Items tagged with Internet

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...
The Chrome Dev Summit 2018 event is underway now, and one of the big focuses of the event is making the web faster and smoother. One of the ways Google's Chromium team is going to make this happen is with a new tool called Squoosh, a powerful image compression tool that launches almost instantly and offers a simple, fast UI, even when it’s working hard. The app offers compression and conversion between image formats like PNG, JPG and WebP with multiple compression algorithms to choose from. The Squoosh web app works in any browser but of course Google recommends Chrome for the best experience. Regardless, the tool also gives you the ability and options for resizing, smoothing... Read more...
Some of Google's major services unexpectedly went offline for a period of time on Monday, apparently resulting from a tiny ISP in Nigeria inadvertently hijacking certain internet traffic. Referred to as a BGP (Border Gateway Protocol) hijack, traffic that should have found its way to Google's servers instead pinged Nigerian ISP MainOne Cable Company. At issue is that MainOne Cable was hosting over 200 Google network prefixes, resulting in traffic not going to where it was supposed to. This is what we know: Starting at 2018-11-12 21:12 UTC Nigerian ISP AS37282 'MainOne Cable Company' leaked 212 @google prefixes to China telecom. Causing traffic to be redirected and dropped. Leaked BGP Paths via... Read more...
Comcast has laid claim to the title of "nation's largest provider of gigabit broadband" with the announcement that nearly 58 million homes and business have access to its gigabit internet service. Comcast claims its rollout to be the fastest deployment of gigabit speeds to the most locations in the country; Xfinity Gigabit Internet and Comcast Business Gigabit service are available to "nearly all" customers in 39 states and the District of Columbia. Comcast offers faster speeds with multi-gigabit available to business users in Comcast service areas. Comcast notes it has increased speeds 17 times in the last 17 years and that the capacity of its broadband network has doubled every 18-24 months.... Read more...
If you've noticed that your streaming media feeds seem a bit slower lately, you are not alone. Others have noticed that online videos suddenly seem to be buffering more often and arriving on devices looking a little blurry. Maybe websites appear to be taking longer to load. If so, it could be because your Internet service provider (ISP) is throttling traffic. It's not necessarily in your head, in other words. This was one of the fears that net neutrality advocates warned about when the Federal Communications Commission, led by chairman Ajit Pai, was determined to strip away regulations implemented under the previous administration when Tom Wheeler headed up the FCC. "Nearly every US cell provider... Read more...
Charter is not making many friends in high places in New York. Just the opposite, the New York State Public Service Commission announced it has revoked its approval of a 2016 merger between Charter Communications and Time Warner Cable (TWC) due to Charter, doing business as Spectrum, wavering on promises it made, along with "various instances of misconduct." One of the times the Commission noted in its revocation announcement is a 2017 lawsuit filed by New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman. In the lawsuit, the AG accused Spectrum of throttling Internet speeds for streaming services like Netflix, and online gaming. The lawsuit specifically mentioned Riot Games, with data to show that... Read more...
The European Union's Legal Affairs Committee (JURI) voted in favor of draft legislation that would overhaul Europe's copyright rules. However, the concern from several Internet pioneers, civil liberties groups, and others who oppose the legislation fear that it will ultimately be a tool for surveillance and essentially wreck the web as we know it today, even though those favoring the legislation may have good intentions. Lawmakers are trying to protect the interest of copyright holders. However, one of the provisions (Article 13) would require companies like Google to create an automatic filter for every piece of online content that is uploaded in the EU, to check the content for copyright violations.... Read more...
Over the past week, we've reported quite a bit about the rise of cord-cutting and how big cable and satellite TV companies are adapting to the changing landscape. Comcast in particular lost 96,000 customers last quarter, and is looking for new ways to stop defectors from moving to cheaper alternatives. Last week, Comcast responded by raising internet speeds out of the blue for customers in specific regions of the United States: Houston, Oregon, and Southwest Washington. We don't know if these areas in particular have seen heavy defections from Comcast's TV packages, but customers in these regions are seeing some massive increases in their internet download speeds.  What's even more... Read more...
Each year on April 1 we are a bit skeptical about some of the stuff we read because some of it isn’t real. Cloudflare, the same company that uses a wall of lava lamps to generate encryption keys, swears that its new 1.1.1.1 consumer DNS service is the real deal. The promise is that the new DNS service is the fastest on the web and is designed with privacy-first in mind. If you aren’t sure what DNS is, Cloudflare describes it this way, "DNS is the directory of the Internet. Whenever you click on a link, send an email, open a mobile app, often one of the first things that has to happen is your device needs to look up the address of a domain. There are two sides of the DNS network: Authoritative... Read more...
What happened yesterday was outrageous. Officials at the FCC voted 3-2 to repeal net neutrality rules enacted during the previous administration, stripping away consumer protections against ISP abuse. The vote ignored a public outcry that had grown loud and clear leading up to the vote, one that included voices from many of the Internet's pioneers, along with 18 state attorney's general and tens of millions of people from all walks of life, both Republicans and Democrats. The process was a farce, though the fight for net neutrality is not over. Yes, net neutrality advocates lost a battle yesterday. And yes, when the ink dries and the red tape clears, ISPs and wireless carriers will be free to... Read more...
AT&T is testing out a new way of delivering ultra-fast Internet connectivity to customers that is on par with fiber-optic networks, only AT&T's solution is over the air. Called "Project AirGig," this first-of-its-kind system consists of a contraption that clamps onto existing power poles, negating the need to build new towers or run lines under the ground. According to AT&T, it only takes a few minutes to train an electrical worker how to install these devices. Project AirGig is the result of over a decade of research by AT&T Labs. More than 300 patents and patent applications are involved. AT&T says it represents a potential new era in connectivity where turbocharged data... Read more...
The net neutrality debate is hard upon us, but not everyone understands what's at stake. Most tech-savvy folks understand the issues and have a thoughtful position based on their understanding of the technology and how it's used. But some have no position, mainly because they simply don't follow the tech press on a daily basis. This may be especially true when we're speaking of folks who are somewhat older or younger, or who simply don't have a tech background. The following is provided mostly as a resource for those folks. We have always had an "open Internet." In the old days (i.e., the early 2000s), we thought of the Web as an "information superhighway," and that was an apt analogy: the Internet... Read more...
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