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11 Jul

AT&T® Customers In Illinois Will Continue To Receive POTS Services

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AT&T® POTS Services

In a recent statement, the officials from AT&T® indicated that they will continue their support for the traditional POTS voice lines in Illinois region regardless of the new state law. The telecom giant also added that several customers in Illinois heavily rely on POTS voice lines.

A few weeks ago, the Illinois Legislature made a voting that allowed the telecom company, AT&T® to disconnect their 1.2 million POTS voice customers statewide. Reports indicate that this happened when the lawmakers overrode Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto and accepted the telecom modernization bill. However, AT&T® will still need FCC’s acceptance if they want to alter the existing POTS network of the state.

In a statement, Paul La Schiazza, president of AT&T® Illinois, said, “It’s important for our Illinois customers to know that traditional landline phone service from AT&T® is not going away anytime soon.” In addition to that, the newly introduced Illinois law also contained a provision for increasing the 911 emergency service fees of all phone subscribers including wireless, landline, and online services.

La Schiazza said, “The new Illinois law helps plan for the eventual transition to only the technologies that customers overwhelmingly prefer today modern landline service and wireless service. While the timetable for that transition is undetermined at this time, it could take a number of years.”

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The AT&T-supported legislation in Illinois, which would get rid of a requirement for the telecom company to offer plain old telephone service or landline voice service encountered opposition from the AARP and the Citizens Utility Board (CUB) back in the month of May. This in turn ignited a new debate on the legacy services transitions.

The Senate Bill 1381, which was passed with a voting of 56-2 in May, will eliminate the state requirement that AT&T® will have to provide traditional phone service to customers in the state. Even though several customers have ditched their landlines to enjoy the convenience of a wireless, a major population of old users still depend on POTS voice service.

A spokesman for the CUB, an Illinois nonprofit watchdog group, Jim Chilsen, said that, “If AT&T® succeeds in ending traditional landline phone service, we think that will hurt people particularly seniors and those with medical conditions who depend on a landline as their most reliable link to vital services.” Apparently, the move from AT&T® to extend the POTS voice service will be highly greeted by Illinois customers.

10 Jul

New Broadband Tariffs And Data Caps By Cox® And CenturyLink®

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New Broadband Tariffs

Subscribers of both Cox Communications® and CenturyLink® would have to pay overage fees if the data consumption exceeds set data caps. This news may augur well to those who subscribe broadband, or not so well for netizens, depending on usage policy of either carrier. Cox Communications® have started to levy subscribers’ overage fees in four new American states namely Louisiana, Nevada, Oklahoma, and Arizona recently.

Netizens or anyone can crosscheck set speed and data consumption limits of both carrier and their best internet service, broadband. Prior to implementing overage charges, Cox® subscribers were paying a flat tariff to access broadband internet no matter the usage. Cox® has let their regular subscribers use 1 terabytes a month, even as overage charges clock at $10 a month for additional 50 GB each, in the unlimited broadband plan. Later in 2017, Cox® would introduce a mega unlimited internet plan to subscribers, indicate reliable sources.

One terabyte is a lot of internet for netizens, but who knows, they may have to get their heads around with new pricing mechanism from Cox® later in the year. Netizens use data habitually and consume cheap internet from carriers to play games, watch videos, access social media, send e-mails, etc. It is said that the data caps are one and the same for Cox®, and Xfinity® terabyte internet plan which also gives 50 GB each for $10 extra.

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Internet Data Caps

CenturyLink® has an “Excessive Use Policy” acronymed EUP. What’s more, the data caps were even lower for CenturyLink® last year, as low as 300 gigabytes. It was a worthy yearlong trial, but the Telco giant has put a full stop to the “usage-based billing program” in WA and Yakima of late. CenturyLink® is giving bill credits to those who cross set caps in Washington as well as to those of you who paid more bill than usual in Yakima.

“If you incurred overage charges related to this program, those charges will be credited and appear on your June or July monthly billing statement,” CenturyLink® said. “No action is required on your part, and there are no impacts to your existing CenturyLink® service.”

Besides, the Telco giant “reserves the right to disconnect your service after the third month of excessive usage in a rolling 12-month period” which was applicable for last year.

06 Jul

What’s In The Bag For AT&T® Prepaid Users

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GoPhone Prepaid Offerings

One of the leading internet providers in the country, AT&T® is currently offering three different prepaid plans to subscribers. Users who want to use unlimited data can subscribe to the $65 a month plan, whereas customers looking for a plan with lower internet data can subscribe to the $45, which offers them access to 6 GB high-speed internet data.

Both of these packages also offer unlimited text and talk within the country and between the Canada, US, and Mexico. In addition to that, users who subscribe to any one of these plans will also receive roaming in Canada and Mexico for data, text, and talk.

The cheapest prepaid plan offered by AT&T® is available to customers for just $35 a month for 1 GB of high-speed internet data. The most attractive feature of this package is that subscribers can enjoy unlimited talk and text service in the use. Additionally, customers can also make unlimited text to more than 100 countries.

The news of the potential rebrand came just a week after the telecom company launched their cellular access in eight more states in the country. The carrier has already expanded their broadband internet service to approximately 70,000 locations in the country. Reports indicate that they are planning to launch the broadband internet service to about 400,000 locations before the end of the year.

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AT&T® Prepaid Users

Many experts in the field of telecommunications strongly believe that AT&T® will be most probably offering cheap internet plans in their new service in order to draw in more potential customers towards their offerings.

It is to be noted that Sprint® recently offered a one-year free unlimited data service recently for customers who switch to Sprint® from their current carrier. This offering from Sprint® is currently the cheapest internet plan available to customers when it comes to unlimited data. However, if you are after a more reliable and stable coverage, it is wiser to choose AT&T® over Sprint®.

29 Jun

AT&T® To Invest $22 Billion If They Get Tax Breaks

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Huge Broadband Investment

One of the leading internet providers in the country, AT&T® recently promised that they would make massive broadband internet investment if President Donald Trump gives them tax breaks. This has been one of the major tricks of several internet service providers when they are in need of a tax break.

Several popular internet providers in the country had earlier promised that they would make future broadband investment deals in return for approval of an industry deal or for immediate tax breaks. In most cases, the government approves the conditions put forward by the companies because delivering high-speed internet service to rural areas is uneconomic. So, they feel that it is better to cut a deal with a private industry to accomplish it.

However, the reality is that most of the telecom companies have failed to keep up their promises and they often expand the deadline multiple times. This is the reason why several experts in the field of telecommunications are worried about AT&T’s recent promise of investing $22 billion in new infrastructure in exchange for immediate tax cuts.

The promise from AT&T® came after a meeting that was held at the White House a few days ago. The president of Verizon®, John Stratton lauded praised President Trump’s “focus on U.S. job creation and U.S. leadership in these industries,” whereas AT&T® CEO Randall Stephenson said, “It’s been dizzying the pace that the regulatory playing field has been cleared and been made more clear for companies that invest like ours.”

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Broadband Investment Deals

Stephenson added, “We’re on pace to invest around $22 billion in capital in the United States this year if we have some kind of tax reform, see that rate move down, we’ll consider stepping up our capital investment.” However, reports from several sources indicate that the Telco has made the same promise to deliver broadband to 100 percent of people in its regions for more than a decade. Additionally, reports also claim that AT&T® has used this as a leverage in numerous acquisitions and mergers too.

On the other hand, Charter Communications® was recently fined $13 million by the New York State, as the telecom giant failed to meet the conditions put forward by the state when they approved a merger. Charter® had promised that they will be upgrading their internet speed to 100 Mbps and they will be deploying broadband to approximately 35,000 new homes.

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.

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