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09 Nov

Hughes Network® Enters into Contract with OneWeb for Developing Ground Network System

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Ground Network System

Hughes Network Systems® has declared that it entered into a contract worth $190 million with OneWeb for the development of a ground network system. The contract also covers the sustaining of the Low Earth Orbit satellites owned by OneWeb and strives to offer affordable broadband internet service to numerous schools, households, and other users. Hughes Network Systems®, as the leading provider of satellite broadband and other cheap internet services, will achieve a wider network reach across the country and the rest of the world by entering into this contract with OneWeb.

The current contract is an upgrade to the original system development agreement that the two companies signed in the year 2015. This contract had an estimated total value of above $300 million for both the companies. This agreement covered many aspects such as the development of gateway sites that consists of multiple tracking satellite access points. This will maintain operations and the switching of high-speed user internet traffic amongst the satellites.

Greg Wyler, Founder and Executive Chairman of OneWeb said, “The start of production of the ground system is a major step towards fulfilling OneWeb’s goal of bridging the digital divide, leaving no one behind. Hughes has been an outstanding technology partner and we are excited to deploy this essential part of our network as we ramp up to launch the first of our fleet early next year and provide service to every rural home in Alaska starting in 2019.”

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John Corrigan, senior vice president of Engineering for Hughes® stated, “Designing a ground system capable of supporting hundreds of LEOs with seamless handoff of broadband traffic between satellites presented a significant challenge. But our team was up to the task, and we are proud to be partnering with OneWeb on realizing this revolutionary satellite communications system to close the global digital divide.”

OneWeb was set up with a goal to provide affordable internet access to everyone in the world. OneWeb is actually a constellation of Low Earth Orbit satellites intended to extend the network connectivity to almost everyone in this world and thereby bridge the prevailing digital divide. Hughes Network® and OneWeb had begun the combined development of the ground network just about two years ago.

The current contract signed between the two companies has included many aspects. It mainly consists of the provision of necessary equipment that will offer support to the multiple satellite access points at gateway locations across the world. These access points will contain a custom switching complex, power amplifiers, and outdoor modems. The shipments are estimated to commence from mid-2018 onwards.

08 Nov

Comcast Business® Extends Ethernet Networks to 5 New Business Parks in San Jose

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Ethernet Networks Extended

Comcast Business®, a major subsidiary of Comcast Corporation®, has declared that they have made significant investments amounting to more than six million for developing its fiber networks to five new business parks in San Jose. The expansion of Ethernet from Comcast® will offer high-speed internet delivering a network capacity of 10 Gigabits-per-second to more than 1600 businesses based in San Jose. Moreover, its secure, reliable, and scalable features will greatly fit in with the networking requirements of the businesses.

Relying on this Ethernet, internet, Wi-Fi, TV, and voice solutions will immensely benefit the businesses and help them grow. Matthew Mahood, president and CEO of the Silicon Valley Organization said, “With a population surpassing 1 million, San Jose is the 10th largest city in the country, the 3rd largest in California, and the heart of Silicon Valley. It’s a thriving technology hub, home to tech giants such as Apple, eBay, Cisco and PayPal.”

He further added that, “Much like other large cities, San Jose is always looking for ways to attract new businesses while maintaining the best quality of life it can for all. Silicon Valley does business differently. In order to continue innovating, it must stay on the cutting-edge of technology to compete effectively within the region, and Comcast Business® helps position us as a leading high-tech city.”

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David Brown, vice president of Comcast Business® for California stated, “The availability and reach of our high-performance Ethernet network is a tremendous business advantage for San Jose organizations. Companies of all sizes can meet their capacity needs now and prepare for future requirements as well, all while benefiting from our advanced telecommunications services. Not only does this help organizations meet customer needs and drive growth, but it helps boost the local economy as well.”

The investments made by Comcast Business® to expand its Ethernet services will offer business access to an extensive portfolio of Gigabit Ethernet options. This will be of help to them in meeting their daily requirements, connecting various branches or sites, and linking their offices to third party data centers. The services offered by Comcast Business® are Ethernet Private Line, Ethernet Virtual Private Line, Ethernet Network Service, and Ethernet Dedicated Internet.

All these available Ethernet options are specifically tailored to meet the individual demands of each of the businesses. They provide high-speed internet connectivity along with the option to customize the connection for its bandwidth, cost, and performance alongside linking them between different organizations.

24 Oct

Charter® Develops its Wireless Plans and Proposes to Deploy LTE Small Cells

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Deploy LTE Small Cells

Charter® has set forth numerous prospects for the future, especially in its wireless sector. The inside-out strategy proposed by Charter® will begin in 2018 with the WiFi first MVNO through Verizon Communications®. The Telco, which is also one of the major internet providers in US, is also planning to extend and develop their services into a mobile core infrastructure through the deployment of licensed LTE small cells. By this, Charter® intends to further diversify and make its cheap internet and cellular networks more efficient.

Officials stated that, “Charter® is actively testing licensed small cell technologies which will put us on the path to providing next-generation super-fast, high capacity broadband to our customers. We will combine this 4G LTE and 5G technologies with our existing advanced high-speed network to profoundly enhance connectivity for millions of our subscribers.”

Charter® also gave full details of its plans in a recently made filing with the FCC. The filing says, “The wireless component of Charter’s network is transitioning from a nomadic Wi-Fi network to one that supports full mobility by incorporating Wi-Fi with multiple 4G and 5G access technologies to deliver a seamless connectivity experience. In navigating this transition, Charter® is emphasizing an ‘Inside-Out’ strategy, focusing first on wireless solutions inside the home and office, and then eventually expanding outdoors.”

Executives at Charter® have appeal to the FCC to release the 3.5 GHz spectrum for licensed and unlicensed usage. The rules for the band will be discussed by the agency at the open meeting scheduled by the FCC. Charter® has put pressure on the agency to release the spectrum quickly and in implementing rules to limit licenses within a geographical area of a county.

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According to the filing, “Large license sizes would limit access of the band to the country’s largest wireless carriers and would likely result in deployment only to the most densely populated areas. Smaller license sizes will enable new entrants, like Charter®, to tailor their investment and deployment plans by leveraging existing infrastructure.”

It further states, “In particular, Charter’s existing hybrid fiber-coaxial (HFC) network provides the backhaul, power, and location to rapidly deploy small cells for the provision of wireless broadband service. By contrast, increasing the geographic licensing size of PALs to PEAs would preclude new entrants such as Charter® from investing in the 3.5 GHz Band due to their large geographic size.”

The efforts by Charter® in advancing its wireless networks will also extend into the core network arena. Charter® is planning to use the Evolved Packet Core of Verizon®, IMS infrastructure, SIM cards, and roaming. However, Charter® is currently assessing various EPC vendors and in the process of carrying out tests in its own virtual EPC to develop its core network.

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.”

16 Sep

WRAL-TV And WRAZ Go Dark On AT&T U-Verse®

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WRAL-TV And WRAZ Gone Dark

AT&T U-Verse® customers recently loss access to Fox affiliate WRAZ and Local NBC affiliate WRAL-TV. Reports from several reliable sources indicate that the blackout of these two popular channels is due to a dispute between the parent company of the stations, Capitol Broadcasting, and AT&T®. However, it seems that AT&T®, who is one of the best internet providers in the country, is currently trying to resolve the issues as soon as possible.

In their website, WRAL wrote, “Our channels are currently not airing on AT&T U-Verse®. Capitol Broadcasting Company stations WRAL and FOX 50 are affected and we apologize for the inconvenience to you. While we work to get this resolved, it’s always helpful, for you, the customer, to call AT&T U-Verse® and tell them you expect to get the channels you’re paying them for. That number is 1-800-288-2020.”

The website further said that users could watch the channels anytime over-the-air for free. “You can always watch WRAL/NBC and FOX 50/Fox Network for free in crystal clear HD with an over-the-air antenna, available at local big box stores or get one here. Other ways to watch WRAL: All WRAL newscasts are available live right here on WRAL.com or you can download the free WRAL channel app and stream the newscasts live on Roku, AppleTV and Fire TV,” the web page states.

During the outage of these channels, the TV screens of customers who are currently under AT&T U-Verse® carried the following message:

“The owner of this channel has removed it from the U-Verse lineup despite our request to keep it available to you. Visit att.com/fightingforyou for more information on this station’s return.”

In addition to that, a spokesman from AT&T U-Verse®, Josh Gelinas, blamed the parent company of WRAL for the outage. He added, “Capitol is deliberately stopping WRAL and WRAZ from reaching their homes until Capitol receives a significant increase in fees.”

In their full statement, AT&T® wrote, “We want to get WRAL and WRAZ back into our Raleigh, Durham and Fayetteville customers’ lineups as soon as possible. Doing so requires permission from their owner, Capitol Broadcasting, since FCC rules grant WRAL and WRAZ exclusive control over whether those stations remain available on U-Verse®.”

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WRAL Channel App

“We share our customers’ frustration because Capitol is deliberately stopping WRAL and WRAZ from reaching their homes until Capitol receives a significant increase in fees even though the same people can still watch its shows for free over the air on channels 50 and 5 and, often, at nbc.com and fox.com or using the NBC and Fox Now apps,” the statement added.

Officials at AT&T® further said, “Capitol has blocked its stations from reaching our own and other providers’ customers before, while also threatening to disconnect others. All Capitol needs to do is grant its permission, and we can have WRAL and WRAZ back into our customers’ homes within moments. Our goal is to resolve this matter quickly and reasonably, and we appreciate our Raleigh, Durham and Fayetteville customers’ patience while we attempt just that.”

Customers who lost access to these couple of channels will miss a few important college football games that will air on Fox and WRAL on the weekend. In addition to that, the NFL football matches on the same channels on Sunday will also be unavailable to customers.

14 Sep

Cable And Internet Out In Florida. What Is Comcast® Telling About Service Restoration

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TV-Internet Services Down

When internet is down, commerce for many South Florida businesses and individuals, who depend on the internet to get things done, also goes down. As South Florida is recovering from the Hurricane Irma, television and internet providers are facing questions from customers on service restoration. Many users complained that they are not getting any clear answers and some were not able to get through.

A Comcast® customer named Rodriguez tweeted to @comcastcares and got a message that her service will be restored by Sept. 18 at 03:30 pm. Yet she said, “That seems unreasonable to me.”

Outages are widespread on internet, phone, and television services. Many of the outage could be linked to electric outages. The Twitter and Miami Herald feeds of AT&T® and Comcast® received many complaints from users with power but no TV or internet services.

Comcast® spokeswoman, Mindy Kramer said that the network that feeds and distributes their services in the Miami area include communications equipment that is dependent on commercial power, which is down due to the hurricane.

“As of Tuesday morning, we have been able to restore power to some but not all of the equipment that services customers in the Miami-metro area. We are working very closely with FPL so they can prioritize these critical facilities and restore commercial power service to them as quickly as possible,” Kramer said.

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Slow Restoration Of Services

“Our facilities in South Florida have been running on generators since the storm began and unfortunately everyone is need of the same fuel resources. We have been doing our best to refuel these generators so that our facilities are able to stay functioning without commercial power. We have teams deploying additional generators today in South Florida,” she added.

Kramer further said that Comcast® also suffered damages as lines were cut; in fact, the Telco suffered extensive destruction in Florida Keys. Kramer said that except for in the Keys, “We expect our plant to be restored quickly from what our assessments show so far.” She said that power is restored to one piece of critical equipment, “but we need them all to come back up.”

She added that as soon as commercial power supply is restored to the Miami Metro plant of Comcast®, the consumer services would resume. “The situation is very challenging and we know being without Xfinity® internet, TV or phone service is frustrating for our customers. We are doing everything possible to be able to restore services as quickly as we can.”

29 Aug

Comcast® And Sunrun Inc® Enter Strategic Partnership To Promote Cleaner Environment

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Comcast® – Sunrun Inc® Strategic Partnership

Soon after families in Philadelphia signed up for Comcast Corporation’s low-cost, cheap internet program, other news has surfaced regarding the Telco giant in the US. Comcast® has recently announced a 40-month long agreement with Sunrun Inc®, a “provider of residential solar, storage and energy services.”

Jon Kaplowitz, Vice President of Business Development and Strategy at Comcast® said that the pact could help Comcast’s “customers take more control of the price they pay for energy, save them money, and help contribute to cleaner communities.”

Commenting on the news, Comcast® spokeswoman Jennifer Moyer said “Comcast® and Sunrun® tested a pilot program in 2015 and 2016 in Northern California and parts of the Northeastern United States — Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and Maryland. Comcast surveyed participants in the test program and they were pleased with it, giving the company confidence about expanding it.”

Sunrun Inc® will become the sole solar energy provider for the Comcast’s cable service, and the latter will be a strategic partner of Sunrun Inc® via marketing campaigns in the select markets. With the agreement, the Telco giant, which has 29 million subscribers as of now, can attain a 5 percent equity stake if the pact generates 30,000 new subscribers for Sunrun Inc® or if Comcast Corporation® spends $10 million on marketing the program, as per the pact filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

“Comcast’s marketing for Sunrun — which will launch this year — will be through online banner ads, bill inserts, and direct mail to subscribers. Subscribers would have to contact Sunrun and would not be upsold on the phone for solar roofs when they call Comcast for repairs or questions about Xfinity cable or internet services,” Moyer added.

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Xfinity Cable Or Internet Services

Lynn Jurich, CEO of Sunrun Inc® said, “Our challenge is making homeowners aware that they can save money with solar today. We are excited to work with Comcast to help their customers go solar and save on their electric bills while reducing their dependence on fossil fuels.”

Sunrun Inc® is available in up to 22 states in the US, including Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey. The Telco giant provides phone service, cable service to residents and business in the US under the Xfinity® brand, and is also a fastest internet provider in several regions of the country. Yet neither Comcast® nor Sunrun® has revealed the markets to be included in the marketing campaign set for the fourth quarter.

28 Aug

AT&T® Plans To Bring G.Fast To More Markets

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AT&T® To Expand Services

Most of the internet providers in the country prefer not to expand their services into the territory of other providers. However, the telecom giant, AT&T® recently announced that they would be soon launching high-speed internet service in several parts of New York City and other popular metro areas outside of their traditional wireline footprint.

The officials from the telecom company, AT&T® stated that the new service would be available only for apartment and condominium buildings. This implies that customers who are currently living in a single-family house will not be eligible to subscribe to the service.

The latest deployment from AT&T® incorporates the use of G.fast, which is a technology that uses fiber network to deliver the internet service to the neighborhoods. However, connections inside each one of the buildings is done with the help of copper wires. AT&T® also confirmed that they are also using coaxial cables for making final connection to subscribers.

In a recent announcement, the executives from AT&T® said, “G.fast provides Internet access to apartment and condo units over existing coaxial cables. This can minimize disruption for current residents because there’s no need to place new wiring in each residence.” However, they refused to share any details on how many customers will be eligible for receiving the latest service.

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AT&T’s G.fast is currently live in parts of about eight metro areas in the country such as Tampa, Seattle, Phoenix, Philadelphia, New York City, Minneapolis, Denver, and Boston. Among these states, only Tampa and Florida are the only ones in a state that is already being served by the telecom service provider. AT&T® has also announced their plans to bring G.fast into 14 more markets shortly.

As per a recent press release, “AT&T® is moving into the territories of several other major carriers with its G.fast launch. n announced northeastern markets such as Boston, New York City, Philadelphia and others, Verizon® is the incumbent. And in midwestern and western markets such as Minneapolis, Colorado Springs and Omaha, AT&T® will be up against CenturyLink®. AT&T® also will be moving into some Frontier® territory. Incumbent cable companies including Comcast®, Charter® and others will soon see new competition from AT&T® in these markets.”

Many experts in the field of telecommunication claim that this latest offering from AT&T® will allow customers to acquire cheap internet deals.

23 Aug

AT&T® Might Sell Their Home Security Business

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AT&T® Digital Life

AT&T®, one of the best internet service providers of the country, has started to explore options for their Digital Life home security business, including selling the business, as they are seeking to pay down the debt following their planned 85.4 billion acquisition of the Time Warner Inc. This process of selling the subsidiary business will mark a reversal for AT&T® that entered the home security market in the US in 2013, with the introduction of Digital Life.

Digital Life from AT&T® offers users cameras and sensors that will allow them to monitor their homes on their smartphones. Digital Life only accounted for a small portion of the 163.8 billion dollars revenue of AT&T® in 2016. The business is estimated to have about 400,000 and 500,000 users and might fetch about a billion dollars when sold. However, this will not do much to decrease the debt of AT&T® that totals to 143.7 billion dollars.

Sources say that the sale of Digital Life could be a prelude to more sales of AT&T® subsidiaries. “AT&T will carry an incredible debt load (after the Time Warner deal closes), which is a risky proposition for a company with declining revenues,” MoffettNathanson research analyst Craig Moffett said. “They will almost certainly have to find assets to sell to appease the bond rating agencies.”

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Time Warner Acquisition

AT&T® said that they are expecting the Time Warner acquisition, which is currently under the review to go through by the end of 2017. Digital Life from AT&T® reaches eighty markets in the United States, which include large cities like New York and Chicago. However, it is not a match to the scale of the rival service from the US cable company Comcast Corporation®.

Comcast® had introduced their Xfinity® Home service in 2012 and they are approaching one million users this year. Before a few years, cable operators turned to home security services to open a new revenue stream. It is reported that the home security companies and buyout firms might show interest in the Digital Life unit of AT&T®. For instance, the private equity firm Apollo Global Management LLC bought the home security business ADT Corp for $7 billion in 2016.

It is to be noted that AT&T® has also sold the home security unit of DirecTV®, LifeShield to a private equity firm named Hawk Capital Partners last month, but the details of the sale are not yet disclosed.

22 Aug

City Council And Residents Are Pushing For Broadband Internet Provider In Grantville

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Broadband Internet Provider

James Phillips, a Grantville resident, lives off from Lowry Road in Meadowbrook and he says that fast broadband internet has been scarce in and around his neighborhood of late. It is said that residents in the Grantville area have only a few options for broadband and cheap internet, and hence the city council is looking to redress the scarcity of broadband in the region.

According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), broadband internet should allow subscribers and general users with accesses to the internet and related services at higher speeds than dial-up internet. Yet depending on the technology with which the best internet provider relays broadband network, the internet speed may vary.

Broadband internet is offered to residents and public through different platforms. FCC simply distinguishes broadband platforms as Digital Subscriber Line (DSL), Cable Modem (Copper or Fiber cable), Wireless internet, and Satellite internet. Phillips says that he has been in contacts with Grantville leaders, including the Councilman of GA Willie Kee, to get the best internet provider of broadband in his neighborhood.

“Everyone in my area uses their phone as a hotspot, but that doesn’t work as good after the data cap has been met. All Coweta County students are assigned Chromebooks, but can’t use them at home reliably,” Phillips said in an interview. On the other hand, City Manager of GA Al Grieshaber said that, “Internet access in Grantville is the same as other areas of Coweta County and is available (cable or satellite), but not at the highest speed.”

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DSL Broadband Service

“We have continually asked internet service providers to update and upgrade their systems, but they are reluctant to commit hard dollars to infrastructure when new technologies (Wi-Fi) are on the forefront,” Grieshaber added. “It is a question of return on investment.” William Kee agreed with Grieshaber while reinstating that to find the best internet provider with upgraded service in Grantville is the issue that needs to be redressed sooner rather than later.

It shall be noted that the main wired best internet provider is AT&T® – the Telco giant offers DSL broadband in Grantville, whereas Charter Spectrum® covers remote neighborhoods of Grantville with cable internet. Phillips believes that if more internet providers looked into the matter to bring broadband to Grantville, it would be a matter of months to deliver cheap internet in the area.

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