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20 Feb

Broadband Adoption Trial Program for Seniors Launches in Washington DC

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Internet Essentials Senior Program

Comcast®, one of the cheapest cable cum internet providers, has launched “Internet Essentials Senior” program on a trial basis in Washington DC. It is a broadband internet adoption program where eligible seniors can get the broadband service at an affordable cost. In addition, they have the option of buying a PC for a low cost.

The new broadband program is presently offered to those are aged 62 years or older. Comcast’s Community Impact Director, Jessica Gappa, said, “It’s meant to help us cross the digital divide.” She said that the program, launched in 2011, started out as one focused upon students in order to “help families be connected.” There were still other populations to tap into.

“After having conversations, after getting that base of folks connected we started to see other areas and demographics that could benefit from being connected to the internet,” Gappa said. “From the D.C. area we heard feedback from local partners and officials that the senior population could use some benefits and attention.”

She also said to the extent that it is pivotal to have ears upon the ground to address the community needs, emphasizing that, “When looking at where a pilot program could be successful, you’re relying on your local partners, and there’s a really incredible senior servicing community.” The company, which offers cheapest cable packages, is equipped to also deal with the challenge of reaching out to those who may not have access to digital service.

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“One of the things we did was provide a flier to senior centers across the District and to get collateral into the hands of low income senior citizens,” Gappa added. “We really do still believe in that human element. And if people want to give us a call they can do that and talk through the program.”

A 2018 survey by Pew Research Center found that eleven percent of American adults did not use the internet. Out of those, thirty-four percent of people who did not use it were aged over 65 years or more. Admittedly, this figure was 86 percent back in 2000, as per the study. Another thirteen percent of people aged 50 to 64 years did not have the internet in 2018. Income level appeared to be dividing line and around nineteen percent of non-internet people made less than 30,000 dollars a year.

The study by Pew Research Center pointed out that the number of Americans without internet has dropped significantly since it began the survey. The number of people without it was 48 percent in 2000. The cheap internet program also comes with digital literacy training for free, wherein literature can be accessed in person, in print, or online.

13 Feb

Telecom Giant Forms Multi-Year Partnership with San Francisco’s Chinese Chamber of Commerce

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The California Region of Comcast® announced that it has struck a long-term affiliation with the San Francisco Chinese Chamber of Commerce and that it would be the procession-level sponsor of the Chinese New Year Festival & Parade to be held in 2019. This is the maiden Comcast® sponsorship of the festival and the festival is set to take place on February 23.

“When the opportunity opened up to bring a new procession-level sponsor into the Chinese New Year Festival and Parade this year, we were thrilled to have Comcast® join us, not just for 2019, but with a long-term commitment. The new year brings new beginnings and Comcast® could not be more excited to form this new, long-term relationship with the Chinese Chamber of Commerce,” remarked Elaine Barden, who is the Vice President of Business Development and Strategic Initiatives for Comcast® in California.

“Comcast® has always honored Asian-American communities and cultures throughout San Francisco and the entire state of California. But this new sponsorship of the Chinese New Year Festival and Parade – which includes Comcast® having a float in the parade for the first time – takes that commitment to a whole new level,” Barden added.

In the memory of the year of the Earth Pig, Comcast®, which is a provider of cheap cable and internet packages, has decided that its parade float would represent the ideas of Entertaining and Connecting.

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“When the opportunity opened up to bring a new procession-level sponsor into the Chinese New Year Festival and Parade this year, we were thrilled to have Comcast® join us, not just for 2019, but with a long-term commitment,” commented Eddie Au, the President of San Francisco Chinese Chamber of Commerce. “That really speaks volumes about the importance Comcast® places on engaging with Asian-Americans in San Francisco. We are looking forward to the excitement their involvement will generate and can’t wait to see their innovative and creative new float.”

Comcast® reported that it will come up with YouTube star and singer, Jason Chen, as well as Asian-American celebrity, actress, dancer, and model, Lucia Liu. The couple will stay with Comcast® for various collaborations.

Besides, the provider of one of the best internet service will collaborate with Asian-American Bay Area blogger and content creator Virginia Duan from Mandarinmama.com. The person will become Comcast’s official guest blogger and content creator for 2019. Asian-Americans make up a considerable portion of the city’s population. Hence, Comcast® has ensured better services, products, content and other unique experiences to the Asian-American audiences in the city of California.

06 Feb

Industry Awaits Confirmation of Coming Streaming Service’s Rollout

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Streaming Service Roll-out

Comcast® is reportedly planning to not support Apple TV for streaming services of them. “Comcast® is focused on the Now TV solution as the future of its streaming infrastructure and Apple has been told this,” said a source connected directly with the Telco. “Apple has also been informed Comcast® will concentrate its efforts on this platform, not on adding other third-party devices to the product mix with separate apps.”

While this is extremely possible, there are some issues with this particular report. The Comcast® source also said, “It especially makes sense as Sky has a completely ready software and hardware solution for Roku that can be easily modified for mass distribution on every cable system in the country.”

Comcast® is the largest cable provider in the US. Search by ZIP code, and you will most likely find Comcast’s “cheap cable and internet near me”. It recently acquired Sky, which also includes NOW TV.

The issue here is the NOW TV streaming service, already available on Apple TV. As per the NOW TV site, you can stream it on Roku, Chromecast, and third generations and newer Apple TVs alongside the NOW TV service players. (The NOW TV service players are Roku-rebranded with the logo of NOW TV on them.)

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“At this time, we have not reached terms with Apple to bring our XFINITY Stream® app to Apple TV devices,” a Comcast® spokesperson said. For a while now, the Philadelphia-based cable cum fastest internet provider has had an XFINITY® streaming application on Roku players as well as has a fine relationship with the digital company.

It would be an extremely strange move for the Telco to base its new service on the NOW TV technology, but not wish to use the already existing application of Apple TV. For now, the representatives of NOW TV are still insisting that they have the Apple TV support, with no plans to stop the NOW TV support of it.

The question is would Comcast® stop supporting the NOW TV service on Apple TV? It is also likely that the Sky streaming service will still get the Apple TV support in the United Kingdom, not in the United States of America. It could be that the Philly-based cable giant plans to launch on Roku first, with more device support later, like how Sling TV® and YouTube TV rolled out.

Experts also say that negotiations were no longer required with Apple Inc. if Comcast® planned to use an application already approved by the tech company. For now, rumors are all there is to it – we will thus have to wait and watch how Comcast® will roll out this new streaming service.

30 Jan

5G Business Strategies Laid Out by Telecom Giants

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5G Business Strategies

AT&T® is all set to provide its customers a full spectrum of 5G services. It does so in hope that people make full use of the available technology for beneficial purposes. The whole nation is vastly dependent on technology for their services. They use it for a diverse range of purposes such as connecting a single location, mixed reality, all the way to artificial intelligence. Besides, they are also offering one of the country’s cheapest cable TV services. Below is a look into the business strategies adopted by the AT&T®.

The three main foundation stones of services are:

  • Mobile 5G
  • Fixed Wireless
  • Edge Computing

“The 5G services we’re rolling out and combining with our advanced network capabilities will help businesses fundamentally change for the better,” said CMO of AT&T® Business, Mo Katibeh. “It will open up opportunities to increase revenue, reduce operational costs, and ultimately create amazing new experiences for employees and customers. Whether it’s a local startup, a growing regional company, or national enterprise, these 3 pillars are going to be groundbreaking.”

Mobile 5G

Mobile phones occupy a more important place in business than ever before. Employee communication and point-of-sale are literally impossible without mobile phones. Thus, it is imperative that 5G service provides an effortless transition between LTE, Wi-Fi, and 5G. Two new devices supporting 5G are in the pipeline, set to be released in 2019. AT&T® is also collaborating with Samsung for two smartphones

At the moment, 12 cities have a functional mobile 5G network. There is ongoing effort to improve and maximize the performance of 5G based data services in these locations.

Fixed Wireless

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Being one of the best cable and internet companies in the country, AT&T® fixed wireless broadband with flexible data options to suit the need of the business persons. The company connects with nearly 2.2 million locations using fiber. It has undertaken the responsibility of upgrading the network framework of the nation.

Edge Computing

Edge computing is yet another of the technological innovations that can make use of the cellular data to improve the operations in a huge way. It allows businesses to channel application-specific traffic to intended locations. This covers the edge of the network, the cloud, and their premises.

In addition to these services, the AT&T® Business also offers access to AT&T® Multi-Access Edge Compute (MEC). This solution makes use of a software-defined network to allow quicker data processing, apart from offering flexibility of services.

23 Jan

Gigabit Internet Service Reaches Topeka Residents

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Gigabit Internet Service

Ken and Maggie Doll, two residents of Topeka, Kansas, have switched to the gigabit internet service a few weeks before. They are two subscribers of the ‘Gigablast’ service of Cox Communications®, which is now available to Topeka residents.

The service is around eighty-five times quicker than average DSL internet speeds, said Cox’s spokesperson Mandy Gilbert. This type of internet means that a gigabyte of data is transferred via fiber optic cables in a second. That is what makes it one of the best internet service options out there. For Maggie Doll, it means quicker speeds on her connected devices.

When the officials of the best internet provider told Maggie that it has forecasted the average household is anticipated to have fifty internet-connected devices by next year, she was surprised. However, then she began counting the devices of her family and was surprised to have easily reached forty.

She said, “We’re heavy data users, but we are running multiple devices across our house. My husband and I both work from home at times. With our daughter, between streaming music and videos, we use a lot more than we realized.”

Cox® has been investing capital funds in its system in order to meet those requirements, said an official of the best internet provider in a press release.

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Coleen Jennison, Cox’s Kansas Market Vice President, said, “Our Gigablast service meets the needs of today’s internet users, who increasingly have multiple internet-dependent devices in their homes and desire faster speeds for entertainment, communication, safety and a range of other purposes. Cox Communications’ sizeable network investments, including a $100 million investment that began in 2018, help us stay significantly ahead of demand and enable smart homes, smart businesses and smart cities — all of which depend on reliable fast internet service.” Access to the internet is one of the economic development’s key components.

“From the day-to-day site selection angle, where our fiber is located and whether we have fiber and broadband available in the community at the sites that prospects are looking at is one of those kind of major criteria that hits about the same time that utilities do,” said Molly Howey, the Senior VP of Economic Development at GO Topeka. “That’s kind of the way that companies look at broadband. Do we have road access? Do we have electric? Do we have water? Do we have broadband?”

As per Howey, some of the other reasons why access to the internet is significant pertain to educational purposes and workforce matters, so that those who apply for jobs can go online as required.

16 Jan

Streaming Enthusiasts to Get a New Option in 2020

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Video Streaming Services

NBCUniversal, owned by the cheapest cable packages’ provider Comcast®, has announced that it will be rolling out a streaming service in early 2020 and that it is shuffling some of its main executives’ responsibilities. The service will be led by NBCUniversal’s Bonnie Hammer, who has been promoted to its Chairman of Direct to Consumer and Digital Enterprises. Mark Lazarus has been named the Chairman of NBCUniversal Broadcast, Sports, Cable, and News, while Jeff Shell has been named the Chairman of NBCUniversal Film and NBCUniversal Entertainment, adding the latter to his purview.

NBCUniversal said that the forthcoming streaming service of the company would draw on its content library as well as technology from Comcast® and Sky plc. Note that last year, the cheapest cable TV plans’ provider acquired the broadcaster named Sky plc. The advertisement-supported streaming service will be available to pay-TV customers of NBCU in the US and main international markets at no cost.

Comcast Cable® and Sky plc will offer the streaming service for free to their fifty-two million customers. An advertisement-free version of it will be available to customers for a fee. Non-pay TV customers will be able to purchase the service too.

NBCUniversal also said that it would carry on licensing content to other platforms and studios, while keeping rights to certain titles for the upcoming service. The company is getting into the content streaming industry at a time when conventional cable TV providers are losing customers. It will face competition from the likes of Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu, and new services planned by WarnerMedia of AT&T® and the Walt Disney Company.

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“NBCUniversal has some of the world’s most valuable intellectual property and top talent, both in front of and behind the camera. Many of the most-watched shows on today’s popular streaming platforms come from NBCUniversal,” Steve Burke, the CEO of NBCUniversal, said. “Our new service will be different than those presently in the market and it will be built on the company’s strengths, with NBCUniversal’s great content and the technology expertise, broad scale and the wide distribution of Comcast Cable® and Sky.”

Burke added, “People are watching premium content more than ever, but they want more flexibility and value. NBCUniversal is perfectly positioned to offer a variety of choices, due to our deep relationships with advertisers and distribution partners, as well as our data-targeting capabilities. Advertising continues to be a major part of the entertainment ecosystem and we believe that a streaming service, with limited and personalized ads, will provide a great consumer experience.”

08 Jan

The Global Cable Industry to Adopt 10G to Compete with 5G Networks

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5G Network Service

The cable TV segment, represented by NCTA, CableLabs, as well as Cable Europe, has introduced the plans of the industry to adopt “10G” or 10 Gbps data networks as a means to compete with 5G wireless networks’ onset. Competition is spurring companies that provide cheap cable and internet packages to ramp up from 1 Gbps modems available today to 10 Gbps and beyond in the future.

The 5G technology, which promises to allow wireless data transfer in one gigabits per second speed, is posing a threat to telecommunications companies, including phone and cable operators. CableLabs said the segment has moved from four percent of houses at a gigabit per second in 2016 to eighty percent last year.

To support the “10G” rollout, the Intel Company will deliver ten-gigabit-ready technology from network infrastructure to residential gateways. Cable providers, whose networks presently pass ninety percent of residences, comprising Cox Communications® and Comcast®, plus international operators, comprising Vodafone, Liberty Global, Telecom Argentina, and more, are implementing the “10G” initiative. Lab tests are already underway, while field tests are starting in the year 2020.

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The NCTA President, Michael Powell, said, “With groundbreaking, scalable capacity and speeds, the 10G platform is the wired network of the future that will power the digital experiences and imaginations of consumers for years to come. As an industry, we are dedicated to delivering an exceptional national infrastructure that will power digital advancement and propel our innovation economy into the future.”

The foundation of it is already proven, with US cable networks offering one gigabit internet service across eighty percent of the nation up from five percent in 2016. Comparable gigabit services are also available from companies that offer cheap cable and internet packages across the globe. Eventually, “10G” will deliver the symmetrical speeds that are up to ten times quicker than today’s quickest networks.

Build with a capital-efficient approach as well as leveraging the cable networks deployed throughout much of Europe, North America, and Asia, the global “10G” network will support a wide range of immersive digital services as well as applications, said the cable companies.

On the path to achieving “10G”, internet providers will keep upgrading their networks using a combination of technologies that presently exist, along with the ongoing advancements of hardware, software, as well as techniques being developed and trialed by technologists as well as vendors.

18 Dec

The Fiber Build Out in Cape Coral Expected to End in Early 2019

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Fiber Construction Project

CenturyLink® is finishing its fiber construction project in Florida’s Cape Coral to provide residences and businesses with speeds up to 1 Gbps. The fiber construction project of the fastest internet provider is expected to be finished in early 2019.

The gigabit internet speeds are possible by connecting fiber optic cable to businesses and residences with Fiber to the Home technology. It benefits each type of internet user, from an avid gamer to a self-employed business owner. The main leaders of Cape Coral commented on the benefits of the gigabit service of the best internet provider.

“As technology moves at a breakneck pace, Cape Coral welcomes CenturyLink’s infrastructure improvements for benefiting small businesses and homes alike,” said Terri Hall, the Interim Manager of the Economic Development Office of Cape Coral. “Considering that 60 percent of Cape Coral businesses are home-based, this technology is very timely.”

“CenturyLink’s investment gives Cape Coral a tremendous competitive advantage over other communities as it recruits new businesses,” said the Lee County Commissioner, Brian Hamman. “Fiber optic infrastructure puts us ahead of today’s standards and prepares our community for future innovations.”

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“We are thrilled to see CenturyLink® moving Cape Coral into the future. This will have a huge impact on the infrastructure in our city and create more connectivity options for our residential and business community,” said Donna Germain, the Cape Coral Chamber of Commerce’s President/CEO.

“CenturyLink® knows that life is powered by connections, so we are committed to using technology to help meet our customers’ personal and business needs,” Danny Pate, CenturyLink’s VP of Operations, said. “We’re pleased to receive such positive feedback from leaders in the Cape Coral area who understand how a city benefits from fiber-optic broadband speeds.”

Below are some key facts about the project of the fastest internet provider in Cape Coral.

  • The project in the US area will allow access to fiber gigabit speeds to business and residential customers.
  • The one gigabit internet service will usually let customers quickly download the below types of content in the said speeds, provided all things facilitate the same.
    • Five megabytes sized photograph in 0.04 seconds
    • Seventy megabytes music content or file in 0.56 seconds
    • A film that has a size of 700 MB in 5.6 seconds
    • A TV show that has 175 MB size in 1.4 seconds
11 Dec

Running Ads When Viewers Pause Streaming Content

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As video viewing trait of consumers gravitates to on-demand streaming platforms or services, cable and internet companies will obviously get astute about how to keep generating ad revenue that would have otherwise come from traditional commercials.

Reports  say that Hulu and AT&T® are apparently considering a type of advertisement that would run when customers pause a video content, such as a TV show on AT&T’s DIRECTV® or a movie on Hulu.

“As binge-viewing happens more and more, it’s natural they are going to want to pause,” said the VP and Head of Advertising at Hulu, Jeremy Helfand, while speaking about cord cutters. As per Helfand, they will roll out “pause ad” sometime next year and the company hopes that it will give “a natural break in the storytelling experience.”

AT&T® also intends to introduce a similar type of advertisement in 2019 when an audience pauses a video. Matt Van Houten, the VP at AT&T’s advertising and analytics unit named Xander Media, said that, “We know you’re going to capture 100 percent viewability when they pause and unpause. There’s a lot of value in that experience.”

Of course, an adversarial relationship is at play here, with solid arguments on both sides. Audiences generally do not take to commercials, and a lack of them on major streaming platforms became an early selling point for cord cutting and sparked the adoption of On-Demand, Over-the-Top-TV many years ago.

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Getting rid of advertisements is considered a perk now for a certain streaming service tier, such as “No Commercials” of Hulu and YouTube Premium. Prior to the advent of streaming, viewing TV sans commercials was a key pillar of paying for a DVR service from any of the cable providers or, several years ago, recording people’s favorite shows on VHS.

Audiences expect that shifting to streaming services from cable and internet companies should translate to fewer advertisements, which makes this “pause ad” idea especially remarkable on several counts. At the same time, they have no easy way to keep producing topnotch shows and offering high-quality movies at the rate in which streaming platforms offer, without additional revenue streams.

Netflix earlier said that it planned to produce original content, and that it has begun experimenting with running advertisements during Netflix Originals shows. Other companies have also begun running them on the home interface of their streaming service, and allowing production firms and studios to pay to endorse certain programs and movies.

Companies could increase subscription prices, but subscribers might switch. So that would make it tougher to produce more video content, which in turn means that it will be less likely that new subs will sign up or previous subs will return. It is a cycle, which appears to indicate that creative ways to get viewers to watch ads is the easiest solution, despite the fact that not all viewers will appreciate it.

05 Dec

Deer Park Residents Get Better Access to Internet and Cable

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Comcast® recently announced that it has invested around $2 million over 9 months in order to upgrade its network situated in Washington’s Deer Park. The Philadelphia-based best internet provider did it by setting up highly advanced fiber optic network as well as coax cable infrastructure. Thanks to the upgrade, the full suite of Comcast Business® and residential XFINITY® services are available to most of the occupants and business owners in the Washington area.

Comcast’s residential services now comprise XFINITY® X1 TV platform, with up to two-hundred and twenty-five programming channels, gigabit internet, complimentary access to around a million Wi-Fi hotspots throughout the state, home phone, round the clock professional monitoring residential security, and its wireless service titled XFINITY® Mobile. Local business customers are able to get speeds up to ten gigabits per second and all of Comcast Business® services and products – from its most-advanced voice and data solutions to security, backup as well as video services. Comcast® provides some of the best cable deals to both residential customers and businesses of all sizes.

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“There is a lot of excitement among residents and in the business community around the new offerings from Comcast®,” said Deer Park’s Mayor, Tim Verzal. “We are pleased by the company’s investment in Deer Park and work to upgrade its network.”

“Comcast® is excited to be the new media and technology provider in Deer Park. We have worked diligently to upgrade our network so that we can offer all of our products and services across the area,” said Amy Lynch, Regional VP at Comcast® for Washington region. “Deer Park residents can now take advantage of fast Internet speeds – up to 1 Gigabit – along with XFINITY® X1, which features voice remote, Video On Demand, DVR storage, residential phone service, and home security products.”

Residents of Deer Park also have accesses to new and innovative products such as xFi pods for Wi-Fi coverage extension, and unparalleled control through the XFINITY® xFi application, which gives subscribers complete access to their home network via mobile devices. Comcast® subscribers can take advantage of XFINITY® X1, which comprises a voice remote, integrated applications such as YouTube and Netflix, and several channels and programs for subs’ viewing pleasure, both On Demand and live.

Residents also have the chance to take advantage of Comcast’s Internet Essentials, a broadband adoption program meant for low-come groups.

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