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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.

21 Aug

Comcast® Extends Its Internet Essentials Program To Residents Of Santa Clara County

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Internet Essentials Program

Comcast® has announced that it will expand its affordable high-speed internet program, Internet Essentials, to residents of Santa Clara County. The Telco has declared this new initiative as a part of its commitment to eradicate the digital divide prevailing among low-income sections of the society. The introduction of the Internet Essentials program will enable residents of Santa Clara County access to the internet and its numerous services. The expansion of the program will be of particular benefit to the low-income citizens living in Santa Clara County who are unable to afford a computer and internet access.

Mayor of San Jose, Sam Liccardo, recently highlighted the issue of digital divide in a press conference. He stated, “We face a serious divide in our valley and that follows a simple formula: those who have it and those who do not. The divide has grown as the valley has grown more prosperous.”

Comcast’s Internet Essentials program will enable the residents to have access to high- speed internet for a sum of just $9.95 per month. Included along with this is a choice for the users to purchase a computer that amounts to less than $150. Comcast® also intends to take forward a new initiative of providing digital literacy training via online or in person along with its rollout of the Internet Essentials program.

The Internet Essentials program has been a massive success across the country with more than four million people already signing into to this service since it was unveiled five years back. The Telco has also brought forward an expansion of the program for bringing its best internet to more people nationwide.

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Stream High Definition Content

The program schemes have also got major upgrades as Comcast® further included families and individuals residing on public housing or beneficiaries of Section 8 vouchers. Comcast® is also considering expanding the program to more regions of the country along with Santa Clara County. Considering this, the Telco has made several improvements to the internet speeds offered in the Internet Essentials program. The new speeds will allow data transfer rates of about 15 Mbps that will enable users to stream high definition content with ease.

The upload speed is also increased to 2 Mbps. Several of the local organizations operating in Santa Clara County have collaborated with Comcast® to promote the Internet Essentials program among senior and public housing residents. Moreover, the Telco has also announced that it has donated more than hundred computers and Internet Essentials coupons to these local organizations.

18 Aug

AT&T® Hello Lab’s ‘Guilty Party’ Is Set For Launch

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Interactive High School Mystery TV Series

In a recent announcement, the officials from one of the best internet providers in the country, AT&T® announced that they would be launching a new interactive high school mystery TV series, titled as “Guilty Party.” The show will be available to viewers on social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and other “Guilty Party” social handles.

However, AT&T® has promised that the TV series will be airing on their latest streaming service, DirecTV Now® by the end of 2017. One of the major highlights of “Guilty Party” is that viewers will be able to play the role of detectives and identify who is exposing the secrets.

“Guilty Party” will tell the story of a group of teens who are forced to face their past as a high school bullying victim begins to take revenge on them for their past actions. The main cast members of the show are Tiffany Alvord, Teala Dunn, Kian Lawley, Miles McKenna, Jessie Paege, Alexis G. Zall, and Manolo Vergara.

Karyn Spencer, vice president of Creator Labs at AT&T® said, “AT&T® is passionate about connecting digital creators with their fans, pushing boundaries and challenging our audience to take positive action and consider different viewpoints. We hope that “Guilty Party” entertains, but also prompts viewers to develop positive solutions when they find themselves in similar situations in their lives.”

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Trending TV Series

The vice president of programming strategy at Fullscreen Media, Maude Standish said, “Guilty Party takes the YA genre one step further by making the narrative interactive. We saw firsthand the power of fandom throughout the first year of AT&T® Hello Lab, and we wanted to LEVERAGE that fan passion to tell a more dynamic story with Guilty Party. We’re excited to see how fans respond to their favorite creators doing something so different from their daily content.”

Viewers will gain clues via “Guilty Party” social channels, which will help them to solve the mystery of who is sharing the secrets of the teens. In addition to that, the cast members of the show will also be interacting with the audience and fans in the comments section of each and every episode of the new TV series. Reports also indicate that some of the cast members of the show will be involved with the Later Haters campaign of AT&T® and Fullscreen, which promotes kindness and positivity online.

17 Aug

AT&T® Launches Fixed Wireless Internet In Areas Of The Rural Triangle

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Connectivity Via Outdoor Antennas

AT&T® is now expanding their wireless broadband services across the Triangle to target the rural and the “underserved” areas. The Fixed Wireless Internet service from AT&T® is now offered in areas of western Wake County and eastern Chatham County, AT&T® announced on Monday. The Fixed Wireless Internet standalone will be offered for a charge of sixty dollars per month with one-year contract.

AT&T® started to roll out the service in June and the service was introduced in areas of Georgia first, spreading to the other states gradually. This new service from AT&T® is built around connectivity offered via outdoor antennas and indoor Wi-Fi gateways. The Fixed Wireless Internet service from AT&T® includes:

  • High-speed internet service that offers download speeds of minimum 10 Mbps
  • 160 GB of internet data per month – if the limit of internet data is exceeded, AT&T® will offer additional data in increments of 50 GB for ten dollars. They will offer up to a maximum of twenty such increments costing 200 dollars.
  • Wi-Fi connection for more than one device like tablets, laptops, gaming consoles, etc.
  • Wired Ethernet connection for up to four devices

Installation Of The Service

AT&T® says that getting their Fixed Wireless service is very easy and includes three steps – Survey, Installation, and Connection.

Survey – In this step, AT&T® technicians will find the best place to install the equipment for the Fixed Wireless Internet service.

Install – The installation of the service is real quick and easy. An AT&T® technician will install an antenna that can communicate with the nearest tower to get the most reliable and strongest wireless signal.

Connect – The technician will then help you connect your devices to the Fixed Wireless Internet service.

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Reliable And Stronger Wireless Signal

AT&T® said that they would continue to expand the Fixed Wireless cheap internet service to offer it to about 13,000 locations by the end of 2020. “The nearly 6,500 men and women who work for AT&T® and call North Carolina home, are proud to work with our local, state and federal leadership to provide the connectivity that North Carolina’s residents and businesses demand,” said Robert Doreauk, regional director of external affairs for AT&T® North Carolina. “Through this innovative service, we are working to close the connectivity gap in North Carolina.”

The funding for the Fixed Wireless Internet service is offered via the FCC Connect America Fund. Apart from AT&T®, CenturyLink®, Frontier Communications®, and many others are also receiving FCC funds to expand high-speed internet connectivity.

10 Aug

AT&T® Is Not Planning To Quit On CNN

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Five Billion Acquisition Deal

AT&T® said that they are not looking to spin off the news channel CNN as part of their eight five billion acquisition deal of Time Warner®. This declaration from AT&T® has put to rest all the speculations about the fate of the news network as the deal is still under the review of the Justice Department.

John Stankey, who is the head of AT&T® Entertainment group, said that they see cable news as important as live sports. “It would be a strategically missed opportunity if we weren’t in that business,” Stankey said. He also added that CNN would continue to be editorially independent. This can be a likely nod to the criticisms of the news outlet by President Trump.

In his 2016 campaign, President Trump had promised to block the acquisition of Time Warner® by AT&T® over the concern that the resulting company would be much powerful in the media world. The President’s move was considered unusual, as professionals at the Federal Trade Commission, or the Justice Department, do most of the merger reviews, independent of the President’s office.

President Trump said during his election campaigns that he sees the merger “as an example of the power structure I’m fighting. AT&T® is buying Time Warner® and thus CNN, a deal we will not approve in my administration because it’s too much concentration of power in the hands of too few.”

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The specific mention of CNN by the President prompted some of the analysts to think if his opposition of the merger is due to his dissatisfaction with the coverage of the CNN network of him. This perception of the analysts was reinforced when the New York Times reported that the President’s office was considering using the deal as a leverage against the CNN network. However, with the guarantee of CNN’s independence from Stankey, who will be overseeing HBO, CNN, and other media properties of Time Warner® after the deal is completed successfully, it seems that AT&T® is trying to remove all doubts about the future of Cable News Network.

Both Time Warner® and AT&T® said that they are expecting the deal to close by the end of the year, however, AT&T® executives did not respond to request for comments. Experts in telecommunications industry believe that the merger may result in the formation of the fastest internet provider and cable company of the country, but we will have to wait for that.

08 Aug

AT&T® And Guntersville Legislators Announce Certified Fiber Cable Internet In Connors Island Business Park

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Certified Fiber Cable Internet

AT&T® and Guntersville legislators recently announced that Connors Island Business Park is now a certified fiber relayed broadband area, thanks to the Telco giant’s infrastructural contribution. The certification would mean that cheap internet of the highest speed is being made available to job seekers and headhunters in Marshall County.

“That means that if you want to build a company here the infrastructure for fiber is in place,” said the Guntersville Mayor, Leigh Dollar. He also added that the certification from AT&T® is a marketing tool for businesses. “This will definitely be an asset to the park. We work to market this park every day. So we think this will definitely be something worth marketing,” Dollar said.

“We’re ready for 21st century businesses. We’re ready for companies that require extensive broadband fiber,” commented Marshall County Economic Development Council president, Matt Arnold. “Fiber has become what power, water, and sewer were 15 years ago. Companies have to have them. If they don’t have it, they’re not going to locate there.”

Arnold has put the certification and the breakthrough infrastructural contribution in the Connors Island Business Park in clear words. The AT&T® fiber broadband in the Connors Island Business Park will help Guntersville compete with North Alabama cities. The Telco giant’s business fiber network in Alabama provides cheap internet and gives businesses accesses to cloud backup, and video streaming in up to 1 Gbps speed. Reports say that AT&T® has invested billions in wireless as well as wired networks in Alabama in the recent past.

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AT&T Fiber Ready Certification

“AT&T continues to deploy leading-edge technology,” said Dave Hargrove, director of external and legislative affairs of AT&T®. “Our goal for the AT&T Fiber Ready certification is to help clearly message that Alabama is connected as economic developers and community leaders work to bring new business to our state and drive growth for the ones that already call our communities home.”

Assistant VP of external and legislative affairs for AT&T® Alabama, Mickey Harbin said, “Each and every day, our more than 5,300 employees are turning AT&T’s billions of dollars in financial investment into high-speed internet for consumers and businesses across Alabama.”

The relayed fiber network of the Telco giant covers the 400-acre Connors Island Business Park in Guntersville, Marshall County, Alabama.

04 Aug

What Subscribers Should Know About FCC And ISP Broadband Speeds

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ISP Broadband Speeds

To find the best internet provider in the US, subscribers could do some preliminary research before signing an agreement with the first provider they come across. When it is about choosing a cheap internet service provider, the speed aspect should be considered well, since speed and affordability would give subscribers a worthy bundle. After finding out the fastest internet provider and their best package, the next step in attaining subscription is gauging whether the said ISP offers that service in your area.

The FCC recommended download speeds would help you decide on the minimum download speed in any region. Federal Communication Commission stipulates 500 Kbps speed for emailing, 1.5 Mbps for streaming movies on content driven platforms, and 4 Mbps each for online gaming and tele-learning. Do remember that the FCC stipulated download speeds apply to individual users only and that if your family consists of two, then you would want double the internet speed to access more data.

The 80/80 speed of broadband was one of the major findings in the Measuring Broadband America report of FCC last year. This measures the Internet Service Providers’ performance consistency over peak periods of internet usage, i.e. from 07:00 pm to 11:00 pm. Telco giants such as Charter Communications®, Time Warner Cable®, and Verizon® performed well with values soaring above 90 percent of the FCC stipulated speeds in 2016. However, the ratio for AT&T® DSL, Frontier®, and Viasat® broadband was 50%.

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The Measuring Broadband America Report

Regardless, these are some of the fastest internet providers in the US as prime time alone cannot be used as a metric to know who downloads videos on the internet or who is watching a Game of Thrones episode on a Sunday night.

As per FCC, 25 Mbps download speed would qualify an ISP as the fastest internet provider in 2017. This was a sudden jump from 4 Mbps before it, and the ISPs have shown protests regarding the stipulation in the Senate of late. Further, a mere mention of best internet and high-speed internet doesn’t necessarily guarantee that ISPs follows FCC stipulations, but these terms are used interchangeably with broadband in general.

Suffice to say it, only the best Internet Service Providers follow the FCC stipulations in the US, even as the veto power remains with subscribers.

02 Aug

Cardinals And Cox® Announce Marketing And Technology Partnership

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Marketing And Technology Partnership

Cox Communications® and the Arizona Cardinals recently announced a multimillion dollar, multiyear partnership in Phoenix, which expands and extends a partnership between both the businesses back in 2006. As per the partnership, Cox® Business will be the exclusive technology provider and partner for both Cardinals and University of Phoenix stadium in Glendale.

“Through this partnership, Cox® will provide a broad range of services and products that will not only deliver the best possible stadium experience for Cardinals fans, but also enhance the organization’s technological capabilities on a daily basis,” said Cardinals President Michael Bidwill.

Services offered by Cox Communications® include internet and telecommunication services, cable TV, Wi-Fi, video transmissions, and network infrastructure. It will be the responsibility of the Cox® Business to offer technical support to the team for all the important events and to ensure that the technology of the stadium operates seamlessly without any issues.

“It has been a privilege to deliver technology services to the team and the stadium for more than a decade,” said Ed Aaronson, vice president for Cox® Business in Arizona. “This expansion of our relationship will further enhance our ability to partner with the Cardinals to deliver the premier fan experience.”

Cardinals and Cox® will also provide a virtual reality interactive experience for all the fans, which will be similar to the training tools used by the Cardinals players and coaches. Fans of Arizona Cardinals will experience a feeling of being on the field practicing with their favorite team, standing on the field during the pre game player introduction sessions and taking part in the coin toss.

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Exclusive Technology Provider

The free virtual reality experience offered by Cox® for the fans will provided at the upper concourse of the stadium, on the fifth quarterdeck during home games of the Cardinals. The partnership between Cox® and Cardinals features technology product integration of Cox® throughout the training complex of Cardinals and University of Phoenix Stadium, and will include marketing, promotional, community relations and fan activation initiatives.

The University of Phoenix Stadium is hone to the annual Fiesta Bowl and the Arizona Cardinals. The stadium also hosts many international soccer events, large-scale events like super bowl, major concerts like the U2 and the recent NCAA Final Four.

Cox Communications® is the third largest private employer in Arizona and one of the best internet service providers in the country that serves about 3 million business and residential users in Arizona.

26 Jul

Charter® Plans To Shake Up The TV Channel Lineup

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New Lineup Of Channels

One of the fastest internet providers in the U.S, Charter Communications® had earlier acquired Time Warner Cable® and Bright House Network® to bring about a change in their strategies. The combination of these three massive telecom companies created a leading broadband services and technology company, which will be serving approximately 25 million subscribers in 41 states of the country.

After Charter® completed the merger of Time Warner Cable®, a local TWC® customer complained that he was not able to access two of his popular channels, Day Star and TBN, in the new lineup of channels. He said, “They took them off and won’t return them. They were not on the line-up for Spectrum® when it changed from Time Warner Cable®.”

The local Charter Spectrum® office asked the customer to visit the official website of Charter Spectrum® and look at the list of Spectrum® channels by the local zip code to get details on the new channel lineup of the telecom service provider. This means that Charter® might be planning to shake up the channel lineup.

However, a field communications manager from Spectrum/Charter® company office reacted to the issue by stating that, “Regarding the question from a citizen there (Kerrville), this programming is temporarily unavailable due to the configuration of Spectrum programming practices. We hope TBN and Day Star will return to our channel line-up soon.”

Officials from the telecom company added that the new combined advanced network would offer customers better video products, faster broadband internet speed, cheap internet and TV deals, as well as affordable phone service. Reports indicate that the product and network investment of Charter® along with their customer-friendly operating strategy will most likely result in financial and customer growth for the company.

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Configuration Of Spectrum Programming

Chairman and CEO of Charter Communications®, Tom Rutledge said, “I want to thank the management teams and all of the employees at Charter®, Time Warner Cable®, and Bright House Networks® for their hard work over these past 12 months.”

“Despite much distraction, they kept their focus on the customer, and as a result, today we join together three companies, each operating with tremendous momentum,” He added. “Current Bright House Networks® and Time Warner Cable® customers won’t see many changes right away, though in the coming months they will begin to hear more from us about the Spectrum® brand, and the product improvements and consumer friendly policies that come with it.”

Rutledge further said that, “Charter’s objective is to provide high quality products at great prices, and back it up with excellent customer service, and we intend to continually improve the way we do business in order to be the very best at what we do.”

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