Tag Archives: hotspot

Comcast’s Xfinity Mobile announces new restrictions on video quality and hotspot speeds

Xfinity Mobile is Comcast’s MVNO that’s available exclusively to the company’s home internet customers and runs on the Verizon network. In an email to customers, Comcast said that video quality will soon be restricted to 480p. – Chris Welch, The Verge https://ift.tt/2IMsp77

France won’t block public Wi-Fi or ban Tor, PM says

Unlike the proposal to ban Tor, the idea of closing down public Wi-Fi networks in a state of emergency has some rationale. Police believe it’s easier to track down criminals and terrorists if they use data connections other than shared hotspots on the streets. France’s current state of emergency, which was enacted after the recent attacks in Paris, will persist until at least February 26, 2016. The problem is that free Wi-Fi also allows civilians to find vital information during an emergency, such as where the nearest shelter is, or if any transportation is running. This may outweigh the perceived benefits of banning the hotspots, although both proposals are extremely hard to enforce regardless. – Andrii Degeler, Ars Technica UK

Verizon kills affordable WiFi program for schools in Alabama

photo: Shutterstock, Engadget

As reported by WHNT-TV, the city’s education system recently sent a letter to customers notifying them of the network’s decision. “We regret to inform you that your wireless service will terminate effective November 30, 2015,” read the Huntsville school district’s letter. “This termination of service and any resulting inconvenience has resulted from the service provider, Verizon Wireless.” With OmniLynx, Huntsville residents would pay roughly $48 per month for unlimited data, powered by a free Verizon LTE hotspot which came included with the contract-free plan. – Egar Alvarez, Engadget

Will 5G Kill Free WiFi?

By 2020, [Aicha Evans,Intel] declared, some 50 billion “things” will become connected: self-driving cars, traffic lights, smart-city sensor networks, personal drones, appliances, etc. “If it computes, it must connect,” she said. “Otherwise it might as well be a brick.” […] So, with networks all smeared together into one great big not-free network, what happens to the networks that are currently free? The question answers itself. Freeness will be consumed along with the networks themselves. “5G-for-all presents the opportunity to kill free WiFi and instead charge users for every data packet they send or receive, no matter which of the integrated communications technologies is used,” [R. Colin Johnson,EE Times] argues. – Michael Byrne, MOTHERBOARD

Google, Wireless Industry Not Down With Marriott’s Wi-Fi Blocking Plan

In October, Marriott Hotels & Resorts settled an FCC complaint about the practice for $600,000 but argued that it hadn’t broken the law and was using technology to protect guests from “rogue wireless hotspots that can cause degraded service, insidious cyber attacks and identity theft.” […] Opponents of the proposal basically argued in filings late Monday that the hotel industry is just trying to keep guests and exhibitors dependent on pricy hotel wireless networks. They suggested hotels have other options for protecting Wi-Fi networks than jamming personal hotspots.

“Allowing hotels or other property owners deliberately to block third parties’ access to Wi-Fi signals would undermine the public interest benefits of unlicensed use,” Google said in a filing opposing the hotel association’s request. Microsoft also asked the agency to kill the request. – Amy Schatz, Re/code

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Comcast Customers Sue Cable Giant For Making Their Home Routers Into Wifi Hotspots

Of course Comcast customers can connect to Comcast wifi at home. That’s the point. But Comcast wants Comcast customers to be able to connect to Comcast wifi no matter where they are. To that end, they’re building a massive nationwide network of hotspots for their Xfinity customers… by using their other Xfinity customers as a source. The service has been controversial since Comcast first announced it, and now that controversy has turned into legal trouble. […] In response, two Californians have filed a class-action suit in San Francisco claiming that by creating this network, Comcast is “exploiting them for profit.” Even more so than Comcast’s standard business model of exploiting customers for profits. – Kate Cox, Consumerist.com
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Thanks Gov: free WiFi to be installed in 1,000 public places across the UK

If you’re anything like us, free WiFi is essential to your enjoyment of basically every situation. Luckily, providers like The Cloud, O2 and BT, as well as independent hotspots, have you covered most of the time. Plenty of dead zones still exist, though, but the government is aiming to patch a few of these by installing 1,000 hotspots in public buildings across the UK by March 2015. – Jamie Rigg,Engadget
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FCC starts the process for making ‘5G’ gigabit mobile data a reality

[T]he Federal Communications Commission has begun the process to push into 5G for mobile data. The government’s communications council voted unanimously to start looking into accessing the higher-than-24GHz frequency spectrum that was previously thought to be, as Reuters notes, unusable by mobile networks. […] However, these waves only work over short distances for now and require line of sight for their point-to-point microwave connections. And that, my friends, is what the FCC is hoping to fix in the interim. What the vote means is that the groundwork is being laid, and research to make sure the tech is actually feasible now has the green light. – Timothy J. Seppala,Engadget 
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Wi-Fi hotspot speeds are still faster than 4G in the U.S., but that could soon change

While the typical smartphone user connects to a free Wi-Fi hotspot at 8.77 Mbps, he or she sees only 6.52 Mbps on an LTE link and just 4.31 Mbps on an HSPA+ link, according to OpenSignal’s data, […] That’s probably not a big shock to many of you. More bandwidth is often one of the main reasons we switch from LTE to Wi-Fi when it’s available, but the U.S. is actually an exception among countries with developed 4G infrastructures. In places like Sweden, Australia, Korea, Japan and the U.K., LTE connections routinely outpace public Wi-Fi networks. – Kevin Fitchard,Gigaom