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17 Aug

AT&T® Launches Fixed Wireless Internet In Areas Of The Rural Triangle

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Connectivity Via Outdoor Antennas

AT&T® is now expanding their wireless broadband services across the Triangle to target the rural and the “underserved” areas. The Fixed Wireless Internet service from AT&T® is now offered in areas of western Wake County and eastern Chatham County, AT&T® announced on Monday. The Fixed Wireless Internet standalone will be offered for a charge of sixty dollars per month with one-year contract.

AT&T® started to roll out the service in June and the service was introduced in areas of Georgia first, spreading to the other states gradually. This new service from AT&T® is built around connectivity offered via outdoor antennas and indoor Wi-Fi gateways. The Fixed Wireless Internet service from AT&T® includes:

  • High-speed internet service that offers download speeds of minimum 10 Mbps
  • 160 GB of internet data per month – if the limit of internet data is exceeded, AT&T® will offer additional data in increments of 50 GB for ten dollars. They will offer up to a maximum of twenty such increments costing 200 dollars.
  • Wi-Fi connection for more than one device like tablets, laptops, gaming consoles, etc.
  • Wired Ethernet connection for up to four devices

Installation Of The Service

AT&T® says that getting their Fixed Wireless service is very easy and includes three steps – Survey, Installation, and Connection.

Survey – In this step, AT&T® technicians will find the best place to install the equipment for the Fixed Wireless Internet service.

Install – The installation of the service is real quick and easy. An AT&T® technician will install an antenna that can communicate with the nearest tower to get the most reliable and strongest wireless signal.

Connect – The technician will then help you connect your devices to the Fixed Wireless Internet service.

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Reliable And Stronger Wireless Signal

AT&T® said that they would continue to expand the Fixed Wireless cheap internet service to offer it to about 13,000 locations by the end of 2020. “The nearly 6,500 men and women who work for AT&T® and call North Carolina home, are proud to work with our local, state and federal leadership to provide the connectivity that North Carolina’s residents and businesses demand,” said Robert Doreauk, regional director of external affairs for AT&T® North Carolina. “Through this innovative service, we are working to close the connectivity gap in North Carolina.”

The funding for the Fixed Wireless Internet service is offered via the FCC Connect America Fund. Apart from AT&T®, CenturyLink®, Frontier Communications®, and many others are also receiving FCC funds to expand high-speed internet connectivity.

28 Jul

Republicans Ask Google®, Facebook®, and AT&T® To Testify At Net Neutrality Hearing

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Debate Over Net Neutrality

The chairman of the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee recently asked the chief executives of a few telecom and tech companies such as AT&T®, Comcast Corporation®, Google®, and Facebook® to testify before the U.S. Congress in September to settle the heated debate over net neutrality.

It seems that the U.S. Federal Communications Commission is planning to toss out the net neutrality rules established by the Obama Administration, which reclassified internet service as a public utility. The existing net neutrality rules prevent internet providers from slowing or blocking websites. In addition to that, internet service providers are also not able to allow websites to pay for “fast lanes” over other competitors. As a result, some of the major tech companies and leading internet providers in the country were divided over the net neutrality rules.

Internet providers wanted the Congress to step in to solve the issue and write permanent net neutrality laws. On the other hands, websites claimed that that the Obama era net neutrality laws are critical for preserving the open internet.

It is evident that the outcome of this debate will have a huge impact on the potential profits of the involved companies and even on the future of the internet economy. The heads of Charter Communications® and Netflix® are also asked to testify along with other members.

Several companies stated that they are currently reviewing the letter but they refused to share whether they will be testifying or not. The officials from Comcast Corporation® stated that they are welcoming the hearing and “believe the best way to stop the regulatory ping-pong on this important issue is for Congress to enact bipartisan legislation.”

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Net Neutrality Ground Rules

One of the Republican representatives and committee chairperson, Greg Walden said, “A strong consensus is forming across party lines and across industries that it’s time for Congress to call a halt on the back-and-forth and set clear net neutrality ground rules for the internet. The time has come to get everyone to the table and get this figured out.”

However, Democrats want Republicans to invite consumers and small business to the hearing as well, and not just CEOs of the “largest corporations in the world with a combined market capitalization of nearly $2.5 trillion,” said Communications and Technology Subcommittee Ranking member Mike Doyle and Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking member Frank Pallone, Jr.

18 Jul

Cox® Expands Internet Usage Data Caps While CenturyLink® Dumps Data Caps

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Expands Internet Data Caps

There is both good and bad news for all the home internet users of the nation. Cox Communications®, one of the best internet providers of the country has now started to charge overage fee to their users in four more states. On the other hand, another cheap internet provider, CenturyLink® has decided to end the tests with data caps. They are now offering bill credits to all those customers in Washington who were charged with overage fees in their trials.

Cox Communications® operates in eighteen states and have about six million business and residential users. Recently, they introduced their overage fees to Louisiana, Arizona, Oklahoma, and Nevada. Interestingly, they were already enforcing the overage fee and data caps in Connecticut, Arkansas, Georgia, Florida, Iowa, Idaho, Nebraska, Kansas, and Ohio.

Apart from that, Virginia, Rhode Island, and California have the monthly data caps, but these states do not have enforcement on the overage fees, as per the list of data cap locations shared by Cox Communications®. It seems that the states of North Carolina and Massachusetts are exempted from the data caps, at least for now.

Just like Comcast®, Cox® allows the capped subscribers to use 1 TB of data per month and charges an overage fee of ten dollars for every additional block of 50 GB. As per the reports, Cox® is planning to introduce an “unlimited” internet plan later.

If Cox® unlimited internet matches with that of Comcast®, the unlimited internet from Cox® would be costing an extra fifty dollars per month above the normal charges. Paying the fees for the unlimited internet will allow Cox® users to return to the condition before the implementation of the overage charges. They can pay a flat rate to have internet access, regardless of the quantity of data that they use. All the Cox® users who subscribe to the Gigabit fiber internet service offered by the Telco can use two terabytes of data before being charged for overuse.

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Dumps Data Caps

Generally, the data caps have headed in the wrong direction for the US customers and they seldom have a choice due to the lack of competition. However, the good news is that CenturyLink® has now understood that the extra income that they make from the overage fees is not worth when compared to the rise in the number of irate users.

Before a year, CenturyLink® decided to run a data cap trial in Yakima, WA and as per the trial, a data cap of 300 GB was imposed for a month. When the users exceed the data allowance of 300 GB, they will need to pay an overage fee of ten dollar for every 50 GB data block. However, instead of expanding the data caps and overage fee to more states and cities, they decided to end the “usage-based billing program.”

“Because this approach no longer aligns with our goal to simplify offers and pricing for our customers, we have decided to end this program, effective May 3, 2017,” CenturyLink® said in an announcement.

12 Jul

Cox® Plans To Introduce A New Unlimited Data Plan

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Unlimited Data Plan

One of the fastest internet providers in the United States, Cox Communications® recently unveiled their plans to provide a new unlimited data offering to their customers by the end of the year. The officials from the telecom company also added that they are trying to broaden the reach of their usage-based data policy. However, Cox® has not yet announced the pricing details of their upcoming unlimited plan.

The telecom giant currently offers an optional unlimited plan to their subscribers for an additional amount of $50 per month. Cox® officials said that they would soon begin to alert customers in Louisiana, Arizona, Las Vegas, Tulsa, and Oklahoma City that they are putting them on the data plan of the company. Reports from several reliable sources indicate that Cox® subscribers in New Orleans region have already been notified about this move.

Cox® subscribers who are added to this new data plan will have to pay just $10 for additional 50 Gigabytes of data after they exceed their monthly unlimited data. The monthly data ceiling is currently set at 1 TB by Cox® for most of their high-speed internet packages. However, the monthly data limit for subscribers who are Cox’s 1 Gig “Gigablast” tier is currently 2 TB.

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Cox® Internet

Cox Communications®, who is the best internet provider in several parts of the country, has already applied their data policy to the systems that are serving Georgia, Florida, Connecticut, Iowa, Omaha, and a few more markets. However, the officials from the telecom company refused to share any details on when will they apply the data policy to their remaining markets.

Cox® had recently stated that approximately 98 percent of their high-speed internet subscribers usually do not come close to exceeding their monthly internet data limits. Customers who exceed their monthly data limit are alerted by text messages, emails, and even through browsers. In addition to that, the telecom company also sends an automated outbound call to customers when they have used 85 percent and 100 percent of their monthly internet data plan.

Reports say that Cox® is also planning to offer a grace period of 2 consecutive bill cycles in Oklahoma, Las Vegas, Louisiana, and Arizona, before they start to charge customers for using additional blocks of internet data. This means that Cox® customers in other markets who exceed their monthly data limit should be a little bit concerned.

04 Jul

AT&T® Responds To Senators Allegations

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Forced Arbitration Clauses

One of the leading internet providers in the United States, AT&T® recently stated that their contracts do not include any “forced arbitration” clauses. However, reports indicate that customers of the telecom company will still have to agree to these clauses if they want to acquire a TV or internet service.

In a letter to the US senators, AT&T® Executive VP Tim McKone said, “At the outset, no AT&T® customer is ever ‘forced’ to agree to arbitration. Customers accept their contracts with AT&T® freely and voluntarily; no one ‘forces’ them to obtain AT&T® wireless service, DirecTV® programming, or other products and services.”

The telecom giant, AT&T® was actually responding to the concerns that were raised by a few senators a few days ago. The senators argued that the telecom company, AT&T® had used forced arbitration clauses to charge higher prices to their customers, which was a little bit greater than what they had originally advertised.

It is true that the telecom company, AT&T® is not forcing anyone to sign up to their service but in several parts of the country, AT&T® remains the single viable option of wired home internet service. Additionally, AT&T® is also the fastest and best internet provider in many areas of the United States. So, customers have no other option other than AT&T® and the ones who opt for the telecom company’s offerings are indirectly forced to sign the arbitration clauses.

The terms of service for DirecTV® and AT&T® internet require subscribers to “agree to arbitrate all disputes and claims” against the telecom company. This means that trials and class actions against the company will be prohibited but individual cases in small claims courts are usually allowed.

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Wired Home Internet Service

Reports indicate that AT&T® doesn’t provide any way to opt out of the small claims/arbitration provision, which means that the only option available to customers is to not buy any service from the telecom giant. On the other hand, some other popular TV and internet providers in the country like Comcast® do offer a way to their customers for opting out of the provision.

However, the senators are still not convinced with the response from AT&T®. In a recent statement, Sen. Al Franken went on to use the phrase “forced arbitration” for describing the customer contact clause of AT&T®. He added, “There’s nothing ‘friendly’ about AT&T’s take-it-or-leave-it contracts that eliminate consumer choice and take away Americans’ ability to resolve legal disputes with their telecom provider in a court of law. Further, forced arbitration agreements that prohibit customers from banding together as a class deter consumers from seeking justice and allow widespread wrongdoing by powerful corporations to go unchecked.”

27 Jun

Blue Wahoos Fans Await To Watch All Star Game In Full Motion At Cox® Clubhouse

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All Star Game In Full Motion

Give it up for Cox Communications®; the best internet provider in America has teamed up with baseball team Pensacola Blue Wahoos to give the fans a chance to access wireless internet at the Blue Wahoos Stadium. Cox® has already relayed Wi-Fi access points in the stadium much like they have done in the Las Vegas network.

Reliable sources say that facilities are put in place with a jam-packed stadium in mind; the company perhaps feels that that is the best way forward to measure speed and communicate value. In fact, multiple Wi-Fi antennas and 500 Mbps speed will let fans access the best internet just as they watch their favorite team playing baseball inside the arena.

“The Blue Wahoos are very proud to partner with Cox to enhance Blue Wahoos Stadium and our fan experience,” said current President Jonathan Griffith. “With the addition of the Wi-Fi, our guests will be able to share the Wahoos Life with family and friends during the game.”

The stadium host minor baseball matches and two-time minor league titleholders team Blue Wahoos feature in the Southern League Baseball. It would seem to Wahoo fans that the prospect of watching high-octane sport with a native audience, and accessing Wi-Fi simultaneously is a matter of choice. Maybe that explains as to why Cox® has placed a clubhouse near the stadium’s press box.

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Access Wireless Internet

At the Cox® Clubhouse locker room, team fans could come and take snaps that make outsiders feel a fan is wearing a real jersey of Blue Wahoos not a virtual one. Wi-Fi enabled virtual room also has traditional games such as ‘corn hole’ alongside other fun activities in the clubhouse.

“We are very excited about the Cox® Clubhouse,” Griffith reiterates. “It’s going to be a great addition and we can’t wait to see our fans testing out the new activities we have in store for them.”

“Our expanded relationship with the Blue Wahoos means wonderful new enhancements for the fans,” Cox® gulf coast market VP David Deliman said. It is to be noted that Cox Communications® and Pensacola Blue Wahoos have been striving to make the Cox® Clubhouse and the stadium Wi-Fi ready to entertain fans that turn up in large numbers to watch the minor All-Star game soon.

13 Jun

Charter® May Have Over Charged Previous Time Warner Cable® Customers

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Cable And Internet Service

Several previous customers of Time Warner Cable® who are currently under the cable and internet service of Charter Spectrum® recently complained that they are being overcharged by the telecom company. Nick Kocak, a Binghamton resident stated that he was normally paying $125 a month for Charter’s cable television and internet service but he was recently charged $180 for the same. He said, “It shouldn’t have jumped for the same services.”

It seems that the owner of the Spectrum-branded cable services, Charter Communications®, is adjusting bills of former Time Warner Cable® customers to fit their own pricing structures. In a recent announcement, Charter® Chief Executive Thomas Rutledge said, “There were 90,000 separate offers and many of them were deeply discounted and they were piled on top of each other.”

This implies that the promotional pricing offered by the best internet provider, Charter Communications® is applicable for just new subscribers. Reports further indicate that deals and offers for existing subscribers are slowly fading away. Calling the customer service representatives and threatening them that you will unsubscribe might have worked with Time Warner Cable® but it will not be working with Charter’s new service.

Rutledge talked about the pricing policies of Time Warner Cable® and stated, “It was a Turkish bazaar. You’d call in and bargain and you’d get a package.” However, reports from several reliable sources claim that the telecom company is planning further price adjustments for previous customers of TWC®.

Rutledge added that only just 17 percent of the Time Warner Cable® legacy subscriber base is currently on Spectrum® pricing. This means that the remaining 83 percent of customers might be in for a surprise when they receive their next Spectrum® bill.

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Spectrum-Branded Cable Services

Charter Communications® has already paid a hefty price for their strategy shift. The Connecticut-based telecom company has lost approximately 100,000 customers in the first quarter. Most of them were Time Warner Cable® customers who were not happy with the significant increase in cable and internet prices.

As per Jeff Kagan, a telecommunications analyst based in Marietta, said, “In order to continue to grow you have to keep the customer happy.” However, Charter Communications® has still managed to lure in more customers towards their high-speed internet service over the last few months thanks to their cheap internet deals.

01 Jun

Charter® To Offer High Speed Internet Service To Seniors And Students

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Spectrum® Internet Assist

In a recent press conference held at the Birmingham Public Library, the telecom giant, Charter Communications® announced that they would be launching a new high-speed internet broadband service for their customers. The program, which is popular known as Spectrum® Internet Assist will offer high-speed broadband internet service to eligible seniors and families for just $14.99 per month.

The Birmingham City Councilor, Jay Roberson said, “To be at the Birmingham Public Library is truly tremendous to make this special announcement to make sure that we can provide internet broadband services with Charter to our citizens in the community our youth, our young people, and to our seniors.”

The Director for Government and Community Affairs at Charter Communications®, Erin Jones stated that Spectrum® Internet Assist will “set a new standard for the industry.” He also added that the people who are eligible for the program are families with children who take part in the National School Lunch Program.

Besides that, officials from Charter Communications® said that seniors above the age of 65 and those who are currently receiving Supplemental Security Income benefits would also receive the new service offered by Charter Communications®.

An official press release issued by the telecom company said that Spectrum® Internet Assist enrollees “cannot have had a Charter/Time Warner Cable/Bright House Network broadband subscription within 30 days of signing up. Eligible participants will not need to undergo a credit check but they must clear any outstanding debt with Charter®, Time Warner Cable® or Bright House Networks®.”

Cheap Internet

High-Speed Internet Access

However, reports indicate that the current video or phone subscribers of who meet any one of the above-mentioned qualification will also be allowed to enroll for the Spectrum® Internet Assist service. Jones added that Spectrum® Internet Assist will offer broadband internet services of 30 megabytes per second and it will cost an additional $5 for WiFi, but will entail zero additional charges for installation. She also added that Spectrum® Internet Assist subscribers would not have to pay any modem fees.

Jones highlighted that the responsibility of Charter® to the community includes offering high-speed broadband internet service to the elderly and students, so that they can pursue all the opportunities that are available to them. The Spectrum® Internet Assist service from Charter® is affordable, which means that many customers will be able to acquire cheap internet from the best internet provider in one shot.

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.

12 May

AT&T Breaks Silence On Project Airgig

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High-Speed Internet

The announcement of AT&T about their plans to deliver high-speed internet over the existing power lines last year resulted in much stir. However, since the announcement, there were not many updates on the new technology that is deemed “Project Airgig”.

It is evident that AT&T is trying to be the best internet provider in the nation with the launch of Project Airgig. In the month of January, AT&T said that they have entered into advanced discussion with many power companies to get trial areas for Project Airgig. The chief strategy officer of AT&T, John Donovan said at the time that there would be an announcement about the power companies in just a few days’ time. However, even after three months, AT&T has not yet announced the involvement of any particular power company.

Recently, AT&T President of Technology and Operations, Bill Hogg, offered a short update on the project. He did not speak to the power companies that are involved, but reassured that the trials would happen in 2017. “We’ll have right now probably two trials that we’ll do by the end of the year … and really start to perfect the model and the deployment,” Hogg said.

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AT&T Fiber Internet

An AT&T spokesperson said that the talks with the various power companies are still going on and that they are planning to announce the trials no later than fall. Officials said that the Project Airgig is an efficient way to deliver multi-gigabit internet speeds making use of cheap plastic antennas that are strapped to existing telephone poles. Experts in the field of telecommunications say that the option presents much value for AT&T when compared to the fiber internet network deployment, which needs much costs to build out.

“We’re really excited about it because it’s a great alternative to stringing up fiber, especially in rural areas where you have long runs,” Hogg said. “These are great opportunities to leverage the physical infrastructure that’s already been deployed.”

AT&T had earlier rebranded their fiber network from GigaPower Internet to AT&T Fiber and the service has been expanding a lot, mainly in the major metro regions of the country. Currently, the service reaches to 4 million consumers and AT&T is planning to increase the reach to 12.5 million users by 2019.

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