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30 Jan

AT&T® and T-Mobile® will Help Customers to Stay Connected Throughout the Winter Olympics

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Video Streaming Services

If you are planning to visit South Korea to catch the live action of the upcoming Winter Olympics, then you will most likely wish to share your good fortune with your friends and family members who are not able to make it to South Korea. So, you will be probably planning to keep them up-to-date with the live actions from the Olympics but you will certainly need unlimited data, calling, and text to do so.

Two of the leading internet providers in the United States, AT&T® and T-Mobile® have already introduced attractive offers for their customers so that they can stay connected to their loved ones who are back at home. In a recent announcement, the officials from T-Mobile® said that their customers who are attending the Winter Olympics in South Korea will be able to enjoy unlimited data, text, and calling throughout the event.

The best thing about T-Mobile’s new offering is that customers will not have to do anything to reap these benefits. This means that customers will not need to pay any sort of additional charges to enjoy these benefits. Yet it is crucial to note that the unlimited data and calling offering to customers across South Korea will automatically kick in from February 7 to March 20, 2018, and it will be available to all postpaid customers of T-Mobile®.

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International Day Pass

The President and CEO of T-Mobile®, John Legere said, “The Winter Games are full of unforgettable moments, and now, T-Mobile® customers in South Korea can snap, tweet, and share those big moments without worrying about bill shock when they get back home. And while the carriers gouge you and make you jump through ridiculous hoops, the Un-carrier makes it easy! Free and unlimited data and calling just happen from the moment you step foot in South Korea.”

Likewise, one of the best internet providers in the country, AT&T® has also announced that their customers who are in South Korea for the Olympics will be eligible to access the International Day Pass of the provider at zero additional charges. This implies that AT&T® customers will be able to save $10 a day on unlimited texts, calls, and data usage. However, the officials from the telecom company have not confirmed whether customers will have to call ahead to get the International Day Pass.

24 Jan

Charter Spectrum® to Offer Gigabit Internet Service Across the Capital Region

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Gigabit Internet Service

Reports from several reliable sources indicate that Charter Spectrum® subscribers across the Capital Region will soon be able to enjoy the Gigabit Internet service of the telecom giant. However, the Gigabit Internet service offered by Charter Spectrum® is mostly available only to the schools and businesses in the country at the present.

Charter Communications®, who are currently operating under the brand name Spectrum®, have already started to offer their high-speed internet service in the lower Hudson Valley and New York. Customers who have subscribed to the Spectrum® internet service in these areas will be able to enjoy a maximum internet speed of 1 gigabit per second, which is approximately 10 to 40 times faster when compared to the internet service available to customers in the Capital Region.

It is significant to note that gigabit internet speeds offered by the leading internet providers in the country were usually available only to business and government entities in the Capital Region. However, Verizon recently started to offer a 1-gigabit service to the residential subscribers in their FiOS network but the drawback is that this service is available only in certain parts of Albany and Schenectady counties.

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High-Speed Internet Service

The new internet service launched by Charter Communications® will certainly allow most residents to get connected to a reliable and high-speed gigabit internet service. Even though most residents are happy and content with the current internet speeds, the availability of gigabit internet service will increase the download speed, boost the streaming quality, and customers will be able to connect more number of devices to their internet network at the very same time.

In a recent interview, a spokesman from Charter Communications® said, “We’re currently in the process of upgrading the Capital Region to all-digital, which is an important first step to enabling faster speeds, including gigabit connections for residential customers. We intend to launch gigabit connections in additional markets in 2018 but haven’t announced any plans yet.”

The official also stated that customers would be able to stick to their Time Warner Cable® package if they wish to or they could even switch to the Spectrum® plans. He added, “They can keep their legacy Time Warner Cable® package or switch to Spectrum® if they prefer. We believe they will find Spectrum® is a better value with superior products and services, like the 100 Mbps starting speed for Spectrum® internet.”

22 Jan

Charter® to Create Original Programming for its Spectrum Customers

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Distribute Original Content

Charter Communications® is making plans to create and distribute original content. The Telco wishes to foray into programming like other major providers in the country. Because of that, Charter® had already appointed a new senior vice president to oversee its plans to produce and distribute original programming. The new senior vice president will focus on creating original content that is in tune with the interests of the viewers. Charter® has brought in Katherine Pope, the former NBC Universal and Chernin Group TV production executive, to serve as its new senior vice president.

The creation of original content is seen by Charter® as a way to offer a different experience for its Spectrum® customers. The hiring of the new executive will supervise the creation of planned original programming, such as a lineup of shows to aid on Charter®-carried channels. Charter® has a previous partnership with AMC and Viacom that involves co-production of television shows, and this new announcement will help in its quest to produce and air an array of original content.

Katherine Pope stated, “I’m excited to partner with networks, studios, and creators to build a high-quality original content experience for Charter’s wide-reaching and diverse audience. I look forward to working with David and the extraordinary team at Charter®.” This appointment of the new executive follows a previous deal between AMC and Viacom. It has reached an agreement with these companies regarding co-production and co-funding of content that will be air across the Spectrum platforms of Charter® in this year.

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Charter®-Carried Channels

Under the former agreement, Viacom and Charter® had reached an agreement regarding the co-production of original content that will be exclusively available to Charter® subscribers. David Ellen, Charter® Senior Executive VP said, “Katherine’s creativity, strategic prowess, and wealth of industry knowledge will play an instrumental role in positioning Charter® as an industry leader in the creation and distribution of high-quality, original entertainment that will further differentiate Charter’s market-leading video products in ways that create value and drive subscribership.”

Recently, many of the major cable and internet providers have also come with collaborating with various content production houses. The acquisition of NBC Universal by Comcast® is one key example that demonstrates this new trend among providers. Charter’s action plan for the creation and airing of original content makes it one among the other providers who have done the same with various production houses. Moreover, this comes amidst the rise of its internet service and a decline of video subscriptions.

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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High Speed Internet

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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Video Streaming Services

“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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High-Speeds Internet Access

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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Low-Cost Internet Service

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.

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