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05 Jun

DirecTV Now® To Be Included in The AT&T® Unlimited Choice Plan

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High-Definition Video Streaming

Reports from several reliable sources indicate that the growth of the latest streaming of AT&T®, DirecTV Now® is getting a bit slow. However, we cannot count DirecTV Now® out yet because AT&T® is planning to implement a few steps to attract more customers towards the streaming service.

In a recent announcement, the officials from AT&T® announced that they would be expanding their distribution strategy for DirecTV Now® by bundling it with their Unlimited Choice plan for just $10 a month. Note that AT&T® is one of the best internet providers in the country, and this latest move from the telecom giant would entice subscribers to switch carriers for sure.

AT&T® has also been offering some of the best and cheap internet deals to their customers in order to prevent the loss of subscribers, and experts believe that the move might help the telecom company to boost their DirecTV Now® subscriber base. However, the promotion was originally offered only in the Unlimited Plus plan of AT&T®, which is the $90 each month package that provides unlimited talk and text, data, free HBO, high-def video and 10 GB of Wi-Fi tethering per phone. The downfall of this unlimited offering was that the internet speed was significantly reduced once customers exceed 22 GB of data usage per line.

The unlimited data plan offered by AT&T® is actually a step down from the $60 a month plan when we consider the account discounts for paperless billing and auto-pay. This package offers maximum internet speed of 3 Mbps, unlimited text, data, and talk, and offers standard definition video streaming. However, internet speed will still be reduced once the user consumes more than 22 GB in a month.

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Unlimited Choice Plan

The newly proposed $10 deal for AT&T’s streaming service consists of a $25 video credit, which makes the cost of subscribing to the service just $10 a month on top of the wireless bill of users. However, customers could also check out the basic package offered by DirecTV Now®, “Live a Little” under the new deal.

“Live a Little” is actually a pretty much decent bundle offering and it offers customers access to over 60 channels including some broadcast networks like Fox, NBC, and ABC in select markets. In addition to that, there are also a number of popular cable channels such as CNN, CNBC, Bloomberg, A&E, AMC, BBC, and many others. This plan is available to customers for just $35 a month.

01 Jun

Charter® To Offer High Speed Internet Service To Seniors And Students

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Spectrum® Internet Assist

In a recent press conference held at the Birmingham Public Library, the telecom giant, Charter Communications® announced that they would be launching a new high-speed internet broadband service for their customers. The program, which is popular known as Spectrum® Internet Assist will offer high-speed broadband internet service to eligible seniors and families for just $14.99 per month.

The Birmingham City Councilor, Jay Roberson said, “To be at the Birmingham Public Library is truly tremendous to make this special announcement to make sure that we can provide internet broadband services with Charter to our citizens in the community our youth, our young people, and to our seniors.”

The Director for Government and Community Affairs at Charter Communications®, Erin Jones stated that Spectrum® Internet Assist will “set a new standard for the industry.” He also added that the people who are eligible for the program are families with children who take part in the National School Lunch Program.

Besides that, officials from Charter Communications® said that seniors above the age of 65 and those who are currently receiving Supplemental Security Income benefits would also receive the new service offered by Charter Communications®.

An official press release issued by the telecom company said that Spectrum® Internet Assist enrollees “cannot have had a Charter/Time Warner Cable/Bright House Network broadband subscription within 30 days of signing up. Eligible participants will not need to undergo a credit check but they must clear any outstanding debt with Charter®, Time Warner Cable® or Bright House Networks®.”

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High-Speed Internet Access

However, reports indicate that the current video or phone subscribers of who meet any one of the above-mentioned qualification will also be allowed to enroll for the Spectrum® Internet Assist service. Jones added that Spectrum® Internet Assist will offer broadband internet services of 30 megabytes per second and it will cost an additional $5 for WiFi, but will entail zero additional charges for installation. She also added that Spectrum® Internet Assist subscribers would not have to pay any modem fees.

Jones highlighted that the responsibility of Charter® to the community includes offering high-speed broadband internet service to the elderly and students, so that they can pursue all the opportunities that are available to them. The Spectrum® Internet Assist service from Charter® is affordable, which means that many customers will be able to acquire cheap internet from the best internet provider in one shot.

29 May

Comcast® Threatens To Take Legal Action Against Proponents Of Net Neutrality

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Taking Legal Action

Proponents of open and cheap internet who are fighting the rollback of net neutrality protections by the Trump Administration recently said that one of the best internet providers in the US, Comcast® is threatening to take legal action claiming that the website named Comcastroturf is infringing their trademark.

The website Comcastroturf is offering a tool for public to find if their names and details are among those stolen by the different anti net neutrality bots. The stolen details were used to share comments in support of the plan of FCC to revert Title II protections, as per which, their internet services are classified as public utility.

The cease and desist order which was issued previous week claimed that the domain name Comcastroturf is “confusingly similar to the [Comcast trademark] because it sounds the same, looks the same, and is spelled similarly to Comcast.” The letter, which was signed by a cyber threat analyst at LookingGlass Cyber Security Center, asked the owner of the domain, Fight for the Future, to “take all steps necessary to see that the domain name is assigned to Comcast.” The letter further said that if the order is not immediately complied with, then the cable giant will “pursue its claims for damages.”

“This is exactly why we need Title II net neutrality protections that ban blocking, throttling, and censorship,” said Evan Greer, who is the campaign director of Fight for the Future. He said that if the FCC Chairman’s plan “is enacted, there would be nothing preventing Comcast from simply blocking sites like that are critical of their corporate policies.”

“It also makes you wonder what Comcast is so afraid of? Are their lobbying dollars funding the astroturfing effort flooding the FCC with fake comments that we are encouraging Internet users to investigate?” Greer asked. The fake comment scandals, together with the failure of FCC to process the comments that are in favor of net neutrality, lead to much criticism and raised concerns on the influence of the telecom behemoths on FCC and Chairman Ajit Pai.

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Proponents Of Net Neutrality

Lee Fang and Nick Surgey of The Intercept recently reported that an internal email message from the GOP leadership instructs the House Republicans on the best ways to defend the decision of FCC. They claimed that the email contained a “nifty toolkit,” as per the word of the sender, which the reporters claim to have come “directly from the cable industry.”

“The metadata of the document shows it was created by Kerry Landon, the assistant director of industry grassroots at the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, a trade group that lobbies on behalf of Comcast, Cox Communications, Charter, and other cable industry companies,” Fang and Surgey reported. “The document was shared with House Republican leaders via ‘Broadband for America,’ a nonprofit largely funded by the NCTA.”

26 May

AT&T® Completes Nationwide Deployment Of Its LTE-M IoT Network

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5G Wireless Cellular Technology

AT&T® officials recently announced that they have completed the deployment of their nationwide LTE-M Internet of Things (IoT) network. The company, which is one of the major internet providers in the country, has declared that the works done for installing the network nationwide are completed ahead of schedule. The deployment of 4G LTE-M IoT network represents the carrier’s milestone growth in the introduction of advanced wireless connectivity for customers across the nation. Moreover, it will also pave the way for the future development of next generation 5G wireless cellular technology and deployment of IoT on a much wider scale than was previously possible.

AT&T’s 4G LTE-M network comes with the latest features and comes integrated with standardized 3GPP technology. This utilizes licensed spectrum that enables good reliability, carrier-grade security, and cheap internet connectivity. Previously, the company announced the introduction of LTE-M IoT networks before the stipulated schedule, which comes ahead of numerous successful trials using a pilot network in California as well as subsequent testing in Columbus, Ohio. Moreover, AT&T® has laid out elaborate plans for expanding the footprint of its LTE-M IoT networks across the entire regions of North America.

With the introduction of LTE-M IoT networks, customers are conferred with a range of benefits and access to more services. This includes improved coverage for the IoT devices, extended battery life, as well as the reduction in the size of the modules. In addition, AT&T® has also released a new set of rate plans for the LTE-M network services. The plans start with a lower rate of $1.50 per month per device along with extra discounts for yearly and multi-annual contracts.

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LTE-M IoT Network

The networking modules of LTE-M are offered at a price of about $7.50 including a SIM card and they are available from AT&T’s suppliers. Furthermore, the currently functioning IoT networks available to the users will also undergo major upgrades according to the company. A firmware update process will also be initiated that will eventually upgrade the M14A2A IoT modules to LTE-M.

The latest LTE-M IoT network is specifically designed for large-scale uses like asset tracking, smart metering, smart city services, supply chain management, etc. Chris Penrose, President of IoT Solutions at AT&T® said, “Our nationwide LTE-M deployment is another example of AT&T’s continued investment and leadership in IoT. We can now reach new places and connect new things at a price that’s more affordable than ever before. Our LTE-M starter kit will also spur developers to open the doors to IoT innovation.”

26 May

AT&T® CEO Thinks 60-Minute Episodes Might Be Too Long For Mobile Devices

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Sitcom-Length Episodes

TV shows are actually shaped by the format of their TV network programming. The length of some of the TV series is half-an-hour while the length of other TV shows is one hour and it is being aired by the networks with or without commercial breaks, as per they wish. However, more and more American citizens have started to watch their favorite TV shows through tablets and smartphones. At the same time, more and more TV companies have become closely intertwined with mobile carriers over the last few years. The CEO of AT&T®, Randall Stephenson, recently shared his view on the same subject.

Stephenson said that the premium content, which us unique for a mobile environment, would help telecom companies attract more customers to their offerings. Reports indicate that AT&T® will be able to earn more profit through this way since they are planning a merger with the massive media grant,

“It will cause [Richard] Plepler at HBO to panic when I say this, but can you begin to think about things like Game of Thrones as an example, where in a mobile environment a 60-minute episode may not be the best experience, should you think about 20-minute episodes?” Stephenson said.

In addition to that, he also clarified that even though Time Warner-owned HBO will be tied to the telecom company after the proposed merger, “You can’t think about taking Game of Thrones and [only making] it available to AT&T customers, that’s crazy.” Stephenson also said, if you “do things uniquely with Game of Thrones for your mobile environment, where you have the ability to innovate faster and if the fast innovation creates a unique experience in your environment, you’re probably going to want to make that available later to other providers as well.”

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Trending TV Shows

Reports indicate that the close connection between media companies and mobile distribution channels will eventually offer something like this in the near future. However, it is hard to imagine such a fan-favorite TV series like Game of Thrones being cut down into sitcom-length episodes.

The attractive packages offered by AT&T® have enabled the telecom giant to acquire some more customers to their offerings recently. In addition to that, it has also benefited several wireless customers in the United States to acquire of some of the best and cheap internet deals.

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.


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