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05 Apr

Comcast® to Launch Gigabit Internet Service in Savannah in April

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Gigabit Internet Service

One of the best internet providers in the US, Comcast® recently announced that their business and residential customers in Savannah would soon have accesses to 1 Gbps speeds. Comcast® plans to launch gigabit internet service this month in the area. It delivers faster internet to both Xfinity® and Comcast Business® customers, over existing communication lines in the customers’ residences or offices, and using a cable modem that supports DOCSIS 3.1 standard.

“Now more than ever, our customers require the fastest available speeds to support the growing number of devices at home and in the workplace,” said Comcast’s Big South Region Sr. VP, Doug Guthrie. “By using DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem technology, we can now bring gigabit-caliber speeds to the most homes and businesses of any provider across the region.”

With gigabit internet connection, Comcast® subscribers can download a 5 GB High-Definition movie in just 40 seconds, not to mention lesser sized video or audio content, which can be downloaded in less time than that. Besides Comcast Xfinity® subscribers, DOCSIS 3.1 technology also benefits Comcast Business® customers having a requirement for much faster download speeds.

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The company also plans to launch “Business Internet 500” and “Business Internet 1 Gig” for Comcast Business® subscribers in Savannah. Both tier speed packages will complement other gigabit offerings the business subscribers already have accesses to, such as Ethernet service. Comcast® subsidiary’s Ethernet service supports 100 Gbps speed over fiber network.

The residential subscribers of Comcast® who need to get faster speeds with gigabit internet service will require a cable modem that is compatible with DOCSIS 3.1 standard such as Xfinity® xFi gateway. Comcast’s recent announcement comes hot on heels of several other strategies the cable giant has made for enhancing their internet offerings, comprising Wi-Fi network expansion and introduction of xFi® digital dashboard. It lets Xfinity® subscribers to setup wireless network, find out user password and connected devices, configure parental controls, troubleshoot any issues, and pause wireless access at home.

In addition to launching the xFi® gateway, Comcast® also introduced internet services for residential customers with 1 Gbps and 2 Gbps speeds in the recent past. The best internet provider not only has a policy of doubling their network capacity each eighteen to twenty-four months but also expanded internet speeds up to seventeen times in as many years.

29 Mar

The Public Safety Network of AT&T® is Set to Launch Nationwide

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Public Safety Network

AT&T® said that its public safety network, FirstNet, is about to be ready for nationwide consumers. The best internet provider has recently announced that local agencies can start connecting to the core infrastructure of FirstNet. AT&T® is set to keep trialing the 4G wireless network with a set number of subscribers in order to “validate that the network will be there when public safety needs it,” said Jeff Bratcher, ‎First Responder Network Authority’s Chief Technology Officer and Director of Operations. He also said AT&T® should complete the final phase of FirstNet trials by May.

The congress acquired First Responder Network Authority from broadcasters through auctions held in 2012 for that. Its purpose is to create a nationwide communication system based on emergencies, such as a natural disaster, and to serve first responders. The notion behind FirstNet was to make sure efficient use of an FCC reserved spectrum and provide network access to nationwide first responders based on priority needs.

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FCC Reserved Spectrum

The public safety network makes use of FCC’s wireless spectrum with 700 MHz radio frequency band. This spectrum with low frequency enables wireless signals to not only cover long distances, but also penetrate barriers that may hinder indoor coverage such as walls. Experts in the field of public safety point out the fact that live testing of FirstNet is an important milestone in the country, although it is yet to be made available for public safety organizations.

“A lot of hard work went into this and congratulations are in order, but it is a waypoint, not a destination,” said Rear Admiral Jamie Barnett, who is also the Chair of Venable’s Telecommunications Group and the former Chief of Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau at FCC. “Public safety needs FirstNet’s deployment everywhere to know whether the promise of a nationwide, interoperable public safety network has been fulfilled.”

In the meantime, Verizon® has also unveiled that their 4G LTE, public safety network for first responder customers is going to be ready in the upcoming week. Upon nationwide launch by AT&T®, FirstNet will complete a suggestion that was laid out by National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States or 9/11 Commission, that documented first responder communication follies that took place during rescue operations commenced after the terrorist attack on September 11.

06 Mar

Comcast® Introduces New Push Notifications Feature for its Xfinity xFi™ Customers

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New Push Notifications Feature

Comcast® has rolled out a new set of push notifications feature into its Xfinity® xFi™ system. This will enable its customers to obtain detailed information regarding their home network, which helps them to manage them more effectively. These push notifications will inform the user regarding any changes that happen in the home network and offers an improvement to the security of the system. The constant reminders sent out by the push notification feature will allow the customer to remain aware of all the recent changes made into the system and override the security of their home network.

The new push notifications feature introduced by Comcast® will provide their customer with real-time alerts through connected digital devices like a smartphone or TV. This will allow the customer to understand whether any changes have been made in the home network and take the necessary action. Since its launch last year, Comcast® has become one of the best internet providers in the country that offers a reliable home networking solution. The introduction of the xFi™ service allowed the customers with a solid platform to manage and customize their home networks via connected devices.

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Manage Home Networks

Comcast’s newly introduced push notification feature will inform the user regarding several aspects. This includes alerts when a new device joins a home network that gives the customer more control over such as naming and assigning it to a particular person inside the home. It can also give valuable alerts about various security flaws in the home network such as when the network is switched to an open model by unauthorized access without consent of the customer.

Other network features like the status of the SSID or network name such as whether it is set to hidden or visible are also provided in the notifications. Other aspects such as a change in the IP address or the first time activation of Xfinity® Internet and the xFi™ gateway will also be included in the notifications. Comcast® is providing its customers with total control in customizing and managing their home network with this latest push notification feature.

The Telco has actually made these improvements to the xFi™ system solely for enhancing the security of the network. It was due to several security issues related to home networks that prompted Comcast® to come up with this improved push notification feature. It seems that with the introduction of this new feature, Comcast® is actually striding forward to make its xFi™ system a dependable platform and to step up the competition with other internet providers.

23 Feb

Comcast® Files an Application with FCC to Trial Services in 3.5 GHz Band

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Wireless And Mobile Services

Comcast® hopes to trial fixed wireless and mobile services over 3.5 GHz CBRS spectrum band and has filed an application with Federal Communications Commission. “Comcast® will conduct outdoor and indoor fixed and mobile testing in a small targeted portion of the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, market within its service territory. Specifically, testing will be conducted within a 7 km radius,” the company’s FCC filing stated.

“The field test will evaluate coverage, throughput, and mobility of equipment and facilities operating in the CBRS band to obtain data and advance Comcast’s understanding of the full potential of the technology and equipment utilized in these experimental operations. The field testing will also evaluate the performance of pre-commercial equipment in the CBRS band.”

The best internet provider also suggested that its interests firmly lie in phones that support CBRS band. “Through the use of mobile test devices and commercial handsets (i.e. ‘End User Equipment’), Comcast® will evaluate propagation characteristics for model verification, data throughput performance, inter-cell interference, and advanced Spectrum Access System (‘SAS’) functionality.”

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Deploy Wireless Services

Comcast® is one of the members of CBRS alliance, which includes some major internet providers and equipment vendors. In August last year, Comcast® seemed to have contacted Nokia® to conduct small cell trials and half a dozen mobile units operating in CBRS band in Philly. Comcast’s application with FCC to self-test CBRS band in their headquarters may suggest an even deeper interest to deploy wireless services. Comcast® is not the only company to show interests in CBRS band; even Charter® has urged FCC to regulate 3.5 GHz band in the previous month using geographic currency no more than counties.

Charter® has also suggested that their fixed wireless trials in rural locations on 3.5 GHz have shown it can provide speeds at 25 megabytes per second at ‘significant distances’. Charter® has conducted mobile and fixed wireless trials in the said band but is yet to disclose details on results of the trials.

The interests in mobile wireless in CBRS band from Comcast® could coincide with Xfinity® Mobile, which runs on Verizon® network. Xfinity® Mobile is Comcast’s MNOV tie-up with Verizon®. As of now, the wireless service from Comcast® roams on to the public wireless hotspots, and the company might be looking to add more locations that can handle CBRS band and traffic from the customers. If that goes through, Comcast® would have to pay a less amount to Verizon® for network use.

20 Feb

Comcast Business® Completes Fiber Network Expansion in Downtown Holland

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Fiber Network Expansion

Comcast Business® has announced the completion of fiber network build-out in downtown Holland. The 45 miles long fiber expansion is meant for business tenants in up to 376 buildings situated in the area and is equipped with 100 Gbps network capacity. The VP of Comcast Business® in Michigan, Jeff Marston, said that fiber expansion is meant to reach small scale and medium scale companies and they seek that fiber too apart from large companies.

“The increasing reliance on big data and cloud applications is driving bandwidth usage from small and medium-size businesses,” Marston said. “Our scalable fiber network allows us to be all things to all businesses because we can easily tailor our technology solutions to meet their changing and diverse needs.”

The fiber expansion of Comcast Business® gives customers more access to high-speed internet, Ethernet, and voice services, and will greatly help businesses, which are seeking substantial bandwidth speeds. New customers of Comcast Business® will not have to bear build-out costs since the fiber network has been expanded in Holland. “Providing businesses with the most advanced technology today and in the future is imperative to our ability to grow Holland’s business community and overall economy,” said Arlan Meekho, R-West Olive township’s Senate Majority Leader.

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The debate on fiber-based internet keeps drawing interests in the Holland area, in particular since Holland Board of Public Works, continues to expand fiber network. The public works department in Michigan has started to offer shared gigabit service from December last year between 7th and 9th streets amid River Avenue and Garretson Road. Holland Board of Public Works has been expanding their fiber optic infrastructure as an open access network for more than two and a half decades said Becky Lehman, the department’s technology director. As of now, several service providers use the network built by HBPW to cater to the customers in Allegan and Ottawa counties in Michigan.

“The mission of the HBPW is to provide competitive, reliable, and innovative public utility solutions to the greater Holland area in a socially, environmentally and financially responsible manner,” Lehman said. “Expanding our fiber infrastructure and services helps to accomplish this mission and puts the community in a position to maintain its vitality for years to come.”

The announcement of fiber expansion completion by Comcast Business® is the 3rd in the last 7 months. In August last year, Comcast® installed Xfinity® hotspots across Holland, and in January, the best internet provider announced that it will provide revamped gigabit internet speeds in Kent, Allegan, and parts of Ottawa counties.

08 Feb

AT&T® Upgrades Fixed Wireless Internet Service in Arkansas

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Wireless Internet Service

The consumers in underserved and unserved areas in select parts of up to 40 counties in Arkansas can now access AT&T® Fixed Wireless Internet service. AT&T® debuted Fixed Wireless Internet in the US state back in September last year as part of their FCC Connect America Fund commitment. AT&T® has now upgraded the service in Arkansas’s rural and urban communities in order to cater to the varied broadband needs of both business and residential consumers.

AT&T® deploys the high-speed internet service without satellite via a wireless tower to a fixed antennae placed on the customers homes or business premises. AT&T® provides Fixed Wireless Internet with downstream speeds of up to 10 megabytes per second and upstream speeds of 1 Mbps at the least. “Access to broadband service is key for today’s digital economy,” said Senator Jonathan Dismang, President Pro Tempore of the Arkansas State Senate. “New technologies such as these will assist in closing the access gap that is present in certain areas of rural Arkansas. I’m excited to see AT&T® investing in this way.”

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The best internet provider now equips select parts of Arkansas counties namely Bradley, Benton, Carroll, Clark, Greene, Jackson, Mississippi, and so forth, with Fixed Wireless Internet. “It’s nice to finally have a fast, dependable connection, even though we live in a rural area,” said Judy McCool, who lives in Hot Spring County. “It’s especially great for our triplet granddaughters who live with us. Each has a laptop to complete school work and EAST Initiative projects at home. Before the new AT&T® technology was installed, we had to go to the county library seven miles away to connect to the Internet.”

“The thousands of dedicated men and women who work for AT&T® and call Arkansas home are proud to work with our state’s political leadership to provide the connectivity Arkansas’ residents and businesses demand,” said AT&T’s External Affairs Manager for Arkansas Area, Ronnie Dedman.

AT&T® started to offer high-speed internet service to more than 440,000 localities across 18 US states in 2017 as part of the FCC Connect America Fund commitment, and will continue the expansions to reach over 1.1mn areas nationwide by 2020. Considering Arkansas alone, AT&T® has committed to expand high-speed internet to over 50,000 locations throughout the Arkansas state in the years to come.

19 Jan

AT&T® Equips Minneapolis’s Super Bowl LII Host Stadium with 5G Evolution

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Launching 5G Evolution

One of the fastest internet providers in the US, AT&T® revealed last year that they plan to launch 5G Evolution in select areas of Minneapolis alongside Distributed Antenna System at the host stadium of Super Bowl LII. The new stadium in downtown Minneapolis is all set to host the event as planned. As per recent reports, AT&T® announce spending of more than $40 million to upgrade mobile network across the city and the stadium ahead of the Super Bowl slated in February.

It is expected that approximately 1 million NFL fans will come to the stadium for the ‘Big Game’ as AT&T® puts it forth. “We’ve been working for over a year to boost the network in Minneapolis for the Big Game. We’ve done this through a series of permanent and temporary upgrades throughout the city,” AT&T® representatives said.

The Telco has upgraded the Distributed Antenna System inside the stadium in order to provide higher percentage LTE internet accessibility. The stadium’s mobile network feature 800 antennas that will provide enhanced coverage to Minneapolis city in its entirety. Depending on how many people will turn up for the much anticipated event next month, the venue is all equipped to handle extensive mobile traffic.

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LTE Internet Accessibility

“We’ve been working closely with the city of Minneapolis to ensure its network is ready to support the technology of the future. The investments we’re making prepare us for the future of 5G and innovations like smarter cities and immersive entertainment experiences like augmented and virtual reality,” said AT&T®. “We’ve overloaded the stadium with wireless capacity and boosted LTE capacity by more than 150 percent compared to last year. With more than 800 antennas, the network inside the stadium alone could provide coverage to the entire city of Minneapolis.”

Besides, AT&T® has installed the antennas at sixteen locations across Minneapolis to give improved coverage at airports, restaurants and the like. “We’ve upgraded the DAS at the airport and installed a new DAS at the convention centre in Minneapolis. We’ve also installed a new DAS at Nomadic Live at The Armory to enhance coverage for all the fans headed to the concert venue each night,” reaffirms AT&T®.

Besides, AT&T® will roll out Cells on Wheels in order to provide temporary network and wireless internet a week prior to and during the event to add to the network capacity and internet speeds somewhere in the stadium.

08 Jan

CenturyLink® Appoints Two New Senior Executive Staffs

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Level 3 Communications Acquisition

The telecom giant, CenturyLink® recently appointed two senior executive staffs. The appointments follow the acquisition of Level 3 Communications by CenturyLink® back in November 2017. The acquisition of the Telco has resulted in a revamp in their senior executive team. CenturyLink®, which is based in Louisiana, is America’s second largest communications service provider with a customer base in over 60 nations. The best internet provider plans to become the best networking firm in the world by tackling the demands of customers for a secure and reliable connectivity.

The overhaul in the senior team of CenturyLink® started with the appointment of Jeff Storey from Level 3 Communications as the company’s President and Chief Operating Officer. The recent appointees Gaurav Chand and Shaun Andrews will both serve as CenturyLink’s Executive Vice President of Marketing And Product Management respectively and will report to Jeff Storey. Chand had previously worked in Dell EMC as the Global Vice President of Marketing and he has also worked with Andrews with Level 3 Communications as the Senior Vice President of IP and Real-Time Communications.

Gaurav Chand will handle the core marketing and other marketing related strategies including communications, customer experience, and digital transformation at CenturyLink®. On the other hand, Shaun Andrews’s role will be to lead their core product marketing and management alongside pricing and ‘GTM Strategy’.

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Chand is a Masters holder in business administration, which he earned from the Southern Methodist University of Dallas. Andrew earned the Masters Degree from Illinois’s Northwestern University. Andrews has an overall experience of 25 years in the Telco segment. Before Level 3 Communications, he held the position of the senior level executive having handled “product development, product management, sales, and business development at IntelePeer, WilTel, and SBC Communications”.

“Both of these executives bring a tremendous amount of experience to their roles and they will be instrumental in developing the strategy for and marketing of the right products and services to meet the needs of our customers in the fast-evolving communications marketplace,” said Jeff Storey on behalf of CenturyLink®.

He added, “We are the perfect partner to assist our customers with their own digital transformation efforts, given our unparalleled network, our extensive product and service offerings and our tremendous employee expertise.”

08 Jan

AT&T® Employees Union Files Lawsuit against the Dallas-Based Telecommunication Company

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Video Streaming Services

AT&T®, the Dallas based Telecommunication Company is planning to terminate 713 employees. A union representing the employees of AT&T® filed a suit in the US district court to object this move from the telecom company. They union asked the Texas court to block the layoff of 713 employees.

The Telecommunication employees of America filed the lawsuit on Friday in disagreement with the company’s layoff policy. In the lawsuit, the employee union says that AT&T® is taking this step only to recruit cheap contract workers or to ship the job abroad. The accused are AT&T Services®, Southwestern Bell Telephone Co., and Direct TV®. In addition, the union also went on to file a charge with the US National Labor Relations Board.

The mass dismissal, which includes 152 technicians in the installation department of TV and internet services, will affect the workers of Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas, and Texas. However, the AT&T® company spokesman, Marty Richter rejected all the claims in the lawsuit and said, “The fact is the allegations in the lawsuit are baseless “. He further stated, “We comply with the terms of our collective bargaining agreements and did so in this case”

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According to Richter, the company took this step because of the advanced technology that is more efficient for the company. Besides, the demand by their customers for new services is also a reason for the mass termination. Marty Richter also said that even though they are dismissing the employees, they will help the technicians to find jobs in other branches of the company across the globe. He also justified that even after such a mass dismissal, the company has more than thousands of workers that it had two years ago.

The planned downsizing happened as AT&T® depends more on the latest automation technologies and as the company is trying to use the cloud-based software instead of copper wires for communication. Furthermore, the company also tried to launch a reinforcement effort to teach new digitally focused techniques like coding to the employees. In spite of this fact, the analysts and executives of AT&T® had predicted about this cut down at that time itself.

The layoffs became worse when the company tried to justify themselves by commenting how it will lower the corporate tax rate to 21 percent from 35 percent. Additionally, when the bill was signed, the AT&T® CEO Randall Stephenson promised a special bonus of $1000 for more than 200,000 workers. He also announced that the company would invest an additional $1 billion to create thousands of job opportunities in 2018.

02 Jan

Washington State Advance Past Lawsuit Made Against Comcast®

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Deceptive Sales Practices

Washington State is now advancing a lawsuit made against Comcast® in 2016. State Attorney, General Bob Ferguson alleges deposing of customer service call records as the reason for that. He said they are proof of “deceptive sales practices” made by the Telco. Reports indicate that probes unearthed “illegal conduct” especially when investigators queried for the recorded calls made to the customers.

The lawsuit initially claimed that, “Comcast® has violated Washington’s Consumer Protection Act, RCW 19.86 (the “CPA”) over 1.8 million times through unfair and deceptive acts and practices relating to its Service Protection Plan (“SPP”), service call fees it charges consumers, and deposits it obtained from consumers.”

Comcast® refuted the ongoing claims of the attorney general and reaffirmed they were as per flawed probing methods and assumptions. The Telco would continue defending the lawsuit in court.

“The Service Protection Plan gives those consumers who choose to purchase it great value by covering virtually all service charges over 99% of the time,” said Comcast® VP of external affairs for Washington region, Marianne Bichsel. However, Ferguson said the Telco’s refusal of request to access the records of service calls as taxing, and hence the lawsuit is filed again.

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The allegation is based on Comcast’s giving away of sample call recordings to the investigators and that a majority of the recordings were deleted. “We’ve now uncovered evidence that many Washingtonians are paying for it without their consent,” the state Attorney General claimed referring to the signing of a fraudulent service plan in the past by Comcast® to thousands of customers in the state.

The probing team claims to have analyzed 150 calls from a possible thousand made between customers and service reps of the Telco. In response to that they have said “as confirmed by the court, any accusation that Comcast® deleted calls because of this investigation is just plain wrong. In fact, we gave the AG over 4,500 call recordings and they have only listened to 150 of them.”

Comcast® is said to have termed the suit a stretch stating that subscribers’ get e-mail confirmations upon signing up for the service plan. Washington State is now seeking a refund for the customers who subscribed unknowingly to the plan and civil fines against the Telco but has refused to reveal the penalty amount to the press.

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