expense] to an [operating expense] model. There are 148,000 water authorities across the United States. They serve 98 million service connections, and about a third of those are in the top 20 to 30 cities, the next third are in medium-size cities and then the rest are split across small cities.”

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He also suggested a new method of requiring the water authorities to pay the meter fee each month. This will aid in removing all the costs involved in each of the technicians visit a water meter. Brehm anticipates that the new solution by the carrier will be highly beneficial, mainly for smaller districts. This is evident in Capstone’s claims of success and usefulness of the best internet technology by AT&T for managing water resources in larger cities as well.

Capstone has stated that such real-time data from the water meters will effectively aid in conservation efforts. The company is currently in the process of developing algorithms for detecting any leaks in the water supply systems to alert the water authorities quickly. The company has also stated that the LTE-M network is the most suitable for this use case.

06 Mar

AT&T And Chevrolet Offer Unlimited In-Car Wi-Fi Data

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Unlimited Wi-Fi Data

In a recent statement, General Motors Co. stated that they would provide a $20 a month unlimited prepaid data plan for 4.1 million Chevrolet and to other GM vehicle users in the United States through the fastest internet provider, AT&T. The officials from General Motors Co. added that this service would only be available to vehicles, which are equipped with the OnStar 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot.

This new offering will be available to customers by the first week of this month. Reports indicate that General Motors Co. is offering the new plan to Cadillac, GMC, and Buick vehicles that are equipped with the hotspot. This new initiative between AT&T and General Motors Co. came when both the parties discovered that Chevy owners in the country used over 4 million gigabytes of data in the year 2016.

More than 3.1 vehicles equipped with OnStar 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspots were sold by Chevrolet in the last 3 years. The officials from the company also claimed that they have more vehicles that are equipped with a 4G LTE connection than any other carmaker.

The director of global communications for GM, Global Connected Customer Experience, and Urban Mobility, Vijay Iyer stated that the company hopes that this new offering will increase the subscriptions for data use. However, they refused to share any details on how many data customers it currently has.

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AT&T And Chevrolet

The basic data pass offered by OnStar is available to its customers for $5 per month and it gives them access to 250 megabytes of data per day. OnStar also offers a few more packages. For instance, customers who pay $20 a month will get access to 4 gigabytes of data, whereas those who pay $150 will get access to 20 gigabytes of data. The data plans are available through OnStar or through AT&T’s best internet service.

In a statement, the president of GM North America and global head of Chevrolet, Alan Batey said, “We have contractors bidding jobs in their Silverados, families streaming movies in their Suburbans and Malibus, and everyone tapping into the cloud for music. With the most affordable unlimited 4G LTE data plan in the auto industry, the widest availability of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and new connected services like OnStar AtYourService, our momentum can only grow.”

03 Mar

Turning Off The Stream Saver Feature Of AT&T Internet

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Stream Saver Feature

AT&T knows that the competition is growing fast in the wireless industry and they have introduced unlimited data plans to attract more and more customers to their best internet offerings. Recently, they have announced a lower price tier and many improvements and promotions for their unlimited mobile data plans that were offered to all the users last week.

As per the latest updates, the unlimited plan will cost 90 dollars for the first line with a 10 dollars price cut. Note that Verizon also introduced their unlimited plan recently, under pressure from the smaller internet providers like T-Mobile and Sprint, who are offering cheap internet plans. Wireless users hate the monthly data allowances, as it forces them to guess in advance the amount of used data. When these users go over the monthly data allowances, they will have to face extra charges and fines.

Interestingly, it was AT&T who started to offer unlimited data plans. This was over an year ago, much before T-Mobile and Sprint, but their offering was limited to their DirecTV and U-Verse cable subscribers only. Statistics shows that 8 million customers signed up for the offer, and now, AT&T has opened the plan to all wireless users.

None of the unlimited plans, from AT&T or any other carriers is truly unlimited though. For instance, in case of AT&T, if a subscriber uses more than 22 GB of internet in a month, the speed can decrease. Verizon and Sprint also threaten to de-prioritize after 22 GB and 23 GB data use respectively. Still, the slow downs are preferable than the overage fees.

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Streaming Video

Another catch in the unlimited data plan from AT&T is the Stream Saver feature. This feature is meant to save the data plan of the users. The feature limits most of the video streams using the unlimited offering from AT&T network to 480 pixels or almost DVD quality. However, none of the users may wish to watch DVD quality video with the unlimited data plan. The Stream Saver feature is turned on by default, but AT&T offers an easy way to turn off the feature. The steps are discussed below.

  • Log into your AT&T account by visiting the company website;
  • In Account Overview area, click on Manage Stream Saver;
  • Then click on the buttons provided next to each feature that you need to disable.

If you are logged in from the mobile app,

  • Sign into the app and choose Usage from the menu;
  • Scroll down to bottom of page to select Manage My Usage; and
  • Select the button next to every option that you need to disable.
28 Feb

AT&T Signs An Agreement With Current Powered By GE

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AT&T Partnership

In a recent announcement, AT&T and Current (powered by GE) stated that they are entering into a partnership to speed up the digital era of urban development. Both these companies have an extensive history in communications technology and infrastructure.

The officials from both the companies added that the exclusive agreement between them would connect cities across Mexico and the United States to the IoT (Internet of Things). Reports indicate that the partnership between the two companies will bring a number of possibilities, which will considerably improve the way cities communicate, operate, and meet the requirements of its citizens.

The telecom giant, AT&T has been using their IoT expertise and resource since the launch of their Smart Cities program to create impactful solution for the cities. The fastest internet provider has also helped several cities to implement and develop a holistic Smart Cities strategy in order to address their present and future needs.

AT&T’s recently signed deal with Current considerably expands the Smart Cities services of the telecom company. The introduction of GE’s Predix-powered IoT platform will allow AT&T to use LED lighting in any city for creating a digital infrastructure. This will in turn address issues such as parking optimization, traffic flow, air quality monitoring, weather emergency alerts, and gunshot detection on the streets.

The president of IoT Solutions at AT&T, Chris Penrose said that, “Intelligent lighting plays a huge role in a smart city. Our collaboration with Current will enable us to use a city’s existing lighting infrastructure to more securely connect sensor-enabled networks. This will put them on the path to becoming a smarter, more sustainable city.”

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IoT Platform

The Chief Digital Officer of Current, John Gordon said, “We are thrilled to expand Current’s relationship with AT&T to help cities redefine the civic engagement model—our digital network is based on an open platform, which allows entrepreneurs, incubators and students to get involved in the future development smart city applications. AT&T has a long history of working commercially with municipalities, and our technology will be a perfect fit toward helping more cities unleash the limitless potential of the Industrial Internet.”

Reports indicate that the Smart Cities initiative of the best internet provider will bring connectivity to spotlight cities across the United States and it will help these cities to become safer, cleaner, and a lot more efficient.

25 Feb

AT&T Updates Senators That Their Merger With Time Warner Will Benefit Customers

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AT&T Time Warner Merger

It is known that AT&T had announced their plans to acquire Time Warner Inc. a few months ago. Time Warner is actually the parent company of a number of popular cable networks in the country, and this is why, many telecom companies and experts greeted AT&T’s merger plans with great skepticism right from the start. However, reports indicate that AT&T is continuing with their efforts to buy Time Warner, even though the telecom company has sidestepped several regulatory scrutinies by not seeking the approval of FCC for the proposed merger.

Lawmakers have been continually asking the fastest internet provider on how this merger will benefit anyone other than the shareholders of both the parties. AT&T responded to this query by stating that this potential merger will affect neither the prices nor the competition, because they are a small-time player in pay-TV business. In addition to that, the officials at AT&T also pointed out that the viewership number of Time Warner has significantly decreased over the last few years.

The CEO of AT&T, Randall Stephenson claimed that AT&T’s merger with Time Warner will “disrupt the entrenched pay-TV models,” and it will give more option to customers. In addition to that, he also added that the merger with speed up the development of AT&T’s 5G wireless networks.

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AT&T Customers

A group of senators wrote a letter to AT&T a few weeks ago, asking AT&T to explain how their merger with Time Warner will be in the public interest. “We remain concerned about how a deal of this size could affect consumers and competition,” the letter stated. Furthermore, the senators also said that, “AT&T is already the world’s largest pay TV provider and the largest telecommunications company. Combining it with one of the world’s largest producers of content gives AT&T-Time Warner both the incentive and ability to use its platform to harm competitors, and as a result, consumers.”

“The combined company could promote its own programming above that of other content companies’ or restrict other distributors’ ability to offer its highly-desired content. As a result, the merger could raise prices on consumers, reduce access to independent programming; and harm small businesses, content distributors, and innovative business models,” they added.

AT&T responded to this merger recently and they added that their merger with Time Warner would give customers what they want. AT&T has been offering the best internet, phone, and TV services to their customers for a long time, and if this merger with Time Warner comes into fruition, then AT&T might be able to dominate the market with much more offers and deals.

17 Feb

The New Unlimited Plan From AT&T Eliminates TV Requirement

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AT&T Unlimited Plan

One of the major drawbacks of AT&T’s former unlimited plan was that customers were forced to subscribe to a TV subscription and this drew off many customers from choosing the unlimited offering from AT&T. However, in a recent announcement, AT&T confirmed that they are planning to re-offer their unlimited data plan to their subscribers without requiring them to have a U-Verse or DirecTV packages.

Reports from several reliable sources indicate that the new offering from AT&T will be available to their customers in a few days. AT&T is one of the leading telephone and internet providers in the country, and it seems that they are planning to match their unlimited plan to that of Verizon, which offers four lines to their customers for just $180 without the need to subscribe to a television service.

Nevertheless, a single line offering of AT&T is a bit more expensive when compared to that of Verizon and it is available to the subscribers for $100. AT&T is charging $40 each for the second and third line. This means that the telecom giant is not charging the customers for the fourth line.

Just like Verizon, AT&T will also be slowing down customers when they are in “congested” or busy regions, if the customers have already crossed the 22 GB mark in a month. Reports indicate that customers who do not exceed 22 GB in a month will not be have to worry about AT&T’s this policy.

The new unlimited offer provided by AT&T will also include HD video. However, AT&T has confirmed that they will not allow their customers to use their smartphone as a mobile hot spot. The unlimited plan offered by some of the internet providers such as Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon does offer 10 GB of mobile hot spot data.

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AT&T Internet Plans

In addition to that, AT&T customers who travel to Mexico and Canada will be able to add a “Roam North America” feature, which enables them to use their unlimited plan in both of the countries at zero additional charges. This means that AT&T customers will be able to enjoy unlimited calling, texting, and internet services while they are in these countries.

AT&T also added that their non-TV customers who stick with the oldest unlimited data offering would not be affected by this latest announcement. Reports indicate that this latest offering from AT&T is the best internet service, and will attract more customers to their offerings.

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