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19 Jun

AT&T® Unveils A New Deal For DirecTV Now®

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DirecTV Now® Deal

One of the leading internet providers in the country, AT&T®, has accepted the fact that the launch of their comparatively low-priced latest streaming service, DirecTV Now® has cannibalized subscriptions to AT&T’s DirecTV® satellite offering. However, the officials from AT&T® do not seem too worried because they have just unveiled a new deal for DirecTV Now® instead of focusing on DirecTV®.

As per reports, the telecom company will be providing a Roku Premiere Box to their new streaming subscribers. The price of the Roku Premiere Box is approximately $70 but customers will have to pre-pay AT&T® for two months of DirecTV Now® subscription. The cable-like live service, DirecTV Now® that offers customers access to over 60 popular channels for $35 per month become available to Roku users last month.

Reports indicate that AT&T® is all set to increase their promotion for DirecTV Now®. The telecom company recently launched their first national ad campaign for the streaming service and it featured Mark Wahlberg. The CFO of AT&T®, John Stephens said that the telecom company had “deliberately pulled back on marketing to give the platform time to mature and improve”. He added that customers should “expect us to be more aggressive with DirecTV Now® in the second half of the year, with additional features and content.”

It seems that the telecom company is embracing the appeal of DirecTV Now® to attract potential cord cutters to their streaming service. The officials from the telecom company had targeted young people and the ones who did not have a subscription to a traditional satellite video or cable service last year.

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Roku Premiere Box

AT&T® Entertainment Group Chief Marketing Officer, Brad Bentley added that people are “looking to cut the cable cord may not always know the best place to start. We’re making it easy by eliminating up-front cost and providing a cost effective solution to stream the content they crave from their living room couches.”

The CEO of AT&T®, Randall Stephenson had earlier indicated that the “churn was up significantly” for DirecTV®, particularly among the ones who prefer not to buy the service as part of a bundle. He added that it included “some cannibalization” from DirecTV Now® too, but promised that they are going to “make some adjustments” to the marketing of DirecTV®. However, it seems that the telecom company has shifted their entire marketing focus to DirecTV Now®.

15 Jun

AT&T® Will Be Offering Wings To IoT Project Of Red Bull

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Internet Of Things Technology

The Telco AT&T® had announced that they would be connecting the one million branded beverage coolers of Red Bull across the globe. AT&T® said that they will be using Internet of Things technology to manage and track the supply and demand of the beverages to the coolers or fridges. They said that it would help to maintain a steady flow of highly caffeinated beverages to the hung-over and the fatigued.

Data Flows

Developers and technologists specialized in the technological innovations at the AT&T® Foundry centers that are located in Texas, Plano, and Palo Alto, worked hand-in-hand with the Red Bull team and their partners. The data that is offered by the coolers will help ensure that the drinks are cool and will help figure out any issues with the cooler. AT&T® executives said that in some cases, the data from the coolers could even be used to predict an issue before it occurs.

Having the alerts from these coolers mean that the workers of Red Bull will no longer have to manually check the status of every cooler. The alerts from the coolers will offer details on the performance of the cooler, its temperature, and the location. AT&T® also added that the data offers a “shopper frequency insight” allowing them to see when the door of cooler is opened and closed.

“Each time a connected cooler door opens and closes, an embedded monitor collects data and on regular intervals send the data via the AT&T® Global SIM. The AT&T® Control Center and AT&T® IoT Platform (Flow and M2X) process the data from each cooler,” said the press release from AT&T®.

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Shopper Frequency Insight

Commenting on the move, Thaddeus Arroyo, CEO of business solutions and international at AT&T® said that, “This is another great example of collaboration and innovation to create real value for our customers. It streamlines the processes, creates visibility and improves operations, helping drive significant cost savings and return on investment.”

AT&T®, one of the best internet providers in the country is working to build IoT business to business deals, as more and more traditional areas of their cheap internet offerings are on the decline. AT&T® is one of the sponsors of Red Bull Racing, which is the Formula 1 racing team owned by Red Bull, the drinks company based in Austria.

14 Jun

Charter Spectrum® Would Serve Broadband In NY Homes As A Part Of Development Project

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Broadband-To-Household State Plan

Charter Spectrum® bagged the rights to serve broadband in 95 percent of NY homes and made a pledge to NY Public Service Commission when Time Warner Cable® and Charter Communications® merged in 2016. However, other broadband vendors are yet to bid for the remaining five percent NY homes. The last phase of the broadband bids has opened on June 6, 2017.

The two NY counties served by Charter Spectrum® include Orleans and Niagara. The $500 million broadband-to-household state plan was laid out to improve the New York infrastructure. As per their pledge, Charter Spectrum® is expected to speed up broadband in 145, 000 NY households in the coming years. The pledge was made to the Public Service Commission stating that the best internet service provider would develop state broadband in four years time. The state legislators, on the other hand, hopes to see each New York household equipped with broadband.

“You get to 95-97 percent; what about the group that’s left?” asked David Godfrey, Niagara County Legislator. It is being said that legislators from both counties fear that 1020 homes in NY may remain broadband-less due to scarcity of local vendors. “There’s got to be vendors to cover it. We’re hoping to get enough vendors,” Godfrey added.

To serve the five percent NY homes, legislators shall give a permit to local wireless vendors and Charter Spectrum® fiber cable broadband lines can be tied with their network to serve the best internet service in NY. The permit, if given, would bring an end to the broadband needs of all the households in New York.

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Fiber Cable Broadband Lines

Another way to bring broadband to NY homes is to include the two counties under Genesee County’s bid request. In fact, the Orleans County Legislator, Lynne Johnson expects bids from broadband vendors in New York only.

“We’re hoping nearby counties will go out for a (bid), and a vendor will say, ‘While we’re in your neck of the woods, why not bring broadband to these residents?’” Johnson said.

Charter Spectrum® is home to one of the largest broadband network in America. The NY broadband bid rules have put vendors having coverage and high-speed broadband at an advantage to win bids. It seems now the destiny of households in Orleans and Niagara are charted for the infrastructural good.

13 Jun

Charter® May Have Over Charged Previous Time Warner Cable® Customers

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Cable And Internet Service

Several previous customers of Time Warner Cable® who are currently under the cable and internet service of Charter Spectrum® recently complained that they are being overcharged by the telecom company. Nick Kocak, a Binghamton resident stated that he was normally paying $125 a month for Charter’s cable television and internet service but he was recently charged $180 for the same. He said, “It shouldn’t have jumped for the same services.”

It seems that the owner of the Spectrum-branded cable services, Charter Communications®, is adjusting bills of former Time Warner Cable® customers to fit their own pricing structures. In a recent announcement, Charter® Chief Executive Thomas Rutledge said, “There were 90,000 separate offers and many of them were deeply discounted and they were piled on top of each other.”

This implies that the promotional pricing offered by the best internet provider, Charter Communications® is applicable for just new subscribers. Reports further indicate that deals and offers for existing subscribers are slowly fading away. Calling the customer service representatives and threatening them that you will unsubscribe might have worked with Time Warner Cable® but it will not be working with Charter’s new service.

Rutledge talked about the pricing policies of Time Warner Cable® and stated, “It was a Turkish bazaar. You’d call in and bargain and you’d get a package.” However, reports from several reliable sources claim that the telecom company is planning further price adjustments for previous customers of TWC®.

Rutledge added that only just 17 percent of the Time Warner Cable® legacy subscriber base is currently on Spectrum® pricing. This means that the remaining 83 percent of customers might be in for a surprise when they receive their next Spectrum® bill.

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Spectrum-Branded Cable Services

Charter Communications® has already paid a hefty price for their strategy shift. The Connecticut-based telecom company has lost approximately 100,000 customers in the first quarter. Most of them were Time Warner Cable® customers who were not happy with the significant increase in cable and internet prices.

As per Jeff Kagan, a telecommunications analyst based in Marietta, said, “In order to continue to grow you have to keep the customer happy.” However, Charter Communications® has still managed to lure in more customers towards their high-speed internet service over the last few months thanks to their cheap internet deals.

13 Jun

Comcast® Hires More Than Hundred Workers For Its New Call Center Facility In North Charleston

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New Call Center Facility

Comcast Corporation®, who is one of the best internet providers in the country, has announced the hiring of more than a hundred workers to operate its new call center in North Charleston. With this move, the telecom and cable company has effectively increased the amount of workforce in Lowcountry.

Comcast’s new call center is an 80,000 square foot facility that will carry out customer service calls and various technical support issues from different parts of the country. The new call center will also prove to be a major source of employment while also enhancing the image of Comcast®.

According to the company officials, the office on Ingleside Boulevard in Lowcountry will accommodate about 550 of the new employees. Moreover, the company also expects to include hotels, homes, and retailers on the University and Weber boulevards with the 2000-acre development.

Comcast® has commenced its operations in the previous year. Alex Horwitz, spokesperson of Comcast® has stated that the company has only filled a part of its employment vacancies so far. In 2015, a $500,000 grant has been provided by the South Carolina Commerce Department for supporting the property developments.

Besides the call center, Comcast® operates a successful workforce for its local television and internet customers subscribing to its cheap internet packages. Among them, the Xfinity® service in South Carolina operates effectively with a couple of its stores centered on the region.

Comcast® intends to bolster its image by setting up the new call center in North Charleston inclusive of training facilities and hardware exhibitions. This new move is attributed to its deteriorating image among the customers, with one consumer affairs website citing it as the “worst company in America.”

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Improving Customer Experience

Mike McArdle, a Comcast® senior vice president who manages the customer service in the region stated, “The most important thing is not only bringing jobs to this community, but it’s a clear sign of one of our core pillars, and that is improving the customer experience. We’re very excited for what we’ll do here.”

The plans for setting up the facility for hiring more than 5500 customer service workers commenced back in 2015. Alongside this, the company has also brought forward increasing presence in various social media for addressing the grievances of the customers. It also included a new smartphone app with tracking features that enable the customers in knowing about the location of the cable technician.

09 Jun

Mad Men Is Coming To AT&T® Audience Network

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Critically Acclaimed TV Series

In a recent announcement, AT&T® Audience Network confirmed that they will be airing all seven series of the critically acclaimed TV series, Mad Men, from June 12, 2017. Featuring Jon Hamm in the main role, the series was originally aired on the AMC Network and it will be now available to viewers on Monday through Friday on Audience Network at 06:00 p.m.

The officials from the network also added that there would be occasional marathons of the TV show on selected Saturdays. AT&T® Audience Network landed the rights to the popular TV show as a part of their latest carriage deals that Starz and Lionsgate signed with DirecTV® and AT&T® last year. In addition to that, the telecom giant took a minor equity stake in Lionsgate at that time.

The AT&T® Audience Network head Chris Long said, “Part of that deal was to get access to some of their library. The value proposition was, ‘Chris, would you like Mad Men to be put in syndication and stripped, and would you like Weeds?’ ‘We said, absolutely.’” Lionsgate is also the producer of Showtime comedy Weeds that began airing on Audience Network last February.

Long added, “Mad Men falls right into NYPD Blue and Sons of Anarchy as another great premium show that I can strip in the daypart and give people an opportunity to catch up on a show they might not have seen.” Reports from reliable sources also claim that the TV show will be airing without any commercials just like the other prime-time programming of Audience Network. The officials from the channel believe that this will give them a clear advantage over their competitors.

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Best TV Shows

Long said, “People don’t like to watch commercials, and soon as you go to commercial, they inherently will switch. We’ve seen unbelievable ratings spikes in our viewership because we’re commercial free.” Even though Audience Network is the first linear network to secure the off-network rights of Mad Men, the show has been available to viewers on Netflix since 2011.

The parent company of Audience Network, AT&T® is one of the leading internet providers in several parts of the region. They have been also offering numerous exciting internet plans to lure in customers towards their offerings. With their cheap internet deals and such popular shows airing on their network, AT&T® is sure to attract more subscribers in the days to come.

09 Jun

AT&T® Engage In Distracted Driving Awareness Program At Park View

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Virtual Reality Simulation

AT&T®, one of the best internet providers of the country, says that technology could offer a solution for adults and teens that are at risk of distracted driving. US Rep. Barbara Comstock recently visited the Park View High School to deliver a lecture at a distracted driving event that was sponsored by AT&T®. In the event, high school students tested a virtual reality simulation on the dangers of distracted driving.

“We know that the 100 days in the summer that they’re about to enter are the most dangerous time for new drivers and for teen drivers, so this is an education effort to make them aware about the dangers of texting and driving,” said Rep. Comstock. “We’ve done some of these programs before, but this is a real life simulator so that they can see the impact which we know is almost akin to drunk driving, or worse.”

High school students took turn to sit in a demo vehicle wearing a VR headset that allowed students to look in all directions to see the various aspects of it. They will be able to see road signs and landmarks flying near the window of the vehicle while the cell phone rings nonstop near the driver seat. When the virtual driver of the vehicle picks up the phone, a safety hazard appears just inches from the vehicle, including stopped vehicles and children crossing.

“I learned that even though sometimes texting and driving can kind of look harmless, at some points, if you’re just taking a glance, it can actually be super dangerous because of how many things can go on in such a little time,” said Tony Lampe, a Park View sophomore who tested the simulation. “I tried to play along by also looking at the screen if the person grabbed their phone, and then I looked up, and boom, a hazard’s right in front of you. And it was really eye-opening.”

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Distracted Driving Awareness Program

AT&T® has been holding similar events right from 2010. They have visited about three hundred venues across the nation but this is the first Loudoun County event by the Telco giant. The main feature of these events, since 2015, has been virtual reality. AT&T® has also offered cardboard headset to the participants in the program so that they can experience the software even at home and share with friends.

“Some way, I’m going to get these things in our classroom,” said Scott Yurish, the driver education teacher and head of the physical education department at Park View. “I’m seeing such positive results with the faces, and with as soon as the kids sit down and open the boxes and start slapping their cell phones in, and downloading the apps.”

08 Jun

AT&T® Fully Utilizing OpenStack And CORD Platforms For Its Network Virtualization Efforts

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Network Virtualization Efforts

AT&T®, one of the major internet providers in the US, is offering complete support for using the OpenStack platform. The carrier is however presently committed to fully deploying its OpenStack-based AT&T® Integrated Cloud Zones (AIC) that it failed to achieve last year.

The AIC zones are actual physical locations utilized by the carrier for operating its virtual network functions (VNF). Previously, AT&T® has proposed plans for setting up more than hundred AIC zones, which remained incomplete with only 80 of the zones deployed.

Andre Fuetsch, president of AT&T® Labs has described it as “bringing the network to the cloud.” He said, “OpenStack is still a critical component to our architecture. We’ve made a significant investment in development resources contributing to the community, either directly through us or through proxy of developers that we hire.”

Currently, AT&T® has made proposals for deploying more than a hundred AIC zones across the country by the end of the year. Created in 2010, the OpenStack project is an open source group dedicated to compiling software for usage in cloud computing systems. The project has implemented a centralized management of computing, data, storage, and networking through a dashboard.

It was initially formed a joint venture of Rackspace and NASA, and the OpenStack Foundation undertook the entire project in the previous year. Currently, more than 500 companies have collaborated with the project. The OpenStack has played a major role in the migration efforts of telecom markets into virtualized platforms.

Fuetsch said, “Certainly some have been concerned about OpenStack in terms of its scaling and complexity, but we’re far enough down the road with OpenStack that we are fully committed. We absolutely look at a very long horizon in terms of where things are going and are always evaluating alternatives and options, but for now we are all in.”

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AT&T® Integrated Cloud Zones (AIC)

In addition, AT&T® is also involved in numerous efforts behind the Central Office Re-architected as a Data Center (CORD) program. It is intended mainly for the growing data centers and internet providers in establishing software control for supporting services such as 5G networks.

As per Fuetsch, “What we like about this is for mobile operators with large infrastructure in place is that it puts them into a position to — with the move to 5G — support a more cloud-like architecture with the radio and mobile packet infrastructure.”

07 Jun

Comcast® Signs Employer Support Of The Guard And Reserve (ESGR) Statement Of Support

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ESGR Statement Of Support

Reports from several reliable sources claim that the officials of Comcast Corporation® from the Freedom Region that serves northern Delaware, Greater Philadelphia, New Jersey recently signed the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) Statement of Support. The officials from the telecom company also hinted that Comcast® is currently making efforts to support and hire members from the National Guard and Reserve components.

In addition to that, a Military Hiring Fair and networking event was also organized by the telecom company to explore career opportunities at the company for the local Military community members. The NJ facility of the telecom giant, Comcast® Voorhees hosted both the events.

The U.S. Department of Defense program, ESGR promotes and develops supportive work environment for the service members by organizing programs to raise public awareness and to educate employers. The event featured remarks by Brig. Gen. Michael L. Cunniff, New Jersey Adj. Gen. Jim Samaha, Comcast® Freedom Region Senior Vice President, Will Baas, Comcast® Vice President of Talent Acquisition for the Northeast Division, and a few more people.

The Senior Leadership Team members of Comcast Corporation®, New Jersey senior military officers, Comcast® veteran employees, VETNET Employee Resource Group, and Veteran Affairs team were a few among the 100 attendees of the ceremony that featured a presentation of colors by the Sterling High School Color Guard, Jr. ROTC Navy Knights.

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Leading Internet Provider

Comcast’s Vice President for Military and Veterans Affairs, Carol Eggert said, “Comcast NBCUniversal has a long tradition of hiring and supporting veterans, National Guard and Reserve members, and military spouses. Our company founder, Ralph Roberts, was a WWII U.S. Navy veteran, and many of our current executive leaders, including CEO Neil Smit, also served in the military. We are proud to have thousands of members of the Military Community working across the country in all levels of the organization.”

One of the leading internet providers in the country, Comcast Corporation® had earlier announced a commitment for hiring 10,000 reservists, military spouses, and veterans through 2017. Reports indicate that Comcast® might fulfill the commitment very shortly.

Comcast® is the fastest internet provider in several parts of the country. So, if you are planning to get an internet subscription, make sure to compare the internet plans of Comcast® to acquire a better or cheap internet deal.

07 Jun

AT&T® Says That Net Neutrality Does Not Block, Bar, Or Throttle Internet

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Open Internet Regulations

In their attempt to delegitimize the net neutrality rules of the Obama era, AT&T® said that the open internet regulations of the Federal Communications Commission do not block the internet providers from throttling and blocking the web traffic in all situations. AT&T® said that citing a federal court ruling, which upheld these rules.

A three-judge panel on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals confirmed the rule in the court, rejecting a lawsuit that was brought by the various internet service providers. The different broadband providers appealed the case to full circuit judges, but they also upheld the rules and explained reasons.

The Vice President of AT&T® Federal Regulatory, Hank Hultquist highlighted an area of the ruling in one of his blog posts, that seems to outline a situation in which the internet service providers could slowdown, block, or speed up the internet traffic. He said that these are activities that are forbidden in the Open Internet Order of FCC released in 2015.

“According to the concurrence, which was written by Judges Sri Srinivasan and David S. Tatel, the net neutrality rule applies only to ‘those broadband providers who hold themselves out as neutral, indiscriminate conduits’ to any content of a subscriber’s own choosing,” Hultquist wrote.

“The concurrence goes on to say, ‘the rule does not apply to an ISP holding itself out as providing something other than a neutral, indiscriminate pathway – i.e., an ISP making sufficiently clear that it provides a filtered service involving the ISP’s exercise of editorial discretion.’”

Hultquist further said that he was surprised by this argument, as it appears to concede that “[i]n the understanding of the D.C. Circuit panel majority, it seems that the Title II order does not touch such practices as long as an ISP clearly discloses its blocking plans to customers.”

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Title II Of The Communications Act

“[I]n the past, supporters of Title II often alleged that without reclassification, ISPs would be free to block unpopular opinions or viewpoints that they disagreed with,” he added.

AT&T® is one of the cheap internet carriers who support the plan of Trump Administration to reverse the reclassification of the different internet service providers as common carriers, which is a public utility designation that is coded under Title II of the Communications Act. However, Title II does not have to do anything with the throttling or blocking, as the FCC made these rules separately.

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