Items tagged with ISP

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...
Pressure on ISPs is building as a result of the coronavirus and the glut of people who are moving to online work and learn. The problem that many consumers are having is their Internet service has data caps. Presumably, the data caps will be hit quickly with the increased demands from remote workers and from people in high school and universities who are trying to learn remotely. Some believe that the coronavirus may be the push that finally eliminates these data caps. ISPs don’t want to fall into the trap that Verizon tripped in the past when it throttled the connectivity of first responders for going over caps during an emergency. As a result, many ISPs and wireless carriers are preemptively... Read more...
Digital pirates who illegally download and share copyrighted material could be in for a chilly winter, or something like that. Not because of hefty fines, mind you—though that is always a possibility when it comes to file sharing copyrighted content—but due to throttling that could impact the functionality of smart thermostats, among other Internet-connected gadgets, an ISP has been warning some customers. Image Source: Flickr via Frederik Hermann The letter comes from Armstrong, a private cable, telecommunications, and Internet service provider operating in the Northeastern part of the United States. It has around a million broadband subscribers, some of which are being warned of... Read more...
Because there clearly haven't been enough ISP router vulnerabilities popping up this past year, another one helps usher in the new month. This one is being dubbed "SharknAT&To" (because every vulnerability needs a catchy name!), a portmanteau involving the cult classic in-the-making, Sharknado, and leading internet service provider, AT&T. SharknAT&To was outed by security researcher J Hutchins, whose team discovered a handful of vulnerabilities on AT&T's U-verse modems. At this point, it's not clear just how many devices are affected, but if you are a U-verse subscriber and are equipped with an Arris modem, you may want to be on alert. In particular, confirmed affected models... Read more...
The only people who think data caps are a good things are the ISPs that make huge amounts of money by charging customers each month for overages. While ISPs with data caps are in the minority, new research from a company called BroadbandNow has surveyed every internet provider out there and found that out of all the ISPs in its database (over 2,500), 196 of them have imposed data caps. The data caps vary regionally, meaning that some providers will have smaller or larger data allotments in different areas. While 196 providers out of around 2,500 sounds small, the carriers on the list imposing data caps are some of the largest in the country, meaning that large numbers of Internet users are subject... Read more...
It's amazing just how fast politics can move when corporate interests are at risk. Merely two years ago, we reported on the Federal Communication Commission's approval of clear net neutrality rules - a major win for the open Internet. It didn't take long before parties inside and outside the FCC got to work on trying to derail that win. Today, newly appointed FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's proposal to undo these rules and regulations has been given a favorable vote. It's important to note that just because Pai's proposal has been given an initial collective nod, doesn't mean that net neutrality rules immediately cease to exist, as the details still need to be examined closely before a final vote... Read more...
Comcast does not have a stellar reputation for customer service. Just the opposite, it is one of only two companies to be voted by Consumerist readers as the "Worst Company in America," earning the blog's not-so-coveted Golden Poo award in 2010 and again in 2014. Comcast made a vow to change that perception, and there is evidence its efforts are paying off to some degree. Yeah, we're as surprised as you are. After all, this is the same company that made headlines when one of its representatives changed the billing name of one of its customers from Lisa Brown to "A**hole Brown" after she decided to downgrade her service. In other instances of customer disservice, billing names were changed to... Read more...
Living far away from a major city center can offer a huge number of perks (like peace and quiet), but quality Internet access is rarely one of those perks. While many of us might curse at our meager 50Mbps connections from time to time, there are many others who are still at the mercy of latency-ridden satellite or glacier-slow dial-up. Fortunately for some, a real solution might be right around the corner: Super Wi-Fi. One ISP already taking advantage of Super Wi-Fi is Cal.net, which caters to those living in rural parts surrounding Sacramento. With it, customers can do a lot more than just read and reply to email, including taking advantage of the ultimate luxury: Netflix. Flickr: James Cridland... Read more...
Earlier this month, we told you about a Senate bill that would undo what had been deemed overreaching “midnight regulations” by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that were aimed at protecting consumer privacy. Today, the Senate voted along party lines (50-48) to kill the FCC measure that would require ISPs to gain consent before sharing customers' browsing data. The bill was authored by Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law. The vote to dismantle the FCC’s privacy rules was the result of the Congressional Review Act, which gives Congress the power to scrap nascent rules that have been passed by federal agencies. If... Read more...
Cox Communications is standing up for its subscribers by so far refusing to spy on their online activities and take legal action against those who download copyrighted material. That stand has already cost the ISP $25 million, the amount a Virginia federal jury recently came up with when it ruled that Cox was responsible for the activities of those using its service, and it could cost Cox even more. The ruling against Cox took place last December. Since then, music publisher BMG has followed up by asking a court to issue a permanent injunction against Cox. BMG also wants the ISP to boot customers who have pirated content and share the details of those subscribers with copyright holders. It doesn't... Read more...
New York is a crowded place, but that's no excuse for ISPs to deliver under performing broadband service. To prevent that from happening, the state's Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman, is asking the public to visit a special website designed to test their Internet speed as part of an ongoing investigation. The Attorney General's probe currently targets three ISPs, including Verizon, Cable Vision, and Time Warner Cable. Schneiderman sent all three a letter asking for various details, such as any speed tests the companies have run on their own and any disclosures they've sent to customers about their broadband service. To help with the probe, Schneiderman's office setup InternetHealthTest.org,... Read more...
When Google released its Fiber Internet service five years ago, it was quite something to behold. While most of us were dealing with modest broadband speeds (or worse), the big G was offering Internet speeds that could max out our home routers. At 1Gbps, Google was allowing people to both download and upload up to a theoretical 125MB/s, which is what most hard drives will peak at. It's still impressive. Not long after Google began hitting some cities with gigabit Internet, we began to see a number of other companies follow suit. Unfortunately, almost all of these are ISPs that focus on a certain area, so a wider rollout is in most cases unlikely. One such ISP is Chattanooga's EPB Fiber Optics,... Read more...
It appears that Verizon's supercookie is indeed "super", as we're still unable to escape it. Earlier this year, Verizon came under fire for making use of a cookie that works even when offline, and was impossible to disable. After a bit of prodding, the company decided to let users disable it, but not without getting them to jump through some hoops. The reason this "cookie" is so notable is because it can send back a wealth of information to Verizon and its partners. This goes as far as being able to identify which apps you're using on your mobile phone, and where you use them. Simply put, the amount of information that can be gathered on you is quite outrageous, and the fact that it can... Read more...
We learned earlier today that if Jeb Bush becomes America's 45th president, he'll waste no time getting rid of net neutrality, which was enacted only this past summer. Contrasting that, the Obama administration feels that net neutrality remains important, and that access to good services is more important than ever. In a new White House blog post, Jeffrey Zients, the Director of the National Economic Council, fills us in on all of the progress that's been made with broadband ever since Obama became president. He starts off by saying that since 2008, 110,000 miles of network infrastructure has been laid down, and overall, 98% of citizens have access to some sort of wireless. Further, 45 million... Read more...
Researchers at the University of California in San Diego have just crafted a new fiber optic technology which could dramatically improve our Internet's backbone, as well as reduce costs. While fiber optic connections to the Internet are a luxury for home and business, they're imperative for the outside sources that bring us our data. The backbone of the entire Internet is laced head-to-toe in fiber, as it's the only possible option for delivering and sustaining the bandwidth needed to serve everyone. But, its current design has a couple of caveats. At the forefront, current technology doesn't allow signals to be sent without some severe distortion -- severe enough that the receiving routers would... Read more...
We've been hearing about this threat for what seems like forever, but now, it's really real. According to The Wall Street Journal, the United States has a mere 3.4 million IP addresses left in its stock, and those are expected to disappear at some point during the summer. There's only one solution: to accelerate the rollout of IPv6. When the IPv4 protocol was created in the 70s, it was designed with a 32-bit numbering scheme. Understandably, its creators thought 4.2 billion total addresses (2^32) was more than sufficient. But those creators wouldn't have been able to foresee the computing explosion that'd strike decades later. It should be noted that the IP addresses of the devices in your... Read more...
Federal regulators put into a motion a legal process that would have made it very difficult for Comcast to proceed with its blockbuster plan to acquire Time Warner Cable (TWC) for $45 billion, and as a result of Comcast pulling out of the proposed buyout, Bright House Networks has abandoned its own plans of merging with Charter.The deals were intertwined in hopes of appeasing antitrust concerns. As constructed, if Comcast received approval to buy TWC, it would sell 1.4 million subscribers to Charter for $7.3 billion. Comcast would also divest 2.5 million subscribers as part of a spinoff into a new cable company called GreatLand Connections, of which Charter would own a stake.Image Source: Flickr... Read more...
Move over Google, and step aside AT&T, because here comes Cox with residential 1-gigabit Internet service of its own. Called G1GABLAST (Gigablast from here on out), the 1Gbps Internet service is now available in parts of Phoenix, Arizona; Orange County, California; Omaha, Nebraska; and Las Vegas, Nevada. Ultra high-speed Internet isn't anything new to Cox -- it's been offering business customers multi-gigabit options for over a decade. However, there's been a recent movement to bring 1Gbps service to home consumers, as both Google (Google Fiber) and AT&T (U-verse with AT&T GigaPower) have been aggressively expanding their fiber networks into more neighborhoods. "We started in Phoenix... Read more...
Comcast is one of only two companies to be voted "Worst Company in America" multiple times, having come away with Consumerist's title in 2010 and again in 2014. The cable giant is aware that it has an image problem, one that largely stems from poor and sometimes downright horrid customers service, and it's going on a hiring spree as part of a plan to change the customer experience. One of the core elements of Comcast's plan is to create 5,500 customer service jobs over the next few years. Comcast hopes that this investment in workers will allow the company to always be on time for customer appointments, which is more than a desire, but a goal it aims to meet by the third quarter of this year.... Read more...
If you have an opinion that many would deem illogical, what do you do? You go find other people who think just as illogically, of course. Power in numbers, as they say. That can go for a sibling battling with another sibling over who took the last of the cupcakes just as well as it can for mega corporations like Comcast which argue that a monopoly is a good thing. Comcast's desire to absorb Time Warner Cable has been a hugely debated topic, with many believing it'd harm innovation and work against consumers, while others -- those on Comcast's side -- state the exact opposite. I say if you have any doubt about which side you're on, just consider how Comcast handles itself now. Need examples? You... Read more...
Charter Communications this week said it's planning to acquire Bright House Networks, the sixth largest cable company in the U.S., for $10.4 billion. However, there are several contingencies, one of the biggest of which is government approval for rival Comcast to acquire Time Warner Cable, as Charter has a vested interest in the side deal. If Comcast is able to buy TWC, it has agreed to shed 1.4 million subscribers to Charter in exchange for $7.3 billion to help nudge regulators to approve the deal. Comcast said it would also divest 2.5 million subscribers as part of a spinoff into a new cable company called GreatLand Connections, of which Charter would own a stake. Should all of this... Read more...
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