Category Archives: Updates - Page 3

Shaw Cable takes some pointers from AT&T

The folks up in Canada are also fighting the usage based billing battle, and it seems like Shaw Cable’s competitor to Netflix isn’t subject to the provider’s normal usage caps:

Causing the issue are promises that “the only limit is the number of hours in your day” unlike bandwidth capped streaming from unnamed services like Netflix. While Movie Club viewing over the internet on a PC, tablet or other device is capped just like any other service, access via the cable box is not metered.

This sounds suspiciously like U-Verse TV and phone, which do not count towards caps even though they use IP traffic because people use AT&T’s DVR and the telephone jacks on the Residential Gateway to access those services. I’m taking dibs on when AT&T starts doing something similar.

We told you this would happen, part 2

So Verizon no longer has unlimited data for its mobile phones. This now means that 80% of the mobile phone market in the country (if the T-Mobile deal goes through) no longer has the option of having an uncapped data plan for their smartphones*. Sprint will be the only national carrier that offers unlimited mobile phone data.

And people still think it’s a good idea to reduce competition in the telecommunications industry. Insane.

*Yes, I’m aware that before they made the cap explicit, all the carriers effectively had a 5GB soft cap.

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.

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.

Sprint wants states to review AT&T/T-Mobile merger

Sprint wants California and Louisiana state regulatory agencies toreview the AT&T/T-Mobile merger. One concerning bit:

Sprint on May 2 asked the West Virginia Public Service Commission to review the deal. AT&T in a May 12 filing asked the agency to reject that request, saying Sprint offers limited service in the state.

The states should indeed be reviewing the deal, and companies should not have the power to reject proper review. Simple as that.

US lags in broadband speed and adoption

The OECD came out with new broadband rankings today, and the results shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone:

The good ol’ US of A ranked ninth (out of the 29 member countries of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) in fixed broadband penetration on a per capita basis, and 12th in terms of pure percentage — behind the UK, South Korea, Iceland, the Netherlands, and plenty of others….Worse still, even those with broadband reported slower connections than folks in other countries. Olympia, Washington had the highest average download speeds of any US city with 21Mbps (New York and Seattle tied for second with 11.7Mbps), but was easily topped by Helsinki, Paris, Berlin, and Seoul (35.8Mbps).

This is what happens AT&T and the cable companies can get away with whatever they want, folks.