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11 Jan

Comcast® Upgrades Internet Speeds for Performance Pro Plan in Colorado

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Performance Pro Plan

Recently, Comcast® increased the internet speeds by 10 to 50 percent for the customers in Colorado, 3 months following a price hike to be precise. The recent upgrades to internet speeds do not incur another increase in price. If you subscribe to Comcast’s Performance Pro package, you can expect 150 Mbps in place of the previous 100 megabytes per second speed.

“The reason we are doing this increase is because new devices are coming online every day and we are staying ahead of demand through faster speeds and unrivaled technology, like our wireless gateways,” said Leslie Oliver on behalf of Comcast®. Leslie is the Director of Media and External Communications for Comcast’s Mountain West Region.

“Faster speeds help ensure people have the speed necessary to power the increasing number of devices they are connecting in the home — computers, tablets, smartphones, gaming consoles, home automation devices and more,” she added.

The change in internet speeds for Comcast® customers in Colorado applies to downstream speeds and not the upstream speeds. Subscribers will have to restart the DOCSIS 3.0 modem when the fastest internet provider notifies them that broadband is accessible in improved speeds. If the customers do not have DOCSIS 3.0 modem, they can swap the present modem for Xfinity® xFi for zero activation fees. However, customers will have to pay stipulated monthly rental by Comcast® for acquiring the wireless gateway.

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High Speed Internet

The Telco giant hiked the prices of select services and internet plans for the customers in Colorado in October 2017. Resultantly, the price of the Performance Pro package had increased by around 2.5% to $81.95 per month in October. However, Comcast’s bundled packages that combine both internet and cable service had not changed for the customers in Colorado back then.

Comcast® usually doubles the internet speeds each 18 to 24 months, added Oliver. The previous instance when the Telco upped internet speed for customers in Denver region was in September 2016. Internet speeds for Performance Pro increased from 70 megabytes per second to 100 Mbps back then.

The recent improvements in speeds for Performance Pro package will help the customers in Colorado to stream videos 50 Mbps speedily than previous speeds. However, the flipside to that is Colorado customers may reach the data limits quickly too. For customers having the right modem, Comcast® suggests a modem restart as when new speeds become accessible.

21 Dec

Comcast® Rolls Out Gigabit Internet Service in Sacramento and Surrounding Areas

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Gigabit Internet Service

Comcast® has stated it has rolled out a 1 Gbps internet service for residential and business customers in Sacramento, California and nine surrounding cities. These offers lightning-fast connectivity across the home and businesses based in the region. Comcast® has also stated that it will provide gigabit internet connectivity to homes and business of nine communities such as Galt, Roseville, Folsom, Antelope, Carmichael, Citrus Heights, Elk Grove, Rio Linda, and Rancho Cordova in addition to Sacramento.

John Gauder, Regional Vice President of Comcast® California said, “With this offering, Comcast will have the broadest deployment of Gigabit Internet speeds throughout Northern California. This is yet another proof-point that our broadband and Wi-Fi networks are powerful, flexible and built for speed. We’ve increased internet speeds 17 times in the past 16 years and we will continue to bring California customers the absolute fastest speeds possible by proactively investing in our advanced, high-performance network.”

Comcast®, being one of the fastest internet providers in the country, has utilized the DOCSIS 3.1 technology for the new one-gigabit internet service. It is one of the best internet service offered by the Telco recently and offers greater speeds and reliability. Customers, however, need to install a new DOCSIS 3.1 modem to utilize this new internet service brought by Comcast®.

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Cloud-Based Operations

Commenting on the same, Sacramento’s Mayor Darrell Steinberg stated, “By providing world-class internet speeds, Comcast® is demonstrating its commitment to helping Sacramento transform into an urban technology lab that will help drive economic development. The city and the region are at a critical time in our growth and Gigabit Internet speed is key for residents, telecommuters and businesses of all sizes to move the economy forward.”

For residential customers in Sacramento, Comcast® is making available its 1 Gig for a price of $159.99 per month without a contract. New subscribers for the high-speed internet service can obtain it for $89.99 per month along with a one-year agreement. Comcast’s new expansion into other markets is following the recent rollout of the xFi Advanced Gateway nationwide.

Besides, Comcast® Business is also planning to roll out the DOCSIS 3.1 service to the business customers based in Sacramento and its surrounding cities. It will make available the Business Internet 1 Gig and Business Internet 500 speed tiers to the businesses operating in the region. This DOCSIS 3.1 service from Comcast® Business allows businesses to leverage the potential of the high-speed internet and cloud-based operations.

11 Dec

Comcast® Unveils xFi Advanced Gateway Offering Gigabit Speeds

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XFi Advanced Gateway

Comcast® has launched the xFi Advanced Gateway, its first in-house Wi-Fi device capable of delivering gigabit speeds, to the customers nationwide. This marks a new shift in the best internet service offered by Comcast® as it provides the customers with advanced modem and router along with gigabit internet services. The Telco launched the device in the beginning of this year, which was available at a rate of $10 per month. According to Comcast®, the xFi Advanced Gateway is its most powerful offering that will help setup gateway for the future.

This new gateway allows the customers to use this service across the market footprints of Comcast’s Xfinity® Gigabit Internet service. The new gateway consists of 8×8 antenna array capable of handling 160 MHz that offers extra speeds, MU-MIMO (multi-user, multi-input, multi-output) technology, and multiple IoT radios for linking various smart devices. Comcast® has also carried out numerous testing with this device that produced results of about 1.5 Gbps speeds through Wi-Fi. Besides, it has several radios included such as for Bluetooth Low Energy, Zigbee and Thread.

According to Chris Satchell, the Chief Product Officer at Comcast®, they have conducted several trials for the device earlier this year. The gateways underwent development for a period of three years and this lead Comcast® to consider the standards available for the future. “We had to be forward leaning about standards adoption. The 8×8-antenna array is one example,” he said. “When we started, no one had more than 4×4. The growth in IoT standards was another area we had to be bleeding edge.”

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Xfinity® Gigabit Internet Service

One of the notable aspects of the xFi Advanced Gateway is its modernist design. It is unlike any other routers as it has a minimalist design with finished exteriors that makes it suitable for placing in anywhere across the home without concealing. It is designed in accordance with the Xfinity® Design Language, which is intended to offer a uniform look for all the products developed by Comcast®. Customers can easily set up this new gateway by using the xFi app of Comcast®.

This provides them with control over the setting up and managing of the Wi-Fi and networks. All these features included in the xFi Advanced Gateway is with the sole objective of extending this device into more homes across the country. “Wi-Fi is the oxygen to the digital home,” Satchell added. “If you turned off my water, it may take me 12 hours to know that. If it’s Wi-Fi that’s turned off I know in seconds.”

24 Nov

CenturyLink® Signs Contract to Offer Services to Federal Agencies

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Services To Federal Agencies

CenturyLink® and AT&T® are among many of the contractors who were offered places on the General Services Administration’s (GSA) 10-year 50 billion dollars Alliant 2 program, which the federal agencies can make use of to buy IT services and service based offerings. Alliant 2, called as Government Wide Acquisition Contract (GWAC), provides the federal agencies with customizable hardware as well as IT and software solutions, which can be purchased as a single package. It offers access to about sixty-one businesses offering integrated IT solutions to meet the evolving needs globally.

CenturyLink® provides cyber security, IT, cloud, and managed hosting services over their carrier class network. “GSA’s selection of CenturyLink for an unrestricted Alliant 2 award confirms that we offer federal agencies the right tools to help them modernize their IT systems,” said David Young, who is the regional vice president of strategic governments markets for CenturyLink®. “CenturyLink® is committed to helping agencies with their digital transformation via multiple contract vehicles.”

Linda Johnson, who is the spokeswoman of CenturyLink®, said that their program will benefit their partners and those of Level 3 Communications, offering them with new opportunities. CenturyLink® completed the acquisition of Level 3 Communications on November 1, 2017.

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Modernize IT Systems

CenturyLink® is also one of the authorized providers of IT and telecom infrastructure services under the 10-year 50 billion dollars Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions (EIS) program of General Services Administration. Alliant 2 is also a part of the Network Services 2020 strategy of GSA, together with their EIS program. The Alliant 2 program focuses to offer federal agencies the agility and flexibility to make their migration to modern IT and communications services that meet the various security standards of the federal government.

CenturyLink® is a cheap internet provider in the US and is ranked 35 on the 2017 top 100 list of the government IT contractors published by Washington Technology. They are on their move to become the fastest internet provider of the nation.

“The next generation Alliant continues to build on GSA’s success collaborating with industry partners to design solutions that support federal agencies with mission-critical, complex IT services requirements,” said Kay Ely, who is the GSA Office of Information Technology Category assistant commissioner. ”The team’s work to earn a best-in-class designation by including pricing strategies and data-driven demand management practices will serve federal agencies well, and lower costs for American taxpayers.”

03 Nov

AT&T® Launches Microservices Supplier Program by Partnering With IBM

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Microservices Supplier Program

AT&T® has collaborated with IBM to launch an all-new microservices supplier program. This represents a new software-based initiative undertaken by AT&T® that will totally change its approach in the delivery of applications and functions to businesses. With this collaboration, AT&T® and IBM will work together in the design, development, and deployment of microservices, which if fully implemented, is expected to alter AT&T’s business backend processes.

Along with the development of microservices in the sales, ordering, and enterprise data systems, IBM will also provide AT&T® an effective way to enhance its backend processing. This will be made possible as the fast and easily accessible services will result in less downtime that will enable the businesses in quickly adapting to the changing market conditions.

Microservices refers to an architectural style where independent services constitute the enterprise apps that functions together. It functions in a collaborative manner as each of the apps is segmented into small blocks or “micro services”. Each of these blocks has a particular function such as in assisting with mobile payments and streamlined workflows.

With this, it is much easier for any enterprise that provides mobile payment services to carry out upgrades or bring up new features without the need to renovate the app. The other noteworthy feature of microservices allows combination in several ways that aids in developing specific solutions that will offer AT&T® in providing new capabilities faster.

AT&T® has already begun the deployment of microservices in its best internet network. Recently, AT&T® launched the artificial intelligence platform Acumos, which provides a customer the means to build, share, and install many of the AI applications made using microservices.

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Mobile Payments Assisting

Besides the improvements in its network, AT&T® is also using microservices to enhance the efficiency of its fleet of technicians. The Work Flow feature was introduced by the Telco to assist their technicians to tackle with many of the complicated work while attending on the customer’s issues. Using this application, AT&T’s field technicians are provided with a microservice that will gather the required resources and thereby guide the technicians regarding the installation or repair procedure.

AT&T® can also use an extra microservice that allows it to create, manage, and track the various contracts among its business products. The Telco has declared that the deployment of microservices in its networks has led to considerable savings per year. In addition, microservices are also utilized in ONAP, the crucial parts of AT&T’s SDN network that provides a quick delivery of its virtual network functions.

Implementing microservices has numerous benefits such as enhanced data security in large-scale data sharing, faster service provisioning, and quicker activation. It is also a boon for healthcare professionals, as it helps them in accessing and working on the patient data seamlessly.

19 Oct

AT&T’s U-Verse® Service to Become Unavailable on Web Browsers

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U-Verse® Service Unavailable

The concept of live TV has shifted away from the traditional forms of viewing such as on a television set to more advanced platforms like smartphones, tablets, and laptops. Many of the TV and internet providers operating in the country have adjusted accordingly making sure that the contents are catered to and delivered across all mediums and not only on television. AT&T’s DirecTV Now® is one such live streaming service that has made available its service across a range of platforms. In view of this, AT&T U-Verse® will become unavailable through internet browsers from the next month onward.

Due to this, customers will no longer be able to access on-demand programming or stream live content using their internet browsers. An AT&T U-Verse® statement said, “In an effort to focus our U-Verse® streaming application development on core platforms, we will no longer support U-Verse® streaming via uverse.com effective October 31, 2017. We encourage our U-Verse® customers to take advantage of the other streaming applications available to them, including via the iOS and Android platforms.”

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Streaming Application Development

AT&T U-Verse® has set forth this new move because of its decreasing investment in its legacy cable TV service. Besides, this service is also diverting many of its customers into another prominent streaming service owned by the Telco, DirecTV®. Last year the number of U-Verse® connections lost by AT&T® amount to approximately 1.4 million. Moreover, the streaming service has also lost a significant part of its customer base amounting to 428,000 connections in the first quarter of this year.

Customers who have left their U-Verse® connections have already subscribed to other AT&T® services like DirecTV® and DirecTV Now®. At the second quarter of the year, AT&T® had a TV subscriber base of about 25.2 million. Recently, the Telco has declared in a SEC filing that during the third quarter it has lost around 90,000 of its video subscribers. Due to this large drop out of subscribers, AT&T® has minimized the investments to keep up the streaming service particularly U-Verse®.

Previously, AT&T® considered shelving the U-Verse® service entirely. The Telco simply intends to focus its resources on many of its streaming services that are most popular amongst its subscriber base. It is not the first time that AT&T® decided to roll back the U-Verse® service. The Telco had rolled back the U-Verse® branded internet and phone service to improve its other services such as the AT&T® Internet and AT&T® Phone.

17 Oct

Spectrum® Cable Customers May Lose Major Channels Over Contract Dispute with Viacom

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Contract Dispute With Viacom

Viacom Inc.® has stated that cable customers of Spectrum® will lose access to about 23 television channels because of an ongoing contract dispute. According to Viacom®, the dispute arose because it has refuted some of the unreasonable demands set by Spectrum’s parent company, Charter Communications®. Several of the major channels such as MTV, Nickelodeon, and Comedy Central will not be accessible to the customers until the two carriers reach an agreement.

According to a Viacom® statement, “Viacom® is committed to developing strong, mutually beneficial relationships with our distribution partners. While we’re making every effort to reach a new deal, Charter’s actions may force a disruption in Spectrum® subscribers’ service. Despite our efforts, Charter® continues to insist on unreasonable and extreme terms that are totally inconsistent with the market. While we’re making every effort to reach a new deal, Charter’s actions may force a disruption in their service.”

The current agreement between Charter® and Viacom® is reportedly set to expire this October 15. Due to that, it can result in a major blackout that can affect about 16.5 million subscribers. Charter® actually moved many of the channels owned by Viacom® such as MTV, VH1, Spike, Comedy Central, BET from its basic package and placed them on a high priced tier.

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Disruption In Service

Viacom® CEO Bob Bakish said about Charter’s move in August, “They don’t have the contractual right to tier our services the way they have. Still, I don’t fundamentally believe suing big customers is the way to solve problems. The better way to solve them is through engagement and exploring ways we can create value together.” Spectrum® officials have however abstained from many any comments regarding the dispute.

Charter® acquired Time Warner Cable® in 2016 that made them the second largest cable operator and fastest internet provider in the country. Previously, Charter® has engaged and settled a dispute with Fox News regarding the payments made to the channel. This has led to a scenario where Fox Networks group threatened to pull FX Network, Fox Sports, and National Geographic from Spectrum®.

Viacom® officials added that, “Viacom has made a series of very attractive offers to Charter® that are consistent with terms we’ve recently reached with other large cable operators. Importantly, these offers would enable Charter® to lower Spectrum subscribers’ bills, while also giving them more access to shows across Nickelodeon, BET, MTV, Comedy Central, and other Viacom® networks.”

12 Oct

AT&T® and FirstNet Launch Developer Program to Ensure Public Safety

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FirstNet Developer Program

AT&T®, one of the best internet service provider of the country, has joined hands with FirstNet to launch the first-ever developer program that is aimed at the first responders of the country. The program is to encourage and improve innovations that are aimed at public safety to equip first responders with the latest communication tools. The program also makes public safety responders closer to having their app store where they will be able to find solutions that are built to cater to their needs.

“This program will tap into the expertise and creativity of the developer community to drive innovation for public safety,” said CEO of FirstNet, Mike Poth. “It will also connect first responders with developers to create apps that will help them stay safe and save lives.”

The developer program is devised to offer apps to the FirstNet app store, offering public safety with a one-stop shop that provides secure and reliable solutions that are optimized for the FirstNet network. Based on the open and common standards, the developer ecosystem will act as an engine to have innovative, cost effective, and interoperable solutions for public safety.

“The FirstNet app ecosystem is an important building block as we work to modernize public safety’s communications tools and capabilities,” said Chris Sambar, senior vice president at AT&T®. “The FirstNet network will bring public safety the connectivity they need to communicate and collaborate. But it’s really what we’re able to build on top of that connectivity that will make the biggest difference in these brave men and women’s day-to-day operations.”

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Public Safety Communications Tools

Through the developer program of FirstNet, developers can make public safety apps and customize them for the first responders. The developers will have access to specialized portal that house resources, which can help them crate, test, deploy, and maintain various applications for public safety. In addition to the programming tools like software development kits and application programming interfaces, the portal also offers guidelines to be followed while developing apps for public safety.

Some key focus areas for the potential developers are in-building mapping, situational awareness, telemetry solutions, and wearable devices, records management and field reporting, and forensic intelligence. The developer program will also provide collaboration between the developers and the first responders to offer mission critical apps aimed at public safety and tools to provide access to timely data. Both AT&T® and FirstNet will conduct challenges and events to support the collaboration.

“The developer program establishes a clear line of sight between public safety and app developers,” Sambar added. “It will help ensure the apps developed truly meet first responders’ field needs. It’s a really important thing that was missing from the market. Until now.”

10 Oct

Comcast® Rolls Out Senior Citizens Internet Essentials Program in Atlanta

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Internet Essentials Program

Comcast® has rolled out a new pilot program that offers high-speed internet connectivity to low-income senior citizens in Atlanta. The Telco giant, which is one of the best internet service providers in the US, clearly intends to bridge the digital divide prevailing in the nation by making available internet connectivity to all the sections of the society.

Chief Diversity Officer David Cohen carried out the inauguration of Comcast’s Senior Citizens Internet Essentials program. According to Comcast®, the Senior Citizens Internet Essentials programs are by far the largest and all-inclusive scheme devised for the low-income sections of the country.

Comcast® has partnered with the organization OATS (Older Adult Technology Services) for offering digital literacy training that is specially designed to cater to the requirements of the seniors. Joining Cohen at the kickoff of the events were Olympic Gold Medalist Jackie Joyner-Kersee, elected officials, community leaders, and local seniors. Comcast® began the events with offering about fifty laptops to the residents of Cosby Spear and stated that they will deploy a new Wi-Fi hotspot in the area to provide internet access.

Cohen said, “We are thrilled to announce the launch of our Internet Essentials Senior Pilot program in Atlanta, and look forward to bringing digital literacy training to this rapidly growing audience. When we started this program in 2011, we never imagined four million low-income Americans would benefit from it. We also never would have reached this milestone without our many dedicated nonprofit partners, elected officials, educators, employees, libraries, and advocates who were all united by the belief that the Internet is essential, not only to compete in the 21st century economy, but also to be connected to loved ones and the world.”

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Older Adult Technology Services

Mark Campbell, Chief Information Officer at the Atlanta Housing Authority said, “Partnering with Comcast® to provide seniors with digital literacy is important to us at AHA. Our goal through this program is to provide low-cost internet access options and classroom experiences focusing on safely navigating the internet.” Comcast® intends to make several investments in the Atlanta region. Its collaboration with OATS is one among the four of its major investments targeted in Atlanta.

Comcast® has also invested in the Center for Pan Asian Community Services. This is an organization created with the mission of offering welfare for immigrants, refugees and the underprivileged as well as provides them with self-sufficiency, equity, healthcare, etc. It has previously collaborated with Comcast® to enroll four of the Digital Connectors classes aimed at offering training students with key computer skills.

In addition, Comcast® has made an investment in the Urban League of Greater Atlanta. This organization has been previously a part of the Internet Essentials program of Comcast®. Besides, the Telco also distributed about hundred laptops to the students of Morrow Middle School and Unidos Dual Language Charter School.

28 Sep

Cox Communications® Plans To Charge Heavy Internet Users

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Charge Heavy Internet Users

If you are an average internet user who uses the internet service at his/her home for accessing social media platforms and to browse the web, then you will not most probably exceed the monthly data allowance set by your internet provider. On the other hand, heavy internet users, including the ones who stream plenty of movies and HD video contents on daily basis, will certainly exceed their monthly cap.

Some of the internet providers in the country might be charging the internet users who exceed their monthly data allowance. Reports from several reliable sources indicate that Cox Communications® is also planning to notify their San Diego customers that they will implement an overage charge from the users who use more than one terabyte of data in a month.

Until a few years ago, Cox® and other internet providers in the country used to throttle internet speeds instead of overcharging the customers who exceeded their monthly data limits. A senior analyst, Ian Olgeirson said, “Operators have tried a lot of different ways of going about this, and in almost all cases, it has been sort of a light touch because they recognize this is an important area for them and they don’t really benefit from alienating higher-end customers.”

This new move from Cox Communications®, who is the largest and arguably the fastest internet provider in the San Diego County, has caused panic in the mind of their internet customers. It is reported that Cox® will be charging an extra amount of $10 from their customers for an additional data pack of 50 gigabytes.

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Exceeding Monthly Data Limit

However, Cox® is not the only internet provider who is planning to adopt this strategy. Comcast Corporation® and several other telecom companies have already started to charge their customers for exceeding the monthly data limit.

A spokeswoman from Cox Communications® stated that only 2 percent of their San Diego customers blow past their monthly data allowance each month. This means that the recent decision made by Cox® will not affect the majority of their internet customers in San Diego.

“Some people are just heavy users for whatever reason,” she said. “But there are some customers, we think, who have in-home Wi-Fi and maybe they have not secured it with a password. So it may be open and other people might be tapping into it.”

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