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Verizon today announced that they're increasing the usage allotments on the company's prepaid wireless offerings. According to the Verizon statement
, Verizon's $60 prepaid plan will offer users unlimited voice, texting and 2 GB of data per month -- up from the previous cap of 500 MB per month. Verizon's $70 plan will now provide users with unlimited voice, texting and 4 GB of data per month -- up from the previous cap or 2 GB per month. As noted previously, these plans are for EVDO connectivity, not LTE. According to Verizon Wireless this new pricing is available to existing customers now, and to new customers starting on June 6.
As I've been discussing a lot lately
(because it's the most important issue facing the broadband sector right now), both AT&T and Verizon are in the process of gutting regulations that require they continue offering copper landlines -- and by proxy DSL -- to tens of millions of Americans. Both companies insist that they're simply interested in "modernizing regulations" and ushering us into an "all IP age." In reality, both companies simply want to exit the fixed-line market in areas they're unwilling to upgrade.
Earlier this month John McCain put forth a new bill
that would tie a la carte to the compulsory license, and eliminate the sports blackout rule. Most interesting however is a provision that would require the FCC to auction the spectrum of a broadcaster who tried to move its must-have programming to cable.
A few weeks back, in response to Google Fiber, AT&T announced a plan for fiber to the press release in Austin
. That is, the company issued a very weaselly-worded statement claiming they were "prepared to build" an "advanced fiber optic infrastructure" technically capable of 1 Gbps if
they saw the precise perks they wanted from regional regulators.
The FCC this week announced that they're targeting 500 MHz of additional airwaves
that could be opened up to help improve in-flight broadband services. Currently, most in-flight broadband either rely on congested satellite broadband bandwidth, or skyward-pointed ground to air EVDO antenna arrays.
As had been predicted for some time, Google this week announced
their new subscription a la carte video "channels." Under the new pilot program, users can pay anywhere from $1 to $6 a month for individual channels, providing many of these content creators an additional revenue stream to (presumably) fund raising the bar on some of YouTube's inexplicably popular dreck
So far there's about 53 channels for users to choose from, all viewable here
A federal judge this week refused to grant class action status to a Comcast customer complaining that Comcast failed to inform him about the fact the company charges a $7 modem rental fee (unless users buy a modem). Most of the complaints about the fee were dismissed back in January
, the Judge insisting that the plaintiff wasn't specific enough about which markets saw misleading Comcast marketing in relation to the fee.
Since around 2004
I've talked about the significant amount of fraud involved in the government's IP Relay service, which is intended to help the hearing impaired communicate with phone users via the Internet with the help of paid transcription workers (I remember talking with my grandfather over TRS versions of the service as a child). Unfortunately, for the better part of a decade the service has been abused by scammers and other assorted technoscumbags, with carriers doing nothing about it because they're paid by the FCC (aka you) about $1.50 per minute to carry this traffic.
The Washington Post
this week offered up a conversation with Time Warner Cable CEO Glenn Britt, who most of you will recall tried to shove metered broadband down customer throats
. In the interview Britt offers up some admiration for what Aereo is trying to do, insisting that his company might
consider offering something similar should Aereo be victorious in their battle against broadcasters. Specifically, he says they could "conceivably use similar technology," which isn't exactly a plan.
Britt places all of the blame for soaring TV rates on the backs of the broadcast industry, insisting he'd be more than interested in a little more flexibility with programming bundles.
According to Fierce Wireless
, AT&T is preparing to take the wraps off a new prepaid brand they hope will be able to fend off the growing number of prepaid wireless upstarts in the market. Sources tell the website AT&T's new prepaid brand will be dubbed "All in One," and that users will have the option of three flavors. Feature phone users will pay $35 for unlimited text, voice and an as-yet-unspecified amount of data. Smartphone users can pay $50 for unlimited voice, text and 2 GB of HSPA data, or $70 for unlimited voice, text and 5 GB of HSPA data. AT&T is currently testing the service in Florida and Texas this month, and will launch nationwide on June 15.
CenturyLink has announced plans to offer a small fiber to the home pilot providing speeds of 1 Gbps. While Google Fiber's expansion hits competitively-challenged AT&T and Time Warner Cable hard in a few markets, their recent announcement of expansion into Provo, Utah
hits smaller, regional incumbent CenturyLink even harder.
Licensing battles have slowly started fracturing the broadband video landscape, making it so if you want a specific
program, you need to sign up for a specific
service. If you want to watch Disney films, you need to use Netflix
Recently broadcasters began whining about how they are going to shut down over the air broadcasts and move those channels to paid cable
if they lost their legal case against streaming OTA provider Aereo. That's of course probably illegal and impossible, but the claims are being made to get the attention of Congress in the hopes they'll legislate away a new, disruptive company.
Germany's incumbent broadband provider Deutsche Telekom is taking immense heat this week for the announcement that they'll not only be capping and throttling its broadband subscribers, but that the company's own video content will not be hindered by the cap. The company announced
on Monday announced that they'll be imposing caps as low a 75 GB per month on users starting May 1, and if exceeded, users will find themselves throttled back to a paltry 384 kbps unless they pony up an unspecified fee for additional bandwidth.
Bright House networks tells users in our forums
the company is preparing to offer a new, faster 90 Mbps tier in portions of Florida. The new "Lightning 90" tier will soon be available in portions of Tampa and Central Florida, and users in those markets can head here
to sign up for more details. The tier offers users 90 Mbps downstream and 10 Mbps upstream for $15 more if you're already signed up for the company's Lightning 60 tier. "Turbo customers can add Lightning 90 for as little as $30 more per month, plus tax and equipment," says the company. Base prices for those standard tiers vary on region, promotion and bundle, and are borderline impossible to find on the company website
Upstart MVNO FreedomPop
today announced that the company is expanding its free-based business model further by running it over Sprint's 3G network. The company's efforts had previously been hamstrung by the fact their service was only available via Clearwire's network.
While we all lust over 1 Gbps connections most of us can't get, Sony-run Japanese ISP So-net Entertainment this week pushed the residential needle to 2 Gbps in Japan
. The speedy service is named "Nuro," and will cost 4,980 yen ($51) per month, providing Japanese customers with 2 Gbps downstream and 1 Gbps upstream. The service requires users sign a two-year contract and pay a 52,500 yen ($539) installation fee -- which the company says they're waiving if users order the service online. The Nuro service is being offered primarily to smaller apartment complexes in Chiba, Gunma, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Tokyo, Kanagawa and Saitama.
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Recent news contributorsKarl Bode , telcodad