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10 Jan

KTVN Channel 2 Blocked for AT&T U-Verse® Customers Following Negotiation Disputes

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KTVN Channel 2 Blocked

An ongoing negotiation relating to the agreement on extending the distribution has led to the KTVN Channel 2 being barred for AT&T U-Verse® TV subscribers based in Northern Nevada. AT&T® failed to come to an agreement in the negotiations regarding the extension of distribution and the amount the Telco is agreeing to pay KTVN for its content. Moreover, AT&T® denied the permission to offer the channel without the approval from its owner Sarkes Tarzian Inc.

Lawson Fox, who is the General Manager of KTVN said, “Negotiation has to do with the value of our programming for the system. So they pay us for the privilege of the content. We’ve done 10 of these in the last few months successfully. This is the one that isn’t complete. And the only one where we didn’t maintain carriage during the conversation.”

He did not stress on the price they require from AT&T® on behalf of offering their content. The fact is that the pricing has increased right from the previous contract. The negotiations are further stalled by AT&T’s reluctance to pay higher prices for obtaining the same content.

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Regional spokesperson of AT&T®, Steven Ramirez, said, “We want to get KTVN back into our Reno customers’ lineups as soon as possible, but by law, KTVN’s owner Sarkes Tarzian has exclusive control over whether that station remains available on U-verse or not. Sarkes Tarzian is seeking a significant increase in fees even though the same people can still watch its shows for free over-the-air on channel 2 and, often, at cbs.com or using the CBS app.”

However, KTVN is also stating that the price increase is also not that high. Fox also stresses that other TV and internet providers have already paid the new price and it is only AT&T® that is showing reluctance regarding paying the fees. AT&T® spokesperson Ramirez has also stated that Tarzian has disconnected the service based on contract disputes several times before.

Ramirez said, “Our goal is to offer customers more choice over the content they may care about most, delivered at a value they can consider justified. We want to resolve this matter quickly and reasonably, and appreciate our Reno customers’ patience while we attempt to do just that.” However, latest reports say that the negotiations are heading in a positive direction as AT&T® has finally accepted the offer made by KTVN to extend the distribution of the channel.

04 Jan

AT&T® Trying to Prevent Future Service Outages

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Prevent Future Service Outages

The executives from one of the best internet service providers in the country, AT&T® recently explained Humboldt County’s Board of Supervisors about the circumstances of the recent outages. In addition to that, the officials from the telecom company also talked about the efforts made by them to prevent service outages in the future.

Reports from several reliable sources indicate that AT&T® updated their progress on preventing the phone and internet service outages during the supervisors meeting that was held a few weeks earlier. The telecom company has been facing widespread criticism for experts and customers for being prone to such regional service outage.

The most recent AT&T® outage was a few months ago when fiber optic cables of the company were burnt in a wildfire. As a result, customers in those regions were not able to access the internet and phone service of AT&T® for approximately 48 hours.

The area director of external affairs at AT&T®, Rhunette Alums stated that the telecom company is trying to expand the “diversity” of broadband cables. She further added that the company is planning an extension of north-south lines from Eureka to Trinidad.

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The AT&T® official also said that the other work would “provide some redundancy and will reduce the opportunity for a cut that will take you totally off the air.” Alums also stated that the work would certainly bring “significant changes that will improve Internet experiences, accessibility, and survivability.”

She further said that customers and others often ask her why service outages “along Highway 36” affect AT&T® while the services from other leading TV and internet providers remain unaffected. “We need to have more equipment placed along Highway 36 that will allow the opportunity for that equipment to talk to each other, talk to our systems, so we can continue to isolate issues,” Alums said.

Reports have been indicating that the telecom company is offering much better service resiliency to subscribers who are ready to pay for it. When asked about it, Alums said, “It wasn’t predicated on who paid for it and who didn’t, it was where can we get the maximum amount of restored coverage for people as fast as we could.” It is pretty evident that the officials from AT&T® have put in a number of efforts to significantly reduce the chances of another service outage. Only future will tell how well their efforts fare.

27 Dec

Cox® Introduces its Latest Storytelling Platform, Converge

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Story-Telling Platform

Cox Communications® has rolled out its latest storytelling platform known as Converge. This platform is designed in such a way to allow the people to remain connected and informed with the things they like through the means of technology. The Converge platform has a new design that consists of stories divided into three major categories, which are Community, Entertainment, and Technology.

In Community, users can access stories that highlight the changes that Cox® is carrying out for the people living and work in its communities. Entertainment and Technology consist of various stories that inform and connect people regarding the latest shows, movies, sports, places, and names. It also provides stories that connect and inform the people regarding the latest technologies and important moments.

Gaston Vaneri, senior vice president of brands, Cox Communications®, “On Converge, you’ll find stories that humanize us and showcase how Cox helps to create the moments that matter. It’s also a great resource for stories about trending topics, entertainment, helpful tips and lifestyle advice from third-party influencers.” The development of this new story-telling platform is a progressive approach carried out by Cox® one of the major internet providers in the country.

It is mainly due to the results of recently conducted surveys that pointed out the importance and reliability of custom content over traditional content among the customers. A majority of the customers prefers custom content as it allows their favorite brands to engage with them and thereby provide guidance and value to the content available.

As a part of the rollout of Converge, Cox® is planning to collaborate with numerous companies like Common Sense Media, Music Choice, The Hallmark Channel, and many others for sharing and creating content. Currently, Cox® is collaborating with Crown Media Family to add more content in tune with the prevailing festive season and holidays.

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The content in the Converge platform is based on a library, which is developed, curated, and updated regularly by Cox®. The team behind the operation of the Converge platform is also closely following the various latest events and trends that are of importance to the audience.

Leigh Woisard, the Senior Vice President of Public Affairs at Cox Communications® said, “Our goal is to deliver an authentic, engaging experience with the Cox® brand. We are energized by a wealth of storytelling opportunities, and we are excited to offer compelling content that people will enjoy and share.”

Besides, Cox® is also planning to use Converge for addressing numerous societal issues, like the role played by the Telco in easing out digital divide, free digital literacy training, and the technology centers based on more than 100 boys and girls clubs in the country.

22 Dec

CenturyLink® Plans to Expand Broadband Service to Rural Missouri

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Expanding Broadband Service

The Federal law necessitates FCC to release an annual report which tells whether broadband “is being deployed to all Americans in a reasonable and timely fashion,” as per the Telecommunications Act of 1996. The Republican-led FCC lead by Tom Wheeler defined ‘reasonable’ as high-speed broadband in 2015. The stipulated speeds mandated then have been subject to improvements in speed but the basic intention remains to be the same. Many of the internet providers are expanding their network nationwide in order to clear the connectivity gap felt in broadband sector and CenturyLink® is one of them.

CenturyLink® is planning to expand their broadband network to Salem, and select areas of rural Missouri in the near future suggest reports received from their branch in Jefferson City. The expansion from CenturyLink® was announced earlier this year and is part of their commitment to FCC Connect America Fund. Federal Communications Commission recently repurposed ‘universal voice service’ funds to expand broadband service in rural Missouri, which still lack access to high-speed internet. It is an initiative from FCC taken in order to improve broadband service in underserved areas in the United States.

The Telco is also planning to expand their broadband network areas to more than 152,000 in Missouri alone by 2021 indicate reliable sources. The locations would include select areas of Missouri where customers are looking for a best internet service provider as of now.

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High-Speed Internet

CenturyLink® installed fiber optical cable across the communities in the state, which enabled the customers to choose select high-speed broadband plans. Now, the Telco is in the process of upgrading the network to cater more than 1200 residents and businesses residing in Salem, out of which many customers reside outskirts, suggest the reports.

The upgrades are yet to rollout completely, said a representative of CenturyLink® to reliable sources. This is courtesy many of the factors like accessibility for labor, the natives affected by lack of internet access and the guidelines, which should be followed as the rules of Federal Communications Commission.

“Determining the geographical boundaries of the expansion area are dependent on multiple variables,” as per the representative of CenturyLink®. “Engineers are working to develop plans that cover as much area as possible. As locations near completion, customers will receive a letter announcing broadband availability and other pertinent details.”

19 Dec

Comcast® and Charter® Give Response to Skeptics of Net Neutrality Deregulations

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Net Neutrality Deregulations

The Federal Communications Commission recently repealed net neutrality law on a 3-2 vote following a meeting this month. While the Republican Congressmen responded to the new net neutrality repeals in a reserved manner, both Comcast® and Charter® have come up with a response in the light of common interest. Both the cable companies asked legislators to reconsider the voting by giving statements on the deregulation of ‘net neutrality’ to reliable sources.

“It’s now time for all of us to take advantage of this moment in time and end the cycle of regulatory ping pong we’ve been trapped in for over a decade and put this issue to rest once and for all,” said David Cohen, the Senior Executive Vice President cum the Chief Division Officer of Comcast Corporation®.

“And there’s a simple way to do this—we really must have bipartisan congressional legislation to permanently preserve and solidify net neutrality protections for consumers and to provide ongoing certainty to ISPs and edge providers alike,” he added.

On the other hand, the representatives of Charter® said, “Such legislation would provide permanent regulatory assurance and create an environment that allows for more long-term planning that will help us continue to provide even better broadband across our country.”

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Usage-Based Billing

In 2015, FCC reclassified internet service providers as ‘common carriers’ under Obama Administration, and published the ‘net neutrality’ rule. The rule states that the internet providers should not give preferential treatment to a type of content over others, throttle down speeds or block websites and provide web content and accesses to applications irrespective of the source.

Following the repeal, Comcast® and Charter® say they won’t take advantage of the deregulations by violating the open internet rules.

“As I wrote yesterday, reiterating a consistent public commitment from Comcast, we will not block, throttle, or discriminate against lawful content on the Internet; we will be fully transparent with respect to our practices; and we have not entered into any paid prioritization arrangements, and we have no plans to do so,” David Cohen reaffirmed.

On the other hand, the representatives of Charter® said to the press that they do not “impose data caps or engage in usage-based billing, meaning our customers can engage with the content they want as much as they want.”

16 Dec

Cox’s Panoramic Wi-Fi Customers Exceed One Million

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Whole-Home Wi-Fi Offering

Cox Communications® has announced that its panoramic Wi-Fi product has covered more than one million customers. This surprising growth in customers comes after 14 months since this whole-home Wi-Fi offering was launched. Cox® one of the best internet providers launched the panoramic Wi-Fi service during the last fall in several areas such as Santa Barbara, San Diego, and Orange County. The service was extended to more markets in June that led to more customers in opting for it. As a result, Cox® managed to add about 182,000 new customers to the Panoramic Wi-Fi service during that period.

The Panoramic Wi-Fi service is available to the customers for a starting rate of $9.99 per month. It relies on a modem or router with a DOCSIS 3.0 24/8 combined with 24 dual band 802.11 ac Wi-Fi. This allows the customers to manage their Wi-Fi networks across their homes. The service also comes with a network management app for both iOS and Android mobile devices along with customized Wi-Fi installation. Moreover, Cox® also rents Wi-Fi extenders using the MoCA 2.0 technology to the customers for $4 per month.

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High-Speeds Internet Access

According to Cox®, the statistics of users opting for this whole-home Wi-Fi offering shows enormous promise. It states that the Panoramic Wi-Fi service is opted by about 66 percent of the customers using the new high-speed internet plans. Cox® is following the trends chosen by other internet providers in providing premium in-home Wi-Fi with high-speeds along with the option to manage this Wi-Fi networks across the homes.

The connect app is also increased usage with about 120,000 interactions recorded for each month. It has several features such as My Wi-Fi that enable the users to see the primary and guest networks. Besides, it allows the users to change the wireless settings, change the name of connected devices, find out the Wi-Fi signal strength, and reboot the modem.

Philip Nutsugah, Senior Vice President of product development and management at Cox Communications® said, “While designing and developing Panoramic Wi-Fi, we listened to our customers and applied that feedback to deliver a premium user experience. Our customers want an effortless and predictable Wi-Fi experience that delivers the speed and reliability they expect. They want to have confidence that they are equipped with tools to optimize and manage their home Wi-Fi.”

06 Dec

Charter® Enters Into the DOCSIS 3.1 Era

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Spectrum Internet Gig

One of the leading internet providers in the United States, Charter Communications® has finally stepped into the DOCSIS 3.1 era by launching a 1 Gbps (downstream) residential broadband internet service in Oahu. The latest service offered by Charter®, which is popularly known as Spectrum Internet Gig is certainly one of the best internet deals available to customers.

The Spectrum Internet Gig service from the telecom giant is entirely free of contracts and data caps. In addition, this new service, which is paired with an upstream that ensures a minimum internet speed of 35 Mbps is available to new customers for just $104.99 a month. However, existing Charter subscribers can pay an amount $114.99 per month when they are bundling this new service with Charter’s TV service.

On the other hand, customers who do not wish to bundle these services can get access to the new service for $124.99 a month. It is significant to note that the Spectrum Internet Gig service of Charter Communications® comes with a 30-day money back guarantee and a modem with integrated Wi-Fi feature. Moreover, the telecom company has approximately doubled the minimum download speed from 100 Mbps to 200 Mbps in Oahu. Charter® customers in Oahu who are currently under the minimum speed tier will be able to enjoy a constant 10 Mbps upload speed.

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Integrated Wi-Fi Feature

The VP of policy communications at Charter®, Tamara Smith said, “Customers today enjoy a flagship broadband speed that is 20 times faster than it was eight years ago, while the price per Mbps for customers has decreased 93%.” She added that the investment made by Charter® in advanced compression technologies and efficient bandwidth management has allowed the telecom company to boost their broadband internet speeds.

In a statement, the CEO and President of Charter Communications®, Tom Rutledge said, “Charter’s state-of-the-art, fiber-rich network is superior in its ability to deliver fast and reliable internet to millions of consumers across the country. As technology continues to evolve, the products and services of tomorrow will increasingly rely on faster broadband connections. Charter’s world-class network is best-positioned to deliver the bandwidth and capacity needed to meet these growing demands.” Reports from several reliable sources claim that Charter® will soon launch their Spectrum Internet Gig service to other markets too.

21 Nov

AT&T® Remains Confident About the Time Warner® Merger

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AT&T-Time Warner Merger 

One of the leading internet providers in the country, AT&T® is still holding discussions with the US Department of Justice about their planned $85.4 billion acquisition of Time Warner®. John Stephens, who is the CFO of the telecom giant, recently claimed that he is still confident that AT&T® will seal the deal soon.

In addition to that, the officials from the telecom company also disclosed that their online streaming service, DirecTV Now® recently hit the 900,000 subscriber mark. DirecTV Now® was launched by AT&T® back in November 2016 and these numbers indicate that the streaming service has already become a big success.

The officials from AT&T® said, “About half of these subscribers are cord-cutters or cord-nevers, with about 10 percent of those coming from AT&T’s DirecTV® and U-Verse® services. The other half has migrated from other traditional TV providers.”

In addition to that, Stephens also talked about their acquisition of Time Warner® and said, “We are in discussions with the DOJ.” However, he refused to share information regarding the recent discussions of AT&T® with the Department of Justice. Yet, he stated that the timing of the close of Time Warner® merger remains uncertain currently.

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Online Streaming Service

Stephens said, “We continue to believe that the transaction will close. If you look at the antitrust history, the facts, law, the economics, [that leads to] the conclusion that we will be able to close.”

Reports from several sources had earlier claimed that AT&T® would be selling CNN, DirecTV®, or even the entire Turner cable networks unit of Time Warner® to close the merger between the two parties. Randall Stephenson, who is the CEO and Chairman of AT&T® responded to these false reports and said, “Irrespective of what you read yesterday, I have never been told that the price of getting the deal done is CNN. Period. And, likewise, I have never offered to sell CNN.”

The AT&T CEO also said that, “from an antitrust perspective, it’s illogical for me to think this deal doesn’t get approved.” It is reported that the US Department of Justice would most probably file a lawsuit in a few days to block the merger between the companies. Yet if the estimated deal is completed, the entertainment executive of AT&T®, John Stankey will most likely oversee Time Warner®, which means that he will be able to control HBO, CNN, and more networks.

17 Nov

The Debate over Net Neutrality Continues in the Broadband Segment

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Debate On Net Neutrality

Some of the fastest internet providers in the US are vying to ensure that once FCC uses the veto power to deregulate the broadband segment, the states won’t be able to override the FCC regulations on broadband. In fact, Comcast® and Verizon® have queried the Telco regulators to state that Federal Communications Commission’s new stand on Net Neutrality would preempt the state and regional regulations which may be different.

The FCC should “include a clear, affirmative ruling that expressly confirms the primacy of federal law with respect to [broadband] as an interstate information service,” said Comcast® in a recent regulatory filing with the Commission. Verizon® also vied for the preemption, citing the moves by around 30 states, including Washington DC, to fall back to a congressional measure revoking the FCC’s Net Neutrality in a white paper.

At stake is privacy protection for the consumers, a 2015 ruling that prevents the internet providers from blocking, throttling internet speeds, or giving priority to certain websites at the expense of other websites. When the ruling on Net Neutrality came then, many groups supported net neutrality as important for the consumers while the broadband companies opposed the regulations imposed on them.

John Bergmayer, who is a senior counsel at Public Knowledge, said that while the commission has certain veto power, “the FCC has no power to pre-empt state consumer- protection laws. There are questions about what counts as ‘consumer protection’ that would have to be answered.”

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State Consumer- Protection Laws

In fact, the reason for the protest is the Commission’s decision to categorize them as “common carriers”, the same as the one applicable to the cellular providers. In fact, under Donald Trump’s Republican governance, the FCC now plans to reclassify broadband companies under “information services”.

The FCC would be putting forth a vote on renewals with regards to Net Neutrality in the next month. Consequently, the broadband segment is skeptic fearing that if the Commission succeeds in deregulating broadband segment, the states may take steps that countermand their decision.

“Allowing every state and locality to chart its own course for regulating broadband is a recipe for disaster,” Verizon® said. “It would impose localized and likely inconsistent burdens on an inherently interstate service.”

16 Nov

Netflix is Now Available on Cox® Contour

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Popular TV Shows

One of the most popular online streaming services, Netflix and Cox Communications® jointly issued an official statement a few days ago. In the statement, both the parties confirmed that Netflix would now be available on Cox® Contour all over the nation. This means that customers who are currently under the Contour video service plan of Cox® will be easily able to access Netflix shows and movies with ease.

In addition to that, reports from several reliable sources also indicate that customers of Cox Communications® who currently have a Netflix subscription will be able to not only access the contents of Netflix, instead they could also enjoy live TV, On Demand content, and DVR feature of Cox®, all within the Cox® Contour TV guide.

The Southwest Region General Manager and Senior Vice President of Cox Communications®, John Wolfe said, “Cox® has supported Netflix subscribers for years with our high-speed internet service, and now we’re improving the experience by adding the Netflix service to the Contour TV guide. Customers want to easily access the content they care about –anytime, anywhere; we’ll continue to look for more ways to improve their television viewing experience.”

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Cox® Contour Platform

Full integration throughout the Cox® Contour platform to customers means that watching and finding past and current episodes of popular TV shows and watching blockbuster movies is a lot more easier than ever. Customers can use their Contour remote and access the contents of Netflix through these three following ways.

  • Use the Contour voice remote to search for your favorite movies and TV shows.
  • Go to the Contour Apps category, and then simply say Netflix into the voice remote or just select the Netflix icon on the screen to open up the Netflix app on the TV screen.
  • Explore the Cox® On Demand menu to discover select Netflix titles.

Even though Netflix has been fully integrated with Cox® Contour, subscribers will still need to subscribe to Netflix to access the contents of the both the sources. The vice president of business development, Netflix, Paul Perryman said, “Cox® Contour customers can now watch TV series, movies, comedy specials, and documentaries from Netflix as easily as they watch live TV. Through Contour’s voice remote, they can access all of their favorite Netflix or live TV shows all in one place, without juggling remotes or cords.”

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