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14 Jun

Root Sports To Be Rebranded As AT&T® SportsNet

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Regional Sports Network

AT&T®, the best internet providers in the country is rebranding Root Sports, its key local sports network as AT&T® SportsNet. The sports network currently operates in several areas of Pittsburgh, Rocky Mountain, and the Southwest regions. The company has proclaimed that the channel will rebroadcast under the new name from July 14 onward. With the latest rebranding strategy, AT&T® expects to diversify and enhance its sports programming portfolio thereby offering quality content to the viewers.

Bill Roberts, head of content for AT&T® Sports Networks stated, “We have always brought an authentic and personal level of coverage to all of our teams, because as fans, we also know the history and feel the rivalries. And while we have that same undying commitment to quality, this rebrand will help us heighten the experience as we transform our visual effects capabilities further.”

According to AT&T®, the latest rebranding strategy will involve overall upgrades into many specific aspects of the channel. This includes the addition of new iconic graphics packages that utilizes a combination of both images and animation to substitute the previously used animated design. Moreover, the channel will now display the new AT&T® SportsNet logo that contains AT&T’s iconic globe logo design.

A recent press release by the company has stated that the company intends to introduce the new logo and upgraded features over time via its off-channel and promotional efforts. “We have had the same visual effects since 2011, so with this rebrand and new graphics packages, we’re excited to bring a new look and features to our teams and their fans for a truly immersive feel,” Patrick Crumb, President of AT&T® Sports Networks said.

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Exclusive Sports Coverage

AT&T® SportsNet is offering viewers with a truly distinctive and enhanced storytelling experience. The company has also stated that it will still keep all of the existing team partnerships and programming previously offered. Root Sports has exclusive coverage rights to the 150 Pirates games, 70 Penguins regular seasons games, and the playoff games of the first round.

Moreover, the network also covers the press conferences for Mike Tomlin, the Steelers coach. Root Sports was previously known as CSN Houston, which was then rebranded by AT&T® in 2014. The new AT&T® rebranding will be the second in a period of three years for Root Sports Southwest.

AT&T® Sports Networks currently manages AT&T® SportsNet and RootSports RSN across Pittsburgh, Rocky Mountain, and Southwest regions. Together, the four networks have a total coverage of over 13 million customers among the 22 states.

12 Jun

Senators Claim That AT&T® Used Forced Arbitration For Overcharging Subscribers

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Forced Arbitration Clauses

Reports from several reliable sources indicate that five Democratic US senators claimed that the usage of forced arbitration clauses by the telecom company, AT&T® has allowed them to charge higher prices than the ones they normally advertise to their subscribers. The US senators highlighted a CBS News investigation, which described that “more than 4,000 complaints against AT&T® and [subsidiary] DirecTV® related to deals, promotions and overcharging in the past two years.”

According to Edward Markey (D-Mass.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), and Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), most of the AT&T® subscribers have shown little remorse, as they are currently being forced to settle disputes with the telecom giant. The senators wrote a letter to the CEO of AT&T®, Randall Stephenson, in which they said, “Forced arbitration provisions in telecommunications contracts erode Americans’ right for seeking justice in the federal courts by urging the individuals into a privatized system, which is inherently biased in the favor of internet providers like AT&T®.” They also added that the privatized system provides virtually no way for challenging a biased outcome.

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Leading Telecom Company

“Forced arbitration requires consumers to sign away their constitutional right to hold providers accountable in court just to access modern-day essentials like mobile phone, Internet, and pay-TV services,” the letter added. The senators also stated that the forced arbitration provisions of the telecom company also “includes a class action waiver; language which strips consumers of the right to band together with other consumers to challenge a provider’s widespread wrongdoing.”

The senators further said that they are “particularly concerned about AT&T’s treatment of customer complaints alleging that the company charged a higher rate for services than initially offered in a deal or promotion.” On the other hand, the officials from AT&T® reacted to the issue by arguing that the arbitration is actually a lot more better for their customers when compared to courts of law.

In reply to that, the senators said, “Only 18 out of AT&T’s nearly 150 million subscribers sought accountability for these or other issues through individual, forced arbitration proceedings.” The senators also asked for information on how many complaints the telecom company has received on breaches of promotions, deals, and offers, in the last two years. However, we still have to wait for AT&T’s detailed take on the issue.

08 Jun

AT&T® Fully Utilizing OpenStack And CORD Platforms For Its Network Virtualization Efforts

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Network Virtualization Efforts

AT&T®, one of the major internet providers in the US, is offering complete support for using the OpenStack platform. The carrier is however presently committed to fully deploying its OpenStack-based AT&T® Integrated Cloud Zones (AIC) that it failed to achieve last year.

The AIC zones are actual physical locations utilized by the carrier for operating its virtual network functions (VNF). Previously, AT&T® has proposed plans for setting up more than hundred AIC zones, which remained incomplete with only 80 of the zones deployed.

Andre Fuetsch, president of AT&T® Labs has described it as “bringing the network to the cloud.” He said, “OpenStack is still a critical component to our architecture. We’ve made a significant investment in development resources contributing to the community, either directly through us or through proxy of developers that we hire.”

Currently, AT&T® has made proposals for deploying more than a hundred AIC zones across the country by the end of the year. Created in 2010, the OpenStack project is an open source group dedicated to compiling software for usage in cloud computing systems. The project has implemented a centralized management of computing, data, storage, and networking through a dashboard.

It was initially formed a joint venture of Rackspace and NASA, and the OpenStack Foundation undertook the entire project in the previous year. Currently, more than 500 companies have collaborated with the project. The OpenStack has played a major role in the migration efforts of telecom markets into virtualized platforms.

Fuetsch said, “Certainly some have been concerned about OpenStack in terms of its scaling and complexity, but we’re far enough down the road with OpenStack that we are fully committed. We absolutely look at a very long horizon in terms of where things are going and are always evaluating alternatives and options, but for now we are all in.”

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AT&T® Integrated Cloud Zones (AIC)

In addition, AT&T® is also involved in numerous efforts behind the Central Office Re-architected as a Data Center (CORD) program. It is intended mainly for the growing data centers and internet providers in establishing software control for supporting services such as 5G networks.

As per Fuetsch, “What we like about this is for mobile operators with large infrastructure in place is that it puts them into a position to — with the move to 5G — support a more cloud-like architecture with the radio and mobile packet infrastructure.”

06 Jun

AT&T® To Acquire Vyatta Operating System For Expanding Its Virtual Networks

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Vyatta Operating System

AT&T®, the fastest internet provider in the country, has declared that it will acquire the Vyatta network operating system and other products from Brocade. This is done on behalf of expanding its virtual networks and operations. Brocade had emerged as a major player in the area of network virtualization before Broadcom announced its plan for acquiring the company as a part of a multi-billion dollar deal.

AT&T® has made plans that it will finalize the deal for acquiring Brocade’s software-defined networking (SDN) products and research plans prior to Broadcom’s closing of the $9.5 billion acquirements of Brocade. Besides Verizon®, AT&T® is the other major carrier that has come up with several long-term projects intended for creating wider virtual network environments. Previously, the carrier has relied on specialized equipment provided by Telco giants.

However, they have abandoned the strategy and are now relying on software-based methods for managing the network. This will aid in increasing the flexibility, cutting down costs, and quicker provision of the best internet services to the customers. For this purpose, AT&T® has made extensive plans that include transforming about 55 percent of the network into software controlled by the end of this year. By 2020, the company expects to increase the software-based networking by about 75 percent.

AT&T® Labs President and CTO, Andre Fuetsch said, “Our network transformation effort lets us add new features quicker than ever before at a much lower cost. Being able to design and build the tools we need to enable that transformation is a win for us and for our customers.”

Network virtualization offers immense possibilities in building and managing networks in a more effective and affordable manner than the conventional methods. It includes SDN and Virtual-Network Functions (VNFs) that shifts the control and management of the various networking processes from the hardware to software.

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Multi-Billion Dollar Deal

SD-WAN (Software-Defined WAN) is quickly growing, which is particularly intended for educational institutions and remote wire-area networks. AT&T’s acquiring of the Vyatta OS from Brocade includes all of its Virtual-Network Functions (VNFs), vRouter products, and a distributed services platform. In addition, the will also purchase developing software, existing software licenses, patents, and applications.

With this acquiring, AT&T® will maintain many of the employees of Brocade in California and the UK. Previously, AT&T® has also entered into collaboration with VeloCloud, a major SD-WAN technology provider for building an SD-WAN center.

05 Jun

DirecTV Now® To Be Included in The AT&T® Unlimited Choice Plan

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High-Definition Video Streaming

Reports from several reliable sources indicate that the growth of the latest streaming of AT&T®, DirecTV Now® is getting a bit slow. However, we cannot count DirecTV Now® out yet because AT&T® is planning to implement a few steps to attract more customers towards the streaming service.

In a recent announcement, the officials from AT&T® announced that they would be expanding their distribution strategy for DirecTV Now® by bundling it with their Unlimited Choice plan for just $10 a month. Note that AT&T® is one of the best internet providers in the country, and this latest move from the telecom giant would entice subscribers to switch carriers for sure.

AT&T® has also been offering some of the best and cheap internet deals to their customers in order to prevent the loss of subscribers, and experts believe that the move might help the telecom company to boost their DirecTV Now® subscriber base. However, the promotion was originally offered only in the Unlimited Plus plan of AT&T®, which is the $90 each month package that provides unlimited talk and text, data, free HBO, high-def video and 10 GB of Wi-Fi tethering per phone. The downfall of this unlimited offering was that the internet speed was significantly reduced once customers exceed 22 GB of data usage per line.

The unlimited data plan offered by AT&T® is actually a step down from the $60 a month plan when we consider the account discounts for paperless billing and auto-pay. This package offers maximum internet speed of 3 Mbps, unlimited text, data, and talk, and offers standard definition video streaming. However, internet speed will still be reduced once the user consumes more than 22 GB in a month.

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Unlimited Choice Plan

The newly proposed $10 deal for AT&T’s streaming service consists of a $25 video credit, which makes the cost of subscribing to the service just $10 a month on top of the wireless bill of users. However, customers could also check out the basic package offered by DirecTV Now®, “Live a Little” under the new deal.

“Live a Little” is actually a pretty much decent bundle offering and it offers customers access to over 60 channels including some broadcast networks like Fox, NBC, and ABC in select markets. In addition to that, there are also a number of popular cable channels such as CNN, CNBC, Bloomberg, A&E, AMC, BBC, and many others. This plan is available to customers for just $35 a month.

01 Jun

AT&T® Collaborates With California Institute Of Technology To Develop Quantum Networking

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Developing Quantum Networking

AT&T’s Foundry Innovation Center, the company’s technological development wing, has proposed a new collaboration with the California Institute of Technology for developing quantum-networking technologies. Both the institutions have come up together to form the Alliance of Quantum Technologies (AQT) that aims to bring together various industries, government, and the academic community for developing quantum technology and its practical applications.

Reports say that this new collaboration will also consist of a new research and development initiative known as Intelligent Quantum Networks and Technologies (INQNET). Its sole focus is for developing the necessary security and capacity for future quantum networking technologies.

Quantum networking represents the future of computing and internet communications that will bring forth innovations such as super fast and secure internet networks. AT&T®, which is the fastest internet provider in the US, will also aid in carrying out trials and testing for such technologies for many commercial applications.

Quantum computers will eliminate all the existing physical hardware peripherals like keyboard, mouse, etc., and instead, come up with more advanced solutions. This includes the use of cryogenic technology for cooling, laser optics, improved solid state, and atomic devices.

Igal Elbaz, vice president of ecosystem and innovation at AT&T®, said that, “Quantum computing and networking holds the potential to radically transform how we connect as a society. It will make the impossible possible, as the internet once did. The AT&T® Foundry was founded to advance new products and services through innovation and collaboration. It’s the ideal place for this work as quantum technologies become a rapidly developing field in industrial research.”

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Intelligent Quantum Networks and Technologies

By using quantum-networking technologies, AT&T® aims at connecting quantum computers and devices through ultra fast and highly secure networks that enable best internet speeds throughout the country. The principles of this new technology involve the application of some of the fundamental laws of quantum mechanics for the purpose of data processing and transfer.

AT&T® has indicated that such technologies require extensive testing and trials in the controlled laboratory environments before deploying in the real world. “With quantum technologies and quantum engineering we’re experiencing a revolution in the applied fundamental,” Maria Spiropulu, Professor of Physics at the California Institute of Technology said. “It is quite thrilling to accelerate the progress by integrating systems and ongoing R&D and especially by bringing together the experts. The spirit of innovation and collaboration at the AT&T® Foundry is the culture we hope permeates throughout this endeavor. I expect the catalysis effect on science and technology to be analogous.”

30 May

AT&T® Launches Fiber Cable Internet In Wilmington

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1-Gigabyte Internet

The best internet provider in the US, AT&T® has recently entered a county near the Northern Carolina to attract more customers to their offerings. In a recent press release, the telecom giant announced the start of a new service through fiber cable in the Wilmington County areas. Being one of the 53 metros areas, the Wilmington County subscribers were waiting for this move since last fall. The area is billed as the company’s ground to serve the best internet provider via fiber cable.

AT&T® officials said that homes, businesses, and commercial spaces alike are fully covered with the fiber network in the region. In fact, the coverage of their internet services covers the whole area including residences and other apartments. Reports say that AT&T® is also planning to launch 1 GB internet to Leland area soon.

“High-speed internet has quickly become a preferred way to access information and communicate,” Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo stated. “I am glad to see this investment from AT&T, and am certain that the increased ability to tout Wilmington’s connectivity to fiber internet further strengthens the reputation of our community.”

AT&T® executives said that the 1-gigabyte internet speed lets users download up to 25 songs in a second, stream 90 minute HD video in 34 seconds. “We are proud to add Wilmington to our list of cities where we plan to bring our fastest internet speed available,” John Lyon, head of AT&T’s external affairs in North Carolina, quoted on behalf of the company. “AT&T’s ultra-fast internet speeds will open up more possibilities for our customers. They can enjoy doing the things they love online, with less frustration and in less time,” Lyon added.

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High-Speed Internet

The best internet provider ventures fiber cable internet for the first time in Wilmington County. Subscribers can also bundle the high-speed internet with other services by the company such as the DirecTV® packages for just $70 a month. Alternatively, customers can have the 1 Gbps internet as a standalone for just $80 a month.

The fiber cable is a hundred percent foolproof and an alternative to the copper cable, which has gone out of fashion. AT&T® is sure to lure in more clients from the Wilmington area through their superfast and cheap internet deals.

26 May

AT&T® Completes Nationwide Deployment Of Its LTE-M IoT Network

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5G Wireless Cellular Technology

AT&T® officials recently announced that they have completed the deployment of their nationwide LTE-M Internet of Things (IoT) network. The company, which is one of the major internet providers in the country, has declared that the works done for installing the network nationwide are completed ahead of schedule. The deployment of 4G LTE-M IoT network represents the carrier’s milestone growth in the introduction of advanced wireless connectivity for customers across the nation. Moreover, it will also pave the way for the future development of next generation 5G wireless cellular technology and deployment of IoT on a much wider scale than was previously possible.

AT&T’s 4G LTE-M network comes with the latest features and comes integrated with standardized 3GPP technology. This utilizes licensed spectrum that enables good reliability, carrier-grade security, and cheap internet connectivity. Previously, the company announced the introduction of LTE-M IoT networks before the stipulated schedule, which comes ahead of numerous successful trials using a pilot network in California as well as subsequent testing in Columbus, Ohio. Moreover, AT&T® has laid out elaborate plans for expanding the footprint of its LTE-M IoT networks across the entire regions of North America.

With the introduction of LTE-M IoT networks, customers are conferred with a range of benefits and access to more services. This includes improved coverage for the IoT devices, extended battery life, as well as the reduction in the size of the modules. In addition, AT&T® has also released a new set of rate plans for the LTE-M network services. The plans start with a lower rate of $1.50 per month per device along with extra discounts for yearly and multi-annual contracts.

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LTE-M IoT Network

The networking modules of LTE-M are offered at a price of about $7.50 including a SIM card and they are available from AT&T’s suppliers. Furthermore, the currently functioning IoT networks available to the users will also undergo major upgrades according to the company. A firmware update process will also be initiated that will eventually upgrade the M14A2A IoT modules to LTE-M.

The latest LTE-M IoT network is specifically designed for large-scale uses like asset tracking, smart metering, smart city services, supply chain management, etc. Chris Penrose, President of IoT Solutions at AT&T® said, “Our nationwide LTE-M deployment is another example of AT&T’s continued investment and leadership in IoT. We can now reach new places and connect new things at a price that’s more affordable than ever before. Our LTE-M starter kit will also spur developers to open the doors to IoT innovation.”

26 May

AT&T® CEO Thinks 60-Minute Episodes Might Be Too Long For Mobile Devices

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Sitcom-Length Episodes

TV shows are actually shaped by the format of their TV network programming. The length of some of the TV series is half-an-hour while the length of other TV shows is one hour and it is being aired by the networks with or without commercial breaks, as per they wish. However, more and more American citizens have started to watch their favorite TV shows through tablets and smartphones. At the same time, more and more TV companies have become closely intertwined with mobile carriers over the last few years. The CEO of AT&T®, Randall Stephenson, recently shared his view on the same subject.

Stephenson said that the premium content, which us unique for a mobile environment, would help telecom companies attract more customers to their offerings. Reports indicate that AT&T® will be able to earn more profit through this way since they are planning a merger with the massive media grant,

“It will cause [Richard] Plepler at HBO to panic when I say this, but can you begin to think about things like Game of Thrones as an example, where in a mobile environment a 60-minute episode may not be the best experience, should you think about 20-minute episodes?” Stephenson said.

In addition to that, he also clarified that even though Time Warner-owned HBO will be tied to the telecom company after the proposed merger, “You can’t think about taking Game of Thrones and [only making] it available to AT&T customers, that’s crazy.” Stephenson also said, if you “do things uniquely with Game of Thrones for your mobile environment, where you have the ability to innovate faster and if the fast innovation creates a unique experience in your environment, you’re probably going to want to make that available later to other providers as well.”

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Trending TV Shows

Reports indicate that the close connection between media companies and mobile distribution channels will eventually offer something like this in the near future. However, it is hard to imagine such a fan-favorite TV series like Game of Thrones being cut down into sitcom-length episodes.

The attractive packages offered by AT&T® have enabled the telecom giant to acquire some more customers to their offerings recently. In addition to that, it has also benefited several wireless customers in the United States to acquire of some of the best and cheap internet deals.

22 May

AT&T® Expands Internet Capability To Jasper County

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Expanding Internet Capability

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

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

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

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

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

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Fixed Wireless service

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

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

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