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19 Aug

CenturyLink® Deploys Field Trials Of Adtran Virtual 10G – PON Platform

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Adtran Virtual 10G – PON Platform

CenturyLink® has commenced the field trials of Adtran’s virtualized Optical Line Terminal (OLT) 10G-PON platform. The trials involve the use of Mosaic operating system of Adtran for making Software-Defined Access (SD-Access) in its networks. CenturyLink® is making this new move as a means to enter into the SD-Access technology in its network that has already deployed the Passive Optical Networking (PON) system.

Adtran is a key provider of open networking solutions and the deployment of SD-Access will allow CenturyLink® to make its networks more flexible and manageable. CenturyLink® is also offering 10-gigabit symmetrical PON (XGS-PON) and the latest PON (NG-PON2).

The networking technologies function via a single fiber optic cable that is divided to supply numerous end points in different access layers such as residential and enterprise. Jay Wilson, Adtran’s senior vice president of technology and strategy said, “Adtran Mosaic OS is a key component of the industry’s most open and complete SD-Access architecture. The solution spans the entire access network from the cloud edge to subscriber edge, providing services delivery and support for all physical access media, allowing our customers to create best of breed networks.”

Commenting on that, Aamir Hussain, CenturyLink® executive vice president and chief technology officer said, “The move to an open, programmable and scalable access network will facilitate CenturyLink’s service agility and support faster deployment of services and applications for our customers. This solution will enable us to reduce operating costs through the economies of data center architectures and automate our networks as we look to offer 10G services and beyond.”

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Flexible And Manageable Networks

CenturyLink® recently accelerated its network virtualization efforts like other internet providers into a more hybrid nature. This involves using a mix of both the older hardware and latest software technologies offered. It is also to be noted that the Telco has made considerable investments in the past 25 years that amounts to about $64 billion for its network.

Hassan stated, “These investments are just to make sure that we bring customers the services they expect. When we move to a programmable network, it’s about having the right platforms with the right programs, software defined networking, and controlling that through our orchestration engine that allows us to manage the customer’s workloads and applications.”

Adtran uses PON technologies for linking CenturyLink’s network infrastructure. The Mosaic operating system of Adtran’s can function using both copper and fiber connections as well. Adtran being a leader in SD-Access technology will enable CenturyLink® to upgrade its networks to accommodate all the latest technologies and in its virtualization efforts.

11 Aug

CBS Networks Comes To DirecTV Now®

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CBS Networks Added

DirecTV Now®, the live TV service from one of the leading internet providers, AT&T® has already become one of the most favorite choices of cord cutters in a short span of time. However, it seems that AT&T® is planning to lure in more cord cutters towards the streaming service by adding CBS and its networks to the streaming platform.

In a recent announcement, the officials from AT&T® confirmed that they have signed an agreement with CBS, which will allow them to live stream from the local CBS and The CW stations in approximately 25 markets in the country. The telecom company also indicated that these stations would be available to DirecTV Now® customers in all the packages.

However, other popular networks such as Showtime, CBS Sports Network, and Pop will be available to subscribers on select premium tiers. Additionally, DirecTV Now® customers who wish to access and watch the contents of Showtime would be able to subscribe the channel as an add on to their current DirecTV Now® plan.

The first United States metros to gain access to The CW and CBS in their DirecTV Now® packages include Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto, Denver, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Detroit, Boston, San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Philadelphia, Chicago, L.A., and New York.

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Directv Now® Plans

AT&T® is hopeful that the recent addition of Showtime network to DirecTV Now® will attract more cord cutters to the service. This is because their streaming service offers the network to customers for just $8 a month, which is actually the lowest monthly rate offered by a streaming service provider.

The officials from the telecom company also added that they would be adding the Pop channel in the DirecTV Now® “Just Right” plan, while the CBS Sports Network will be available to DirecTV Now® customers who have subscribed to the “Go Big” plan. The officials refused to share any details on when these channels will be made available to customers but reports indicate that this will happen within a month or two.

The telecom company, AT&T® also added that they are planning to bring at least 30 more NBC, Fox, and ABC affiliates to DirecTV Now® shortly. This means that the streaming service from AT&T® will contain more than 170 live and local channels, which makes it a great alternative to cable TV. So if you have access to the best internet service, you should definitely check out DirecTV Now®.

09 Aug

Comcast® Partners With FX Networks To Provide Ad-Free Service To Subscribers

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Ad-Free Service To Subscribers

Comcast® has partnered with FX Networks to commence a new subscription service titled as FX+. This premium service is available for an additional cost of $5.99 per month for the subscribers of Xfinity® platform and includes ad-free access to all the currently airing TV series and other shows. The new service from Comcast® will be launched on September 5 and would be much different from the streaming apps rolled out by CBS and other major television networks.

This new collaboration with FX is a great way for the Xfinity® subscribers to access the quality programming offered that includes many of its well regarded TV series and shows. The FX+ paid service will offer about 1000 episodes from some of the most admired TV series such as Sons of Anarchy, Terriers, Damages, American Horror Story, etc. Also included in the FX+ service are FX channel and FXX, the sister network of the broadcaster, which will be made available on Comcast’s Xfinity® platform.

Previously, Comcast® released a simultaneous broadcast streaming service, AMC Premiere, which was available for just $4.99 per month. This streaming service also included the airing of commercial free episodes of numerous running series such as The Walking Dead. FX+ is the second streaming service offered by Comcast® that allows for an extension of the subscription for a basic cable channel.

John Landgraf, CEO of FX Networks and FX Productions stated, “This is an exciting day for FX Networks because it represents the next step in building a consumer experience as good as our original programming brand. We have been diligent about recapturing the in-season stacking rights for all current original programming and recapturing the rights to all seasons of a large portion of our legacy of great original series.”

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New Subscription Service

Matt Strauss, Executive Vice President and General Manager for Video and Entertainment Services at Comcast® said, “FX has built a brand known for high-quality, award-winning original content, and we are pleased to partner with John Landgraf and the team at FX to offer premium experiences like FX+ to Xfinity® TV customers, and explore what it means to be a network in the future.”

The subscribers of the new FX+ service can access the contents through Xfinity® On Demand, Xfinity® Stream app, FX NOW, and the service website. FX+ will remain as an upgrade option for the subscribers of Xfinity® TV. Subscribers can easily upgrade to the FX+ service through the Xfinity® set top boxes as well as by visiting the website or calling the Xfinity® service.

08 Aug

AT&T® Appoint GroupM CEO Brian Lesser To Lead A New Advertising Unit

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Premium Video And TV Advertising

AT&T® has hired Brian Lesser, former CEO of GroupM North America, to head an advertisement and business analytics unit of the Telco giant. Lesser would leave the leading position of WPP media agencies and will report directly to Randall Stephenson, CEO and Chairman of AT&T®.

“Brian is a terrific executive and one of the best there is in harnessing technology and data to create targeted advertising,” Stephenson said in a recent statement. AT&T® provides the best internet service in the US, but the internet and cable subscribers should note that the appointment would apply to the media assets. However, AT&T’s $85.4 billion bid for Time Warner® is still pending, and is under review by the US Department of Justice and legislators.

It is unclear if the advertisement sales executives at Time Warner® and Turner cable networks would report to Brian Lesser when the AT&T® – Time Warner® merger goes through. However, Stephenson said, “Once we complete our acquisition of Time Warner® Inc., we believe there is an opportunity to build an automated advertising platform that can do for premium video and TV advertising what the search and social media companies have done for digital advertising.”

Both Time Warner’s Turner network, as well as Comcast’s NBCUniversal, has offered various products letting advertisers use the customer data and place TV commercials timely. Further, many of the TV outlets roll out programmatic advertising products, which allow for the buying of advertisement inventory via bids. Programmatic advertising is the algorithmic buying and sales of commercial space in real time and it uses software to automate the buying of commercial space.

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Advertising And Insights Business

“Advertising is evolving from broad messages delivered through traditional media channels, to customized, individual content coordinated across all connected devices,” Lesser said. “AT&T has amazing assets for creating engaging advertising experiences for consumers. I am excited to work with Randall and the entire AT&T team to build a world-class advertising and insights business.”

As per an AT&T® spokesperson, Brian Lesser would lead “an advertising and analytics business using the company’s unique customer data and growing content assets.” On the other hand, GroupM® is in search of a replacement for Brian Lesser, and Kelly Clark, global CEO of GroupM®, would hold the interim position in the absence of Lesser.

02 Aug

Cardinals And Cox® Announce Marketing And Technology Partnership

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Marketing And Technology Partnership

Cox Communications® and the Arizona Cardinals recently announced a multimillion dollar, multiyear partnership in Phoenix, which expands and extends a partnership between both the businesses back in 2006. As per the partnership, Cox® Business will be the exclusive technology provider and partner for both Cardinals and University of Phoenix stadium in Glendale.

“Through this partnership, Cox® will provide a broad range of services and products that will not only deliver the best possible stadium experience for Cardinals fans, but also enhance the organization’s technological capabilities on a daily basis,” said Cardinals President Michael Bidwill.

Services offered by Cox Communications® include internet and telecommunication services, cable TV, Wi-Fi, video transmissions, and network infrastructure. It will be the responsibility of the Cox® Business to offer technical support to the team for all the important events and to ensure that the technology of the stadium operates seamlessly without any issues.

“It has been a privilege to deliver technology services to the team and the stadium for more than a decade,” said Ed Aaronson, vice president for Cox® Business in Arizona. “This expansion of our relationship will further enhance our ability to partner with the Cardinals to deliver the premier fan experience.”

Cardinals and Cox® will also provide a virtual reality interactive experience for all the fans, which will be similar to the training tools used by the Cardinals players and coaches. Fans of Arizona Cardinals will experience a feeling of being on the field practicing with their favorite team, standing on the field during the pre game player introduction sessions and taking part in the coin toss.

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The free virtual reality experience offered by Cox® for the fans will provided at the upper concourse of the stadium, on the fifth quarterdeck during home games of the Cardinals. The partnership between Cox® and Cardinals features technology product integration of Cox® throughout the training complex of Cardinals and University of Phoenix Stadium, and will include marketing, promotional, community relations and fan activation initiatives.

The University of Phoenix Stadium is hone to the annual Fiesta Bowl and the Arizona Cardinals. The stadium also hosts many international soccer events, large-scale events like super bowl, major concerts like the U2 and the recent NCAA Final Four.

Cox Communications® is the third largest private employer in Arizona and one of the best internet service providers in the country that serves about 3 million business and residential users in Arizona.

28 Jul

CenturyLink® Offers Hybrid SD WAN

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Centurylink® Alliance Advantage Program

CenturyLink® is now releasing managed Software-Defined Wide Area Networking (SD-WAN) plans and packages for the hybrid environments. CenturyLink® said that the new services would offer traffic flow over MPLS broadband internet connections and networks.

The “Application-aware routing” technique makes use of information like network latency and application requirements to decide on the path to be taken. Those who have membership with the CenturyLink® Alliance Advantage program could sell the solution.

John DeLozier, who is the vice president of channel alliances of CenturyLink® said that their partners are now better equipped to assist customers who have just one service provider and is looking for a hybrd WAN. “With CenturyLink® Managed Hybrid SD-WAN solutions, our partners can now offer their customers complete, ‘as-a-service’ hybrid SD-WAN offerings with CenturyLink® providing the SD-WAN platform and management, along with transport (MPLS and broadband Internet) and management of the entire WAN for a single bundled price,” DeLozier said.

Troy Trenchard, who is the vice president of product management at CenturyLink® said that the new offering from CenturyLink® will offer high performance and improved business security for all their cloud-hosted applications. “Businesses are looking to evolve their networks to better support their mission-critical business and cloud initiatives,” Trenchard said. “Our Managed Hybrid SD-WAN solutions enable businesses to leverage their existing investments in MPLS while adding next-generation network capabilities.”

Experts from CenturyLink® said that their solutions have built-in encryption, segmentation, and security policy control. They added that it is also possible to integrate their managed security services into the latest offerings. CenturyLink® said in one of their announcements that they are one of the few internet service providers in the country that offer Wide Area Network packages as a monthly service.

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Software-Defined Wide Area Networking

“CenturyLink® Managed Hybrid SD-WAN solutions allow businesses to accelerate their transformation to next-generation networks by alleviating the integration, operations and performance management complexities associated with creating hybrid WAN environments,” the company wrote in their announcement. “CenturyLink® provides core infrastructure, design and implementation, security, transport and provider management, along with centralized monitoring and management.”

CenturyLink® made the announcement about the managed SD-WAN service in the previous month, but the hybrid capabilities is what makes the recent announcement important for businesses that are looking to have the best internet service. Stay tuned for more news from CenturyLink®.

26 Jul

Comcast® To Begin Its New ‘Internet Of Things’ Service In Detroit

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Internet Of Things Service

Comcast Corporation® has announced that it will commence its latest Internet of Things (IoT) service in Detroit in the coming months. Along with its best internet service, Comcast® intends to extend this new technology into 12 of the key markets in the country.

Known as machineQ, this service is mainly targeted for businesses and municipal organizations operating in the region as an efficient and cost effective means to collect, transmit, and analyze data obtained from internet-connected devices. Apart from Detroit, Comcast® intends to roll out its Internet of Things service in Denver, Atlanta, Boston, Indianapolis, Baltimore, Miami, Minneapolis, Pittsburgh, Seattle, Oakland, and Washington DC by 2018.

Comcast® has selected Detroit for deploying the service in view of the growing business sector in the region, huge market potential and existing communication infrastructure of the company. Alex Khorram, general manager of machineQ stated, “Detroit is one of our biggest networks. Before, (IoT) technology was prohibitive — cost too much, took too much power. Standardization is driving down cost and now that the technology is there, we can provide this network.”

Previously, Comcast® has commenced the research and development of the service as well as carried out trials in Chicago, Philadelphia, and San Francisco. The company used a low powered wireless IoT network via open radio frequencies for linking utilities such as parking meters, pipeline monitoring sensors and wireless devices. MachineQ is chiefly set up in Detroit’s central business district and will expand in the rest of the areas of the city by the first quarter of 2018.

Many internet providers have invested in developing and installing Internet of Things service across major parts of the country. This has been possible due to the advanced wireless internet connectivity and technology available in the cities. Comcast’s new IoT service will also benefit start-up companies in the region to develop innovations in the technology sector.

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Low Powered Wireless Iot Network

A startup company has tested the IoT network from Comcast® to identify and repair potholes in the roadways by deploying sensors to the vehicles. According to the company, “Using the service, organizations are empowered to use data taken from the physical world, learn from it, and make better-informed, data-based decisions to improve how they serve customers, tenants and citizens.”

The trial service will be made accessible to numerous businesses and organizations located in Detroit soon. During the trials, Comcast® intends to assess each of the markets for determining the availability of resources in the regions.

25 Jul

AT&T® Launches Fixed Wireless Internet Service In Rural Cleveland County

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Fixed Wireless Internet Service

AT&T® has launched its Fixed Wireless Internet in many of the rural and underserved locations in Cleveland County. The fastest internet provider has declared that they extended the Fixed Wireless Internet initially to both rural and underserved locations in North Carolina ell. As a part of the FCC Connect America Fund, AT&T® has undertaken this provision of enabling internet connectivity to the regions. Moreover, AT&T® also intends to extend its best internet service to more than 400,000 locations by the end of 2017 and to about 1.1 million locations by the year 2020.

AT&T® jointly announced its Fixed Wireless Internet plan with the state and local leaders of Cleveland County. House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) said, “More and more, whether you are in urban or rural areas, high-speed connectivity is vital. I am excited to see this newly available service bringing needed connectivity to our rural communities in Cleveland County and across the state. Announcements like this underline the importance of policies which encourage ongoing private investment in the networks which deliver advanced technologies to North Carolinians.”

The telecom provider has set high expectations regarding its internet expansion in North Carolina with plans that aim to cover over 13,000 locations by 2020. This initial offering from AT&T® will provide the residents and business owners located in the rural communities across the state in accessing the Fixed Wireless Internet. AT&T®, by expanding its best internet connectivity program to the rural and underserved locations, aims to bridge the digital divide that is largely prevailing in the country.

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Closing The Connectivity Gap

Carlos E. Sanchez, state director of external affairs for AT&T® North Carolina stated, “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. Through this innovative service, we are working to close the connectivity gap in North Carolina.”

Fixed Wireless Internet is a service offered by AT&T® that gives home internet connectivity with download speeds of about 10 Mbps. The internet connections are delivered through wireless towers distributed across the regions into the fixed antenna positioned on homes and businesses. In addition, AT&T® has also launched its Fixed Wireless Internet Service in various states such as Florida, Mississippi, Kentucky, Louisiana, Alabama, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

21 Jul

Comcast® Declares Its Commitment To Core Principles Of Net Neutrality

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Commitment To Net Neutrality

The Day of Action demonstration organized last week witnessed numerous organizations and companies standing up for net neutrality. This comes in the wake of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) plans to override several of the protective regulations that surround the net neutrality concept.

Internet providers like Comcast® adopted a clearer stand on the issue, declaring their support for the proposed deregulation efforts by the FCC such as the Title II classifications. However, Comcast® has also declared that it will still offer support and respect for the very idea of net neutrality and the open internet that it proposes.

The FCC’s proposed rollback of the regulations has support from Comcast®. As per the telecom provider, “Such regulation is entirely unnecessary, outdated, and imposes substantial costs that undermine investment and innovation and undercut efforts to bridge the digital divide and deploy broadband to all Americans. While some seem to want to create hysteria that the Internet as we know it will disappear if their preferred regulatory scheme isn’t in place, that’s just not reality.”

In the arena of innovation, Comcast® has stated that the existence of the Title II classifications has become a hindrance. It claims that its release of Stream TV was held up over the course of an FCC investigation, which affected many of the customers. However, Comcast® has maintained its stance about net neutrality starting that they will always remain to the committed to the central aspects of a free and open internet.

The company stated, “We’ve repeatedly pledged from the highest levels of our company — from Comcast Corporation® Chairman and CEO Brian Roberts, Comcast® Cable President, and CEO David Watson, and from me – that we do not and will not block, slow down, or discriminate against lawful content.”

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Title II Classifications

Previously, the company has run into several allegations stating the throttling down of connectivity speeds for certain customers. Even a 2009 lawsuit accused the company of slowing down the upload speeds of Bit Torrent users.

Comcast® has stressed more on the importance of eliminating the Title II classification. Moreover, the company has declared that it will comply faithfully with the regulations that ensure “no blocking, no throttling, no anticompetitive paid prioritization, and full transparency.” However, the Title II classifications will provide the FCC full authority in enforcing the net neutrality rules. Comcast® officials believe that Title II regulations can hamper any innovation, but accept its importance in enabling an open and free internet as well.

21 Jul

Five Towns Opt For Charter® Broadband Service

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Closing Broadband Gap

The once stalled effort from one of the best internet service providers in the country, Charter Communications®, to deliver high-speed broadband internet service to several rural communities in Massachusetts, finally saw some promising progress. In a recent announcement, the Massachusetts Broadband Institute announced that about five towns in Worcester and Berkshire country have signed a deal with Charter®.

Reports indicate that the telecom giant will be building cable networks in Tyringham, Princeton, Peru, Hancock, and Egremont shortly. Charter® will be using a $4,420,000 state grant for building the proposed networks, which means that local taxes will not be raised from the residents.

The officials from Charter Communications® hinted that the new network will reach approximately 3,600 businesses and homes. They also added that the broadband internet speeds would begin at a base level of 60 megabits per second. Charter® has also agreed to complete the proposed project within one year but they asserted they will need the issuance of all essential authorizations and permits including the pole attachment rights.

The State Rep. Paul Mark, D-Peru said, “As the only legislator in the state who currently lives in a home without access to high-speed internet, I couldn’t be more excited for my hometown of Peru to be on the verge of full connectivity.” He also added that access to a high-speed internet service from one of the fastest internet providers in U.S. would result in a significant improvement in the quality of life and economy in the rural areas of Western Massachusetts.

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High-Speed Broadband Internet Service

This is actually the second grant given to Charter Communications® under the Last Mile program of the state. The telecom company had earlier received an MBI’s award for supporting the construction of cable networks in West Stockbridge, Lanesborough, and Hinsdale. This award was made under the Private Sector Request for Proposals of MI, which is actually a part of the effort of Baker-Polito administration for bridging the digital divide in 9 partially served towns and 44 unserved towns.

In a Press release, the MBI stated that 46 out of the total 53 communities “have either completed a Last Mile project; have received a Last Mile grant for an approved project; or are considering a viable option to close the broadband gap.” It seems that Charter® is determined to bring broadband services to several rural areas shortly.

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