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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.”

26 Dec

Comcast® and AT&T® Announce Broadband Expansion and Employee Bonuses

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Next-Gen Wireless Data 5G

Two of the best internet providers are acting on tax reforms and deregulations on net neutrality in the US. Reports say that AT&T® is planning to expand their nationwide network with a capital investment of 1 billion dollars and would give a 1000-dollar bonus to as many as 200,000 employees in the year 2018. The announcement from the Telco’s representatives came following House and Senate Republicans have passed a new tax bill. The reform slashed the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent, which would be applicable starting next year for the telecom industry as a whole.

The employee bonus from AT&T® is courtesy the talks between their CEO Randall Stephenson and Christopher Shelton, the Present of Communications Workers of America. The funding would expectantly support AT&T’s broadband expansion plans and next-gen wireless data 5G.

“Congress, working closely with the President, took a monumental step to bring taxes paid by U.S. businesses in line with the rest of the industrialized world,” said Stephenson in an announcement.

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“By pushing employers for this raise, CWA proves that working people have power when we join together to negotiate for a fair return for the work we do,” said CWA. “Unions remain the most effective means for working people to stand together and achieve wage growth and keep good jobs in the U.S.”

Joining the announcements following the tax reform is Comcast Communications®. CEO Brian Roberts said that Comcast® would also give $1000 bonuses for “eligible frontline and non-executive employees.” The Telco also said they would invest “well in excess of $50 billion” as capital over the course of upcoming 5 years into cable business and theme parks now that FCC has repealed net neutrality on a 3-2 vote in a recent meeting.

In fact, the Commission recently forecasted the deregulation of net neutrality rules of 2015 would encourage the best internet providers to spend big and upgrade their network that would contribute to the industry as a whole. The employee bonuses are also on the cards since a number of Internet Service Providers including Comcast® and AT&T’s TV provider DirecTV® have announced hikes in price for the broadband and cable TV plans that are expected to start from the next year.

16 Dec

Cox’s Panoramic Wi-Fi Customers Exceed One Million

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Whole-Home Wi-Fi Offering

Cox Communications® has announced that its panoramic Wi-Fi product has covered more than one million customers. This surprising growth in customers comes after 14 months since this whole-home Wi-Fi offering was launched. Cox® one of the best internet providers launched the panoramic Wi-Fi service during the last fall in several areas such as Santa Barbara, San Diego, and Orange County. The service was extended to more markets in June that led to more customers in opting for it. As a result, Cox® managed to add about 182,000 new customers to the Panoramic Wi-Fi service during that period.

The Panoramic Wi-Fi service is available to the customers for a starting rate of $9.99 per month. It relies on a modem or router with a DOCSIS 3.0 24/8 combined with 24 dual band 802.11 ac Wi-Fi. This allows the customers to manage their Wi-Fi networks across their homes. The service also comes with a network management app for both iOS and Android mobile devices along with customized Wi-Fi installation. Moreover, Cox® also rents Wi-Fi extenders using the MoCA 2.0 technology to the customers for $4 per month.

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According to Cox®, the statistics of users opting for this whole-home Wi-Fi offering shows enormous promise. It states that the Panoramic Wi-Fi service is opted by about 66 percent of the customers using the new high-speed internet plans. Cox® is following the trends chosen by other internet providers in providing premium in-home Wi-Fi with high-speeds along with the option to manage this Wi-Fi networks across the homes.

The connect app is also increased usage with about 120,000 interactions recorded for each month. It has several features such as My Wi-Fi that enable the users to see the primary and guest networks. Besides, it allows the users to change the wireless settings, change the name of connected devices, find out the Wi-Fi signal strength, and reboot the modem.

Philip Nutsugah, Senior Vice President of product development and management at Cox Communications® said, “While designing and developing Panoramic Wi-Fi, we listened to our customers and applied that feedback to deliver a premium user experience. Our customers want an effortless and predictable Wi-Fi experience that delivers the speed and reliability they expect. They want to have confidence that they are equipped with tools to optimize and manage their home Wi-Fi.”

13 Dec

Comcast® Launches a New Voice Remote

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Video On Demand Program

Comcast® is undoubtedly one of the best internet providers in the country and they have now move ahead of their competitors with the commercial launch of their newly designed voice remote that is to be used with their X1 platform. The latest model of voice remote, called as the XR15 is the follow on model to their XR11 remote that was introduced by Comcast® in 2015. As per the records, Comcast® has already deployed eighteen million voice remotes with users delivering about half a million voice commands in the month of November alone, as per a recent announcement from Jonathan Palmatier, who is the Vice President of consumers devices and products at the Comcast Corporation®.

The look and feel of the old remote is altered in the new voice remote, and the position of the blue microphone button is also changed. It is through this microphone that the voice commands are delivered to the X1 platform. “After researching how customers hold and use the remote, our design team placed the round blue button directly where the thumb naturally rests,” Palmatier explained. “That button is also in the center of the remote, larger than every other button and made from a distinct material so it can be identified by touch alone.”

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Legacy X1 Voice Remote

The XR15 remote from Comcast® is already recognized together with two other products from Comcast® for X1, which are a 4K capable video device and a wireless set top box. All these three Comcast® products came away with the Red Dot design awards. Apart from the new device, Comcast® is also introducing a bunch of latest voice remote features that work across the legacy X1 voice remote and the new XR15 models. Users will now be able to go forward or backward in a DVR recorded or Video On Demand program just by saying time increments like “Go forward fifteen minutes” or “Go back ten seconds.”

The voice capability of the remote also allows users to ask the details of a song playing in a movie, commercial, or TV show, and the system will pull up the artist and title of the particular music track. Palmatier said that these are some of the new features, which will be unveiled soon. There will also be a new set of commands used to control the connected home and together with some Spanish language options.

08 Dec

AT&T® Debuts Fixed Wireless Internet in Mendota

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Fixed Wireless Internet

One of the best internet providers in the US, AT&T® launched Fixed Wireless Internet earlier this year to underserved homes and businesses as part of their FCC Connect America Fund Commitment. AT&T® has been in the process of rolling out the Fixed Wireless Internet across the country to fill the connectivity gap and upgrade their network to meet the commitment made to FCC. The low-cost internet service from the ISP comes from a cellular tower to fixed antennae placed on the subscribers’ homes or business premises.

The service is the first of its kind introduced in Mendota and the citizens living in serviceable areas can get cheap internet connectivity. The city thrives on agriculture and farming predominantly and has many low-income families and businesses who all can take advantage of the cheap internet service from the Telco. Information about the launch of AT&T® Fixed Wireless Internet has been conveyed to many of the residents via email.

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The access to the internet without satellite has reached Mendota city recently where the citizens were used to slow-speed internet access thus far but not anymore. AT&T® rolled out the broadband service to all the citizens living in the California area courtesy the initiative from Federal Communications Commission. Adding more insights to the affordable broadband from AT&T®, Julie Tone, the Director of External Affairs for the State said, “Fixed wireless technology is a connection between an AT&T® tower and an outdoor fixed piece of equipment at the customers home or a business and it provides a connection into the home to a WiFi router.”

AT&T® Fixed Wireless Internet would provide a chance to the citizens to access broadband at 10 Mbps minimum at a cost which would be affordable to most in Mendota. “This is great news, that we were picked as one of the selected areas and it is something that we have been waiting for a while,” said Robert Silva, the Mayor of Mendota. “It is great for the businesses, community, great for the Ag folks, so they can get involved.”

Commenting on the imitative, Ismael Herrera, the Associate Director of Office of Community & Economic Development, Fresno State said, “There are communities up and down the San Joaquin Valley, who do not have a connection to the internet at any speeds and there are many more who have connections, but the speeds are not adequate.”

23 Nov

CenturyLink® Expands Internet Access for AWS Re:Invent 2017 Event

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AWS Re:Invent 2017 Event

One of the best internet providers CenturyLink® gives private as well as secure network access to Amazon Web Services. CenturyLink® has expanded their network as well as services being the main service provider of AWS re:Invent 2017 to be held in Las Vegas. In fact, the Telco offered network services to the AWS re:Invent 2012 event as well.

CenturyLink® is going to provide exclusive network access for the fourth consecutive year for the event. Officials say that the attendees’ count in the venue and those streaming the live event would expectantly grow this time around.

“We began supporting this event in 2012 and it was all at the Sands and now it’s grown to five different venues and there’s over 40,000 attendees,” said Chris McReynolds, Vice President of cloud and data product management at CenturyLink®. “The demands of what they have requested for us have grown in parallel with that.”

With the event scheduled in a couple of weeks, CenturyLink® has enhanced connectivity to where the main part of the event is slated to occur in Las Vegas. In fact, CenturyLink® would give accesses to the internet for the attendees and plans to route Amazon Wi-Fi also so that attendees never miss out the highlights of the event.

“We go to a Northern cloud onramp for the East region and a Southern onramp with a diverse path on our long-haul network,” McReynolds added. “Also, we do the same for AWS West.” He further said that the company would give support the main event with accesses to internet not just for the live audience but also for the corresponding events of Amazon Web Services.

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Streaming The Live Event

“AWS has a couple of big needs: internet access to the 40,000 attendees, but they also have their boot camps, hackathons, and livestreaming events that they’re managing through AWS Compute,” McReynolds said.

Reports say that CenturyLink® is planning to keep the access points to support similar events in Las Vegas in the future. The access points are equipped with varied routing paths to up to two POPs.

“Las Vegas has so many different conventions at the Sands and other venues and it’s such diverse and powerful internet connectivity we have built,” McReynolds further said. “Even with those internet connections, we connect all of those facilities and take it out with diverse directions to two different internet points of presence and that’s something that should be of value to other conferences.”

09 Nov

Hughes Network® Enters into Contract with OneWeb for Developing Ground Network System

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Ground Network System

Hughes Network Systems® has declared that it entered into a contract worth $190 million with OneWeb for the development of a ground network system. The contract also covers the sustaining of the Low Earth Orbit satellites owned by OneWeb and strives to offer affordable broadband internet service to numerous schools, households, and other users. Hughes Network Systems®, as the leading provider of satellite broadband and other cheap internet services, will achieve a wider network reach across the country and the rest of the world by entering into this contract with OneWeb.

The current contract is an upgrade to the original system development agreement that the two companies signed in the year 2015. This contract had an estimated total value of above $300 million for both the companies. This agreement covered many aspects such as the development of gateway sites that consists of multiple tracking satellite access points. This will maintain operations and the switching of high-speed user internet traffic amongst the satellites.

Greg Wyler, Founder and Executive Chairman of OneWeb said, “The start of production of the ground system is a major step towards fulfilling OneWeb’s goal of bridging the digital divide, leaving no one behind. Hughes has been an outstanding technology partner and we are excited to deploy this essential part of our network as we ramp up to launch the first of our fleet early next year and provide service to every rural home in Alaska starting in 2019.”

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Affordable Broadband Internet Service

John Corrigan, senior vice president of Engineering for Hughes® stated, “Designing a ground system capable of supporting hundreds of LEOs with seamless handoff of broadband traffic between satellites presented a significant challenge. But our team was up to the task, and we are proud to be partnering with OneWeb on realizing this revolutionary satellite communications system to close the global digital divide.”

OneWeb was set up with a goal to provide affordable internet access to everyone in the world. OneWeb is actually a constellation of Low Earth Orbit satellites intended to extend the network connectivity to almost everyone in this world and thereby bridge the prevailing digital divide. Hughes Network® and OneWeb had begun the combined development of the ground network just about two years ago.

The current contract signed between the two companies has included many aspects. It mainly consists of the provision of necessary equipment that will offer support to the multiple satellite access points at gateway locations across the world. These access points will contain a custom switching complex, power amplifiers, and outdoor modems. The shipments are estimated to commence from mid-2018 onwards.

08 Nov

Comcast Business® Extends Ethernet Networks to 5 New Business Parks in San Jose

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Ethernet Networks Extended

Comcast Business®, a major subsidiary of Comcast Corporation®, has declared that they have made significant investments amounting to more than six million for developing its fiber networks to five new business parks in San Jose. The expansion of Ethernet from Comcast® will offer high-speed internet delivering a network capacity of 10 Gigabits-per-second to more than 1600 businesses based in San Jose. Moreover, its secure, reliable, and scalable features will greatly fit in with the networking requirements of the businesses.

Relying on this Ethernet, internet, Wi-Fi, TV, and voice solutions will immensely benefit the businesses and help them grow. Matthew Mahood, president and CEO of the Silicon Valley Organization said, “With a population surpassing 1 million, San Jose is the 10th largest city in the country, the 3rd largest in California, and the heart of Silicon Valley. It’s a thriving technology hub, home to tech giants such as Apple, eBay, Cisco and PayPal.”

He further added that, “Much like other large cities, San Jose is always looking for ways to attract new businesses while maintaining the best quality of life it can for all. Silicon Valley does business differently. In order to continue innovating, it must stay on the cutting-edge of technology to compete effectively within the region, and Comcast Business® helps position us as a leading high-tech city.”

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David Brown, vice president of Comcast Business® for California stated, “The availability and reach of our high-performance Ethernet network is a tremendous business advantage for San Jose organizations. Companies of all sizes can meet their capacity needs now and prepare for future requirements as well, all while benefiting from our advanced telecommunications services. Not only does this help organizations meet customer needs and drive growth, but it helps boost the local economy as well.”

The investments made by Comcast Business® to expand its Ethernet services will offer business access to an extensive portfolio of Gigabit Ethernet options. This will be of help to them in meeting their daily requirements, connecting various branches or sites, and linking their offices to third party data centers. The services offered by Comcast Business® are Ethernet Private Line, Ethernet Virtual Private Line, Ethernet Network Service, and Ethernet Dedicated Internet.

All these available Ethernet options are specifically tailored to meet the individual demands of each of the businesses. They provide high-speed internet connectivity along with the option to customize the connection for its bandwidth, cost, and performance alongside linking them between different organizations.

09 Oct

Cox® Subscribers Will Be Able To Access AT&T® Sportsnet

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AT&T® Sportsnet Access

The residents of Las Vegas who have subscribed to the TV service of Cox Communications® will be able to watch all the matches of their home team shortly. In a recent announcement, the officials from one of the best internet providers in the country, Cox® announced that they have finally signed a deal to carry AT&T® SportsNet Rocky Mountain on their cable network in the Las Vegas market.

Reports from several reliable sources indicate that the new deal between the parties will take effect immediately. This means that Cox® cable subscribers in Las Vegas area will be able to watch the inaugural season NHL hockey game of Vegas Golden Knights. In the highly anticipated hockey game, Vegas Golden Knights will face the Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas on the coming Friday.

The Chairman and CEO of Vegas Golden Knights, Bill Foley said, “We would like to thank both AT&T® SportsNet and Cox® for their commitment and dedication to reaching an agreement. There was a significant amount of work put in from both sides and we are appreciative of these efforts. Cox® subscribers will now be able to enjoy the excitement of Golden Knights hockey on AT&T® SportsNet beginning tonight for our historic, inaugural game against the Dallas Stars.”

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Golden Knights Hockey Championship

It is reported that all of the Cox® cable TV subscribers in Southern Nevada will be able to watch and enjoy the live broadcast of the game on channel 1096 and channel 96 in high definition. From October 7, the permanent home for the newly added AT&T® SportsNet Rocky Mountain will be channel 1313 and 313. It is crucial to note that these channels are available to customers who are currently under the TV Essential cable package of Cox®.

The VP of Affiliate Relations for AT&T® SportsNet, Nina Kinch said, “We are excited to be able to announce this deal with Cox® and bring the Vegas Golden Knights games to their customers in Las Vegas and surrounding areas. We are anxious to see the team perform and looking forward to viewers having access to our Network and Emmy Award winning productions.”

In addition to Cox Communications®, CenturyLink®, U-Verse®, and DirecTV® also offer customers access to AT&T® SportsNet in Los Vegas area. Remember, your chances of acquiring a best internet and cable deal are higher if you went for bundling the packages.

22 Sep

Internet Providers May Fall Under FTC Jurisdiction

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Ninth Circuit Court Of Appeals

Recently, the judges in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals questioned lawyers of AT&T® and Federal Trade Communications (FTC) regarding whether FTC has the right to prosecute the Telco for “allegedly throttling the subscribers with unlimited wireless data” without sending due notice. AT&T® told the judges the lawsuit is invalid and that FTC cannot enforce a fine since the Telco does not fall under the jurisdiction of FTC.

FTC has appealed a ruling in favor of AT&T® by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals last year, and a year on, the lawsuits still remains wide open. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is yet to give a ruling on the present lawsuit as yet. Similar lawsuits have occurred before between AT&T® and FTC.

In 2014, for instance, FTC alleged the Telco had throttled download speed when the subscribers exceeded monthly data caps by 3 to 5 GB. AT&T® dismissed the lawsuit stating that FTC has no authority to prosecute “common carriers”. In fact, Federal Communications Commission’s Net Neutrality rules classify internet providers as “common carriers,” something which FTC failed to dismiss in 2014. As a lawsuit settlement, FTC refunded more than 2.7 million AT&T® subscribers in 2016.

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Net Neutrality Rule

Joel Marcus, Deputy General Counsel for Litigation, and acting lawyer of FTC has said that FTC’s interest in the lawsuit with AT&T® strictly applies to data security. “At this point, the FTC is the only game in town in data security,” Marcus said. “But even beyond that you have the problem of the common carrier who sells dietary supplements or used cars or any of the other things the FTC ordinarily gets involved in.”

Marcus also pointed out that it was not the case until earlier this year, when President Donald Trump overhauled the Net Neutrality rule, which FCC passed in 2015. The Net Neutrality rule was enforced under the Obama Administration to correct the loopholes in privacy and data security that existed due to FTC’s “common carrier” exemption.

However, the judges say that the Republican Senate is now working on reversing the 2015 Net Neutrality rules. The reversal may reclassify internet providers as “common carriers”, and if passed, the changes will put some of the best internet providers namely AT&T®, Verizon®, Comcast®, Charter Communications®, and Cox® under the jurisdiction of FTC.

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