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15 Jan

Charter Communications® Reveal New Plans for Spectrum® Content

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Charter® Spectrum Shows

Recently, Charter Communications® revealed their plans for Spectrum® after hiring Katherine Pope as the Senior Vice President and Head of Original Content. She joins Charter® from Studio 8, where she previously headed their TV division. Before that, Katherine was the production executive of NBCUniversal’s Television Studios.

“We see original content as a way to further differentiate the Spectrum customer experience,” said Justin Venech, who is Charter’s Group Vice President for External Communications. “We have previously announced our co-production plans with AMC and Viacom, and we will continue to explore opportunities for the development of original content. We have no comment beyond that at this time.”

Charter Communications® also said in the announcement of hiring Katherine Pope that she will monitor the deals the company signed with AMC Networks and Viacom for producing original content. “Katherine’s creativity, strategic prowess, and wealth of industry knowledge will play an instrumental role in positioning Charter® as an industry leader in the creation and distribution of high-quality, original entertainment that will further differentiate Charter’s market-leading video products in ways that create value and drive subscribership,” said Senior Executive Vice President, David Ellen.

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Development Of Original Content

Katherine Pope will report to David Ellen and will work out of Charter’s base in Los Angeles. She has a decade-long experience of heading TV Studios of NBCUniversal, and has produced some of their top-rated series such as “Heroes”, “Houses”, and comedies like “The Office,” “Will and Grace”, and “30 Rock”. Other series she spearheaded and monitored for NBCUniversal comprise of “Battlestar Galactica” and “Friday Night Lights”.

Charter Communications® announced the tie-up with AMC Networks in April last year. AMC Networks will coproduce executive shows for Charter Spectrum®, and both companies are expecting the shows to premiere on the Spectrum® brand this year. Further, as per the mutual agreement between Charter Communications® and AMC Networks, the former would have a window to premiere the shows for U.S. audience, while the latter’s studios would get back the right to premiere after that alongside the international distribution rights.

Charter® officials say that the original series of AMC Networks would be a different experience to the subscribers of Spectrum® broadband because of the tons of experience Katherine Pope has in the area. However, only time will tell how the deal fares for the Telco.

12 Jan

AT&T® to Launch New Structural Monitoring Solution

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Structural Monitoring Solution

AT&T® takes the New Year resolution to make the communities and cities safer, smarter, and more efficient by developing and delivering the Internet of Things (IoT) solutions. Reports  say that the company is now trying out a new structure monitoring solution to improve the safety of the railways and roadways.

AT&T® recently launched a digital infrastructure solution, and the new project will team up with this and other client smart cities including the US spotlight cities. According to AT&T® officials, the US infrastructure project is maturing and in disrepair. Almost half of the bridges in the US are built before 50 years. They also said that to analyze the state of the railways and roads, the organizations generally count on the visual inspections only, which often fail to inspect many rural and remote roadways and railways, as they are not easily reachable.

The company representatives also added that most of the alternatives used for monitoring the remote areas is not suitable for a long-term use because of its bulkiness and age-old technology solutions. AT&T® is determined to deliver the solutions for this so that the team can monitor the environmental and structural factors of remote areas also, once they launch it.

According to Mike Zeto, the General Manager of AT&T® Smart Cities, “Safety is a top concern of citizens and cities alike. This concern extends beyond the realm of crime and natural disasters. It also includes the safety of our infrastructure.” He further added that, “We’re pleased to test this solution, which will allow for smart infrastructure analysis and monitoring”

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With the latest structure monitoring solutions of AT&T® Smart Cities, the selected infrastructure will get an AT&T® LTE- enabled sensors that will help to monitor the remote structural factors. The sensors mainly measure the tilts and cracks, and alert triggers; email alerts are also employed in the sensor to notify and capture the significant events.

The AT&T® structural monitoring solutions have a lower operational cost because of its lesser manual inspections and it would help to improve the planning and safety measures. Furthermore, the organizations can monitor the remote structures using the internet and a web-enabled device with these structural monitoring solutions.

This product will join their growing smart city solutions that include AT&T® smart irrigation, AT&T® Smart Cities Digital Infrastructure, AT&T® Smart Cities Grid Solutions – Prepay Energy, AT&T® Smart Cities Operation Center, and AT&T® Smart Grid – Solar Solution.

08 Jan

Comcast® Secretly Fires 500 of Its Salespeople Citing Reorganization of Employees

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New reports from several reliable source state that Comcast® has secretly fired about 500 of its salespeople before last Christmas. This is in stark contrast to the recent proclamations made by the telecom company about the creation of new jobs due to the large cuts in taxes. Comcast® primarily lobbied the tax cut, which was passed into law in late December. Yet, a whole lot of employees comprising of direct sales people, managers, and supervisors from Florida, Chicago, and other parts were fired from their jobs by December 15.

Comcast® stated to their employees that it was carrying out a large-scale reorganization of its direct sales force to extend the area of coverage. According to Comcast® spokesperson Jennifer Moyer, “The Central Division is creating a new territory-based sales model that will connect more closely with residential prospects and customers in their communities. By giving highly trained sales professionals direct responsibility for entire neighborhoods, we can provide a better experience for those who are interested in our services, during and after the sale.”

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Repeal Of Net Neutrality

Comcast® recently announced that it will give $1000 special bonuses to its 100,000 employees citing the pending tax cut and the repeal of net neutrality. Moreover, Comcast® has also pitched for an investment worth $50 for infrastructural development in order to step up the competition with other internet providers. Comcast® has also made it clear that a $1000 supplemental severance payment will be handed out to all of its fired employees.

However, Comcast® refused to directly comment on the quick firing of its employees. However, one statement issued out by Comcast® said, “Periodically, we reorganize groups of employees and adjust our sales tactics and talent. This change in the Central Division is an example of this practice and occurred in the context of our adding hundreds of frontline and sales employees. All these employees were offered generous severance and an opportunity to apply for other jobs at Comcast®.”

It is crucial to note that the telecom company, Comcast® also faces growing threats from other major operators such as AT&T® in its cable TV and internet services. However, its recent statements made to firewall have made it clear that it will achieve the necessary financial targets. The recent firings demonstrate a series of contradictory actions and statements issues out by various telecom providers operating in the country. AT&T® another major internet provider is also laying off employees recently despite stating that it intends to make a one billion investment that would generate more jobs.

05 Jan

Comcast® Increases Prices of Triple-Play Packages and Other Services

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Comcast Corporation® has stated that it has increased the prices for their triple play packages in 2018. The packages will now cost an additional amount of $5 per month for the year and will result in an increase in the monthly charges collected from customers. Comcast® in spite of being the best internet and TV provider faces stiff competition from various streaming services such as Netflix. The increase in prices for the year is to address the threats faced by these streaming services and ensure its continued operation by offering uninterrupted cable services to customers.

Comcast® first initiated the hike in charges in the regions of Philadelphia, New Jersey, and Wilmington by late December. Comcast® has informed Xfinity customers across the regions regarding the increase in charges of the services. The price increase is also because Comcast® customers are provided with more services for the charges paid. However, this increase in prices will not affect a majority of the customers as most of them are under contract or promotions. The increased prices will come into effect for customers after their promotions and contracts have been expired.

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HD Complete XF Triple Play Bundle

As a result, a Preferred XF Triple Play Bundle is going to cost about $166.49, which is higher than the previous amount of $161.49. Likewise, for the Starter XF Triple Play Bundle, the price has increased to $153.49 per month while the monthly rate of HD Complete XF Triple Play Bundle has also been increased to $251.49. In its broadcast television lineup, the rate for the channels has also increased to $7.50 per month and regional sports fees to $6.75 per month.

Moreover, the modem rental fees of Comcast® have increased to $11 per month from the previous $10. Alongside that, Comcast® has also increased the rates for its services and installation to $40 from the $35.20, which is about 13.6 percent higher. The telecom company has put forward plans to minimize service calls and service personnel consulting by handling out self-installation kits and remote support and diagnosis via call centers.

Jennifer Bilotta, Comcast® spokesperson stated, “We continue to make significant investments in our network and technologies to give customers more for their money – like faster Internet service and better Wi-Fi, more video across viewing screens, innovations like X1 and a better customer experience. We must pass along a portion of these higher costs to our customers. As a result, on average, nationally, the customer bill will increase by 2.2% in 2018.”

02 Jan

Spectrum® Increases Internet Speeds in Dayton

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Many bigwigs in the communication field are increasing their internet speed. Spectrum® internet has increased their starting download speed by 66%, that is from 60 Mbps to 100 Mbps, in Dayton. Surprisingly, even though Spectrum® is boosting their internet speed, they are not changing the pricing of their services.

According to the news released, new Spectrum® Internet users can avail the fastest 100 Mbps speed. On top of that, the company has increased the speed automatically for the current Spectrum® customers including both residential and business clients. Mark Dunford, the regional vice president of operations at Spectrum® said that more than 99% of their customers already have access to the internet speed of 100 Mbps in the region.

He also added that they are providing more speed for surfing, streaming, and accessing social media for their customers without any additional charges in their Spectrum® package. Moreover, the ultra customers of the company can avail the internet upgrade, which will increase their starting speed from 100 Mbps to 300 Mbps without any additional charges as well. This will create a big stir amongst their rival internet service providers.

Charter Spectrum® officials declined to release their customer strength in the county due to reasons of competition with other internet service providers. However, the Telco claimed that they offer the fastest internet speed in the Dayton area without any modem fees, data caps, or contracts. Still, it is to be noted that a small percentage of Spectrum® customers will have to rely on a new modem to avail the faster speeds until they get their modems exchanged by the company.

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DOCSIS 3.1 Technology

Moreover, the company is also introducing its DOCSIS 3.1 technology this week. It comes with gigabits speed in Cincinnati, which will benefit some Spectrum® residential and business customers in that region. Besides that, they have not any timetable for the release of this super high-speed service in the southern part of Dayton region.

Charter Communications® wrapped up the acquisition of Time Warner Cable® in a deal worth $78 billion in May of 2016, which made them the second largest cable and internet service provider in the United States. Nonetheless, the Philadelphia-based Comcast Corporation® still holds the first position.

The customer service center of the Charter Communications® hired 50 customer service representatives in Kettering in January. On top of that, they hired 30 outside sales representatives and customer service representatives in May as well and created a series of hiring in the Dayton region. All the moves are great signs for those looking for the best internet options in the area.

27 Dec

Comcast Corporation® Upgrades Services in Monmouth County

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Upgrades To Available Services

Comcast® increased their network and services recently in Monmouth County. Experts say that this was done by the best internet provider to rival other Telcos in the area and reach the cord cutters as well. The upgrades from Comcast® cater to gigabit internet, cellular service, TV, and so forth. The services offered by Comcast® to business customers as of now are also in their upgrade plans, except for an office security system which they are planning to add to their portfolio.

“Typically to be able to offer all your services you need to build up a network,” said Jack A. Segal, Comcast’s Vice President of Communications for Greater Chicago. “We built up a network to be able to handle the capacity of what you need. When you offer services, when you offer TV programming, internet, when you offer a home security system you need the most robust system available.”

Even though Comcast® has been in the region for decades now, Segal said the company waited until last month to upgrade their service, since they needed to make sure that there was sufficient demand for their offerings. “It’s a significant investment to come to a location and offer all your services,” Segal added. “It’s the culmination of a lot of planning. That’s why we’re here now.”

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Comcast’s announcement also surfaces at the wake of deregulations to net neutrality rules by the Republican-led Congress on a 3-2 vote in a recent meeting held earlier this month. On the other hand, Monmouth Director of Information Technology, Kenneth Helms said that it took Comcast® “around a month to set up the infrastructure for the city necessary to deliver the expanded services.”

Helms also talked about the expansion of the best internet provider and the benefits they bring to the residents referring to internet service, cellular service and TV with DVR Playability. “We’re happy to see a longtime service provider in town introduce expanded services for the citizens,” he said.

As of now, the rivals of Comcast Corporation® in the Monmouth County include MTC Communications, DerbyNet, and McDonough Telephone, the three companies delivering similar services in the area. So with the move by Comcast®, the options for the residents and businesses looking for ISPs near their area have been increased.

26 Dec

FCC Auction Might Support the Rural Broadband Efforts of Frontier and CenturyLink®

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Rural Broadband Efforts

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently identified locations of about a million small businesses and homes in forty-eight states that are eligible to get as much as two billion dollars in support for the deployment of broadband in the coming years. The Connect America Fund (CAF) of FCC is planning to distribute about two billion dollars in support to businesses that compete in a CAF II auction aimed at deploying broadband at cheap costs in the underserved rural areas of the nation.

In 2015, the FCC authorized ten telecom carriers, which include Frontier Communications, CenturyLink®, and FairPoint to get about nine billion dollars in CAF II funding over a period of six years. Combined together with the own investments of the carrier, the FCC funding was planned to expand broadband to about 7.3 million rural users in forty five states and a US territory. Frontier recently said that they are continuing their broadband surge into the rural areas, exceeding the 2017 CAP milestone requirements in about eight states.

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The CAF rule needs businesses that have accepted the funds for broadband deployment to about forty percent of all the eligible locations by the end of the year 2017. The company also said that the newly announced states now join Connecticut, Montana, Arizona, Georgia, Pennsylvania, New York, West Virginia, Washington, and North Carolina as having touched the milestone of forty percent.

“Closing the digital divide is my No. 1 priority, and through this innovative Connect America Fund auction, we are poised to take the next big step in reaching that goal,” said FCC Chairman, Ajit Pai. “In rural America, broadband opens the doors of opportunity by connecting remote communities to global markets, jobs, education, health care and information.”

It is reported that the service seeks to expand the broadband service to census blocks that are un-served by broadband service providers delivering speeds of 10 Mbps downloads and 1 Mbps uploads. The CAF auction is set to launch in the year 2018. Since the year 2011, the FCC has targeted more than nine billion dollars via the Connect America Fund in support of the broadband expansion to more than four million small businesses and homes in rural areas.

22 Dec

Comcast®, AT&T®, and Dish Network® to Increase Rates by January

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Increasing Rates For Services

Comcast® recently said their customers in the Houston area that they will be increasing rates for most of their cheap internet and cable TV products. The increased rates will be reflected in the January 2018 bill. Details of the increase in rates appeared in a notice that was provided with the last bill.

The monthly price increases by 4.50 dollars for the Digital Premier Service by Comcast®. The old price was 139.99 dollars and the new price will be 144.49 dollars. The price for two premium channels has increased by four dollars and has reached 24 dollars from 19.99 dollars. In addition, the rates of most standalone internet services have increased by two dollars.

It is also reported that the rate to rent cable modem is increasing from ten dollars to eleven dollars and the late fee will increase from 9.50 dollars to 10 dollars. Comcast® spokesperson Michael Bybee said that the increase in rates would not apply to users who have applied promotional rates or to those users who have negotiated the rates as per a contract. However, the rates will go up once the contract or promotional period expires.

On the notice provided with the December bills, Ralph Martinez, who is the Regional Senior Vice President of Comcast®, said that the prices are increasing as “the cost of doing business rises.”

“You may also be aware that we pay increasing programming fees to offer the best in entertainment, news and sports and they are among our largest costs,” the note says. Bybee also said that increase was originally planned for October 1, 2017. However, it was delayed due to the Hurricane Harvey.

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“We postponed the original timing of the price change so we could all focus on recovery efforts from the devastating effects this city endured from Hurricane Harvey,” he said.

It is not just Comcast® raising the cable rates. AT&T® is also increasing prices for their DirecTV® services in January and the announcement about the same was made recently. AT&T® has increased range from 20 cents per month for some of the regional sports channels to eight dollars per month for the Ultimate Premier package of DirecTV®. AT&T® has not yet announced any hike in their internet rates.

Dish Network® is also planning to increase rates for their television services. It is reported that most of their channel bundles will go up by 5 dollars a month and the rate of their complete America’s Everything package will increase by 15 dollars.

20 Dec

AT&T® Launches 5G Trial at the Silos with Magnolia

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5G Millimeter Wave System

One of the fastest internet providers in the United States, AT&T® recently shared a few details about their 5G trials. The officials from AT&T® confirmed that their largest 5G fixed wireless trial will be in Waco, Texas, at the Silos and it will involve Magnolia. In addition to that, they also added that the new 5G trial would be AT&T’s largest 5G fixed wireless trial with a home and lifestyle brand.

The Senior Vice President of Technology Planning and Engineering at AT&T®, Marachel Knight, said, “This is a meaningful and important step in bringing our 5G fixed wireless trials to Waco starting with the Silos. Taking our 5G tests out of the lab and into real, high-traffic environments like the Silos will bring a fantastic customer experience while helping us learn even more about building a 5G network of the future for both consumers and businesses.”

Reports from several reliable sources indicate that the 5G millimeter wave (mmWave) system will be deployed at the Magnolia Market and adjacent places at the Silos in Waco. This system will distribute connections throughout these locations and employees at Silos will be able to make use of this trial service by simply connecting the network through the Wi-Fi feature in their smartphones.

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Implementing Innovative Solutions

Approximately 5,000 people visit the Silos every day to shop at the Magnolia Seed and Supply, Magnolia Market, eat at the Silos Baking Co. or food truck park, spend time in the garden, and play games. David Washburn, who is the Information Technology Manager at Magnolia said, “At Magnolia, we’re always looking for opportunities to implement innovative solutions. We’re excited to see how this technology enhances efficiencies for vendor partners and employees alike.”

The Chief Marketing Officer of AT&T® Business, Mo Katibeh, said, “Connectivity is at the core of every company’s digital transformation. 5G will have a significant impact on how businesses work and how they engage with their customers. The trial with Magnolia helps drive a path for businesses of all sizes to have access to massive capacity via 5G to serve their employees and their customers in ways we couldn’t have even dreamed of just a few years ago.”

The telecom giant, AT&T® had announced in August that they are planning to expand their fixed wireless 5G trials to residential and business customers in Waco, South Bend, Indiana, and Kalamazoo, Michigan by the end of 2017. However, some AT&T® customers in Austin, Texas recently reported that they have been getting a maximum internet speed of 1 Gigabit per second. So, if the 5G trials in more areas of the country get successful, customers will be able to acquire a cheap internet deal.

18 Dec

AT&T® Chooses Georgia for Trialing Their Project Airgig

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Project Airgig Trials

AT&T® has chosen Georgia for the second trial of their international ‘Project AirGig’ that would help deploy 1 gigabit per second internet via mmWave signals guided by overhead utility poles. The first trial of the technological project began earlier this year with an undisclosed electricity provider outside the United States. The latest technology from the Telco would deliver best internet service in rural areas and urban locations in the future. AT&T® is trialing ‘Project AirGig’ alongside Georgia Power in a rural location in the state as of now.

This would avoid building internet infrastructure for internet like new towers or burying optical fiber cable near overhead power lines. Instead, the electricity technicians can implement the patented technology of AT&T® onto utility poles easily for providing broadband signals. The technology also signals to a future wherein internet would come with ultra speeds anywhere in the world.

“Project AirGig is part of our ongoing effort to accelerate internet connections to a gig or more through both wired and wireless solutions,” said Andre Fuetsch, the President of AT&T® Labs cum Chief Technology Officer. “But it also stands alone as a radically innovative solution to bridge the global digital divide.”

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‘Project AirGig’ is headed by AT&T® Labs and has the backing of a decade-long research from their part. The news comes at a time when state legislators are grappling with how to provide enhanced internet in rural locations of Georgia. In fact, the concept of redirecting internet over utility poles is not new, but the Telco has assured their technology would overcome the past technical hurdles.

“Georgia Power continuously utilizes technology research and collaborates with companies like AT&T® in order to introduce new products and services that help meet the changing needs of our customers,” said Paul Bowers Chairman, who is the President cum Chief Executive Officer of Georgia Power. “Expanding access to high speed internet is an important initiative that provides value for our all of our customers and helps us remain a competitive state in which to do business.”

If the trial turns successful in the state, the technology would help in expanding broadband access to underserved areas and would enhance internet speeds. AT&T® however said that they are yet to decide on when to deploy the technology commercially.

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