Monthly Archives: June 2011

Starbucks has faster Internet than 84% of the US

When is AT&T going to spend the money to bring its customers the same Internet experience that Europe and Asia have?

And I’m being proven right.


Time Warner Cable Inc. (TWC), the second- largest U.S. cable-television operator, is testing technology to measure consumption-based billing for broadband Internet use, said Chief Executive Officer Glenn Britt.

The New York-based company is working on installing meters in its network that calculate Internet usage, Britt said in an interview yesterday at the National Cable & Telecommunications Association’s show in Chicago. Time Warner Cable hasn’t decided if it will introduce the system, he said.

It doesn’t mean that they’ll do it, but there’s also not much stopping them at this point, either. I’ll wait to cross them off the cap-free ISP list until an official announcement, in any case.

AT&T/T-Mobile merger: will it expand rural broadband?

How exactly will it expand broadband access?

Now Kerfoot is just the kind of person AT&T Inc. has in mind as the telecom giant pushes expanding rural broadband as a major benefit of its proposed $ 39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA. AT&T officials say the merger will allow the company to vastly stretch out its broadband network into rural areas, offering new customers access to high-speed mobile Internet for the first time. This kind of expand is a part of a push to cover 97 percent of the U.S population.

Unless they’re planning on giving up on wireline for rural users and expecting that they use LTE…wait, that’s exactly that they’re going to do. And since there’s not enough RF spectrum in the world for everyone, there’ll inevitably be caps (much lower than what AT&T’s currently doing for U-Verse/DSL, even). How is being able to use up your LTE cap in even less time than it takes to use your U-Verse cap any better?

(Not to mention that their 3G coverage map still doesn’t cover their entire wireless footprint as of this writing, so there’s not much expectation that their LTE coverage will be any better at some future time.)

Stuff for the wish list

I wish I had gigabit broadband to the home for $70/month.

SCOTUS forces AT&T to share lines

Very good news! The Supreme Court has ruled that AT&T has to share lines used for interconnection:

Thursday’s decision relates to “entrance facilities,” typically wires or cables that connect AT&T to another company’s network. A competitive carrier can use entrance facilities to reach AT&T’s network for interconnection purposes. Or it could use those same facilities in an “unbundled” fashion for backhaul, e.g., to carry traffic to a third party.

So, not exactly having to allow third parties access to individual subscribers, but it’s still a good thing. When the decision is 9-0 against you, your arguments probably aren’t really compelling. 🙂

California PUC to look into AT&T/T-Mobile deal!

This is awesome news:

In launching the investigation, the CPUC noted that the two companies, through their California subsidiaries, once merged, would have a combined total of approximately 20 million California wireless telephone and data customers, and more than 47 percent of the California wireless market. The proposed merger, if effected, would leave the affiliates of California’s two largest local telephone companies, AT&T California and Verizon California Inc. with more than 77 percent of the California wireless telephone market, including both voice and data. That projected market share would be an increase from the companies combined current market share of 65 percent.

The PUC will also hold hearings and collect comments and decide based on the merits of the deal. Good on you, California–now let’s hope other states follow through.

Tech companies support AT&T/T-Mobile deal

Here’s something (kinda) unexpected–tech companies lending their support to the T-Mobile deal:

Eight technology giants, including Facebook and Microsoft, and 10 venture capital firms, filed letters supporting the acquisition late on Monday. The letters, filed with the Federal Communications Commission, lent their support to AT&T’s argument that the T-Mobile deal will help the company extend its next-generation data network across the country, helping to meet the growing need for wireless broadband services.

Which would be good for the next-generation smartphone apps. Unless AT&T doesn’t bother increasing their caps for the LTE network, much like the situation with Verizon’s LTE plans. It’s not really in tech companies’ interest over the long term.

U-Verse build “virtually over”

AT&T commented that they’re going to stop expanding U-Verse after they reach “60% of homes”. What about the rest of them?

He suggested that 25-30% of AT&T homes will only be offered ADSL. 20% are “not a heavy emphasis for investment,” i.e. 5-10 million of AT&T’s 50 million homes are screwed unless they have a decent cable alternative. (Yes, rounding means not necessarily equal to 100 %.)

Because when you’re the only game in town, why would you spend the extra money upgrading when it could go towards something more productive? Like more C-level bonuses, for instance.

CA to review AT&T/T-Mobile merger

Reuters reports that California may review the AT&T/T-Mobile deal:

The California Public Utilities Commission told its staff, in a meeting on Thursday, to open a proceeding to gather information about the merger for the state regulator to consider at its next voting meeting on June 9.

The commission said it wants information about the merger proposal “in light of relevant state law and public policies.”

If the deal can be blocked in at least one state, it makes it that much harder for the overall deal to be worth more than the reported $3 billion that AT&T would have to pay T-Mobile to back out of it. Let’s hope California at least takes a look at this deal.

T-Mobile ditches unlimited data

Looks like T-Mobile ditched unlimited data in their new plans. Was this planned before their deal with AT&T was announced? We don’t know, but at least they’re doing a soft cap:

For those who regularly risk coming a little too close to their monthly data quotas, T-Mobile has also rolled out a new safety net: no overage charges. If you end up crossing your data limit for the month, the carrier will simply drop you to a 2G connection, where you get to suffer with slow data speeds until you pony up for a higher cap or until your billing cycle is up.

(sorry for not posting this sooner)