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Last week reports emerged
that ESPN has at least been in talks to take AT&T up on their idea of cap-exempt content contracts. In short, AT&T has been pitching content companies on the idea of paying AT&T a toll that would allow users of their specific content to bypass user caps. While AT&T has been promoting this idea as consumer friendly, it's really just a new twist on AT&T's long-standing efforts to force content companies to subsidize carrier network builds. You know, the same efforts that sparked a raging, nearly-decade long net neutrality debate starting in 2005
One, any fees charged content companies would simply be passed on to you in one way or another. Two, AT&T erecting arbitrary caps (selected based on profit potential, not network necessity), then charging companies to bypass them puts AT&T smack in the middle of what previously was a healthy content ecosystem. AT&T would be allowed to pick content winners and losers based on who can pay them a toll, a practice that could harm smaller companies (like say, a smaller ESPN competitor).
Anyone who has been watching AT&T's behavior for the last decade shouldn't want them in any position of picking content winners and losers in an otherwise healthy wireless content market.
The Justice Department is under fire for obtaining two months of telephone records for twenty different lines used by reporters and editors for The Associated Press. Said data included phone numbers, names, calls made, and potentially call duration. story continues..
Cablevision's quarterly earnings
this week indicated that the company posted a net loss of $16.1 million for the quarter, while also seeing a drop in video revenues and a quarterly loss of about 4,700 customers. The company did add 23,000 broadband and 23,000 Internet voice subscribers on the quarter, increasing those customer totals to 2.8 million and 2.3 million, respectively. Cablevision insists that a large part of their problems relate to continued Sandy recovery, and that they still haven't been able to contact many of the customers hit hardest by the storm last fall. Cablevision's continued struggles come after a stretch of high profile executive departures from the company
, which have also been accompanied by renewed rumors of a possible sale
As I've been discussing
, law enforcement and intelligence agencies are making a strong new push to mandate backdoors in e-mail, cloud storage services, social networking websites and other encrypted services to make real-time wiretapping easier. As part of this effort to overhaul CALEA, the DOJ has even gone so far as to propose that ISPs be fined for failure to comply
Things are going from bad to worse for copyright troll Prenda Law, who tried to make a revenue stream out of threatening copyrighted porn downloaders to net cash settlements. The firm ran afoul of U.S.
CenturyLink users report that the company is suffering what appears to be a nationwide broadband outage across a significant portion of the company's 38 state footprint. Users in our forums
in locations ranging from Olathe, Kansas to Fort Hood Texas say they're unable to get any broadband connectivity whatsoever, and that the company's support lines have been busy for the last few hours.
Windstream users say that they've spent much of today unable to use Windstream phone service. A statement
posted to our forums by the company insists the outage only impacts 1-800 numbers, though users say that the outage impacts all long distance service and some local calls.
According to Prolexic, a company that sells DDoS protection, the average DDoS attack strength has jumped 718% in a very short period of time. According to the company's latest annual attack report
, the average DDoS attack went from 5.9Gbps to 48.25Gbps in just one quarter. Ten percent of all attacks clocked in at 60Gbps, and the biggest attack Prolexic saw was 130 Gbps. The company believes that last month's claimed attack of 300 Gbps was over-inflated nonsense
, even if attack size and scope is surging. Why the soaring potency? Prolexic blames two things: cheaper botnets for hire and open and misconfigured DNS resolvers
The Canadian wireless market very briefly showed signs of competitive life over the last few years as smaller upstarts like Wind Mobile appeared, despite the very best efforts of incumbent companies
to prevent that from ever happening. A few years on however, and many of these smaller operators are preparing to sell themselves off -- to the same large, anti-competitive incumbents they were supposed to help keep in check. Telus appears poised to buy Mobilcity
, Public Mobile has hired investment bankers to find a buyer
, and rumblings of Wind being sold (potentially to Rogers, barring regulatory objection) have been stumbling around since January
Every so often we see a carrier get the bright idea to use modern network technology to inject their ads into website content -- and once publicized they become very short-lived affairs. You might recall that Mediacom got busted for this back in 2011
AT&T West employees in California and Nevada are currently reporting to work, but have threatened to strike if they can't strike a new deal with AT&T. According to Southern California Public Radio
, the 18,000 workers and CWA members rejected a new contract proposal from AT&T last week over wages and benefits. As is usually the case, AT&T says they have a "contingency workforce of well-trained managers and vendors" to handle the workload disruption if a strike happens, though a strike will of course mean major delays in DSL and U-Verse installs and repairs.
A Berkeley city councilman has proposed a tax on e-mail and each bit as a possible way to help shore up the United States Postal Service's dwindling funds. "There should be something like a bit tax," insisted District 8 Berkeley Supervisor Gordon Wozniak
this week. "I mean a bit tax could be a cent per-gigabit and they would still make, probably, billions of dollars a year. And there should be, also, a very tiny tax on email, he said.
Updated. Users who have shelled out $60 (or more) for EA's new version of SimCity have found themselves unable to play even the single-player game because it requires a constantly-connected broadband line to function. story continues..
Cablevision's latest quarterly earnings
were released yesterday, with the company taking a bit of a beating related to repairs from hurricane Sandy. According to Cablevision, 60% of the company's New York area customers had services disrupted, and the carrier had to repair more than 450 miles of damaged cable at more than 16,000 locations. Thanks partially to the storm and destroyed homes, Cablevision lost 50,000 TV subscribers on the quarter, on top of losing 5,000 broadband customers and 10,000 voice customers. That's the first time Cablevision has posted a quarterly net loss for broadband subscribers in the company's history.
A fiber digging crew clipped a gas line in Kansas City resulting in at least one death and fifteen injuries as the resulting explosion destroyed a restaurant and part of a shopping complex. ABC News
notes that the resulting explosion created a massive fireball seen for miles, and that more than 100 firefighters spent the majority of the evening battling the blaze. According to USAToday
, the gas main was clipped by Heartland Midwest, which had been subcontracted to extend a fiber-optic line for Time Warner Cable. While fiber digs can also be highly complicated due to poor buried line records, the local utility claims the line had been clearly marked. The deceased is believed to be 46-year-old restaurant employee Megan Cramer.
A small bug in a line of Facebook code temporarily rendered a huge swath of websites, including CNN, Gawker, The Washington Post, and The Huffington Post -- inaccessible. Users trying to access those sites were redirected to a borked Facebook page
instead of the requested content. In typical spokesperson fashion, a statement issued to the press by Facebook significantly underplayed the scope of a problem. "For a short period of time, there was a bug that redirected people logging in with Facebook from third-party sites to Facebook.com. The issue was quickly resolved, and Login with Facebook is now working as usual."
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