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22 May

Comcast® Begins Enrollment For Xfinity Internet

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Xfinity Internet Enrollment

Comcast Corporation®, one of the major internet providers in the country, has begun the enrollment for its Xfinity Internet customers. This new announcement comes after the company has launched its Xfinity Mobile service last month. In this, the data options consist of an unlimited offer according to a per-gigabyte plan. Comcast® is also offering an unlimited data plan that provides unlimited data, talk time, and text for just $45. This will be available for speeds about 1.5 Mbps for downloads and 750 Kbps for uploads with a 20 GB usage cap in a billing period.

After the end of the promotional period, the rate of this plan’s will increase to $65 per month. However, customers that have initially signed up for the $45 monthly rate would be provided with connectivity at the same rate for a period of two years. Yet again, the maintaining of this starting rate is subjected to the users keeping up their accounts and the Xfinity Internet subscription.

There are other plans offered by Comcast® as well, which are suited for customers who do not require unlimited data offers. The “By the Gig” offer by Comcast® is available for customers at a rate of $12 per GB consumed. Moreover, customers can also share this data across all the lines of their account while also allowing them to use the Xfinity Mobile app for monitoring their data usage.

For accessing the wireless cheap internet service, customers must have an Xfinity Internet account with them. It also allows customers who wish to cancel their internet service to have access to the wireless service for extra fees. One of the bonuses of the service is the $10 per month access fee that is added to the accounts of unlimited and “By the Gig” customers.

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Cheap Internet Connectivity

For accessing the new features, customers have to resort to the newer model of phones. The “Bring Your Own Device” option is not yet established by Comcast® and is only offering through newer smartphone models like the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S8 and Apple’s iPhone 6s, 7, and SE. Comcast’s latest launch of their mobile services comes ahead of the new partnership announced with Charter.

However, the unlimited plan offered by Comcast® is much cheaper when compared to the unlimited offering from Verizon that is priced at $80 per month. Verizon is the main backup offering for LTE coverage for Xfinity Mobile’s hybrid Wi-Fi and cellular service.

18 May

Charter CEO Shares His Views On Cord Cutting

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Multichannel Video Programming Distributor

The CEO of Charter Communications, Tom Rutledge, recently made a statement in which he downplayed the growing threat of cord cutting even though some experts in the field of telecommunications are still obsessed over the subscription losses at ESPN. Rutledge said, “The whole MVPD [multichannel video programming distributor] marketplace has shed about 3 million customers over five years how. Some people are talking about Disney, with ESPN losing 11 million customers over that period of time I do think there will be some chipping around the margins.”

“It used to be when a young guy went off to college, if he lived off-campus, he’d subscribe to cable to get ESPN, but now he gets it over-the-top from his parents’ account,” Rutledge added. “So a lot of the loss on margin is really about lack of security and the inability of content companies which are becoming distributing companies controlling where their product goes.”

He continued by stating “If you look at the whole pie, the vast majority of people are still subscribing to a video package and an MVPD package, at that.” Rutledge also added that he discovered the different promotional offers offered by his company right after Charter acquired Time Warner Cable. He added that several customers opted out of their service once the promotional period ended. “It was a Turkish bazaar,” he said.

The Charter CEO also added that the cable service of the company passes approximately 50 million homes but just 26 million of them have subscribed to their services. He indicated that the growth of the service would come through marketing to the non-subscribers and more consolidation. However, Rutledge acknowledged the fact that there are not many companies left for Charter Communications to acquire.

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Cord Cutting Views

“I love the cable assets and think they’re good. If they were available, they would be interesting to me,” He said. When asked about the acquisition of a content company, Rutledge said, “You have to run it as a programming business. It’s hard to run it for your own internal purposes. I see that as a fundamental issue with owning content.”

Charter is also one of the leading internet providers in the country and they have been offering attractive internet packages to their customers for a very long time. In fact, with their cheap internet deals and TV packages, Charter has made a place for itself among the top players in the industry.

16 May

Charter Introduces Its Spectrum Internet Assist Program In Chicopee

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Spectrum Internet Assist Program

Charter Communications, the fastest internet provider in the US, has entered into a partnership with the Chicopee Council on Aging for introducing its Spectrum Internet Assist program. With this, Charter intends to link the digital divide prevailing in Chicopee by offering cheap internet services for low-income residents living in the region.

The Spectrum Internet Assist initiative is a high-speed internet package from Charter that provides broadband connectivity at an affordable price. The aim of the program is to make accessible faster and reliable internet to the low-income families and seniors across the country. According to Heidi Vandenbrouk, Charter’s Senior Communications Manager, “Charter really believes in bridging the gap for the digital divide; being able to offer opportunities for those families and seniors that may not have the opportunity to have such a program.”

The program was officially launched at the RiverMills Senior Center in the presence of the Mayor Richard Kos and State Sen. Eric Lesser. Extending the Spectrum Internet Assist program will effectively assist in making available internet connectivity to all the sections of the region.

The Spectrum Internet Assist program offers high-speed internet service at speed of about 30 Mbps. It is available for the residents of Chicopee at a monthly subscription rate of $14.99. There are no data caps for the package offered under the program along with the requirement of no contracts. Also included in the package is an internet modem with the ability to opt for an in-home WiFi service at a rate of $5 per month.

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In-home WiFi Service

Note that only households that are eligible for the program, such as low-income families, would be offered this service. Moreover, this offer is not valid for the existing subscriber of Spectrum Internet. The Internet Assist program is also available to families with students that have participated in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and Community Eligibility Provision of NSLP. It is also accessible for seniors aged above 65 years having Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

Existing customers of Charter’s phone and video services that meet the above-mentioned criteria are also eligible to opt for this service. Charter’s broadband internet subscription, however, is not available to the enrollees within 30 days after signing up. The service is only made available to customers who have cleared any remaining debts from the previous twelve months with Charter, Time Warner Cable, and Bright House Networks.

16 May

DirecTV Now Offering Free Amazon Fire Stick With One Month Subscription

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Amazon Fire TV Stick

The skinny bundle market is getting more and more competitive with the release of the latest offerings from Hulu and CBS. Hulu has recently launched a beta version of their ‘Hulu with Live TV’ offer, where CBS has launched their ‘All Access Showtime’ skinny bundles. Both these offering, which make use of cheap internet, are aimed at the cord cutters mainly, but are steaming up the market competition as well.

The release of more and more streaming services by the different competitors has made the streaming service market more crowded and competitive for many of the best internet providers of the country. In line of that, AT&T has also come up with an interesting offer for any user who is planning to become a cord cutter in the near future.

AT&T announced that new subscribers to the DirecTV Now service would be offered a free Amazon Fire TV Stick while pre-paying for one-month subscription fee for the internet based streaming service. The Amazon Fire TV stick is offered with the Alexa Voice Remote. The basic package of DirecTV Now is available for just thirty-five dollars a month and if a subscriber stops the subscription to the service after the first month, he or she can get the Fire TV Stick device for a discounted price.

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DirecTV Now Offerings

AT&T offered a similar deal when they first launched the DirecTV Now service in 2016. It is true that the five dollars off is not much a big deal, but you should not forget that you are also getting the DirecTV Now service for a month. The basic package from DirecTV Now, Live A Little, features channels like Cartoon Network, AMC, CNN, Comedy Central, Disney, ESPN, FX, and FS1. In addition to that, DirecTV Now offers three other packages that are higher priced than the basic package and offer more content. In addition, they also offer some add-ons for additional charges like HBO, Starz, and Cinemax.

Experts claim that the Fire TV Stick with the Alexa Voice remote is a nice and efficient streaming device. However, some of the users claim that the device is not quite handy as the Chromecast device from Google that allows users to send content from their smartphone to the television set. However, if you were looking for a cheap way to have access to streaming services and online content in your living room, then DirecTV Now could be a great choice.

10 May

Federal Court Considers Revisiting The FTC Lawsuit Against AT&T

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Revisiting FTC Lawsuit

The lawsuit filed against AT&T, the major internet providers in the country, by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) got a new turn with the recent decision by the federal courts to reconsider the claim. In recent news, FTC has sued AT&T for limiting the data speeds allocated to iPhone customers with unlimited data plans after the usage surpassed a definite amount.

Note that the Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals’ three-judge panel proposed the dismissal of the lawsuit last year. According to the judging panel of the court, the FTC claims lacked authority over AT&T since the telecommunications company is a common carrier and remains outside of the regulations of the Commission. The majority of the judges in the court have casted votes for setting aside the rule implemented in the previous year. It also ordered a new hearing for the FTC in front of an 11-judge panel.

Designated as a common carrier, AT&T is subjected to various regulations put forward by the Federal Communications Commission. The Commission has also previously filed a case against the carrier demanding $100 million in compensation. However, the appointment of Ajit Pai as the new FCC chairman has resulted in the rejection of the FTC’s classification of AT&T and other major internet providers as common carriers.

The new chairman is now spearheading the long efforts in repealing the net neutrality rules implemented by FCC. These rules have called for a more equitable distribution of data despite the sources, as well as prevent the allocation of faster speeds for companies that pay more. Pai has stated that the decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to revisit the AT&T lawsuit as a “a big win for American consumers.”

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2015 Title II Order

“It strengthens the case for the FCC to reverse its 2015 Title II Order and restore the FTC’s jurisdiction over broadband providers’ privacy and data security practices,” Pai added. “Indeed, it moves us one step closer to having the consistent and comprehensive framework for digital privacy that the American people deserve.”

Previously, the FTC has accused AT&T of misleading iPhone customers in opting for data plans that were publicized as unlimited plans between the year 2007 and 2010. Moreover, AT&T ceased its unlimited data offerings by mid-2010, but allowed customers already using unlimited plans with continued access.

09 May

Comcast And Charter Enter Into New Wireless Partnership

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Comcast -Charter Partnership

Comcast Corporation and Charter Communications have reached a new wireless partnership that includes an operational agreement for close collaboration on the numerous wireless communications plans. The agreement outlined plans by both the companies would allow them to collaborate on information and technology while also getting ready to enter the highly competitive cellular service market in the country.

As per the agreement, Comcast and Charter will sell wireless service respectively to their own customers while allowing each other to share vital components like billing platform and device logistics. The latest collaboration between the two companies is intended for significantly reducing the costs involved in getting into the wireless market while also speeding up the entry process.

Along with that, the agreement with the two companies has decided to bar any acquisitions or mergers with wireless companies without the consent of the other company. Due to this, both the companies will be prevented from making any ties with a wireless carrier independently.

The decision to forge this new alliance has already been made when both Comcast and Charter declared their plans of launching their own wireless services. This new wireless offering from the two companies is expected to commence by the end of the year.

Previously, Comcast had entered into cellular service by launching Xfinity Mobile. It was available for costs that ranges from $45 to $65 per month and is suitable for devices like Apple’s iPhones and Samsung Galaxy smartphones. It utilizes a Mobile Virtual Network Operator that the company has with Verizon.

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New Wireless Service

In the beginning of the year, Verizon Communications have also considered a proposal for collaborating with Charter to serve its long goal of acquiring major carriers. However, the plans for a tie-up were never initiated with the two companies. There is a growing amount of speculations amidst the analysts and investors regarding the Comcast future acquiring of major carriers like T-Mobile US Inc or Sprint Corporation.

The latest agreement between Comcast and Charter will enable both the companies to reduce the costs as well as aid in sharing their technologies with each other. Moreover, it will offer huge benefits to the customers like cheap internet, flawless connection between the WiFi hotspots, etc. Comcast is deciding on opting for more wireless service in the wake of the recent efforts by cable companies in adding more services. Moreover, Charter has made clear that it will debut its new cellular service by the year 2018.

04 May

Comcast Rolls Out New Set Of Updates For Its X1 Platform

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New Updates Released

Comcast Corporation, one of the best internet providers in the country, has announced a new bunch of enhancements for its X1 Entertainment Operating System. X1 is the company’s generation next guide software and hardware platform for set-top boxes and mobile devices. The new set of enhancements includes a smart keyboard designed in such a way to increase the typing speed for queries in the X1 search window. It comes with an added feature of predicting the next line of text depended on the input given by the user.

Currently, this feature remains a core aspect of the X1 platform, since its initial entry into the field as a lab project. According to Peter Nush, VP of product management at Comcast, “The smart keyboard acts very much like the way search in car GPS systems work.” Reports say that Comcast has also come up with a complete reorganization of the X1 purchases folder. This will aid users in finding the content more quickly and effectively.

The X1 saved menu features the new reorganized purchases folder, which is separated into three rows for content like movies, TV shows, and kids content. Along with that the TV episodes individually purchased is assembled by series. With the recently added landscape images for the X1 screensaver, the new update by Comcast allows subscribers to personalize the same by offering them the means to choose a rotation of animals or entertainment images.

Moreover, the new enhancements will further allow X1 customers to link the images stored on their Instagram, Facebook, or Flickr accounts for using it as the screensaver backdrop. The other major additions in the X1 platforms includes a power saver mode that operates without interfering with any of the important functions of the device like recording the shows or watching the recorded content through other devices in the home.

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Comcast X1 Platform

By saying, “power down” into the X1 voice remote, subscribers can activate this feature. The “go green” command in the voice remote will further give the subscribers with the option to alter the settings for powering down the box automatically after a specific amount of time.

In addition to these, the company has declared that it is considering an enhancement to the DVR feature, which enables the recording of the shows even if they begin early or end date. Comcast is stepping up more improvements in its X1 platform as seen by the previous launching of the Xfinity service as well as the current enhancements to the platform.

28 Apr

Comcast To Launch Its xFi Home Wi-Fi Platform In May

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Wi-Fi Management Platform

Comcast Corporation, the major internet providers in the country will unveil its cloud-powered WiFi service called “xFi” in the month of May. xFi is a Wi-Fi management platform that will provide support to many of the currently installed broadband gateways across different regions. Besides, the telecom company also declared that its home security and automation service, Xfinity Home has attained a wider reach with almost one million subscribers currently. Ahead of the commercial launch of the service in May, Comcast is conducting several testing and trials of their newly developed xFi service.

xFi has already become available in Comcast’s X1 set-top boxes via apps in the Android and iOS platforms as well as in an xFi Web portal. Brian Roberts, Comcast’s chairman, and CEO stated that the service would get officially launched next month although the exact dates of the release are not made public. He said, “We think this [xFi] will be a game-changer for WiFi, enabling people to easily improve, personalize and manage and control their home network and the devices connected to it.”

The xFi service will bring forth numerous features that are accessible to the subscribers, like the ability to view their Wi-Fi names and passwords, troubleshooting network connection issues and the status of the network activity. The xFi systems major advantage is that it allows the users to pause Wi-Fi access across the entire home network. Moreover, it allows the users to personalize their profiles, and helps in efficiently organizing and adjusting the devices that are connected to the home network.

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Xfinity Home System

Dave Watson, Comcast Cable’s new president, and CEO said, “Our goal is to do with broadband what we did with video with X1 – create a better experience with WiFi. It lets you define the user experience throughout the household…There’s more to come on that, but I think it’s a premium position for us and evidence that we’ll keep on growing the broadband category, not just on speed, but coverage.”

xFi service will be accessible to the 10 million Comcast customers after the commercial release of the service. It is rumored that the service will get support from many of the MSO’s deployed gateways along with the newly released models. Moreover, the addition of one million subscribers to the Xfinity Home system will offer an excellent opportunity to Comcast in terms of packaging and profit, and will pose a huge threat to the other popular internet providers.

28 Apr

AT&T To Offer High Speed Wireless Network In Austin

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High Speed Wireless Network

A recent announcement made by the telecom giant, AT&T confirmed that they will be providing much better and faster wireless network speeds to their customers in a few days. Reports from several reliable sources claim that the latest initiative from AT&T will begin in Austin by the end of the month.

In addition to that, AT&T stated that they will be marketing the latest initiative as “5G Evolution” and added that their high-speed internet offering will be available only on the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ devices. The telecom giant also added that the latest offering will provide about double the speed of their normal regular LTE network. The CEO of AT&T, Randall Stephenson hinted that the new internet speeds are “competitive to cable speeds.”

The features incorporated by the telecom giant in order to achieve the high-speed wireless internet offering actually fall under the category of advanced LTE even though AT&T is marketing the new internet speed as their “5G Evolution.” AT&T CFO John Stephens talked about carrier aggregation and he said that most S8 devices are capable of aggregating three component carriers. He also mentioned 256 QAM and multiple-input-multiple-output while explaining the Austin project.

Stephenson also indicated that the current configuration in Austin possesses “the potential for 500 or 600 megabits per second,” even on a lightly loaded wireless network. In a recent press release, the officials from t AT&T stated that 5G Evolution will “pave the way to the next generation of faster speeds for its wireless customers with the latest devices in over 20 major metro areas by the end of this year.”

In an analysis of Galaxy S8, an expert added that the Category 16 LTE radio of the device “allows the new Galaxy phone to aggregate three carriers of up to 20 megahertz each. Combined with 4×4 MIMO antennas and higher-order modulation of 256 QAM, the LTE modem is capable of reaching peak theoretical speeds of one gigabit per second.”

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5G Evolution Initiative

A principal analyst of smartphone electronics, Wayne Lam said, “Gigabit LTE is very much the marquee specification for 2017 flagship smartphones. Keep in mind that gigabit speeds are a best-case scenario and that a user’s real-world experience will be limited to what mobile networks can provide.”

AT&T has been one of the best internet providers in the country for a very long time and their recent project in Austin will allow their subscribers bag cheap internet deals.

27 Apr

AT&T Rolls Out Fixed Wireless Internet Connectivity In Georgia

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Fixed Wireless Internet connectivity

AT&T, the best internet providers in the region has announced that it has completed the first batch of Fixed Wireless Internet connectivity to Georgia’s rural locations. The telecom mammoth is implementing this new internet connectivity extension as part of the FCC Connect America Fund. This initiative is aimed at offering faster and cheap internet connectivity to about 40,000 locations by late 2017 and to 1.1 million locations by 2020.

The new fixed wireless internet uses a static antenna system for transmitting and receiving LTE cellular data to homes and businesses located in the region. The service will offer download speeds of about 10 Mbps and 1 Mbps Upload speeds. The service falls short under FCC’s definitions as broadband but offers interference-free service, unlike the satellite internet. This service represents an affordable solution to deliver high-speed internet to customers in rural areas.

Eric Boyer, senior vice president, Wireless, and Wired Product Marketing at AT&T said, “Access to the internet is an important tool for advancing opportunities in communities. It creates economic growth, helps increase community engagement and makes education accessible. We’re committed to utilizing available technologies to connect hard-to-reach locations.”

The service is available for a monthly fee of $60 on a 1-year contract and offers 160 GB of data. Additionally, the provider charges about $10 for every 50 GB exceeding the limit and can run to about $200 per month. AT&T is also offering discounted rates of about $10 less per month for subscription of DirecTV or cellular service.

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LTE Cellular Data

Betsy Huber, president of the National Grange stated, “AT&T’s Fixed Wireless Internet service is a great example of the innovative thinking necessary to bring high-speed internet to rural and under-served communities. When you consider that farmers, ranchers, and other rural residents are also small business owners, the need for high-speed internet becomes obvious. This is a milestone in communications services for rural and small-town America.”

The expansion of internet connectivity into the rural areas of Georgia is one among the large-scale extension projects currently undertaken by AT&T. The carrier is expecting to expand the fixed wireless internet connectivity to about 17 more states by the end of 2017. Through the Connect America Fund, AT&T is helping residents and farmers of the region with accessibility to cheap internet technology, which enables them to use the internet for help in many aspects of business and communication.

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