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05 Apr

Comcast Begins Trials Of Xfinity Gigabit In Indiana

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Comcast Xfinity Gigabit

Comcast Corporation has extended the trial of Xfinity Gigabit, its one-gigabit residential broadband internet service, to the Indiana region. Through this, Indiana has become the fifth state to undergo Comcast’s advanced gigabit trials.

Comcast is one of the best internet providers in the country at present, and they have already commenced the trials for their new super-fast internet connection across many of their coverage areas. The recent addition to the list includes prominent regions such as New Haven, Fort Wayne, Huntertown, Ossian, and Berne.

This latest trials and testing of Comcast gigabit internet service will enable the company to expand its service footprints across a wider area throughout the nation. By utilizing the technology of Xfinity Gigabit, the company can provide the best internet services through its existing wiring. This will result in the service to extend towards a much larger population than was possible with its earlier Gigabit Pro service, which was a 2 GB broadband service started by the company in 2015.

Throughout the years, there have been significant investments in the Indiana region. Comcast invested about $1.35 billion for improving its network in Indiana back in 1996. This periodic investment over the years has led to rapid developments in the telecommunications sector in the region. These upgrades have enabled the company to greatly enhance the speed of their broadband internet service over the past decade.

Gigabit Pro comes with packages of $299 per month and offers fiber internet to residential customers. According to Mike Wilson, public relations director for Comcast in Indiana, the Gigabit Pro came with a pretty narrow market segment. He said, “It still has subscribers, and we don’t expect that market to change much.”

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Gigabit Pro Service

Moreover, Comcast is rolling out Xfinity Gigabit with an expected price of $139.95 per month. This is significantly much lower than the previous service of Gigabit Pro and yet offers enhanced speeds and other improvements. Wilson stated that Comcast’s intention of offering Xfinity Gigabit at this promotional pricing reflects on the future of internet service in the US.

Wilson said, “We expect this product to be in much broader use, given the footprint and given the appetite for it.” This is based on the huge interest among users in Xfinity Gigabit seen in other states. The enhanced internet speeds offered by the internet service will allow subscribers to browse and download much faster than was previously possible.

04 Apr

AT&T Partners With Firstnet For Building Nationwide Public Safety Network

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Nationwide Public Safety Network

AT&T, one of the leaders in telecommunications in the US has secured a contract for creating and managing the nation’s public safety network. This will provide huge assistance to the majority of the police force, firefighters, and emergency medical services across the country. FirstNet has selected AT&T, one of the best internet providers in the nation for building and improving the wireless network, which will commence by the end of the year.

The Federal government authorized FirstNet or the First Responder Network Authority in 2012. It began functioning within the US Department of Commerce as an independent authority. AT&T stated in its announcement, “FirstNet will provide 20MHz of high-value, telecommunications spectrum and success-based payments of $6.5 billion over the next five years to support the network build out.” The spectrum used by FirstNet is positioned in the 700MHz band used by consumer LTE networks.

Back in 2015, a spectrum auction has enabled the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to raise approximately $7 billion to fund the network. AT&T was one of the major sources of funding and was way ahead of many bidders as they secured about $18.2 billion of winning bids. The duration of this new contract with FirstNet extends to a period of 25 years.

The company stated, “AT&T will spend about $40 billion over the life of the contract to build, deploy, operate and maintain the network, with a focus on ensuring robust coverage for public safety users.” AT&T has also enabled the connection of FirstNet users to their existing network.

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The introduction of FirstNet will modernize the communication of the first responders and will offer many specialized features that are not currently available to them. The availability of the exact commercial network that is designated for mobile internet use by consumers and businesses, for the different responders can be an issue at times. AT&T said, “That can be an issue when a significant public safety crisis happens and commercial networks quickly become congested. It makes it difficult for first responders to communicate, coordinate and do their jobs.”

The FirstNet program has extended coverage to about fifty states and five US territories. The coverage also extends to many tribal and rural lands. According to AT&T, the FirstNet is ideal for usage in applications like emergency services by providing near real-time information on traffic conditions to determine the fastest route to an emergency.

Furthermore, this network will assist in extending the latest technologies like wearable cameras and sensors to police forces and firefighter units. This will definitely aid public services as drones and robots equipped with cameras and sensors will deliver near real-time images and data related to any issues like disasters or crimes, using the cheap internet service of AT&T.

03 Apr

Comcast NBCUniversal Donates $21,000 To High School Students

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Comcast NBCUniversal

The officials from Comcast NBCUniversal recently announced that they donated $21,000 in scholarships to 12 Vermont students for the 2017-18 school years. This donation is actually a part of the company’s annual Leaders and Achievers Scholarship Program.

Comcast Foundation funds this innovative scholarship program. The program was launched with the objective of recognizing the brightest and best high school seniors by evaluating their leadership skills, academic performance and community service.

The Vice President of Government Affairs and Community Investment for Comcast’s Western New England Region that includes Vermont and Dan Glanville stated, “Our Leaders and Achievers Scholarship winners exemplify leadership and are committed to academic excellence and community service. We are honored to recognize their achievements, and excited to support them as they continue their educational journeys.”

Comcast held a special event to recognize the bright young talents. The event was held at the Vermont State House a few days ago. House Speaker Mitzi Johnson, Governor Phil Scott, and several local officials took part in the event. Each of the twelve elected students was gifted with a scholarship of $1,000.

In addition, one of the students, Jason Drebber who is a student at Woodstock Senior High School and a Woodstock resident received an additional $9,000 Comcast Founders Scholarship. This scholarship is instituted in the honor of the Founder and Chairman Emeritus of Comcast Corporation, Ralph J. Roberts.

Governor Phil Scott said, “It’s so important to support and encourage Vermont students and provide them with the tools and experiences needed so they can go on to secure good jobs. I’m committed to prioritizing investments in areas that will grow our economy and give Vermonters greater opportunity, including a Cradle-to-Career education system, and appreciate that Comcast shares a commitment to developing our future leaders and helping them achieve their dreams of higher education.”

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$21,000 Worth Scholarship

The Comcast Leaders and Achievers Scholarship Program offers scholarships to students who are struggling to reach their full potential, who serves as model to other fellow students, who are in their schools and who are catalysts of an optimistic change to their communities.

Comcast has once again proved that they are not just interested in offering telecom services, but also interested in making the world a better place to live. If you are looking to subscribe to one of the best internet providers or the best internet service in the country, you will need to evaluate the plans offered by various telecom companies. This will help you to catch a better internet deal.

01 Apr

Comcast And AT&T Support Repeal Of FCC Privacy Rules

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FCC Privacy Rules

Comcast and AT&T are among those internet providers who are defending the Republican move to remove internet privacy rules from Obama-era. They accused that the critics of the move are misinformed. Bob Quinn, AT&T’s top lobbyist, said in a blog post, “it is not surprising that some folks are ignoring the facts.”

In another post, chief privacy officer and deputy general counsel of Comcast, Gerard Lewis said that the privacy policy of the company is still stronger than what the rule calls for. Chief privacy officer of Verizon Karen Zacharia also wrote in a blog post that the company “does not sell the personal web browsing history of our customers.”

“Consumers benefit and innovations flourish when there is one consistent consumer privacy framework that applies to all internet companies and users in the internet ecosystem,” Zacharia added. “That is what Congress voted for this week.”

The rule of the Federal Communication Commission would have required the ISPs to treat the data of their consumers like browsing history, medical, and financial information as sensitive data. It is mandatory that the internet service providers get permission from the customers before sharing or using the data to make targeted ads.

Republicans voted against the rules to eliminate them under a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution before the rules become effective and it is expected that President Trump would sign the bill. However, the move has led an outrage among Democrats as well as the consumer groups.

Quinn noted that the outcry is overblown. “First and foremost, all of the rhetoric that asserts — without any factual support — that the CRA vote suddenly eliminated consumer privacy protections is just plain wrong,” he said. “The reality is that the FCC’s new broadband privacy rules had not yet even taken effect.”

“There has been a lot of misleading talk about how the congressional action this week to overturn the regulatory overreach of the prior FCC will now permit us to sell sensitive customer data without customers’ knowledge or consent,” added Lewis. “This is just not true.”

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FCC Rules Repeal

Lewis also said that Comcast is planning to revise their privacy policy to “make more clear and prominent that, contrary to the many inaccurate statements and reports, we do not sell our customers’ individual web browsing information to third parties.”

AT&T and other internet providers had grouped against the rule much before the FCC voted them on. They argued that the rules apply privacy standards unfairly to ISPs and it does not cover websites like Google and Facebook that also collect consumer data for targeted advertisements.

“If the government believes that location data is sensitive and requires more explicit consumer disclosures and permissions, then those protections should apply to all players that have access to location data, whether an ISP or edge player or search engine,” Quinn commented.

31 Mar

Comcast Launches Its Xfinity Prepaid Internet Service

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Xfinity Prepaid Internet

Comcast Corporation has commenced operations of its prepaid internet service according to the latest announcement made by the company. The service that has been under trial and testing for many years is now available to all Xfinity customers. With the launch of this new service, Comcast is also considering the release of a prepaid video product by the end of the year. The introduction of this new prepaid package will offer the customers in paying for the internet service and refill for seven to 30 days.

Comcast one of the major internet providers is also collaborating with Boost Mobile for the wide-scale distribution of its Xfinity Prepaid Internet packs. The company is achieving this distribution through more than 800 participating Boost Mobile stores located in states like Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Texas. Through this, Xfinity Prepaid services are made available to approximately 4000 Boost Mobile stores that are covered across Comcast’s footprint by the year-end. In addition, the partnering company, Boost Mobile is also offering a $5 discount on Comcast’s prepaid internet products.

The Xfinity Prepaid Internet consists of a starter kit for customers priced at $80. This comes along with a wireless DOCSIS 3.0 gateway that enables internet providers to offer speeds of up to 10 Mbps downstream and 1 Mbps upstream. In addition, the customers can also refill the service for a price of $15 for 7 days and $45 for 30 days. The package never includes a credit check or annual contract and just requires customers to be 18 years or older for signing up.

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Comcast Xfinity Customers

Comcast conducted the trials and testing of these services in 2012 and this new announcement is a direct response to Verizon’s launch of its Fios Prepaid internet service. However, Comcast’s latest offering is focused mainly on customers without bank accounts or any other postpaid service. In addition, Comcast has also imposed several restrictions on the service like the inability for use on an address that has an active billed service account with the company. These policies are implemented mainly for preventing any misuse of its post-paid base.

John Dixon, VP of consumer services group at Comcast said, “This offering is all about providing customers a flexible and predictable service that can accommodate individual lifestyles and financial needs. Our prepaid service gives people more control over their monthly bills and lets families get easy Internet access for their home whenever they want it.”

29 Mar

AT&T To Build A Public Safety Broadband Wireless Network

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Broadband Wireless Network

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross made a recent announcement in which he confirmed that the telecom giant, AT&T has just won a $6.5 billion contract for establishing the best internet service in the country. The FirstNet contract is actually a 25-year accord for building a new nationwide public safety broadband wireless network.

The government had earlier agreed to offer $6.5 billion to cover the construction cost of the project over a period of 5 years. Yet as per the recent contract, FirstNet will also be paying an amount of $6.5 billion to the telecom company for building the wireless network.

However, reports from several reliable sources claim that the cost of building the proposed network will be a lot more than $6.5 billion. The officials from AT&T recently stated that the telecom company would be investing approximately $40 billion into the wireless network over twenty-five years.

Ross said, “FirstNet is a critical infrastructure project that will give our first responders the communications tools they need to keep America safe and secure. This public-private partnership will also spur innovation and create over 10,000 new jobs in this cutting-edge sector.”

AT&T will be building the wireless network with the primary purpose of offering safety to the public. However, reports indicate that the unused capacity on this specific wireless network will be shared with AT&T customers. AT&T Chairman and CEO, Randall Stephenson said, “This is an unprecedented public-private investment in infrastructure that makes America a leader and public safety a national priority.”

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AT&T Wireless Network

The teams from AT&T, who will be working on the new wireless network project, include Inmarsat Government, Sapient Consulting, General Dynamics, and Motorola Solutions. The award to AT&T did not come as a surprise, because they were the last company standing when the authorities from FirstNet informed the other two remaining bidders that they were not being considered any longer.

The first envision for the proposed wireless network happened right after the 9/11 attacks. Many first responders from several jurisdictions and departments were unable to communication through radio during this time. The telecom giant also stated that about 10,000 networks are used for voice communications. AT&T is also tasked with the duty of bringing individual states to the wireless network.

If you are looking to subscribe to the fastest internet provider, then compare the plans offered by different internet providers in the country. This will help you to acquire a better internet deal.

27 Mar

Charter Reveals Their Plans To Drop WWLP-22 Station

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Charter Communications Plans

One of the leading TV and internet providers in the country, Charter Communications recently revealed their plans to drop WWLP-22, which is the NBC affiliate in Springfield. Reports indicate that this television station will be removed from 3 Berkshire cable systems, which serve about 16 counties in the area.

The officials from Charter confirmed that the station would be dropped from the systems, which serve Stockbridge, Sheffield, Richmond, Pittsfield, Lenox, Lee, Great Barrington, Clarksburg, Cheshire, Adams, North Adams, and Williamstown on April 17, 2017. In addition to that, the officials also confirmed that WWLP-22 would be dropped off from the systems that serve West Stockbridge, Lanesborough, and Hinsdale on April 24, 2017.

In a recent statement, the Northeast Director of Communications Andrew Russell of Charter Communications stated that the station is being dropped due to the fact that it is an “out of market station with duplicative network programming.” Russel further said that, “Customers will continue to have access to their favorite network programming via the in-market station, WNYT, which is available in HD and SD.”

State Rep. William ‘Smitty’ Pignatelli, D-Lenox, stated that Charter Communications’ choice to terminate the NBC affiliate in Springfield will hurt Berkshires, as it will cut off them from the rest of the state.

“We went through this 20 years ago when I was a selectman and we lost Channel 3 in Hartford, and Channel 5 in Boston, which we were able to preserve with blackout times. Now, we lose Channel 22 which has a full-time reporter at the Statehouse. That was the last connection Berkshire residents had outside the county,” Pignatelli said.

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NBC Affiliate Channels

“I think it’s all about money,” he further added. “I wish our (federal) legislative delegation would take a hard look at the coverage areas. I don’t have a problem being in the Albany market, but once again we’re losing our identity in Massachusetts. We’re connected to New York all the time.”

The fastest internet provider, Charter had earlier announced that they are planning to drop WWLP station in the Berkshires by the end of March. They also published a legal notice in the Berkshire Eagle to notify customers of this decision. However, the telecom giant then made a statement, in which they claimed that the notice was issued “inadvertently.”

Pignatelli added, “The negotiations have less to do in my opinion with the out of area designation and more to do with money. We have one less Massachusetts channel in our lineup but the cable rates are going to go up.”

27 Mar

Comcast Offering High Speed Internet Service In Jacksonville

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High-Speed Internet

Comcast’s Xfinity Gigabit is now offering faster internet services to residential customers in the Jacksonville region. This latest offering of high-speed internet services by Comcast comes ahead of the increasing competition in the Jacksonville area by many internet providers in offering faster service. Besides the Jacksonville market area, the services are also offered to the Duval County and many of the surrounding counties.

Xfinity Gigabit is priced at $139.95 per month for residential use and the base price excludes any package of other services like television. With the new 1 gigabit connection, there is a drastic increase of the internet speeds offered to the customers. This will allow residential customers using the Xfinity Gigabit experience much faster browsing and downloading speeds than with a conventional broadband internet connection. With such faster speeds, customers can download larger files like movies and music albums that measure in gigabyte sizes in a matter of minutes.

Vice President of public relations for Comcast in the Florida region, Mindy Kramer, has explained that although the new services are pricey, it is highly likely that charges will remain fixed. “It’s hard to say what happens in the future. If you look at pricing for broadband, speeds go up … then prices go down. This is the first time people can get gigabit speed over their existing network,” she said.

“And that’s the key development. Home consumers can get the new high-speed service over the existing fiber optic network currently running to their residence,” Kramer further stated. “Customers will need an upgraded modem, but that’s simply a replacement modem provided by Comcast and won’t require any additional fees on top of the $10-per-month charge for modem rentals.”

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Comcast Xfinity Gigabit

Jacksonville remains one of the few cities nationwide in which Comcast is offering the high-speed internet service. The new development by Comcast represents a major aspect in the evolution of internet services in the Jacksonville region. It comes as major carriers as Google Fiber has withdrawn their plans of offering high-speed fiber optic network to Jacksonville and numerous other cities.

This has prompted other telecommunications companies in the region to fight for being the fastest internet provider in the country and AT&T is gearing up for the game with their high-speed internet offers. Nevertheless, Kramer said that the increasing efforts by both Comcast and AT&T in the region will lead to many technological improvements in the region.

“I guess our position never changed,” Kramer said. “Our plan was always to continue to offer faster speeds. We didn’t step away from Jacksonville, we actually provided more.”

25 Mar

Comcast Announces Major Leadership Change

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Comcast Leadership Change

Comcast Corporation is one of the leading internet providers in the country and they offer some of the best and cheap internet deals to their customers. The telecom giant recently announced that Dave Watson would hold the position of President and CEO of Comcast Cable from April 1, 2017. Officials also said that the previous President and CEO of the company, Neil Smit, would become the Vice Chairman of Comcast Corporation.

The officials from Comcast also confirmed that Watson and Smit would work closely for a few months in order to ensure a smooth transition of the leadership. They also added that Smit would also be engaged in a part-time work with the leaders of Comcast for developing future technology-oriented business opportunities.

Smit has served the role of head of Comcast Cable for seven years and he has had a wonderful career with the company. He also held several senior executive positions at Nabisco, Charter, and AOL, before he joined Comcast. On the other hand, Watson joined Comcast Corporation back in the year 1991 and he was Comcast Cable’s Chief Operating Officer since the year 2010.

Watson has also held several senior roles with the telecom company such as the leadership of sales, marketing, product, and advertising functions. He has also partnered with Smit to run the cable division of Comcast Corporation earlier.

The Chairman and CEO of Comcast, Brian L. Roberts said, “Dave Watson is the perfect new leader of Comcast Cable. There are few people in the cable industry who have his breadth and depth of experience. Dave, along with Neil and the executive teams across the cable division, drove the operating strategy and execution that have led to phenomenal growth over the last several years as well as our focus on the customer experience and the improvements we have made recently. Dave knows the business and has a track record of delivering results.”

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Technology-Oriented Business

He further stated that, “Neil has been an extraordinary leader and has helped transform Comcast Cable into the top cable and broadband company in the nation. He is not only an exceptional executive, but he is also one of the finest individuals with whom I have had the privilege to work. Neil and his team have created an innovation engine at Comcast Cable, with countless new and game-changing products and businesses.”

“We are also so appreciative and inspired by Neil’s service as a Navy SEAL,” Robert added. “While the personal sacrifices he made on behalf of our Country can never be repaid, all of us who know Neil are very grateful for his service. As Neil cuts back on his full-time role, I am delighted that he will continue to work with us.”

25 Mar

Charter To Open Spectrum Learning Lab

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Spectrum Learning Lab

Charter Communications has joined hands with Harlem Educational Activities Fund (HAEF) to open a Spectrum learning lab. The lab will be set up at the main program site of HAEF that is located at 2090 Seventh Ave. in Manhattan.

It is reported that the new Spectrum learning lab will focus on youth engagement and workforce development. Importance will be given to e-learning and digital literacy programs. Charter will be offering the best internet and television services to the lab together with flat screen HDTVs, computers, and software with the other furnishings.

“Charter Communication is proud to partner with HEAF, an organization that has worked tirelessly to improve the lives of underserved youth in New York City,” said Camille Joseph, who is the vice president of state government affairs at Charter Northeast.

Charter Communications has always been helping students of the underserved communities by conducting many events and undertakings. Representatives of HEAF and Charter Communications met with the teachers, students, community members and the local elected officials to celebrate the opening, which was done with a ribbon cutting ceremony.

Ruth Rathblott, HEAF president and CEO, said in a statement that, “In order to be at the forefront of innovation for our students, we need the most cutting-edge technology available in the classroom and built into students’ curriculum. The digital technology of today is the pen and paper of our time, making internet access critically important to the future success of our students.”

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Digital Literacy Program

It is reported that the Spectrum learning lab will help the students and participants build computers, use internet, and improve their learning and communication skills. Students from various communities across the New York City can get the services of the Spectrum learning lab. Charter representatives said that they are planning to open 40 such labs across the New York City by the end of 2020.

Charter had opened another Spectrum lab on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day at the National Action Network’s House of Justice in New York City. With these labs, Charter plans to offer access to better Wi-Fi and other best internet services to the underserved residents of the New York City, by partnering with local non-profit organizations in the area.

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