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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The Federal Communications Commission recently repealed net neutrality law on a 3-2 vote following a meeting this month.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.”

13 Nov

AT&T® Will not Sell any Assets to Close the Time Warner® Merger

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AT&T® -Time Warner® Merger

Randall Stephenson, the CEO of one of the best internet service providers in the country, AT&T® recently released an official statement, in which he confirmed that the telecom company would sell neither CNN nor its key assets to satisfy the demand of the Justice Department to close $85 billion their merger with Time Warner®.

AT&T® and the Justice Department are currently engaged in a war of words on whether the Trump Administration would approve the merger or not. The Trump Administration has been reviewing merger between both the parties for about a year now.

As a result, Stephenson recently stated that if there is zero progress on the ongoing negations, then the telecom giant would most likely seek the help of the court to protect their planned merger and to prevent the chances of any divestiture. In addition to that, Stephenson also expressed his frustrations over false reports that the telecom giant might be selling CNN.

He said, “I have never been told that the price of getting the deal done was selling CNN, period. And likewise, I have never offered to sell CNN.” A Justice Department source had insisted that AT&T® promised to trade CNN as part of the negations over the Time Warner® merger.

The sources also claimed that the Justice Department had informed AT&T® that they need to sell one of their important assets such as DirecTV® or Turner Broadcasting that includes CNN in order to get approved for the acquisition of Time Warner®.

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Stephenson responded to these reports and he said that the telecom company should not be expected “to sell something larger.” He added, “It’s why you did the deal, it’s where the synergies come from. Selling the key franchises makes no sense, and those are the kind of things we’d move to litigation.”

The managing director of telecommunications policy at Cowen & Co, Paul Gallant said, “I expect the DOJ is concerned that AT&T® would abuse its new power with Time Warner® content and unfairly leverage Time Warner® content against its distributor rivals.”

However, a senior litigation analyst for Bloomberg Intelligence, Jennifer Rie commented that the Justice Department blocking the deal seems surprising. “From what we’re hearing, they’re at a stalemate,” she said. “The DOJ is staunchly sticking to structural remedies, and AT&T is staunchly against selling assets.”

10 Nov

Cox® Customers in James City County are not Satisfied with the Internet Speed

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Unsatisfied Internet Speed

James City County resident William Horwatt Jr. who is currently subscribed to the internet service of Cox Communications® recently claimed that the internet provider is not offering adequate speed. The same customer has earlier filed a complaint against Cox® by stating that he is paying 69.99 dollars per month for a high-speed internet connection but he isn’t getting it.

In the complaint, Horwatt Jr. said, “It never gets to that speed. They cannot consistently deliver any type of Internet connection speed but they charge for a speed that they cannot deliver.” Since early 2015, customers had registered approximately 43 complaints against Cox’s services. However, Cox®, who is one of the fastest internet providers in the country, responded to the issue by stating that their faster internet service is available to customers in the county at a premium price. The website of the county recommends Cox® subscribers to directly get in touch with Cox® for the service related issues.

The officials from James City County said that internet services are critical to both residents and business. They also added that despite all these complaints, Cox® has offered reliable service to the customers in the area. The County Administrator Bryan Hill added, “Cox® is our provider and we have made attempts to solicit others to come to James City County. Our growth and development do not provide a good business model for companies to invest in the needed infrastructure to make a profit.”

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High-Speed Internet Connection

A spokeswoman for Cox Communications®, Jessica Dawley said that the telecom company is planning to invest an amount of 10 billion dollars to improve their offerings. She also added that this new move would allow Cox® to boost the speed of their internet service to customers in the county and other areas of the country.

“We have recently expanded our internet service in your area to include our G1GABLAST service, meaning customers in Williamsburg and James City County can now enjoy one Gigabit per second download speeds,” Dawley said.

Reports from several reliable sources indicate that the premium service of Cox Communications® currently offers download speeds of 125 Megabytes per second. However, the downfall is that customers will have to pay an amount of $119.99 a month to subscribe to the premium service.

01 Nov

Cox® Contour Hits 1-Million Subscriber Mark

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Contour Platform Latest Version

One of the fastest internet providers in the country, Cox Communications® recently announced that they have more than 1 million video subscribers on the latest version of their “Contour” platform. The new “Contour” platform is underpinned by the cloud-based X1 platform of Comcast Corporation®.

Reports from several reliable sources indicate that Cox Communications® currently has over 4 million video subscribers and the numbers are expected to grow in the coming years. An interesting thing to do is that approximately half of the pay-TV base of the leading TV service provider is on their new offering.

The new offering from Cox® offers a number of exciting new features to their video subscribers such a voice control remote and cloud-powered guide. In addition to that, customers who have subscribed to this service will also be able to enjoy the luxury of integrating with apps for mobile devices.

The officials from Cox® stated that the rollout of the new service was actually their fastest-ever video product launch and added that they recently celebrated the Contour milestone by hanging a banner at their headquarters. In addition that, the 1 millionth customer who signs up for the new offering from Cox Communications® was also rewarded with a free year of internet and video service plus an all-expenses-paid free trip to the Disneyland in California.

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Voice Control Remote

The officials from Cox® also shed light on some other stats related to their Contour TV service and stated that about 75 percent of their subscribers use voice remote weekly. They also added that the Contour app, which has been downloaded by over 1 million users currently, offers customers access to over 85 linear channels outside their home.

Cox® Contour also provides over 70,000 VOD choices to customers. Reports indicate that about 80 percent of Contour customers use VOD monthly. Officials from Cox® also announced that the Net Promotor Scores for the latest service are 200% higher than their legacy offering.

The EVP and chief product and technology officer at Cox®, Kevin Hart said, “The syndication with Comcast® is going quite well. The teams are working well together. We just hit 1 million customers on our Contour 2 platform, so that’s a big milestone for us. The NPS is up, customer satisfaction is up, and call-in rates and truck-roll rates are down below our expectations.”

30 Oct

Comcast® Reports Increase in Data Service Share from DOCSIS 3.1 and Fiber Networks

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Data Service Share

Comcast® has stated that its recent rollouts of DOCSIS 3.1 and fiber networks to businesses will help them to obtain a significant portion of the ever-competing data market. Some of the major internet providers in the country currently dominate the data sector. Michael Cavanagh, CFO of Comcast® said, “The significant majority of [Comcast’s] business services revenue is centered on connectivity, and we have even more runway to increase share in our data product as we move to gigabit speeds throughout our footprint with the deployment of DOCSIS 3.1 and as we continue to push fiber deeper in our network.”

The CFO of Comcast® stated this to the investors while evaluating the third quarter earnings. It highlights that the broadband and fiber-based services such as Ethernet constitutes a major portion of the business revenues generated by the Telco. One of its key network service, the Comcast® Business Internet 1 Gbps is currently available in many the Mid-Atlantic, Northeastern, and Central regions of the country. The Telco announced that it would be available to the other parts of the country by the end of this year.

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Deployment Of DOCSIS 3.1

Comcast® is continuing with the expansion of its fiber network into more locations across the country. Besides its increasing network connectivity option, Comcast® has continued in extending its business services with the introduction of services such as SD-WAN and managed Wi-Fi. Previously, it has introduced its SD-WAN product alongside the 1 Gbps DOCSIS 3.1 broadband service intended for businesses. Focused on the Comcast® Business ActiveCore SDN platform, this SD-WAN service indicates the increasing efforts by the Telco into virtualization of its network.

Cavanagh said, “We continue to augment growth through business applications and services right on top of our core connectivity business. These include our voice, video surveillance and advanced Wi-Fi products, and additionally, as we grow into the midsized business and enterprise segments, our recently launched SD-WAN product and our managed enterprise solutions business will help unlock new opportunities to serve branch offices of larger multisite businesses.”

ActiveCore uses software to deliver the services and network changes rather than using single managed and customized hardware. The ActiveCore SDN platform has several features such as the embedded orchestration capability that can be used to deliver as well as manage multiple virtualized network functions. Meanwhile, Comcast® has attained rapid increase in its revenue in the third quarter earnings, with around 12.6 percent growth.

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