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19 Sep

Charter® And Samsung Team Up In Carrying Out 5G And 4G LTE Trials

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5G And 4G LTE Trials

Charter Communications® has collaborated with Samsung for carrying out 5G and 4G LTE lab and field trials across the United States. The trials will involve evaluating the usage of the 28 GHz millimeter wave spectrum. Besides that, the two companies are also conducting trials in 4G at the 3.5 GHz spectrum using the small cell technology developed by Samsung in outdoor environments.

According to a statement released by the company, “These tests will provide critical information as Charter® prepares to launch a mobile wireless service next year and bring new competition to that marketplace.” Reports say that Charter® will also stress on an ‘inside-out’ strategy, initially centering on wireless solutions inside the home and office, and then finally expand to outdoors.

Previously, Charter® entered into a MVNO agreement with other internet providers such as Verizon Communications®. Later, the Telco announced some details regarding its plans to test and implement 5G network across various regions of the country. The Telco has also applied for the required licenses to undertake trials using 5G in the previous year.

Craig Cowden, SVP of wireless technology at Charter®, said in a statement, “We are pleased to collaborate with Samsung on these trials, which provide Charter® better insight into how our advanced, powered, high-speed network—which currently passes 49 million homes and businesses—can be used to enable 5G services. In addition, as we move closer to the launch of a Spectrum® wireless service in 2018, our work with Samsung on trials of 4G small cell technology will support our overall wireless strategy.”

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28 Ghz Millimeter Wave Spectrum

Charter® intends to provide extensive connectivity across the country by using 4G and 5G networks along with Wi-Fi. The Telco is expecting to release its cellular service by 2018 for providing wireless access to the customers. Charter® is also considering leveraging the new spectrum such as the 3.5 GHz and millimeter wave to obtain the best speeds, capacity, and quality in the networks. Both Charter® and Samsung announced this new cooperation in conducting trials during the Mobile World Congress Americas held recently.

Mark Louison, SVP and General Manager for Networks, Samsung Electronics America said, “As a pioneer in small cell networks technologies, Samsung is excited to partner with Charter® as they evaluate their next-generation 5G and 4G wireless network technologies. These projects, with communications leaders such as Charter®, will continue to lay the foundation for future business models and customer applications that tap the full potential of both 4G LTE and 5G.”

14 Sep

Comcast® Launches YouTube App To Xfinity® Broadband

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YouTube App In X1 platform

Comcast Corporation® recently launched Google’s YouTube app on their Xfinity® platform. The launch has met with much anticipation from cable subscribers in the US. In fact, this news applies to US subscribers who are users of Stream TV of Comcast® Cable and Xfinity® broadband.

The Telco will gradually release on-demand movies, news, and other YouTube videos via Xfinity® to Stream TV’s “On Demand Menu” sections. The videos in the music section of Stream TV, for instance, will let subscribers to stream music videos that feature in the integrated YouTube app. The pact between Comcast® and Google will also enable US subscribers to stream YouTube videos via the X1 voice remote.

“Giving our customers seamless access to live, on demand and internet content in one place continues to be a key part of our strategy and we are excited to now add YouTube to the X1 experience,” said Matt Strauss, who is the Executive VP of Xfinity® Services.

Subscribers can now voice search “YouTube” on their X1 remotes and the app will instantly launch on Stream TV. Additionally, voice searching “show me clips from a news channel on YouTube” will allow Xfinity® subscribers stream channel-specific videos within the YouTube app. The same feature can be used to stream other on-demand YouTube videos under the “On Demand Menu” section of Stream TV as well.

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On Demand Menu Sections

Many US subscribers use platforms such as YouTube and Netflix as an alternative way to stream popular shows through the internet. The addition of YouTube in its offerings is surely a move from Comcast Corporation® to become the best internet provider through their Xfinity® broadband service.

“By adding billions of YouTube videos to our video platform, we are taking our role as the aggregator of aggregators to a new level and reaffirming that X1 is the best place to easily discover and access all types of entertainment with the sound of your voice,” Matt Strauss said.

The pact between Google, YouTube’s parent company, and Comcast Corporation® has been launched a year on since the launch of Netflix to Xfinity® X1. However, note that just like streaming Netflix videos on Stream TV, streaming YouTube videos through the X1 platform will also affect the data caps set by the best internet provider.

14 Sep

Cable And Internet Out In Florida. What Is Comcast® Telling About Service Restoration

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TV-Internet Services Down

When internet is down, commerce for many South Florida businesses and individuals, who depend on the internet to get things done, also goes down. As South Florida is recovering from the Hurricane Irma, television and internet providers are facing questions from customers on service restoration. Many users complained that they are not getting any clear answers and some were not able to get through.

A Comcast® customer named Rodriguez tweeted to @comcastcares and got a message that her service will be restored by Sept. 18 at 03:30 pm. Yet she said, “That seems unreasonable to me.”

Outages are widespread on internet, phone, and television services. Many of the outage could be linked to electric outages. The Twitter and Miami Herald feeds of AT&T® and Comcast® received many complaints from users with power but no TV or internet services.

Comcast® spokeswoman, Mindy Kramer said that the network that feeds and distributes their services in the Miami area include communications equipment that is dependent on commercial power, which is down due to the hurricane.

“As of Tuesday morning, we have been able to restore power to some but not all of the equipment that services customers in the Miami-metro area. We are working very closely with FPL so they can prioritize these critical facilities and restore commercial power service to them as quickly as possible,” Kramer said.

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Slow Restoration Of Services

“Our facilities in South Florida have been running on generators since the storm began and unfortunately everyone is need of the same fuel resources. We have been doing our best to refuel these generators so that our facilities are able to stay functioning without commercial power. We have teams deploying additional generators today in South Florida,” she added.

Kramer further said that Comcast® also suffered damages as lines were cut; in fact, the Telco suffered extensive destruction in Florida Keys. Kramer said that except for in the Keys, “We expect our plant to be restored quickly from what our assessments show so far.” She said that power is restored to one piece of critical equipment, “but we need them all to come back up.”

She added that as soon as commercial power supply is restored to the Miami Metro plant of Comcast®, the consumer services would resume. “The situation is very challenging and we know being without Xfinity® internet, TV or phone service is frustrating for our customers. We are doing everything possible to be able to restore services as quickly as we can.”

12 Sep

AT&T® Announces A New Cloud-Enabled IoT Solution

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AT&T® Asset Management – Operations Center

One of the fastest internet providers in the country, AT&T® recently announced a new IoT solution. This new solution, which is called as AT&T® Asset Management – Operations Center was introduced for the quick deployment of asset management and monitoring in the cloud.

Reports from reliable sources claim that the new IoT solution from the telecom giant will use numerous Microsoft® Enterprise components like Microsoft® Power BI and Azure Cosmos DB. In addition to that, the IoT solution will also be running on the Microsoft® Azure cloud platform. The officials from AT&T® and designers are hopeful that the IoT solution will offer business customers a streamlined way to manage, monitor, and track all their deployed IoT assets.

AT&T® is focused on delivering a reliable, highly secure, on-demand, flexible network, which serves all the needs of their business customers in an integrated approach. The latest IoT solution enables a single application that supports communication protocols, networks, communication protocols, and cloud environments.

Additionally, AT&T® Asset Management – Operations Center also comes with a built-in dashboard, which allows customers to tailor data visualization. The solution also supports a plug and play environment for sensors on the device, configuring devices, a grouping of assets by type and location, and more.

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Microsoft® Enterprise Components

It is evident that the Operation Center of AT&T® is undoubtedly designed for the future. Users will be easily able to add mix modes, new devices, and support multiple asset monitoring use cases. Additionally, it also offers flexibility to customers and they can either integrate it with other applications or use it as a standalone solution.

Chris Penrose, President of IoT Solutions at AT&T® said, “AT&T® is committed to giving our enterprise customers the tools, platforms and the connectivity they need to more securely manage their IoT assets wherever they’re deployed. AT&T® and Microsoft® have a long-standing relationship, and we’re pleased to once again team with them through the new AT&T® Asset Management—Operations Center to deliver a flexible solution to help address our customers’ current and future IoT needs.”

The Corporate Vice President, ISV, and SI, Microsoft® Corp, Michael Angiulo said, “We’re excited to collaborate with AT&T® to give our joint enterprise customers more control of their deployed IoT assets by utilizing Azure cloud services. Together, our combined technologies can help customers quickly deploy innovative solutions that can improve their day-to-day operations.”

09 Sep

Cheyenne County Is Closing In On Getting A Broadband Internet Provider

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Broadband For Business Development

The businesses in Colorado’s Cheyenne County will soon get the broadband service, as the county council is closing in on a deal. Mayor Marian Orr has been on ‘a drive’ to bring broadband for “business development” in Cheyenne since last May.

The Cheyenne Mayor recently said that her drive “to reduce fees providers pay to install the cables high-speed internet connections rely on has interested at least one company, Sheridan-based Advanced Communications Technology®.”

In fact, the company would have to pay the “rights-of-way fees” to relay fiber network underneath the public property in downtown Cheyenne. Even the city council is trying to reduce “rights-of-way fees” to bring broadband in the area. Reliable sources suggest that generally, internet providers pay “$2.40 per foot of cable” per year in downtown Cheyenne as the rights-of-way fees. The Mayor is hoping to reduce that to around $1 per foot of cable, as $2.4 per foot of cable will cost $12,672 per mile to make telecom companies reluctant to accept a deal.

Cheyenne’s broadband internet providers have been Charter Communications® and CenturyLink® thus far. The Mayor is hoping an increase in competition would bring down the cost of gigabit broadband, a service that businesses demand in Cheyenne.

“At this point, it’s about increasing our competition,” Orr said. “Advanced Communications Technology® is able to offer fees and rates at a much lower price than Charter Communications® and CenturyLink®.”

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High-Speed Internet Connections

Officials of neither Charter Communications® and nor CenturyLink® have commented on the developments in Cheyenne. However, Aaron Sopko GM at Advanced Communications Technology® said the company has offered “gigabit internet service” for $500 per month in the Sheridan and Buffalo areas.

Commenting on the developments in Cheyenne County, the Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce CEO and President, Dale Steenbergen said, “We can do ($500 per month for gigabit internet) now in most places. We support free enterprise, and competition is always a good thing, but I do think that Charter Communications® and CenturyLink® both have been good partners.”

It must be noted the deal between the city council and Advanced Communications Technology® is yet to complete. Once the deal close, County Mayor hopes that Advanced Communications Technology® would offer an alternative broadband service to businesses in Colorado’s Cheyenne County.

08 Sep

AT&T® Gets Ready To Combat Hurricane Irma

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Prepare For Hurricane Irma

One of the leading internet providers in the country, AT&T® has already taken necessary precautionary steps with response equipment and personnel on standby to get ready for Hurricane Irma. The telecom giant has also started their storm preparedness process as the hurricane is estimated to be spread to different parts of the country within a few days.

Reports from several reliable sources claim that the storm will most likely affect Florida and surrounding areas in the next few days. Preventive measures taken against the storm include topping off the fuel generators, protecting the physical facilities, and examining high-capacity back-up batteries at the cell sites.

In addition to that, AT&T® has also put in extra efforts to stage emergency response equipment in the strategic locations and their national reliability center will be monitoring the outages for quick action. The officials from the telecom company have also stated that they have boosted the network redundancy in storm-prone regions. Moreover, the technicians from AT&T® have also been installing more generators at switching facilities and critical cell towers as soon as they heard about the hurricane.

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Stage Emergency Response Equipment

AT&T® Florida president, Joe York said, “Customers rely on us, especially during major storms. That’s why we practice readiness drills and simulations throughout the year. We do all we can to have our networks prepared when severe weather strikes. We’ve worked for the past few days to position equipment and crews to respond to the storm. We’re closely linked with Florida public officials in their storm response efforts. With a storm of this size, we may have some outages. But if service goes down, we’ll do all we can to get it back up as fast as possible.”

The AT&T® National Disaster Recovery (NDR) program is undoubtedly one of the most advanced and largest disaster programs in the country. This innovative program from the telecom company has more than hundred technology recovery and support trailers, which can be instantly deployed to respond to disasters.

The NDR team operates with local response centers, regional emergency operations centers, and AT&T® network personnel in order to keep the service intact until they have made the requires repairs. The officials from the telecom company, AT&T® has also urged customers to get prepared for the hurricane by taking the necessary precautionary steps.

06 Sep

Flaw In AT&T® Routers Put Customers At Risk

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AT&T® Routers Flaw

It is reported that many routers, especially those of AT&T® U-Verse customers, can be hacked remotely making use of many security vulnerabilities. Five security flaws were detected in the common consumer Arris routers that are used by customers of AT&T® and some of the other internet providers across the globe.

Joseph Hutchins, who is an information security consultant, explained the flaws in routers in a blog post. He described that some of these flaws occurred due to “pure carelessness.”

As per the report, the modems Arris NVG589 and NVG599 that make use of the latest 9.2.2 firmware are vulnerable, but it is not yet clear who is responsible for the bugs in the modems. In the opinion of Hutchins, some of the flaws might have been introduced after the delivery of the modems to the internet providers, as they usually add customized code to facilitate remote interactions like diagnostics and customer support.

“Some of the problems discussed here affect most AT&T U-verse modems regardless of the OEM, while others seem to be OEM specific,” said Hutchins. “So it is not easy to tell who is responsible for this situation. It could be either, or more likely, it could be both.”

There are hardcoded credentials among the vulnerabilities that can allow “root” remote access to the affected devices, offering an attacker full control over the devices. Attackers can connect to affected routers and log in using a publicly disclosed username and password. This will grant the user access to the menu-driven shell of the modem. The attacker will then be able to change the name and password of the Wi-Fi router. The vulnerability will also allow the attacker to make changes to the network setup like rerouting the internet traffic to some malicious server.

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Rerouting The Internet Traffic

As per the report, the shell also allows the hacker to inject advertisements to unencrypted internet traffic making use of a dedicated module. This is a very common tactic that is used by many web companies and internet service providers. Hutchins said that there is no “clear evidence” for the particular module to be running, however noted that it was still venerable, letting hackers inject their own malware or money making ads.

Router flaws do not always result in unauthorized network access, but can lead to hijacks as part of botnet operations. An example of such botnet operation is Mirai, which can throw services and websites offline.

01 Sep

AT&T® Unveils Fixed Wireless Internet In DeSoto County

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Fixed Wireless Internet

AT&T® offers the best internet service in many parts of America, and Mississippi is the latest region they are trying to address by offering best internet of up to 10 Mbps speed. AT&T® Mississippi President, Mayo Flint, and Roger Wicker, who leads the Senate subcommittee on matters Communications, Technology, and Internet, jointly unveiled the AT&T® Fixed Wireless Internet in parts of DeSoto County.

The AT&T® Fixed Wireless Internet rollout was kicked off recently in Marion County, and this time around, both Flint and Wicker were accompanied by Mississippi Public Service Commissioner, Brandon Presley, District 4 Supervisor, Lee Caldwell, and other officials, who all gathered at the Telco giant’s service tower nearby Mississippi Highway 304 in Eudora.

Reports say that AT&T® Fixed Wireless Internet will deliver the best internet at broadband download speeds of no less than 10 Mbps. The fixed wireless connection stems from a wireless tower to a fixed antenna on the subscribers’ homes or the businesses in rural parts of Mississippi.

“This is an efficient way to deliver high-quality internet to customers in rural and underserved areas,” Flint said, while reinstating that, “This will be capable of delivering a fixed wireless signal at a speed of 10 megabits per second, more than enough to do web browsing with plenty of speed and to stream your favorite movie or TV show.”

The Telco giant’s Fixed Wireless Internet rollout in DeSoto County was successful thanks to the commitment they had with FCC Connect America Fund. AT&T® is planning to “reach nearly 133,000 locations with this technology across Mississippi by 2020,” Flint said in an earlier statement.

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Better Cell Phone Service

“”Broadband is the electricity of the 21st century,” said Brandon Presley who last thrived to “Zap the Gap” in rural Mississippi “to bring better cell phone service to rural areas where wireless coverage was spotty or even non-existent.”

For his part, Roger Wicker has also expressed his impartial views on the AT&T® Fixed Wireless Internet. “The future growth of Mississippi’s economy relies on innovation and investment like we are seeing announced today with AT&T’s Fixed Wireless Internet Technology.”

“High-speed internet service from AT&T® in this part of DeSoto County and other designated areas across Mississippi provides a great example of the innovative thinking necessary to help close the remaining connectivity gap in rural areas across the state,” Wicker added.

31 Aug

Comcast® Offers Hundred Laptops To Seniors And Youth

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Low-Cost High-Speed Internet

Grace Shannon, a senior in Detroit was surprised when she received an unexpected gift from her cable company. Six-time Olympic medalist Jackie Joyner-Kersee handed her the gift, which was a brand new laptop. “Ew, wow!” the 67-year-old senior shouted when she received the new 14-inch Dell laptop.

The gift was offered in an Oprah-style surprise at the conclusion of Comcast’s announcement in which the Telco stated that they have expanded their program to provide low-cost and high-speed internet to the residents of the city who are at least sixty-two. The executives of the Philadelphia based cable internet provider said that they are planning to invest thousands of dollars to upgrade the digital infrastructure of the Joseph Walker-Williams Community Center, so that the seniors of the city will be able to use internet there too.

In their efforts to close the gap between people with internet access and those without access, Comcast® said that they would be providing eligible customers with high-speed internet service, together with training and support, for just $9.95 a month.

“It is fabulous that we will be able to get on the Internet and do things to help our grandchildren,” Shannon said. “But, not only that, we will be able to find things out about housing, taxes — and lots of other things we are missing out on.”

More and more seniors in the country are now digitally connected and about two-thirds make use of the internet. However, about half of the seniors nationally do not have access to a home broadband service, as per the results of the surveys from a Washington D.C. agency named Pew Research Center. Comcast Corporation® is also sponsoring the setup of a computer lab at the Boll Family YMCA in Detroit. They offered more computers equipped with virus protection, software, and a DVD payer and these computers are mainly intended for use by the youth.

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Comcast® Offers Free Laptops

Joyner-Kersee, who was elected as the national spokeswoman for the program, encouraged the audience and asked them not to be intimidated by the latest technology. “We’re not too old to challenge ourselves,” she said. “Each and every one of us deserves the best quality of life. Having that quality of life, that digital divide should not — will not — divide us.”

Comcast Senior Vice President, David Cohen announced the surprise gifts at the end of the program and the room erupted in applause. “I had half-a-dozen seniors saying afterward, ‘Now I have to learn how to use it’. That’s exactly what the purpose is. That’s what this program is all about. We will connect.”

With their surprise gift program for the seniors, Comcast® has once again proved that they are one of the best internet providers of the country. Those residents who wish to sign up for the program by the fastest internet provider of the city can submit the form online or download the application and submit it via mail together with the documentation.

31 Aug

AT&T® Accused Of Ignoring Low-Income Communities

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Fiber-To-The-Node VDSL Infrastructure

The residents of Cleveland, Ohio recently claimed that the telecom giant, AT&T® has failed to deliver high-speed broadband access to the low-income African-American communities in the region. They also claimed that AT&T®, who is one of the leading internet providers in the country, has been delivering a higher speed broadband internet service to the wealthier and suburban neighborhoods.

Three self-described low-income African-America residents, Rachelle Lee, Hattie Lanfair, and Joanne Elkins, filed a complaint against the Telco a few days ago. They alleged that the telecom company is in clear violation of the Communications Act’s bar against unreasonable and unjust discrimination. These residents also requested for monetary damages and injunctions that will prohibit the telecom company from discriminatory practices.

In addition to that, they also requested the FCC to force AT&T® to offer broadband internet service to the low-income minority communities in the region. They cited a recent study of the National Digital Inclusion Alliance and Connect Your Community and pointed out that the failure to offer high-speed internet service to low-income communities is actually a part of a pattern by the telecom giant.

Slower Internet Access Speeds

The study also revealed that AT&T® has withheld their fiber-to-the-node (FTTN) VDSL infrastructure from several major high poverty census blocks in the country that had individual poverty rates of more than 35 percent. The complaints stated, “Such low-income neighborhoods have been relegated to an older, slower transmission technology called ADSL2, resulting in significantly slower internet access speeds than what AT&T provides to middle-income city neighborhoods as well as most suburbs. As a result, their residents are left with severely limited and uneven internet access; no access to AT&T’s competitive fiber-enabled video service.”

Reports from several sources indicate that the lawyers who represented Elkins, Lanfair, and Lee tried to solve the issue before filing the complaint. They even held settlement discussion talks with the telecom giant, but both parties failed to reach a settle on the issue. Consequently, the lawyers were forced to file a complaint against AT&T® to bring justice to the low-income minority communities in the area.

AT&T’s EVP of regulatory and state external affairs, Joan Marsh, responded to the issue and said, “We do not redline. Our commitment to diversity and inclusion is unparalleled. Our investment decisions are based on the cost of deployment and demand for our services and are of course fully compliant with the requirements of the Communications Act. We will vigorously defend the complaint filed.”

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