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19 Aug

CenturyLink® Deploys Field Trials Of Adtran Virtual 10G – PON Platform

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Adtran Virtual 10G – PON Platform

CenturyLink® has commenced the field trials of Adtran’s virtualized Optical Line Terminal (OLT) 10G-PON platform. The trials involve the use of Mosaic operating system of Adtran for making Software-Defined Access (SD-Access) in its networks. CenturyLink® is making this new move as a means to enter into the SD-Access technology in its network that has already deployed the Passive Optical Networking (PON) system.

Adtran is a key provider of open networking solutions and the deployment of SD-Access will allow CenturyLink® to make its networks more flexible and manageable. CenturyLink® is also offering 10-gigabit symmetrical PON (XGS-PON) and the latest PON (NG-PON2).

The networking technologies function via a single fiber optic cable that is divided to supply numerous end points in different access layers such as residential and enterprise. Jay Wilson, Adtran’s senior vice president of technology and strategy said, “Adtran Mosaic OS is a key component of the industry’s most open and complete SD-Access architecture. The solution spans the entire access network from the cloud edge to subscriber edge, providing services delivery and support for all physical access media, allowing our customers to create best of breed networks.”

Commenting on that, Aamir Hussain, CenturyLink® executive vice president and chief technology officer said, “The move to an open, programmable and scalable access network will facilitate CenturyLink’s service agility and support faster deployment of services and applications for our customers. This solution will enable us to reduce operating costs through the economies of data center architectures and automate our networks as we look to offer 10G services and beyond.”

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Flexible And Manageable Networks

CenturyLink® recently accelerated its network virtualization efforts like other internet providers into a more hybrid nature. This involves using a mix of both the older hardware and latest software technologies offered. It is also to be noted that the Telco has made considerable investments in the past 25 years that amounts to about $64 billion for its network.

Hassan stated, “These investments are just to make sure that we bring customers the services they expect. When we move to a programmable network, it’s about having the right platforms with the right programs, software defined networking, and controlling that through our orchestration engine that allows us to manage the customer’s workloads and applications.”

Adtran uses PON technologies for linking CenturyLink’s network infrastructure. The Mosaic operating system of Adtran’s can function using both copper and fiber connections as well. Adtran being a leader in SD-Access technology will enable CenturyLink® to upgrade its networks to accommodate all the latest technologies and in its virtualization efforts.

17 Aug

Kansas Opts For AT&T’s FirstNet Broadband Network

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AT&T’s FirstNet Broadband Network

Medical, police, fire, and all other first responders in the state of Kansas will shortly gain access to dedicated wireless services for emergencies under the state’s FirstNet deal with one of the best internet providers in the country, AT&T®. Kansas has just become the thirteenth state in the country that has opted for AT&T’s FirstNet dedicated wireless broadband network.

Gov. Sam Brownback recently confirmed the fact to the public by announcing that the state has accepted the proposal from the telecom giant, AT&T®. As per the plan with Kansas State, the telecom company will build, maintain, and operate an efficient broadband network through a public private partnership with the First Responder Network Authority without any charges.

The officials from the telecom company stated that first responders would be easily able to gain access to the broadband network by simply signing up as paying customers. At the present, most of the first responders usually subscribe to Verizon®, AT&T®, or any other wireless internet providers, and communicate via tablets, phones, and other devices on the exact same network as other subscribers.

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Dedicated Wireless Broadband Network

Traffic from the first responders will continue to travel along with the traffic of other wireless customers in FirstNet network too. However, the good news is that the first responders will be having a preemptive claim on network capacity with FirstNet network, which means that other customers may also be temporarily knocked out from the service if needed. Earlier, the telecom giant called the feature as “ruthless preemption”.

Dick Heitschmidt, chief of police and chairman of the Kansas 9-1-1 Coordinating Council and Hutchinson, recently said, “There’s a whole host of things that are going to happen once this system gets built out.” FirstNet emerged as a reliable and efficient solution to communication issues during major emergencies such as tornadoes, Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, and other events. First responders experienced severe communication problems during such horrible events before the service was introduced.

Reports indicate that Virgin Islands has also opted for the proposed broadband network. On the other hand, Missouri has not yet announced their plans for a FirstNet network, although reports say that it may happen very soon. States can either develop their own FirstNet network or team up with the best internet service provider, AT&T®, for the same.

16 Aug

CenturyLink® Enters Into Agreement With King & Union To Resell Its Security Collaboration Platform

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Agreement With King & Union

CenturyLink® has entered into an agreement with King & Union, a security company that will authorize it to become a reseller for its security analysis collaboration platform. This will enable the Telco to sell the numerous security collaboration platform and services offered by the company to its commercial and government customers.

The Avalon platform of King & Union will enable the users to cultivate more awareness and provide general information about the cyber security threats through graphing and visualization. With this platform, the users are allowed collaborate on the threats and intelligence via automated threat improvement services.

Erich Sanchack, CenturyLink’s senior vice president and general manager for federal solutions said, “CenturyLink®  is excited to be King & Union’s first reseller and go-to-market partner for its cyber analysis collaboration platform. We’re committed to the nation’s cybersecurity mission and to providing customers with industry-leading cyber security measures and analysis that improve an organization’s cyber risk posture. Avalon complements CenturyLink’s managed security services offerings, including CenturyLink’s Enhanced Cybersecurity Services offering authorized by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.”

The Avalon platform will also act as a collaboration platform by creating an interactive community of analysts specializing in cyber security. This encourages more collaboration among the users and peers for various aspects of cyber investigation and its related findings. Moreover, this platform will also provide an excellent way for users to work together without sharing any of the sensitive and classified information.

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Managed Security Services Offerings

This is an excellent advantage to information sharing and analysis among the members of the community. CenturyLink®, being one of the best in class internet providers, will provide the government and commercial client with the necessary security measures in their operations through this deal. Besides its best internet service, CenturyLink® also offers other services such cloud, managed hosting and IT via its reliable network, which will be immensely useful for King & Union.

The Managed Security Services suite offered by CenturyLink® is available as a standalone service or an add-on service for existing customers. This will be of particular benefit to government agencies and commercial customers in improving their network security and response against any cyber attacks. Joan Cassidy, King & Union President said, “King & Union is thrilled to be working with CenturyLink®, an established leader in public-private cyber information sharing efforts and an innovative provider of security services.”

11 Aug

CBS Networks Comes To DirecTV Now®

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CBS Networks Added

DirecTV Now®, the live TV service from one of the leading internet providers, AT&T® has already become one of the most favorite choices of cord cutters in a short span of time. However, it seems that AT&T® is planning to lure in more cord cutters towards the streaming service by adding CBS and its networks to the streaming platform.

In a recent announcement, the officials from AT&T® confirmed that they have signed an agreement with CBS, which will allow them to live stream from the local CBS and The CW stations in approximately 25 markets in the country. The telecom company also indicated that these stations would be available to DirecTV Now® customers in all the packages.

However, other popular networks such as Showtime, CBS Sports Network, and Pop will be available to subscribers on select premium tiers. Additionally, DirecTV Now® customers who wish to access and watch the contents of Showtime would be able to subscribe the channel as an add on to their current DirecTV Now® plan.

The first United States metros to gain access to The CW and CBS in their DirecTV Now® packages include Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto, Denver, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Detroit, Boston, San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Philadelphia, Chicago, L.A., and New York.

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Directv Now® Plans

AT&T® is hopeful that the recent addition of Showtime network to DirecTV Now® will attract more cord cutters to the service. This is because their streaming service offers the network to customers for just $8 a month, which is actually the lowest monthly rate offered by a streaming service provider.

The officials from the telecom company also added that they would be adding the Pop channel in the DirecTV Now® “Just Right” plan, while the CBS Sports Network will be available to DirecTV Now® customers who have subscribed to the “Go Big” plan. The officials refused to share any details on when these channels will be made available to customers but reports indicate that this will happen within a month or two.

The telecom company, AT&T® also added that they are planning to bring at least 30 more NBC, Fox, and ABC affiliates to DirecTV Now® shortly. This means that the streaming service from AT&T® will contain more than 170 live and local channels, which makes it a great alternative to cable TV. So if you have access to the best internet service, you should definitely check out DirecTV Now®.

09 Aug

Comcast® Partners With FX Networks To Provide Ad-Free Service To Subscribers

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Ad-Free Service To Subscribers

Comcast® has partnered with FX Networks to commence a new subscription service titled as FX+. This premium service is available for an additional cost of $5.99 per month for the subscribers of Xfinity® platform and includes ad-free access to all the currently airing TV series and other shows. The new service from Comcast® will be launched on September 5 and would be much different from the streaming apps rolled out by CBS and other major television networks.

This new collaboration with FX is a great way for the Xfinity® subscribers to access the quality programming offered that includes many of its well regarded TV series and shows. The FX+ paid service will offer about 1000 episodes from some of the most admired TV series such as Sons of Anarchy, Terriers, Damages, American Horror Story, etc. Also included in the FX+ service are FX channel and FXX, the sister network of the broadcaster, which will be made available on Comcast’s Xfinity® platform.

Previously, Comcast® released a simultaneous broadcast streaming service, AMC Premiere, which was available for just $4.99 per month. This streaming service also included the airing of commercial free episodes of numerous running series such as The Walking Dead. FX+ is the second streaming service offered by Comcast® that allows for an extension of the subscription for a basic cable channel.

John Landgraf, CEO of FX Networks and FX Productions stated, “This is an exciting day for FX Networks because it represents the next step in building a consumer experience as good as our original programming brand. We have been diligent about recapturing the in-season stacking rights for all current original programming and recapturing the rights to all seasons of a large portion of our legacy of great original series.”

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New Subscription Service

Matt Strauss, Executive Vice President and General Manager for Video and Entertainment Services at Comcast® said, “FX has built a brand known for high-quality, award-winning original content, and we are pleased to partner with John Landgraf and the team at FX to offer premium experiences like FX+ to Xfinity® TV customers, and explore what it means to be a network in the future.”

The subscribers of the new FX+ service can access the contents through Xfinity® On Demand, Xfinity® Stream app, FX NOW, and the service website. FX+ will remain as an upgrade option for the subscribers of Xfinity® TV. Subscribers can easily upgrade to the FX+ service through the Xfinity® set top boxes as well as by visiting the website or calling the Xfinity® service.

03 Aug

Charter® Suffers Huge Subscriber Loss In Q2

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Huge Subscriber Loss

One of the fastest internet providers in the United States, Charter Communications® recently confirmed that they had lost approximately 90,000 TV customers in the second quarter of 2017. Interestingly, the officials from the telecom company stated that they had lost 152,000 in the same period last year. So, they think that this is actually an improvement.

Despite the loss of TV subscribers, Charter® has still managed to position themselves as the second largest cable providers in the country and they are slightly behind Comcast®, who is currently the leading cable provider in the U.S. at present.

Reports indicate that Charter® was not the only telecom company who suffered customer losses during the second quarter. It seems that the telecom giant, AT&T® lost approximately 351,000 fiber TV and traditional satellite TV customers during the second quarter of the year, whereas Comcast Corporation® lost just 45,000 residential TV customers during the same period. Reports also claim that Verizon® shed only 15,000 Fios Video subscribers, which is actually an improvement on their part, because the telecom company had suffered a loss of 21,000 subscribers during Q1.

Charter® had finished the rollout of their Spectrum® brand and residential pricing and packaging in legacy Bright House Network® and TWC® areas back in June. The telecom company has also completed the switch to Spectrum® packaging and pricing for both small scale and large-scale businesses in Bright House Networks® and Time Warner Cable® markets earlier this m0nth.

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Spectrum® Packaging And Pricing

The chairman and CEO of Charter Communications®, Tom Rutledge said, “We are now offering a simple, high-value product across our 50 million passings, under one brand, Spectrum®. That product is working in the marketplace, and we continue to see higher year-over-year customer connect volumes across our new footprint.”

The second quarter of 2017 is certainly bad to Charter® when it comes to TV front, but on the broadband front, the telecom company has added about 231,000 residential internet subscribers. Reports indicate that the telecom giant ended the second quarter with 22.0 million residential broadband customers.

The officials from the telecom giant also stated that they are currently offering minimum broadband internet speed of 100 megabits per second to more than 50 percent of their customers. However, the minimum internet speed available to the remaining Charter® customers is 60 Mbps. So, despite the figures, your best bet at acquiring the best internet deal is still Charter®.

01 Aug

Cox® Steps Up Its DOCSIS 3.1-Based Gigabit Rollout

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DOCSIS 3.1 Broadband Services

Cox Communications® has declared that it has commenced the testing of its DOCSIS 3.1 based broadband services as a part of its next phase of gigabit rollout. The Telco has begun the testing among its employees and will soon make available this gigabit networking technology in some of the markets by the end of the year.

Cox® intends to use its existing HFC networks for introducing the DOCSIS 3.1 based broadband services. With these new developments, the Telco has edged itself as a pioneer in offering advanced connectivity services. Moreover, it has also stepped up the competition of gigabit rollout among the other best internet providers operating in the country.

A newly released statement by Cox® states, “Our current deployment schedule is ahead of many providers: 40% of the households we serve nationwide will have access to Gigabit speeds by the end of 2017, and we will continue to aggressively expand the availability of our customers going forward.”

Previously, Cox® had declared its Gigablast platform that offered targeted speeds of one Gbps. The Telco released this as a fiber to the home platform and made this service available in all of the key markets in the country. With its initial launch in Phoenix, Cox® stated that it will expand this Gigablast platform into 18 states across the country. Gigablast is much faster than an average DSL connection and offers a host of notable features such as fast in-home WiFi, Cox® Security Plus protection, etc.

After the nationwide rollout of this service, the company announced its next phase of making available gigabit services across the country through DOCSIS 3.1 networking technology. According to the company statement, “Bottom-line, we remain fully committed to gigabit internet, and we’re about to step on the gas hard with the next deployment phase.”

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Gigabit Networking Technology

According to their current deployment plans, Cox® intends to make the gigabit speeds to about 40 percent of the homes by the year-end. As a part of its rollout, Cox® has approved a set of DOCSIS 3.1 modems currently sold in the retail market such as Motorola MB8600, Arris Surfboard 8200 and Netgear CM1000. Moreover, the Telco is also phasing out its existing older models of the D1.1-based modems.

Cox® has begun the recall of these modems citing them outdated in the currently developing network infrastructure. Meanwhile, Cox® has also announced that it will provide replacement modems to customers using DOCSIS 1.1 modems at no extra charges.

28 Jul

Republicans Ask Google®, Facebook®, and AT&T® To Testify At Net Neutrality Hearing

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Debate Over Net Neutrality

The chairman of the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee recently asked the chief executives of a few telecom and tech companies such as AT&T®, Comcast Corporation®, Google®, and Facebook® to testify before the U.S. Congress in September to settle the heated debate over net neutrality.

It seems that the U.S. Federal Communications Commission is planning to toss out the net neutrality rules established by the Obama Administration, which reclassified internet service as a public utility. The existing net neutrality rules prevent internet providers from slowing or blocking websites. In addition to that, internet service providers are also not able to allow websites to pay for “fast lanes” over other competitors. As a result, some of the major tech companies and leading internet providers in the country were divided over the net neutrality rules.

Internet providers wanted the Congress to step in to solve the issue and write permanent net neutrality laws. On the other hands, websites claimed that that the Obama era net neutrality laws are critical for preserving the open internet.

It is evident that the outcome of this debate will have a huge impact on the potential profits of the involved companies and even on the future of the internet economy. The heads of Charter Communications® and Netflix® are also asked to testify along with other members.

Several companies stated that they are currently reviewing the letter but they refused to share whether they will be testifying or not. The officials from Comcast Corporation® stated that they are welcoming the hearing and “believe the best way to stop the regulatory ping-pong on this important issue is for Congress to enact bipartisan legislation.”

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Net Neutrality Ground Rules

One of the Republican representatives and committee chairperson, Greg Walden said, “A strong consensus is forming across party lines and across industries that it’s time for Congress to call a halt on the back-and-forth and set clear net neutrality ground rules for the internet. The time has come to get everyone to the table and get this figured out.”

However, Democrats want Republicans to invite consumers and small business to the hearing as well, and not just CEOs of the “largest corporations in the world with a combined market capitalization of nearly $2.5 trillion,” said Communications and Technology Subcommittee Ranking member Mike Doyle and Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking member Frank Pallone, Jr.

26 Jul

Comcast® To Begin Its New ‘Internet Of Things’ Service In Detroit

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Internet Of Things Service

Comcast Corporation® has announced that it will commence its latest Internet of Things (IoT) service in Detroit in the coming months. Along with its best internet service, Comcast® intends to extend this new technology into 12 of the key markets in the country.

Known as machineQ, this service is mainly targeted for businesses and municipal organizations operating in the region as an efficient and cost effective means to collect, transmit, and analyze data obtained from internet-connected devices. Apart from Detroit, Comcast® intends to roll out its Internet of Things service in Denver, Atlanta, Boston, Indianapolis, Baltimore, Miami, Minneapolis, Pittsburgh, Seattle, Oakland, and Washington DC by 2018.

Comcast® has selected Detroit for deploying the service in view of the growing business sector in the region, huge market potential and existing communication infrastructure of the company. Alex Khorram, general manager of machineQ stated, “Detroit is one of our biggest networks. Before, (IoT) technology was prohibitive — cost too much, took too much power. Standardization is driving down cost and now that the technology is there, we can provide this network.”

Previously, Comcast® has commenced the research and development of the service as well as carried out trials in Chicago, Philadelphia, and San Francisco. The company used a low powered wireless IoT network via open radio frequencies for linking utilities such as parking meters, pipeline monitoring sensors and wireless devices. MachineQ is chiefly set up in Detroit’s central business district and will expand in the rest of the areas of the city by the first quarter of 2018.

Many internet providers have invested in developing and installing Internet of Things service across major parts of the country. This has been possible due to the advanced wireless internet connectivity and technology available in the cities. Comcast’s new IoT service will also benefit start-up companies in the region to develop innovations in the technology sector.

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Low Powered Wireless Iot Network

A startup company has tested the IoT network from Comcast® to identify and repair potholes in the roadways by deploying sensors to the vehicles. According to the company, “Using the service, organizations are empowered to use data taken from the physical world, learn from it, and make better-informed, data-based decisions to improve how they serve customers, tenants and citizens.”

The trial service will be made accessible to numerous businesses and organizations located in Detroit soon. During the trials, Comcast® intends to assess each of the markets for determining the availability of resources in the regions.

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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