AT&T/T-Mobile commercial

I’m in Seattle for a few days, and I just saw an AT&T commercial on TV promoting the T-Mobile deal in my hotel room. Basically, all the talking points they gave in their submissions to the FCC, especially the “mobile broadband” thing.

Unfortunately, I can’t find the commercial on YouTube, but I’m not sure why they’re putting these commercials on TV when who they really should be convincing is the FCC and DoJ. And public comment period for the FCC’s already past, so even if people’s minds are changed, they won’t be able to let the FCC know.

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.

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.