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14 Sep

Comcast® Launches YouTube App To Xfinity® Broadband

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YouTube App In X1 platform

Comcast Corporation® recently launched Google’s YouTube app on their Xfinity® platform. The launch has met with much anticipation from cable subscribers in the US. In fact, this news applies to US subscribers who are users of Stream TV of Comcast® Cable and Xfinity® broadband.

The Telco will gradually release on-demand movies, news, and other YouTube videos via Xfinity® to Stream TV’s “On Demand Menu” sections. The videos in the music section of Stream TV, for instance, will let subscribers to stream music videos that feature in the integrated YouTube app. The pact between Comcast® and Google will also enable US subscribers to stream YouTube videos via the X1 voice remote.

“Giving our customers seamless access to live, on demand and internet content in one place continues to be a key part of our strategy and we are excited to now add YouTube to the X1 experience,” said Matt Strauss, who is the Executive VP of Xfinity® Services.

Subscribers can now voice search “YouTube” on their X1 remotes and the app will instantly launch on Stream TV. Additionally, voice searching “show me clips from a news channel on YouTube” will allow Xfinity® subscribers stream channel-specific videos within the YouTube app. The same feature can be used to stream other on-demand YouTube videos under the “On Demand Menu” section of Stream TV as well.

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On Demand Menu Sections

Many US subscribers use platforms such as YouTube and Netflix as an alternative way to stream popular shows through the internet. The addition of YouTube in its offerings is surely a move from Comcast Corporation® to become the best internet provider through their Xfinity® broadband service.

“By adding billions of YouTube videos to our video platform, we are taking our role as the aggregator of aggregators to a new level and reaffirming that X1 is the best place to easily discover and access all types of entertainment with the sound of your voice,” Matt Strauss said.

The pact between Google, YouTube’s parent company, and Comcast Corporation® has been launched a year on since the launch of Netflix to Xfinity® X1. However, note that just like streaming Netflix videos on Stream TV, streaming YouTube videos through the X1 platform will also affect the data caps set by the best internet provider.

12 Sep

AT&T® Announces A New Cloud-Enabled IoT Solution

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AT&T® Asset Management – Operations Center

One of the fastest internet providers in the country, AT&T® recently announced a new IoT solution. This new solution, which is called as AT&T® Asset Management – Operations Center was introduced for the quick deployment of asset management and monitoring in the cloud.

Reports from reliable sources claim that the new IoT solution from the telecom giant will use numerous Microsoft® Enterprise components like Microsoft® Power BI and Azure Cosmos DB. In addition to that, the IoT solution will also be running on the Microsoft® Azure cloud platform. The officials from AT&T® and designers are hopeful that the IoT solution will offer business customers a streamlined way to manage, monitor, and track all their deployed IoT assets.

AT&T® is focused on delivering a reliable, highly secure, on-demand, flexible network, which serves all the needs of their business customers in an integrated approach. The latest IoT solution enables a single application that supports communication protocols, networks, communication protocols, and cloud environments.

Additionally, AT&T® Asset Management – Operations Center also comes with a built-in dashboard, which allows customers to tailor data visualization. The solution also supports a plug and play environment for sensors on the device, configuring devices, a grouping of assets by type and location, and more.

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Microsoft® Enterprise Components

It is evident that the Operation Center of AT&T® is undoubtedly designed for the future. Users will be easily able to add mix modes, new devices, and support multiple asset monitoring use cases. Additionally, it also offers flexibility to customers and they can either integrate it with other applications or use it as a standalone solution.

Chris Penrose, President of IoT Solutions at AT&T® said, “AT&T® is committed to giving our enterprise customers the tools, platforms and the connectivity they need to more securely manage their IoT assets wherever they’re deployed. AT&T® and Microsoft® have a long-standing relationship, and we’re pleased to once again team with them through the new AT&T® Asset Management—Operations Center to deliver a flexible solution to help address our customers’ current and future IoT needs.”

The Corporate Vice President, ISV, and SI, Microsoft® Corp, Michael Angiulo said, “We’re excited to collaborate with AT&T® to give our joint enterprise customers more control of their deployed IoT assets by utilizing Azure cloud services. Together, our combined technologies can help customers quickly deploy innovative solutions that can improve their day-to-day operations.”

06 Sep

Flaw In AT&T® Routers Put Customers At Risk

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AT&T® Routers Flaw

It is reported that many routers, especially those of AT&T® U-Verse customers, can be hacked remotely making use of many security vulnerabilities. Five security flaws were detected in the common consumer Arris routers that are used by customers of AT&T® and some of the other internet providers across the globe.

Joseph Hutchins, who is an information security consultant, explained the flaws in routers in a blog post. He described that some of these flaws occurred due to “pure carelessness.”

As per the report, the modems Arris NVG589 and NVG599 that make use of the latest 9.2.2 firmware are vulnerable, but it is not yet clear who is responsible for the bugs in the modems. In the opinion of Hutchins, some of the flaws might have been introduced after the delivery of the modems to the internet providers, as they usually add customized code to facilitate remote interactions like diagnostics and customer support.

“Some of the problems discussed here affect most AT&T U-verse modems regardless of the OEM, while others seem to be OEM specific,” said Hutchins. “So it is not easy to tell who is responsible for this situation. It could be either, or more likely, it could be both.”

There are hardcoded credentials among the vulnerabilities that can allow “root” remote access to the affected devices, offering an attacker full control over the devices. Attackers can connect to affected routers and log in using a publicly disclosed username and password. This will grant the user access to the menu-driven shell of the modem. The attacker will then be able to change the name and password of the Wi-Fi router. The vulnerability will also allow the attacker to make changes to the network setup like rerouting the internet traffic to some malicious server.

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Rerouting The Internet Traffic

As per the report, the shell also allows the hacker to inject advertisements to unencrypted internet traffic making use of a dedicated module. This is a very common tactic that is used by many web companies and internet service providers. Hutchins said that there is no “clear evidence” for the particular module to be running, however noted that it was still venerable, letting hackers inject their own malware or money making ads.

Router flaws do not always result in unauthorized network access, but can lead to hijacks as part of botnet operations. An example of such botnet operation is Mirai, which can throw services and websites offline.

01 Sep

AT&T® Unveils Fixed Wireless Internet In DeSoto County

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Fixed Wireless Internet

AT&T® offers the best internet service in many parts of America, and Mississippi is the latest region they are trying to address by offering best internet of up to 10 Mbps speed. AT&T® Mississippi President, Mayo Flint, and Roger Wicker, who leads the Senate subcommittee on matters Communications, Technology, and Internet, jointly unveiled the AT&T® Fixed Wireless Internet in parts of DeSoto County.

The AT&T® Fixed Wireless Internet rollout was kicked off recently in Marion County, and this time around, both Flint and Wicker were accompanied by Mississippi Public Service Commissioner, Brandon Presley, District 4 Supervisor, Lee Caldwell, and other officials, who all gathered at the Telco giant’s service tower nearby Mississippi Highway 304 in Eudora.

Reports say that AT&T® Fixed Wireless Internet will deliver the best internet at broadband download speeds of no less than 10 Mbps. The fixed wireless connection stems from a wireless tower to a fixed antenna on the subscribers’ homes or the businesses in rural parts of Mississippi.

“This is an efficient way to deliver high-quality internet to customers in rural and underserved areas,” Flint said, while reinstating that, “This will be capable of delivering a fixed wireless signal at a speed of 10 megabits per second, more than enough to do web browsing with plenty of speed and to stream your favorite movie or TV show.”

The Telco giant’s Fixed Wireless Internet rollout in DeSoto County was successful thanks to the commitment they had with FCC Connect America Fund. AT&T® is planning to “reach nearly 133,000 locations with this technology across Mississippi by 2020,” Flint said in an earlier statement.

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Better Cell Phone Service

“”Broadband is the electricity of the 21st century,” said Brandon Presley who last thrived to “Zap the Gap” in rural Mississippi “to bring better cell phone service to rural areas where wireless coverage was spotty or even non-existent.”

For his part, Roger Wicker has also expressed his impartial views on the AT&T® Fixed Wireless Internet. “The future growth of Mississippi’s economy relies on innovation and investment like we are seeing announced today with AT&T’s Fixed Wireless Internet Technology.”

“High-speed internet service from AT&T® in this part of DeSoto County and other designated areas across Mississippi provides a great example of the innovative thinking necessary to help close the remaining connectivity gap in rural areas across the state,” Wicker added.

30 Aug

AT&T® To Shutdown Two Of Its Legacy Ethernet Services

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Legacy Ethernet Services

The growth and increased usage of its latest dedicated service lines have promoted AT&T® to consider shutting down three of its legacy Ethernet services. The Telco has already requested for shutting down its Ethernet services citing lack of interest among the subscribers and the prevalence of newer forms of service lines. Like several other internet providers, AT&T® has also made several requests to abandon or shut down many of its other services considered obsolete in the current scenario.

The legacy Ethernet services of AT&T® are now largely abandoned by the customers in favor of the latest AT&T® Dedicated Ethernet (ADE) and the on-demand Ethernet services using Software Defined Networking (SDN) platforms. AT&T® will mainly focus on shutting down two of its major Ethernet services such as the GigaMAN and DecaMAN.

GigaMAN is a point-to-point, Gigabit Ethernet service offered by the Telco that allowed data rates of about 1 Gbps. Through this Ethernet service, customers can transfer data between the local area networks. DecaMAN is fiber based and is a 10 Gigabit Ethernet service that also facilitated the transfer of data signals between local area networks.

AT&T® has decided to terminate the two services across eleven states of the country such as California, Indiana, Kansas, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, Wisconsin, and Arkansas. The services will be discontinued from September 30, 2017 onward and customers will no longer be able to access these services again. This is in accordance with the FCC’s decision to authorize the discontinuance request made by AT&T®.

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AT&T® Dedicated Ethernet

Customers can no longer make any orders for additions or changes to the service, renew, and extend the service plans. AT&T® will provide these services only on a month-to-month basis until the services are fully discontinued.

AT&T® has decided to completely shut down these key Ethernet services from September 30, 2022 onwards. According to AT&T® officials, “The public convenience and necessity will not be impaired by the discontinuance of these services because there is low demand for these services as there are alternative high-speed transport services available in the market, such as AT&T® Dedicated Ethernet services.”

AT&T® has made several improvements such as replacing the existing GigaMAN and DecaMAN Ethernet services with ADE service. It uses a new set of protocols in the network that are ready to be used across any of the fiber network infrastructures. ADE also provides data speeds between 1 Gbps to 100 Gbps to the customers and offers the best internet experience in many parts of the United States.

25 Aug

Customers Already Love The New Cox® Contour

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Latest Cox® Contour

You can’t simply deny the fact that electronic entertainment has significantly evolved over the years. Viewers who were once restricted to boxy black-and-white TVs with antennas and just a handful of channels have now gained access to an abundant number of channels. In addition to that, they are also able to watch anything they want at anytime with the help of a voice control.

The latest Cox® Contour from one of the leading internet providers in the country, Cox Communications® is aimed to improve the viewing experience of their customers. Reports indicate that Cox’s new Contour is a fast, fun, and simple way that enables customers to search and access their entertainment choices on the go or at home on any device of their choice.

Cox Communications® has been offering reliable and efficient internet, digital telephone, and TV services to both business and residential customers for a very long time. They have also put in extra efforts to boost the viewing experience of their viewers and the new Contour is actually a part of their efforts.

The officials from the telecom company believe that the highly intuitive second generation Contour is easily adaptable to the personal needs of customers. They also claim that it facilitates effortless and quick access to movies and shows for up to five separate users in a house.

In addition to that, the new Contour app also lets customers to transform their computer, smartphone, or tablet into a personal TV screen to watch on-demand content or stream live TV when they are connected to the in-home Cox® Wi-Fi network.

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In-Home Cox® Wi-Fi Network

The marketing vice president for Cox Communications®, Suzanne Schlundt said, “Controlling your TV has never been easier, faster, or more convenient. Just say it and see it.” She added, “Voice Remote continues to be the feature that ‘wows’ new Contour customers. Most new customers say that Voice Remote exceeds their expectations. It makes the new Contour easy to use and easy to search.”

Ricardo Cuevas, a customer who uses the smart search function of Cox® Contour said, “Being able to search for my favorite teams and having all upcoming games show up is such a great feature. I like that I don’t have to be searching through hundreds of channels to watch soccer games.”

25 Aug

Comcast® Introduces New Sports Guide In Its X1 Platform

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New Sports Guide

Comcast® has made a completely new set of improvements to its Xfinity® X1 platform with several improvements to its sports guide. This latest upgrades in the platform come ahead of the NFL regular season games that will start soon.

The new sports guide will offer a renewed experience to the X1 set top boxes and the Xfinity® Stream app focused on mobile devices as well as web browsers. Along with its best internet packages, the introduction of these new upgrades will provide Comcast® subscribers the ability to view content based on the game, sports league, and score.

The newly presented sports guide has several improvements to its design such the introduction of landing pages focused on every prominent sport and leagues that include the NFL, baseball, soccer, tennis, cricket, etc. Comcast® has also brought a new voice feature that allows the users to access the guide by speaking specific commands into the X1 remote. Moreover, the inclusion of real-time score cards on the landing page of each sport will be much useful for sports enthusiasts to stay updated on their favorite game.

Comcast® has further announced numerous future improvements into the XI platform. The Telco has already started working on these new proposed upgrades that will offer the customers the ability to customize the type of sports, teams, and athletes, that are displayed on their guide menu. These increased customizations will further advance the X1 platforms to enable it to cater to the true demands of the users and in offering them personalized content.

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Xfinity® Stream App

Besides the X1 set-top boxes, Comcast® has also extended the new upgrades to its Xfinity® Stream app. The updated features in this app are sorted based on the league and the currently playing games. Moreover, it will also enable the users to get useful updates about all the upcoming game schedules and events much easier. The Stream app has also included a new outlook much similar to the renewed sports guide presented on the X1 set top boxes.

X1 is one of the most successful TV streaming services offered by Comcast® and has seen about 55 percent surge in the subscriber base in recent times. It is to be noted that Comcast® has also made several other additions to its services such as the introduction YouTube® app on the X1 platform and parental controls into its XFi system. All these services are bound to make Comcast® the best internet provider in the US.

24 Aug

AT&T® Looking To Trial 5G Internet In Dallas

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Trialing 5G Internet

One of the best internet providers, AT&T®, has applied to Special Temporary Authority (STA) for sanctions for trialing 5G internet in Dallas for 6 months duration. As per the application filed with STA, the Telco giant will use equipment from multiple vendors.

The 5G trial of AT&T® will include wireless communications between fixed base stations placed in a room or open spaces inside a building in Dallas. The building residing at 208 S. Akard Street has windows and concrete walls, which may hinder wireless spectrum. However, an AT&T® representative reaffirm the 5G wireless link will be established in between the base station, alongside the mobile end user equipment residing in the same room or an open space, and will cover around 10 meters.

The end user equipment will route Wi-Fi to various gadgets through wireless access points. The end user equipment will connect users to 5G internet and Ethernet cables will also be deployed for the trial. The base station will have connectivity to an internet service provider providing accesses to 14 Gbps internet. It is reported that the 5G trial would make use of several apps and web servers as well.

“The demonstrations using this STA will provide valuable information to potential users whose feedback on the perceived performance of services provided through these 5G systems will also enable future standards and system optimizations,” AT&T® said.

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3rd Generation Partnership Project

The 5G Evolution was announced by AT&T® in April. The Telco giant is contributing toward 3rd Generation Partnership Project’s wireless standards and more than 12 Technology companies are helping AT&T® in the successful deployment of 5G.

Dallas’ trial is being billed as AT&T® and their foray to the Fifth Generation (5G) internet operating in the 28 GHz 5G spectrum bandwidth. The proposed duration of the AT&T® 5G spectrum trial will begin on September 1 and will prolong until March 1, 2018, indicate the application filed with STA.

“These trials are significant because they will be our first trials to use what we expect to be based upon the 5G New Radio specification being developed by the industry technology standards group 3GPP. Industry standards are important to enabling wide-scale 5G commercialization,” AT&T® had indicated back in April while emphasizing the “5G Evolution internet speeds” would be unveiled in 20 metro areas by the year-end.

22 Aug

HughesNet® Enhances Its Satellite Internet Data Caps With New Service Plans

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Satellite Internet Data Caps

HughesNet®, one of America’s major satellite internet providers, has enhanced its existing data caps with the introduction of newer service plans. This new extension of data caps will bring satellite internet connectivity to millions of customers located in rural parts of the country.

Reports say that for this purpose, the Telco has been extensively relying on the newly launched EchoStar XIX satellite that will increase its capacity twofold. This increased capacity allotment will allow HughesNet® to provide the customers with better and improved service plans. With the increase of data caps, the maximum download speed offered will extend to 25 Mbps.

The data caps will also convert into soft caps that allow 3 Mbps speed, which is appropriate for streaming. HughesNet® has commenced this data cap extension initiative as a competitive measure against Exede®, which is another best internet service provider in the US. They too offer speeds of about 25 Mbps but their services are available only in areas where there is little congestion.

The latest data plans offered by HughesNet® has price ranges of $49.99 for 10 GB, $69.99 for 20 GB, $99.99 for 30 GB and $129.99 for 50 GB of data. A temporary tier boost will be offered for the subscribers for a period of three months that allow them to get 20 GB of data for about $49.99.

According to Mike Cook, executive vice president of HughesNet®, “Once you’ve used your allowance you’ll be able to carry on doing everything including streaming, at lower data rates. We have more data for the same price points, with no hard data caps.”

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Satellite Internet Connectivity

The prices are much higher than that of other internet connectivity options, but HughesNet® makes available these services to the rural areas. Satellite internet, although an expensive option, is the only alternative at places where other modes of internet connectivity are unavailable. Satellite internet will have significance in remote areas even with the launch of latest networking technologies such as 5G.

Cook said, “Our primary constituency, it’s going to be a long time, if ever before we see much 5G buildout into those markets. And in another four or five years’ time, we’ll have the next generation of satellite technology.”

The performance of HughesNet® networks has been rapidly improving with the use of pre-fetching and compression that has significantly aided in reducing the latency times on its network. Moreover, HughesNet’s new offering of 25 Mbps internet service puts it ahead of the competition than other satellite providers such as Exede®.

21 Aug

Comcast® Extends Its Internet Essentials Program To Residents Of Santa Clara County

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Internet Essentials Program

Comcast® has announced that it will expand its affordable high-speed internet program, Internet Essentials, to residents of Santa Clara County. The Telco has declared this new initiative as a part of its commitment to eradicate the digital divide prevailing among low-income sections of the society. The introduction of the Internet Essentials program will enable residents of Santa Clara County access to the internet and its numerous services. The expansion of the program will be of particular benefit to the low-income citizens living in Santa Clara County who are unable to afford a computer and internet access.

Mayor of San Jose, Sam Liccardo, recently highlighted the issue of digital divide in a press conference. He stated, “We face a serious divide in our valley and that follows a simple formula: those who have it and those who do not. The divide has grown as the valley has grown more prosperous.”

Comcast’s Internet Essentials program will enable the residents to have access to high- speed internet for a sum of just $9.95 per month. Included along with this is a choice for the users to purchase a computer that amounts to less than $150. Comcast® also intends to take forward a new initiative of providing digital literacy training via online or in person along with its rollout of the Internet Essentials program.

The Internet Essentials program has been a massive success across the country with more than four million people already signing into to this service since it was unveiled five years back. The Telco has also brought forward an expansion of the program for bringing its best internet to more people nationwide.

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Stream High Definition Content

The program schemes have also got major upgrades as Comcast® further included families and individuals residing on public housing or beneficiaries of Section 8 vouchers. Comcast® is also considering expanding the program to more regions of the country along with Santa Clara County. Considering this, the Telco has made several improvements to the internet speeds offered in the Internet Essentials program. The new speeds will allow data transfer rates of about 15 Mbps that will enable users to stream high definition content with ease.

The upload speed is also increased to 2 Mbps. Several of the local organizations operating in Santa Clara County have collaborated with Comcast® to promote the Internet Essentials program among senior and public housing residents. Moreover, the Telco has also announced that it has donated more than hundred computers and Internet Essentials coupons to these local organizations.

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