Tag Archives: telecommunication

AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile All Register to Bid in Upcoming Wireless Spectrum Auction

It comes about as TV broadcasters have more airwaves than they need thanks to the move to digital TV, while those that offer (or want to offer) cell service badly need more space to serve all the demand for Netflix, YouTube and other video content. Some companies, such as Google and Sprint, had already said that they did not plan to bid. Others, including T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon and Comcast, had signaled they would participate. – Ina Fried, Re/code

You can now sign up for Google’s Project Fi cell service without an invite

photo: TechCrunch

With Project Fi, which runs on the networks of T-Mobile and Sprint — depending on which one offers better receptions in a given area — customers pay a base fee of $20 per month and then an addition $10 per GB of data. If you overpay for your data in a given month, the service simply refunds you the difference. Unlimited domestic calls and texts, WiFi tethering, (3G) data coverage in 120+ countries, as well as international texts are also included in the plan. […] The biggest drawback, though, is that Fi is only supported on Google’s own Nexus phones (the 6P, 5X and Nexus 6). There have been reports that it also works with a few other unlocked phones, but your mileage may vary (and you won’t be able to switch between networks). – Frederic Lardinois, TechCrunch

Apple TV first for Beeline

Beeline has become the first Russian operator to launch its own TV app on Apple TV 4th generation. It gives access to 44 channels, 12 in HD, among them Discovery HD, National Geographic HD, History HD, TV1000, Nickelodeon, Match!, Sport1 HD and Amedia. The app is available to all last generation Apple TV users irrespective of their ISPs and costs R379 (€4.45/$5.01) a month[.] – Chris Dziadul, Broadband TV News

The Community-Owned ISPs Building an Alternative to Big Telecom in New York City

Since 2012, the nonprofit Red Hook Wifi network has been providing totally free internet to people in the small Brooklyn neighborhood. For weeks after Hurricane Sandy struck the neighborhood, the Red Hook Wifi network was the only way many in the community could get on the internet or make phone calls. […] Meanwhile, NYC Mesh is little more than a meetup group at the moment, but its organizers have big plans. Its network currently has about 40 “nodes,” or routers that connect to each other to form a larger wireless network. Organizer Brian Hall is currently working to set up two “super nodes” that are jacked into a large internet exchange will allow anyone in lower Manhattan and large swaths of Brooklyn to bypass traditional internet service providers. – Jason Koebler, MOTHERBOARD

Man builds house, then finds out cable Internet will cost $117,000

photo: Cole Marshall, Ars Technica

Cole Marshall had been looking for land to buy starting in 2012, and found the nearly 1-acre lot he’d ultimately purchase in 2013. The property is just outside the city limits of Sun Prairie, a city of about 30,000 residents, but has a Sun Prairie address and zip code. “We’re surrounded by fields, so technically you’d call it rural,” Marshall said. The city is expanding, though, and “eventually there’s going to be plenty of houses.” Despite not being in a densely populated area, Marshall said the lot was advertised as “cable-ready.” Before committing to the purchase, Marshall said, “I looked on Charter’s website, and I typed in the address of the lot, and it said, ‘yep, we can service you.’” – Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica

Want fiber Internet? That’ll be $383,500, ISP tells farm owner

photo: Dominik Meissner, Flickr

Internet service providers often charge thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars to extend their networks to people outside their service areas. But it turns out construction costs passed on to customers can be much, much higher. When the operator of a family farm in Nebraska requested fiber service from the local DSL Internet and phone service company, he found out that he’d have to pay an incredible $383,500 to subsidize the ISP’s construction. – Jon Brokin, Ars Technica

Sprint announces new ‘unlimited’ plan with ridiculous 600Kbps streaming video cap

The plan itself is $60 per month, then you add $20 for a leased phone. That means you give Sprint the phone back at the end of your two year lease. The total $80 per month cost (taxes not included) gets you unlimited talk, text, and high-speed data — sort of. There’s a footnote on Sprint’s announcement page, and when you pop down to the bottom to see what it says, there’s an admission that All In includes a permanent limit of 600Kbps on streaming video. So things like Netflix, Hulu, and HBO NOW will only run at this reduced speed. Sprint says this “may impact quality.” You think, Sprint? – Ryan Whitwam, Geek.com

Netflix To FCC: You Should Block The AT&T/DirecTV Merger

Basically, says Netflix, the merged company would have both the ability and incentive to harm online video distributors (like Netflix). Since Comcast/TWC is out of the picture, Netflix says, a post-merger AT&T/DirecTV would be the nation’s biggest MVPD (cable, satellite, or fiber pay-TV company). And to an MVPD, Netflix is pure competition. – Kate Cox, The Consumerist

Report: Google Wireless cellular announcement is imminent

Google will have a hard time being “disruptive” when it’s only reselling someone else’s service. Any Sprint and T-Mobile MVNO would be at the mercy of… Sprint and T-Mobile. Google Fiber is disruptive because Google is using a different data delivery technology—fiber optic—and doing all the hard work of ground-up network building, which gives it full control over everything. By owning everything, Google can sell high speeds for low prices, and shake up the competition in cities it offers service. Reselling service on Sprint and T-Mobile’s existing networks doesn’t leave that much room to be different. Some customers might have a lower bill, but we don’t see how it will be the “10x” improvement Google usually shoots for. – Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica

Despite A Year To Prepare, Wireless Carriers Struggle To Adhere To Weak And Voluntary Cell Phone Unlocking Guidelines

Interestingly it’s Verizon Wireless and AT&T, arguably the worst of the major carriers when it comes to attempts to stifle openness over the years, that come out ahead in adhering to all six guidelines (though your mileage may vary, and since the rules don’t require much, this may not mean much). For Verizon, that’s in part thanks to the Carterfone conditions placed on its 700 MHz spectrum, though that hasn’t stopped the company from fighting openness in general tooth and nail in other ways. As I’ve noted previously the conditions have plenty of loopholes — and anti-competitive behavior is allowed just as long as companies ambiguously insist that what they’re doing (like blocking Google Wallet, or locking bootloaders) is for the “safety and security of the network.” – Karl Bode, Techdirt
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