Items tagged with Internet

In today's work from home climate, a reliable internet connection is more important than ever. From logging in to corporate networks and remote meetings from home, to kids trying to access online assignments while simultaneously joining in on Google Meet/Zoom sessions, high-speed internet is now of even greater importance and an essential utility for virtually anyone. Some internet service providers (ISPs) have taken advantage of the situation by raising prices and instituting consumer-unfriendly data caps. Comcast caught quite a bit of [warranted] flak for planning to implement data caps in the northeastern United States during a pandemic, and has twice been forced to delay the... Read more...
Two weeks ago, we brought you news that Comcast was walking back its decision to institute new 1.2TB data caps for customers in November 2020. Instead, the company said that the caps would be delayed until July 2021, with customers be charged $10 for each additional 50GB of data over the cap starting with their August 2021 bill. Comcast didn't do this out of the goodness of its heart, however. The company only acted after Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro turned up the heat on the company. “As Pennsylvanians continue to navigate this pandemic, we know millions are relying on the internet for school and work more than ever. This is not the time to change the rules... Read more...
Have you ever dealt with slow internet speeds and just became fed-up with the entire situation? Subsequently, have you thought of raising a ruckus somewhere to get your complaints heard and the situation rectified? Meet Aaron Epstein, a 90-year-old gentleman who became the hero of the internet for a day, after he took out an ad in the Wall Street Journal to complain about his AT&T services, or should we say lack there-of. Earlier in February, Mr. Epstein found his AT&T internet speeds to be incredibly slow, averaging around 3 Mbps in North Hollywood (which sounds insane). Because traditional methods, such as contacting customer service, were not working, Epstein took out a quarter-page... Read more...
Since the first launch in 2019, the Starlink satellite network has steadily been growing. Once it had enough satellites in Earth orbit, SpaceX introduced the beta program, which has grown immensely as well. Now, in an FCC filing to become a telecommunications carrier, Elon Musk’s company disclosed that it has 10,000 users in the United States and abroad, marking a significant stepping stone in going big with Starlink. The filing explains that “Starlink’s performance is not theoretical or experimental,” as it has “successfully demonstrated it can surpass the Commission’s 'Above Baseline' and 'Low Latency' performance tiers.” This means that the service... Read more...
Earlier this fall, we reported that Google would be rolling out 2Gbps fiber internet to customers in some of its existing markets. The company launched trials in Nashville, Tennessee and Huntsville, Alabama in October and promised that all of its customers in those two cities would have access to the higher speeds by the end of 2020. True to its word, Google announced its full-scale 2Gbps rollout to Nashville and Huntsville, which means that now all of those existing fiber customers can join in. Customers will be able to stay on their existing 1Gbps plans for $70 month, or step up to 2Gbps for just $100 a month. Those are absolutely drool-worthy speeds, and I am personally jealous as... Read more...
In the new year, Comcast seems to be trying to milk their customers of every last penny when it comes to their internet and cable TV packages. Earlier this week, new data caps were sneakily added by Comcast for some customers. Now, Comcast will be increasing cable and internet fees and standard prices nationwide starting in January; the same time the data cap takes effect. TV customers will be particularly hard hit, as they will see a yearly increase of $78 due to a $4.50 a month Broadcast TV fee and a $2 a month Regional Sports Network (RSN) fee. Ars Technica found that this will affect all customers, as when it reached out for comment, Comcast stated that even for subscribers with promo... Read more...
SpaceX’s StarLink Internet Beta Program began to go out to customers around October 28th, and people are starting to show off its current capabilities. Some reddit users on the Starlink subreddit have displayed pictures of their StarLink terminal and some SpeedTest information for the masses. The data being reported wholly lives up to Elon Musk’s promises and all the hype surrounding the program, and improvements are still to come. It appears that SpaceX has sent out beta invites over the entire week to test the StarLink program. Reddit user /u/FourthEchelon19 posted a picture of his Starlink terminal from out in Washington state. They reported typical speeds of around 134Mbps download... Read more...
Comcast announced that it has managed to deliver 1.25 Gig symmetrical speeds over a hybrid fiber-coax network. The company claims that this is a “10G technical milestone” on the path to future upgrades for consumer internet connections. In Jacksonville, Florida, technicians for Comcast deployed a system that delivers 1.25Gbps over existing cable lines. They used technologies such as “digital fiber optics, Remote PHY digital nodes, and a cloud-based, virtualized cable modem termination system platform (vCMTS),” which gives the network its power. According to Tony Werner, President of Technology, Product, and Xperience at Comcast Cable, “Our customers build their digital... Read more...
Elon Musk is making progress towards making high-speed Internet connectivity available to virtually all parts of the globe, through a network of thousands of satellites. SpaceX launched 60 more into space today, bringing the total to around 650 (towards the company's goal of around 12,000). During a webcast of the launch, SpaceX provided an update on the speeds its beta testers are seeing. Before the launch, Kate Tice, senior program reliability engineer at SpaceX, offered up some interesting commentary. Tice noted that SpaceX is well into the first phase of testing of the private beta program for Starlink, and that a public beta will roll out sometime later this year (though she did not say... Read more...
Update (8/31/2020): It is now coming out that "misconfiguration at a major external network provider" led to the issues.  The article has been updated to reflect this. As it goes, if something is not supposed to break, it probably will.  This morning, some people had trouble getting to websites across the internet. DownDetector showed a large spike in people reporting issues, and it appears it all came down to a problem with an external network provider. Around 6:30am CST, a rather large spike in issues began to crop up across the web, from Starbucks to Call of Duty multiplayer sessions. Video streaming, log-in services, and whole websites themselves were having problems. For the... Read more...
Roughly a month ago, we reported that SpaceX was seeking beta testers to try out its Starlink internet service. Starlink consists of a "constellation" of over 600 micro-satellites, which are currently in orbit around the Earth. SpaceX eventually hopes to put as many as 30,000 of these micro-satellites in orbit – if it gets FCC approval -- by the time it's ready to light up its second-generation network. SpaceX now has a number of beta testers onboard with its nascent Starlink internet service, and some of those users have flocked to Ookla's Speedtest benchmark site to see how fast the service is. Roughly a dozen or so benchmark results were first discovered, but it is by no means... Read more...
Just over a year, we first brought you news about a new Elite Gamer service from Cox Cable, which was aimed at reducing lag, ping spikes and jitter during online gaming sessions. At the time, the service was being trialed in Arizona at a cost of $15 per month (on top of the cost of your existing internet plan). Now, however, Cox is ready for broad availability of Elite Gamer across the 18 states that it currently serves. In total, Cox internet has found its way into 6 million homes, and the telecom giant is certain that hardcore gamers will be willing to upgrade to the service. According to Cox, internet subscribers that upgrade to the Elite Gamer package will experience up to 32 percent... Read more...
Broadband internet access is something that we all take for granted these days. Long gone are the times when we used to “dial-in” to the internet using 28Kbps or 56Kbps modems and wait hours to download a 10MB file. Now, we’ve got access to fat internet pipes, with ISPs like Google Fiber and Cox Communications offering customers 1Gbps service. It’s the latter company that’s drawing our attention today, after it was reported that Cox has been angering customers by slowing down the internet speeds of entire neighborhoods due to the actions of a few customers. According to an extensive report from the folks over at Ars Technica, Cox is cracking down on... Read more...
Most of us across the United States have been hunkered down in our homes, only venturing out for necessities over the past few months amid the COVID-19 pandemic. That means that millions of Americans are relying on their home internet connection now more than ever to work from home and complete school work. Unfortunately for millions of Spectrum customers, they woke up to no internet access this morning. Outages have been reported across Much of Spectrum’s service area, with hotspots up and down the East Coast and in Chicago, Texas, and Southern California. It’s not uncommon for ISPs to have brief outages due to technical glitches, but this particular outage has lingered on longer... Read more...
Daft Punk was not singing about the Internet when "Hardware, Better, Faster, Stronger" released in 2001, when most Americans didn't even have Internet access (let alone broadband speeds). Now nearly two decades later, it's a fitting jingle in light of the Coronavirus outbreak and the eventual impact it will have on the Internet. That's putting a positive spin on things for sure. In the short term, the Internet is feeling the strain of more people than ever accessing the web and using online services at the same time, as stay at home orders, school closings, and the temporary suspension of many businesses permeate the nation. To deal with this, streaming video services like Netflix and Disney+... Read more...
Let me come right out and say exactly how I feel—data caps are a load of horse manure. Yes, I know, in theory they prevent the Internet from buckling from a handful of abusers, so that we can all enjoy access to a vital resource. But in practice, I'd argue they are unnecessary. Need proof? Take the current situation in which more people than ever are either telecommuting, or stuck at home. Despite the uptick in usage because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Internet has not buckled. I'm old enough to remember when the Internet was not a thing (not like today, anyway), and when dial-up access was metered in allotted minutes. It feels like we are in a similar situation today, only instead... Read more...
If you’re one of the millions of Americans stuck at home right now due to COVID-19/coronavirus, some of you may have noticed that your broadband speeds have taken a hit in the past few weeks. It shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that an influx of workers “telecommuting” instead of working from the office, and children accessing educational materials from the computers at home would put a strain on broadband networks. Throw in an massive increase in online gaming, and you can see why some networks might be stressed. Well, the folks over at BroadbandNow have posted their Internet Speed Analysis for 200 top cities in the United States for March 15th through... Read more...
It goes without saying the coronavirus is claiming lives, wrecking world financial markets, and shutting down amusement parks and sporting events around the country. AT&T has taken the noble stance of removing data caps on its broadband plans -- at least temporarily -- and now Comcast is responding in its own way to make life at home more bearable for those under quarantine, have been forced to work from home, or are out of work during these tumultuous times. In this case, Comcast is making changes to its Internet Essentials program, which is only available to qualifying low-income Americans. The service usually costs $9.95 per month and offers download/upload speeds that are capped... Read more...
Many Americans feel like the state of broadband Internet service in the United States isn't that great. In addittion, in many areas there is only one broadband Internet provider, leaving consumers with no choice but to pay exorbitant fees to carriers like Comcast, Verizon and a select few others. While much of America struggles with broadband speeds that are slow compared to the rest of the world, Japan now will be offering blazing-fast speeds at what we'd consider here in the US to be a reasonable price. In Japan, NTT East and NTT West (Nippon Telegraph And Telephone) have increased data speeds for their existing plans up to 10 Gbps (that's 10 Gigabits per second or 10,000 Mbps bandwidth). In... Read more...
Comcast has announced that it has completed an investigation that found there was an error in its billing software that led to customers being incorrectly charged for exceeding their data allotments. Comcast says that the customers who were charged by mistake will be given bill credits and an additional $50 credit. Comcast admitted its wrongdoing after a customer stepped forward and told Ars Technica that even with his modem unplugged overnight, Comcast had recorded 40GB of data use. Comcast says that the data meter was operating correctly, but the numbers passed to its new billing software were incorrect. The cable giant says that it has rolled back to its old billing system and that the issue... Read more...
Some of you reading this may not find it shocking that Comcast is being fined millions of dollars for running afoul of consumer protections. Comcast is a major ISP, after all, and there are no shortages of customer complaints to be found on the web. But would you be surprised to learn that it broke the law hundreds of thousands of times? That's the finding of a King County Superior Court judge, who ruled that Comcast violated the Consumer Protection Act more than 445,000 times by charging tens of thousands of Washington residents an extra fee for its Service Protection Plan without their consent, according to Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson. "Comcast refused to accept responsibility... Read more...
High-speed internet and robust infrastructure is often the life blood of growing communities looking to attract high tech business and satisfy citizens. In most cases, however, residents and businesses only have access to one, or at the most two, broadband internet providers. You'll usually have access to broadband cable as one option and DSL as the other. So, municipal internet -- where cities and towns build out and run their own broadband service -- is an obvious solution. BroadbandNow, which is a company that keeps tabs on broadband availability across the United States, has published a rather sobering study on the state of municipal broadband. Sadly, the company has discovered... Read more...
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