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19 Dec

Comcast® and Charter® Give Response to Skeptics of Net Neutrality Deregulations

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Net Neutrality Deregulations

The Federal Communications Commission recently repealed net neutrality law on a 3-2 vote following a meeting this month. While the Republican Congressmen responded to the new net neutrality repeals in a reserved manner, both Comcast® and Charter® have come up with a response in the light of common interest. Both the cable companies asked legislators to reconsider the voting by giving statements on the deregulation of ‘net neutrality’ to reliable sources.

“It’s now time for all of us to take advantage of this moment in time and end the cycle of regulatory ping pong we’ve been trapped in for over a decade and put this issue to rest once and for all,” said David Cohen, the Senior Executive Vice President cum the Chief Division Officer of Comcast Corporation®.

“And there’s a simple way to do this—we really must have bipartisan congressional legislation to permanently preserve and solidify net neutrality protections for consumers and to provide ongoing certainty to ISPs and edge providers alike,” he added.

On the other hand, the representatives of Charter® said, “Such legislation would provide permanent regulatory assurance and create an environment that allows for more long-term planning that will help us continue to provide even better broadband across our country.”

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Usage-Based Billing

In 2015, FCC reclassified internet service providers as ‘common carriers’ under Obama Administration, and published the ‘net neutrality’ rule. The rule states that the internet providers should not give preferential treatment to a type of content over others, throttle down speeds or block websites and provide web content and accesses to applications irrespective of the source.

Following the repeal, Comcast® and Charter® say they won’t take advantage of the deregulations by violating the open internet rules.

“As I wrote yesterday, reiterating a consistent public commitment from Comcast, we will not block, throttle, or discriminate against lawful content on the Internet; we will be fully transparent with respect to our practices; and we have not entered into any paid prioritization arrangements, and we have no plans to do so,” David Cohen reaffirmed.

On the other hand, the representatives of Charter® said to the press that they do not “impose data caps or engage in usage-based billing, meaning our customers can engage with the content they want as much as they want.”

15 Dec

AT&T® Expands Their High Speed Internet to More Underserved and Rural Communities

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AT&T® has now expanded the reach of their Fixed Wireless Internet to many small businesses and homes in some of the underserved and rural locations across seventeen new counties in the country. Business and residential users in areas of Charleston, Chesterfield, Anderson, Cherokee, Greenville, Darlington, Laurens, Dillon, Kershaw, Marlboro, Union, Marion, Pickens, Newberry, Orangeburg, Saluda, and York counties can sign up for the services from AT&T®.

The Telco had previously announced the availability of their best internet services in areas of Barnwell, Oconee, Richland, and Dorchester counties. “AT&T® is a fantastic corporate partner to South Carolina, and its commitment to providing equal access to high-speed internet for people in every part of the state will continue to benefit South Carolinians,” said Governor Henry McMaster. “Investment in rural areas is especially important to making sure every person in the state is given the opportunity to benefit from the economic development success we will continue to see for generations to come.”

This move from AT&T® follows the launch of their Fixed Wireless service in areas of South Carolina as part of their FCC Connect America Fund program. AT&T® is planning to offer access to more than 1.1 million areas by the end of 2020. In the area of South Carolina itself, they have committed to offer access to 30,000 locations by the year 2020 and they are planning to reach more than forty percent of that goal by the end of the year.

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Connect America Fund Program

“Access to fast and reliable internet is a life-changer in today’s interconnected world,” said Pamela Lackey, who is the president of AT&T® South Carolina. “We are excited about the opportunities this innovative service will bring for customers in many parts of the state as we continue working to close the connectivity divide in South Carolina.”

Between the years 2014 and 2016, AT&T® made investments of more than eight hundred million in their wireless and wired networks in South Carolina. Fixed Wireless internet service from AT&T® offers internet connection with a minimum download speed of 10 Mbps and upload speeds of at least 1 Mbps. With the internet connection, users can download, and stream their favorite TV shows and movies. The Fixed Wireless connection comes from a wireless tower to an antenna that is fixed at the home or business of the customer.

The service is also available to businesses and residents in areas of Arkansas, Florida, Alabama, California, Georgia, Kansas, Illinois, Louisiana, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Tennessee, and Texas.

07 Dec

Hughes Network Systems® Chose MWWPR® As the PR Agency of Record

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Modernizing Satellite Conversation

The Maryland based satellite internet provider, Hughes Network Systems® recently chose the New Jersey based Public Relations Firm, MWWPR® as their PR Agency of Record (AOR). MWWPR® started to get in touch with Hughes Network Systems® in October following the Request for Proposal (RFP) process that began in the summer. Reports claim that around 6 agencies including MWWPR® pitched in the Request for Proposal process.

“The search for the right strategic partner to tell our story, raise our visibility, and ultimately help us achieve our business goals, was an arduous one,” said Mike Cook, who is the Executive VP of Sales and Marketing, North American Division, Hughes Network Systems®. “When you look at the lines of business that the agency needed to be able to effectively support, as well as navigate unique landscapes, MWWPR® proved it was the right partner to do it all, and do it well. With its Consumer, Corporate Reputation and Public Affairs capabilities at our disposal, paired with their expertise in the Technology sector, the MWWPR® team became the obvious choice.”

MWWPR® firm is experiencing drastic growth in Technology and B2B segments. The bid win would make the PR firm to support the best internet provider in marketing on social media and digital platforms, generate content, and ally in other PR-related functions and would also enhance their local and global reach.

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Important Trade Publications

“We are firm believers that integration is not just a mix of traditional and digital services but also the ability to blend practice areas to uniquely serve our clients,” said Michael Kempner the Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of MWW Group. “It is our ability to do so that helps our clients matter more to the stakeholders that matter most to them. Client-partners like Hughes Network Systems® entrusting us with their brand is a testament to the work we have done as an integrated agency team.”

HughesNet® is currently offering their satellite internet service to more than 1 million consumers, business and residential, throughout North America and Brazil.

“Our immediate focus will be to construct a collective narrative that takes the Hughes brand beyond the pages of all-important trade publications, into the mainstream media, with a story of innovation,” said Bret Werner the President of MWWPR®. He added, “Hughes® should be acknowledged as the leaders that they are, but have too often been left out of the conversation. Together, we will revive the satellite conversation by modernizing the perception of the category.”

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.”

10 Nov

Cox® Customers in James City County are not Satisfied with the Internet Speed

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Unsatisfied Internet Speed

James City County resident William Horwatt Jr. who is currently subscribed to the internet service of Cox Communications® recently claimed that the internet provider is not offering adequate speed. The same customer has earlier filed a complaint against Cox® by stating that he is paying 69.99 dollars per month for a high-speed internet connection but he isn’t getting it.

In the complaint, Horwatt Jr. said, “It never gets to that speed. They cannot consistently deliver any type of Internet connection speed but they charge for a speed that they cannot deliver.” Since early 2015, customers had registered approximately 43 complaints against Cox’s services. However, Cox®, who is one of the fastest internet providers in the country, responded to the issue by stating that their faster internet service is available to customers in the county at a premium price. The website of the county recommends Cox® subscribers to directly get in touch with Cox® for the service related issues.

The officials from James City County said that internet services are critical to both residents and business. They also added that despite all these complaints, Cox® has offered reliable service to the customers in the area. The County Administrator Bryan Hill added, “Cox® is our provider and we have made attempts to solicit others to come to James City County. Our growth and development do not provide a good business model for companies to invest in the needed infrastructure to make a profit.”

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High-Speed Internet Connection

A spokeswoman for Cox Communications®, Jessica Dawley said that the telecom company is planning to invest an amount of 10 billion dollars to improve their offerings. She also added that this new move would allow Cox® to boost the speed of their internet service to customers in the county and other areas of the country.

“We have recently expanded our internet service in your area to include our G1GABLAST service, meaning customers in Williamsburg and James City County can now enjoy one Gigabit per second download speeds,” Dawley said.

Reports from several reliable sources indicate that the premium service of Cox Communications® currently offers download speeds of 125 Megabytes per second. However, the downfall is that customers will have to pay an amount of $119.99 a month to subscribe to the premium service.

03 Nov

AT&T® Launches Microservices Supplier Program by Partnering With IBM

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Microservices Supplier Program

AT&T® has collaborated with IBM to launch an all-new microservices supplier program. This represents a new software-based initiative undertaken by AT&T® that will totally change its approach in the delivery of applications and functions to businesses. With this collaboration, AT&T® and IBM will work together in the design, development, and deployment of microservices, which if fully implemented, is expected to alter AT&T’s business backend processes.

Along with the development of microservices in the sales, ordering, and enterprise data systems, IBM will also provide AT&T® an effective way to enhance its backend processing. This will be made possible as the fast and easily accessible services will result in less downtime that will enable the businesses in quickly adapting to the changing market conditions.

Microservices refers to an architectural style where independent services constitute the enterprise apps that functions together. It functions in a collaborative manner as each of the apps is segmented into small blocks or “micro services”. Each of these blocks has a particular function such as in assisting with mobile payments and streamlined workflows.

With this, it is much easier for any enterprise that provides mobile payment services to carry out upgrades or bring up new features without the need to renovate the app. The other noteworthy feature of microservices allows combination in several ways that aids in developing specific solutions that will offer AT&T® in providing new capabilities faster.

AT&T® has already begun the deployment of microservices in its best internet network. Recently, AT&T® launched the artificial intelligence platform Acumos, which provides a customer the means to build, share, and install many of the AI applications made using microservices.

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Mobile Payments Assisting

Besides the improvements in its network, AT&T® is also using microservices to enhance the efficiency of its fleet of technicians. The Work Flow feature was introduced by the Telco to assist their technicians to tackle with many of the complicated work while attending on the customer’s issues. Using this application, AT&T’s field technicians are provided with a microservice that will gather the required resources and thereby guide the technicians regarding the installation or repair procedure.

AT&T® can also use an extra microservice that allows it to create, manage, and track the various contracts among its business products. The Telco has declared that the deployment of microservices in its networks has led to considerable savings per year. In addition, microservices are also utilized in ONAP, the crucial parts of AT&T’s SDN network that provides a quick delivery of its virtual network functions.

Implementing microservices has numerous benefits such as enhanced data security in large-scale data sharing, faster service provisioning, and quicker activation. It is also a boon for healthcare professionals, as it helps them in accessing and working on the patient data seamlessly.

01 Nov

Cox® Contour Hits 1-Million Subscriber Mark

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Contour Platform Latest Version

One of the fastest internet providers in the country, Cox Communications® recently announced that they have more than 1 million video subscribers on the latest version of their “Contour” platform. The new “Contour” platform is underpinned by the cloud-based X1 platform of Comcast Corporation®.

Reports from several reliable sources indicate that Cox Communications® currently has over 4 million video subscribers and the numbers are expected to grow in the coming years. An interesting thing to do is that approximately half of the pay-TV base of the leading TV service provider is on their new offering.

The new offering from Cox® offers a number of exciting new features to their video subscribers such a voice control remote and cloud-powered guide. In addition to that, customers who have subscribed to this service will also be able to enjoy the luxury of integrating with apps for mobile devices.

The officials from Cox® stated that the rollout of the new service was actually their fastest-ever video product launch and added that they recently celebrated the Contour milestone by hanging a banner at their headquarters. In addition that, the 1 millionth customer who signs up for the new offering from Cox Communications® was also rewarded with a free year of internet and video service plus an all-expenses-paid free trip to the Disneyland in California.

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Voice Control Remote

The officials from Cox® also shed light on some other stats related to their Contour TV service and stated that about 75 percent of their subscribers use voice remote weekly. They also added that the Contour app, which has been downloaded by over 1 million users currently, offers customers access to over 85 linear channels outside their home.

Cox® Contour also provides over 70,000 VOD choices to customers. Reports indicate that about 80 percent of Contour customers use VOD monthly. Officials from Cox® also announced that the Net Promotor Scores for the latest service are 200% higher than their legacy offering.

The EVP and chief product and technology officer at Cox®, Kevin Hart said, “The syndication with Comcast® is going quite well. The teams are working well together. We just hit 1 million customers on our Contour 2 platform, so that’s a big milestone for us. The NPS is up, customer satisfaction is up, and call-in rates and truck-roll rates are down below our expectations.”

26 Oct

AT&T® to Use New LTE Technologies to Speed up Existing Networks

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LTE-Advanced Technologies

It is true that the internet customers in the United States will soon be able to enjoy 5G in the near future, but that doesn’t mean that the LTE, the 4G technology that we love and know, is done, at least for now. LTE-Advanced, which is the name assigned to a number of innovative new technologies by leading internet providers, can still offer a better internet using experience to subscribers.

In a recent earnings call, the CFO of AT&T®, John Stephens announced that the telecom company would be deploying LTE-Advanced technologies to approximately 20 cities in the country and all the new networks will start to run by the end of this year. Reports from several reliable sources indicate that the telecom giant is eyeing to offer a maximum internet speed of 400 Mbps to their internet customers. The average internet speed available to customers due to the implementation of these new technologies is estimated to be around 40 Mbps, which is twice as high as the current average internet speed offered by AT&T®.

Officials from the telecom company also hinted that they are planning to combine three new technologies and use them for capacity upgrades and to deliver impressive internet speed. Some of the best internet providers in the country, including AT&T®, have been using the technology of carrier aggregation for quite a few years. This innovative technology efficiently combines more than one chunk of LTE spectrum across a wide range of frequencies, thereby allowing handsets to access and download data from different LTE bands at the very same time. 2CA, which aggregates two different carriers together, has already gained popularity among Americans.

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LTE-Licensed Assisted Access

Another new technology pushed out by AT&T®, Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO), combines data streams from multiple antennas in order to boost the entire bitrate available to users. In addition to that, it also partners exceptionally well with carrier aggregation.

The final piece of the puzzle, LTE-Licensed Assisted Access (LAA) is critical, as it efficiently combines unlicensed 5 GHz spectrum with the usual LTE frequencies. This enables AT&T® to deploy small cell towers, which use 5 GHz in order to communicate with multiples devices in the close vicinity. This in turn significantly reduces the load on the traditional LTE network of AT&T®.

Experts believe that these technologies will be critically important during the rollout of 5G too. Therefore, incorporating the use of these technologies in the existing networks is certainly a smart move.

25 Oct

OpenChain Project Announces Comcast® As Their Platinum Member

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OpenChain Platinum Member

Linux Foundation has grown as the organization of choice for the top companies and developers of the world to build ecosystems that aim to accelerate commercial adoption and open technology development. The foundation, together with the open source community, is solving the hardest to crack technological issues. OpenChain Project is one of the ambitious projects of the Linux Foundation and they have now made Comcast® a Platinum Member of their project. Comcast® will now be in the Governing Board of the OpenChain Project.

OpenChain has been growing with a rapid pace in the recent months and the Governing Board of the project has fourteen members now. These members inspire and support a community of about 200, and address the requirements to have open source compliance.

“The OpenChain Project is centered around a specification that outlines an approach for open source compliance in all types of organization,” said Shane Coughlan, who is the Project Director of OpenChain. “Today, as we welcome Comcast to our Governing Board, we benefit from a wealth of knowledge and experience provided by a diverse group of stakeholders. Together our member companies and our broader community will collaborate to build a better, more efficient supply chain and will help to ensure that all parties benefit from effective use of open source technology.”

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Open Source Adoption

Nithya Ruff, who is the Senior Director of Open Source Practice at Comcast® Cable, said, “OpenChain provides a powerful platform to accelerate open source adoption and engagement through shared best practices in compliance. We’re excited to learn from our peers and share our experiences as we engage in this important and valuable project.”

The OpenChain Project aims to find processes to have effective open source management and build trust in open source by making the license compliance process of open source consistent and simple. The OpenChain Specification defines a set of requirements that all quality compliance programs should satisfy.

The OpenChain Curriculum offers the educational foundation for open source solutions and processes while meeting the important requirements of the OpenChain Specification. The OpenChain Conformance allows business organizations to highlight their adherence to the requirements. The result is that the license compliance to open source will become much more understandable, predicable, and efficient for all of the participants of the software supply chain. Linux Foundation has invited businesses of all sizes to review the OpenChain Project.

23 Oct

AT&T® and Project Loon Partner in Puerto Rico

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Google Project Loon

The moonshot project from Google, named Project Loon, and AT&T® have joined hands to offer cell services to hurricane struck Puerto Rico. X, a former branch of Google, which is now a part of Alphabet Inc, developed the project Loon. Then idea is to broaden the coverage making use of balloons that act like mobile towers.

X was in need of a telecom partner to bring the services to Puerto Rico and that is where AT&T®, the best internet provider, came into the scene. The businesses said that they are “now supporting basic communication” for “some people with LTE enabled phones.” It is reported that people will be able to make use of the “limited” Loon service to send text and access the internet, even though the companies are not yet clear on the number of users who have gained access to the coverage offered.

The Federal Communications Commission has given permission to fly up to thirty balls. A spokesperson from X said that there are a handful of balloons in the area and that more balloons are on the way. Even after one month of the Hurricane Maria ripping through the island, more than sixty-eight percent of the cell sites of Puerto Rico are out of service as per the reports from FCC.

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Solar Powered Balloons

The fragile infrastructure of the island impedes companies like AT&T® from restoring the service to many regions of the island. This has made them turn to alternative technologies. They are making use of temporary satellite based cell sites in some of the areas and the main aim of Loon is to reach the areas that are hardest hit by the hurricane. An AT&T® spokesperson said that these balloons are solar powered and can use battery power when the sun is not available. However, there are limitations. The Loon coverage is much limited at nighttime.

Loon proved to be an effective idea for flooded area of Peru earlier. X said that the reason for Loon running quickly in Peru was that the group had been working with Telefónica. The systems were already integrated and tests conducted, months before Loon ramping up the internet coverage. However, in Puerto Rico X had to start from scratch. FCC issued an “experimental license” to X on Oct. 7, and at that time, they were not having a telecom partner for the project.

“We’ve never deployed Project Loon connectivity from scratch at such a rapid pace,” Loon project director Alastair Westgarth said. “Project Loon is still an experimental technology and we’re not quite sure how well it will work, but we hope it helps get people the information and communication they need to get through this unimaginably difficult time.”

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