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22 May

Comcast® Begins Enrollment For Xfinity Internet

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Xfinity Internet Enrollment

Comcast Corporation®, one of the major internet providers in the country, has begun the enrollment for its Xfinity Internet customers. This new announcement comes after the company has launched its Xfinity Mobile service last month. In this, the data options consist of an unlimited offer according to a per-gigabyte plan. Comcast® is also offering an unlimited data plan that provides unlimited data, talk time, and text for just $45. This will be available for speeds about 1.5 Mbps for downloads and 750 Kbps for uploads with a 20 GB usage cap in a billing period.

After the end of the promotional period, the rate of this plan’s will increase to $65 per month. However, customers that have initially signed up for the $45 monthly rate would be provided with connectivity at the same rate for a period of two years. Yet again, the maintaining of this starting rate is subjected to the users keeping up their accounts and the Xfinity Internet subscription.

There are other plans offered by Comcast® as well, which are suited for customers who do not require unlimited data offers. The “By the Gig” offer by Comcast® is available for customers at a rate of $12 per GB consumed. Moreover, customers can also share this data across all the lines of their account while also allowing them to use the Xfinity Mobile app for monitoring their data usage.

For accessing the wireless cheap internet service, customers must have an Xfinity Internet account with them. It also allows customers who wish to cancel their internet service to have access to the wireless service for extra fees. One of the bonuses of the service is the $10 per month access fee that is added to the accounts of unlimited and “By the Gig” customers.

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Cheap Internet Connectivity

For accessing the new features, customers have to resort to the newer model of phones. The “Bring Your Own Device” option is not yet established by Comcast® and is only offering through newer smartphone models like the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S8 and Apple’s iPhone 6s, 7, and SE. Comcast’s latest launch of their mobile services comes ahead of the new partnership announced with Charter.

However, the unlimited plan offered by Comcast® is much cheaper when compared to the unlimited offering from Verizon that is priced at $80 per month. Verizon is the main backup offering for LTE coverage for Xfinity Mobile’s hybrid Wi-Fi and cellular service.

18 May

Charter CEO Shares His Views On Cord Cutting

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Multichannel Video Programming Distributor

The CEO of Charter Communications, Tom Rutledge, recently made a statement in which he downplayed the growing threat of cord cutting even though some experts in the field of telecommunications are still obsessed over the subscription losses at ESPN. Rutledge said, “The whole MVPD [multichannel video programming distributor] marketplace has shed about 3 million customers over five years how. Some people are talking about Disney, with ESPN losing 11 million customers over that period of time I do think there will be some chipping around the margins.”

“It used to be when a young guy went off to college, if he lived off-campus, he’d subscribe to cable to get ESPN, but now he gets it over-the-top from his parents’ account,” Rutledge added. “So a lot of the loss on margin is really about lack of security and the inability of content companies which are becoming distributing companies controlling where their product goes.”

He continued by stating “If you look at the whole pie, the vast majority of people are still subscribing to a video package and an MVPD package, at that.” Rutledge also added that he discovered the different promotional offers offered by his company right after Charter acquired Time Warner Cable. He added that several customers opted out of their service once the promotional period ended. “It was a Turkish bazaar,” he said.

The Charter CEO also added that the cable service of the company passes approximately 50 million homes but just 26 million of them have subscribed to their services. He indicated that the growth of the service would come through marketing to the non-subscribers and more consolidation. However, Rutledge acknowledged the fact that there are not many companies left for Charter Communications to acquire.

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Cord Cutting Views

“I love the cable assets and think they’re good. If they were available, they would be interesting to me,” He said. When asked about the acquisition of a content company, Rutledge said, “You have to run it as a programming business. It’s hard to run it for your own internal purposes. I see that as a fundamental issue with owning content.”

Charter is also one of the leading internet providers in the country and they have been offering attractive internet packages to their customers for a very long time. In fact, with their cheap internet deals and TV packages, Charter has made a place for itself among the top players in the industry.

18 May

AT&T And DirecTV Might Have Overcharged Subscribers

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Complaints On Overcharging

It is truly frustrating when you are promised a rate by internet providers and charged another. When this happens to many users of the same service provider, it can be a leading to a systematic problem within the provider. A latest report now claims that many AT&T and DirecTV users have been complaining about this for years.

CBS News found that more than 4,000 complaints have been registered against DirecTV and AT&T in the previous two years regarding promotional pricing, deals, and overcharges. CBS News highlights the experience of two subscribers, where the first one signed up for a $99.99 promotional offer and got a bill for almost twice the amount. The other user, a Florida-based woman, said, “I keep getting bills for $79.49 and my contract says I was only going to pay $24.99 for two years.”

An AT&T customer representative replied, “There’s some specials on discounts that I’m thinking was actually being removed in error. Your bills are no longer combined. It wasn’t done on our end — it was done on your end.” Another representative said, “The pricing you were getting was because you were a new customer with the services, now you are an existing customer.”

The customer pointed out that she had signed up for a two-year agreement and that the rate change came before the expiry of the two-year agreement. It is not clear in both of the cases how much of the increase in the bill amount was due to an increase in the base rate of the package and how much was the change in add-on charges and fees.

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Add-On Charges

AT&T and DirecTV have agreed that the pricing process might have had an error and they promised to credit the difference to the affected customers. AT&T has made its own place as the fastest internet provider in the country and has gained about 150 million subscribers in the last two years.

“In my experience, when a large company has a lot of consumers coming forward and saying we feel like we were bait and switched. We were promised one thing and then we got something else. The company knows about it,” consumer advocate and attorney Paul Bland explained. “So it turns out to be a license to steal.”

17 May

Verizon Beats AT&T In The Bidding War For Straight Path Communications

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AT&T – Verizon Bidding War

One of the fastest internet providers in the US, AT&T, had earlier announced their plans to buy Straight Path Communications (SPC) in a proposed $1.6 billion deal. However, reports from several reliable sources indicate that AT&T has recently decided to pull out of the deal after SPC accepted the $3.1 billion counteroffer by Verizon.

AT&T had earlier signed a similar agreement in the month of January for acquiring the spectrum assets of FiberTower. The proposed purchase of SPC by AT&T was to bolster the long-term ambition of the telecom giant, which was to offer 5G network services to their customers with the help of highly coveted millimeter wave channels in spectrum bands above the frequency of 24 GHZ.

FiberTower offers backhaul service to wireless carriers in the country through their stable of millimeter wave licenses in the frequency range of 24 MHz and 39 GHz bands. The millimeter wave spectrum assets of SPC represent approximately 95% of the commercially available 39 GHz spectrum capacity in the entire nation.

The agreement between AT&T and SPC contained a provision, which allowed the telecom company to pull out of the deal if SPC received a “superior offer.” Just a few days after the announcement of AT&T-SPC deal, the officials from Straight Path Communications admitted that a “multi-national telecommunications company” has submitted a counteroffer, but they refused to reveal the name of the bidder.

AT&T went on to revise their previous offer within a five-day window, but the third-party bidder once again responded with an improved offer, which initially raised the proposed price to $2.3 billion and then finally to $3.1 billion.

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Straight Path Communications

The officials from SPC recently issued an official statement, in which they confirmed that the third party bidder was Verizon. The press release from the company also added that their board of directors had “determined, in good faith, after consultation with its financial advisors and outside legal advisors, that the transaction with Verizon constituted a superior proposal under the AT&T merger agreement.”

The telecom giant, AT&T then notified SPC that they have decided “not to make any new bids or proposals or to propose any amendments to the AT&T merger agreement.” AT&T has been trying to lure in more customers to their internet service by offering a few attractive packages to their customers, and the proposed deal was an initiative to offer the best internet deal all around the country.

16 May

Comcast Is Also Planning To Offer Internet TV Service

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Internet TV Service

Internet TV packages and skinny bundles are now trending in the telecom business sector. More and more players are now starting to offer internet based television services. As the competition in the field of internet television is rising, Comcast is also planning to offer their own online video streaming service, and experts say that Comcast’s offering might be more appealing than what is already available in the market.

The internet based streaming TV service from Comcast is expected to be named Xfinity Instant TV, and it will include local channels, an unnamed premium channel offering, and DVR capabilities just for fifteen dollars per month. Matt Strauss who is the head of cable service of Comcast, said that the offer would be for the users of Comcast Home Internet service. He added that additional cable TV channels packages would be offered for extra charges.

“If you want to add on top of that, skinny packages like a sports and news pack or kids and family pack or a TV and entertainment pack, you’ll have the ability to do that,” Strauss said. The latest offering from Comcast is much like the Sling TV offering from Dish Network, or the DirecTV Now service of AT&T, and PlayStation Vue from Sony, although with a low starting price. However, the service will not be available across the entire country and not for those people who are not subscribers of the best internet service from Comcast.

“We are not focused on delivering a national over-the-top service,” Strauss said. “We’re very focused on delivering products and services within the markets that we serve today, like Chicago.” This move from Comcast is due to the result of many people dropping their cable services for other TV watching alternatives.

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Internet TV packages

Comcast and the other internet providers believe that internet TV services can help them attract the cord cutters and cord nevers as these services do not require a cable set top box or wired installation. Statistics shows that streaming television services has been filling the gap for those users who prefer to use services like Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime Video.

Comcast said that they have not suffered much from the cord-cutting trend, at least not yet. In fact, they said that they have managed to add 98,000 new cable TV customers in the last year. At the same time, they have also managed to add about 1.2 million residential internet users to their subscriber base.

16 May

Charter Introduces Its Spectrum Internet Assist Program In Chicopee

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Spectrum Internet Assist Program

Charter Communications, the fastest internet provider in the US, has entered into a partnership with the Chicopee Council on Aging for introducing its Spectrum Internet Assist program. With this, Charter intends to link the digital divide prevailing in Chicopee by offering cheap internet services for low-income residents living in the region.

The Spectrum Internet Assist initiative is a high-speed internet package from Charter that provides broadband connectivity at an affordable price. The aim of the program is to make accessible faster and reliable internet to the low-income families and seniors across the country. According to Heidi Vandenbrouk, Charter’s Senior Communications Manager, “Charter really believes in bridging the gap for the digital divide; being able to offer opportunities for those families and seniors that may not have the opportunity to have such a program.”

The program was officially launched at the RiverMills Senior Center in the presence of the Mayor Richard Kos and State Sen. Eric Lesser. Extending the Spectrum Internet Assist program will effectively assist in making available internet connectivity to all the sections of the region.

The Spectrum Internet Assist program offers high-speed internet service at speed of about 30 Mbps. It is available for the residents of Chicopee at a monthly subscription rate of $14.99. There are no data caps for the package offered under the program along with the requirement of no contracts. Also included in the package is an internet modem with the ability to opt for an in-home WiFi service at a rate of $5 per month.

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In-home WiFi Service

Note that only households that are eligible for the program, such as low-income families, would be offered this service. Moreover, this offer is not valid for the existing subscriber of Spectrum Internet. The Internet Assist program is also available to families with students that have participated in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and Community Eligibility Provision of NSLP. It is also accessible for seniors aged above 65 years having Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

Existing customers of Charter’s phone and video services that meet the above-mentioned criteria are also eligible to opt for this service. Charter’s broadband internet subscription, however, is not available to the enrollees within 30 days after signing up. The service is only made available to customers who have cleared any remaining debts from the previous twelve months with Charter, Time Warner Cable, and Bright House Networks.

12 May

Comcast Unveils New Home Wi-Fi Management System

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Home Wi-Fi Management

Comcast Corporation, perhaps the fastest internet provider in the United States, has launched its latest Wi-Fi management system for its nationwide users. This new system allows customers in effortlessly managing the devices and users in their Wi-Fi home network.

An improvement to the Xfinity xFi system was previously launched by the company, which allows a customer in having total control over their Wi-Fi network using a digital device. It offers several new features like setting up passwords, troubleshooting issues, pause Wi-Fi access, monitor the status of the connected devices, and manage parental controls. With this new improvement, Comcast is extending the experience of its best internet service by offering it to the customers at no extra costs.

According to the officials at Comcast, there is a growing demand for creating an efficient home Wi-Fi network management system for dealing with the surge of internet-connected devices like streaming services, smart thermostats, and security systems. The company has also estimated that by the year 2020, most users across the nation would have about 50 Wi-Fi connected devices in their homes.

Eric Schaefer, senior vice president of internet and communications services for Comcast Cable said, “The adoption and use of connected devices have grown dramatically and Comcast has created a solution that makes it easy to control and manage them. It’s a platform that will allow us to bring future innovations to our customers, address common pain points and vastly improve the way millions of people interact with their home Wi-Fi network.”

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Wi-Fi Home Network

During its xFi launch, the company has also rechristened its wireless gateway device to the xFi Wireless Gateway. In the future, the company is expected to introduce the new xFi Advanced Gateway for the customers in its fastest networks. This will enable gigabit data transfer speeds through Wi-Fi networks, Xfinity Voice, home automation, and security applications. The new and improved xFi App is available to the customers for download in both iOS and Android platforms.

Reports say that Comcast is also planning to unveil its latest adaptable xFi pods that require no configuration and will aid in extending the Wi-Fi coverage across the home. These xFi pods are developed in collaboration with Plume, a leading developer, and distributor of Wi-Fi software and systems in the US. By the end of 2017, Comcast is predicting an increase of about 15 million xFi-ready homes around the country.

10 May

Federal Court Considers Revisiting The FTC Lawsuit Against AT&T

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Revisiting FTC Lawsuit

The lawsuit filed against AT&T, the major internet providers in the country, by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) got a new turn with the recent decision by the federal courts to reconsider the claim. In recent news, FTC has sued AT&T for limiting the data speeds allocated to iPhone customers with unlimited data plans after the usage surpassed a definite amount.

Note that the Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals’ three-judge panel proposed the dismissal of the lawsuit last year. According to the judging panel of the court, the FTC claims lacked authority over AT&T since the telecommunications company is a common carrier and remains outside of the regulations of the Commission. The majority of the judges in the court have casted votes for setting aside the rule implemented in the previous year. It also ordered a new hearing for the FTC in front of an 11-judge panel.

Designated as a common carrier, AT&T is subjected to various regulations put forward by the Federal Communications Commission. The Commission has also previously filed a case against the carrier demanding $100 million in compensation. However, the appointment of Ajit Pai as the new FCC chairman has resulted in the rejection of the FTC’s classification of AT&T and other major internet providers as common carriers.

The new chairman is now spearheading the long efforts in repealing the net neutrality rules implemented by FCC. These rules have called for a more equitable distribution of data despite the sources, as well as prevent the allocation of faster speeds for companies that pay more. Pai has stated that the decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to revisit the AT&T lawsuit as a “a big win for American consumers.”

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2015 Title II Order

“It strengthens the case for the FCC to reverse its 2015 Title II Order and restore the FTC’s jurisdiction over broadband providers’ privacy and data security practices,” Pai added. “Indeed, it moves us one step closer to having the consistent and comprehensive framework for digital privacy that the American people deserve.”

Previously, the FTC has accused AT&T of misleading iPhone customers in opting for data plans that were publicized as unlimited plans between the year 2007 and 2010. Moreover, AT&T ceased its unlimited data offerings by mid-2010, but allowed customers already using unlimited plans with continued access.

09 May

Comcast And Charter Enter Into New Wireless Partnership

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Comcast -Charter Partnership

Comcast Corporation and Charter Communications have reached a new wireless partnership that includes an operational agreement for close collaboration on the numerous wireless communications plans. The agreement outlined plans by both the companies would allow them to collaborate on information and technology while also getting ready to enter the highly competitive cellular service market in the country.

As per the agreement, Comcast and Charter will sell wireless service respectively to their own customers while allowing each other to share vital components like billing platform and device logistics. The latest collaboration between the two companies is intended for significantly reducing the costs involved in getting into the wireless market while also speeding up the entry process.

Along with that, the agreement with the two companies has decided to bar any acquisitions or mergers with wireless companies without the consent of the other company. Due to this, both the companies will be prevented from making any ties with a wireless carrier independently.

The decision to forge this new alliance has already been made when both Comcast and Charter declared their plans of launching their own wireless services. This new wireless offering from the two companies is expected to commence by the end of the year.

Previously, Comcast had entered into cellular service by launching Xfinity Mobile. It was available for costs that ranges from $45 to $65 per month and is suitable for devices like Apple’s iPhones and Samsung Galaxy smartphones. It utilizes a Mobile Virtual Network Operator that the company has with Verizon.

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New Wireless Service

In the beginning of the year, Verizon Communications have also considered a proposal for collaborating with Charter to serve its long goal of acquiring major carriers. However, the plans for a tie-up were never initiated with the two companies. There is a growing amount of speculations amidst the analysts and investors regarding the Comcast future acquiring of major carriers like T-Mobile US Inc or Sprint Corporation.

The latest agreement between Comcast and Charter will enable both the companies to reduce the costs as well as aid in sharing their technologies with each other. Moreover, it will offer huge benefits to the customers like cheap internet, flawless connection between the WiFi hotspots, etc. Comcast is deciding on opting for more wireless service in the wake of the recent efforts by cable companies in adding more services. Moreover, Charter has made clear that it will debut its new cellular service by the year 2018.

04 May

Comcast Rolls Out New Set Of Updates For Its X1 Platform

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New Updates Released

Comcast Corporation, one of the best internet providers in the country, has announced a new bunch of enhancements for its X1 Entertainment Operating System. X1 is the company’s generation next guide software and hardware platform for set-top boxes and mobile devices. The new set of enhancements includes a smart keyboard designed in such a way to increase the typing speed for queries in the X1 search window. It comes with an added feature of predicting the next line of text depended on the input given by the user.

Currently, this feature remains a core aspect of the X1 platform, since its initial entry into the field as a lab project. According to Peter Nush, VP of product management at Comcast, “The smart keyboard acts very much like the way search in car GPS systems work.” Reports say that Comcast has also come up with a complete reorganization of the X1 purchases folder. This will aid users in finding the content more quickly and effectively.

The X1 saved menu features the new reorganized purchases folder, which is separated into three rows for content like movies, TV shows, and kids content. Along with that the TV episodes individually purchased is assembled by series. With the recently added landscape images for the X1 screensaver, the new update by Comcast allows subscribers to personalize the same by offering them the means to choose a rotation of animals or entertainment images.

Moreover, the new enhancements will further allow X1 customers to link the images stored on their Instagram, Facebook, or Flickr accounts for using it as the screensaver backdrop. The other major additions in the X1 platforms includes a power saver mode that operates without interfering with any of the important functions of the device like recording the shows or watching the recorded content through other devices in the home.

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Comcast X1 Platform

By saying, “power down” into the X1 voice remote, subscribers can activate this feature. The “go green” command in the voice remote will further give the subscribers with the option to alter the settings for powering down the box automatically after a specific amount of time.

In addition to these, the company has declared that it is considering an enhancement to the DVR feature, which enables the recording of the shows even if they begin early or end date. Comcast is stepping up more improvements in its X1 platform as seen by the previous launching of the Xfinity service as well as the current enhancements to the platform.


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