Items tagged with ISP

It’s a long-running joke that most of us use our phones to make phone calls rather rarely, opting instead to use them for texting, Web browser, games, productivity, and social media more often. Perhaps that’s partly why AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson suggested this week that data-only wireless plans are likely coming within two years. According to CBS News, instead of having separate options and pricing for calls, texts, and data, mobile carriers will fold all three into one “data” plan. AT&T isn’t necessarily saying that it’s developing such a plan, but Stephenson called the trend “inevitable”. This new plan format would also likely allow... Read more...
Good news if you get your Internet service through Bright House Networks, Cablevision, Comcast, Cox Communications, or Time Warner Cable: You just got free access to about 50,000 WiFi hotspots. The quintet of cable ISPs announced that they’ve partnered to provide free WiFi hotspot access to all of their combined customers under the network name “CableWiFi”. Currently, Bright House and Cablevision have CableWiFi networks set up in NYC and in central Florida. Over the next few months, more networks from all five participating ISPs will pop up throughout public places such as malls, restaurants, beaches, and parks in New York City (and the surrounding Tri-State area), LA, Tampa,... Read more...
Net neutrality. Throttling. Shaping. Data discrimination. Lots of weird terms, and plenty of headaches for Internet users. ISPs are looking to all sorts of methods in order to curb usage and abuse where possible, but Bell Canada is taking a rather unusual approach. But now, according to a letter to Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission, the ISP has decided to "withdraw the shaping of P2P traffic" on their networks starting March 1st. Here's the reasoning: With the increasing popularity of streamed video and other traffic, P2P file-sharing, as a proportion of total traffic, has been diminishing. This is not to say that it no longer has an impact on network congestion. Nevertheless,... Read more...
A major ruling from the European Court of Justice found that an ISP is not responsible for monitoring Web traffic for illegal downloads. The ruling was in a case between European ISP Scarlet Extended SA and an organization responsible for authorizing the use of musical works called SABAM. SABAM discovered that users were using P2P sites to illegally download works in its catalog. SABAM managed to get a Belgian court to order Scarlet to--somehow--end the P2P piracy, under threat of penalties. ECJ Buildings Predictably, Scarlet appealed the ruling, using the argument that asking it to effectively monitor communications on its networks, which violated a previously instituted directive on electronic... Read more...
Most ISPs advertise the upload and download speeds of their broadband, but just how much truth is in advertising? A recent study by the FCC aims give consumers the answer for the nation's largest providers. The Federal Communications Commission has released the results of a year-long scientific study it conducted with regard to the upload and download speeds of thirteen American internet service providers. Among the ISPs included in the study were AT&T, Cablevision, CenturyLink, Charter, Comcast, Cox, Frontier, Insight, Mediacom, Qwest, Time-Warner, Verizon (DSL), Verizon (Fiber), and Windstream. Most of the ISPs hit 90 percent of their advertised upload speeds, which is good, except... Read more...
The National Sheriffs' Association has announced it supports mandatory logging provisions incorporated into a proposed federal law that would require ISPs to store all customer data for 18 months. The bill (HR 1981) is intended to amend title 18 of the USC and is known as the "Protecting Children From Internet Pornagraphers Act of 2011," At a Congressional hearing today, Michael Brown, a sheriff in Bedford County, VA and board member of the NSA stated: ""The limited data retention time and lack of uniformity among retention from company to company significantly hinders law enforcement's ability to identify predators when they come across child pornography." Wireless providers have managed to... Read more...
Last month, we covered AT&T's decision to impose caps on its previous unlimited Internet service plans. An estimated 56 percent of Americans now pay for bandwidth-capped service, almost always at the same price point that once allowed them unlimited bandwidth. Now, toss in the fact that you can't swing a dead cat two feet without smacking into another company eagerly talking about 'cloud services.' The offers are varied, the promises inflated, and the terminology uncertain. In virtually every case, today's cloud services are nothing more than what we used to call 'web storage' or 'sharing content across a network / the Internet.' The difference between these services of yesteryear and today's... Read more...
Comcast was always a major player in the cable / ISP space, but now it's almost unfair. These guys have managed to coerce even a monstrous company like Intel to team up with 'em, with their newest Xfinity TV set-top box being powered by none other than Chipzilla herself. Intel's CE media processor has been kicking around in one form or another for a few years now, but mostly it attracted attention at trade shows rather than consumer halls. But with media, content and streaming becoming such hot topics, the whole industry is ripe for an explosion in these kinds of chips. Comcast will be relying on Intel-based set- top boxes, engineered by Pace, in a next-gen Xfinity TV market trial. Why? Comcast... Read more...
In America, there's HughesNet. It's usually a last-resort for people seeking high-speed internet, mostly for two reasons. For one, it's crazy expensive. Two, it's really slow, at least on the uplink. But satellite-based internet is still useful in rural places where no other broadband is available, and evidently those same demands are also present in Europe. Eutelsat has just launched satellite internet across Europe, and it's being called the most powerful satellite in the entire world. It just went into service this week, giving broadband speeds to over a million homes in Europe that are currently doing without. The KA-SAT was launched at the end of 2010, and just now went into service. It's... Read more...
In a development that's glad news for any AT&T customer stuck with the company's new 150GB broadband cap, the New America Foundation and the Public Knowledge group have jointly asked the FCC to examine data caps. While they admit that such caps are not prima facie evidence of monopolistic abuse, they note: "they [broadband caps] carry the omnipresent temptation to act in an anticompetitive and monopolistic ways. Unless they are clearly and transparently justified to address legitimate network capacity concerns, caps can work directly against the promise of broadband access." AT&T comes under particular fire. "Unlike competitors, whose caps appear to be at least nominally linked to congestions... Read more...
We have to believe that most of the suits in Washington, D.C. were in a hurry to get back home for the holidays, but an FCC ruling was able to be hammered out just before the Christmas break. Net neutrality has been one of the biggest issues in the FCC circle this year, along with rural broadband. As the Internet has grown, so has concern that ISPs may have too much power over their users. Earlier in the year, Comcast was chided for "throttling users" that were transferring peer-to-peer applications, which led to a heated debate over what an Internet service provided can and cannot do to a user's bandwidth. Net neutrality is a huge, tangled issue. There are fierce debates ongoing on both sides,... Read more...
Comcast hasn't exactly been one to avoid bad PR. We need only think back to the whole BitTorrent throttling fiasco, or more recently, Level 3's accusation that Comcast is essentially putting an extortion charge on whisking Netflix traffic down to its subscribers. But here's one bit of good news coming from the Comcast camp -- the ISP reportedly isn't planning to bill its customers based on data usage, Yahoo News reports. "Right now we have no plan in place to activate usage-based pricing," Comcast bigwig Neil Smit told investors on Tuesday. No need to pull the plug, Comcast says it isn't switching to a usage-based billing model. That's great news for customers addicted to streaming media, such... Read more...
Earlier in the year, Google made clear that they wanted to get in the business of providing Internet service, not just service search on the Internet. A ton of cities made their case to Google in order to be selected for one of the first rollouts, but Google has still yet to make their decision on that. In fact, an update today provided by the company states that they're hoping to have that community or communities selected by the end of the year. But you won't have to wait that long to start hearing reports about how great (or not so great) Google's fiber-based ISP is. That's because the company has landed a deal with Stanford University that will make it available to the university’s... Read more...
This doesn't actually have anything to do with Google's own intentions to get into the Internet servicing business, but you may assume so at first glance. It seems that Google is still considering where to roll out their fiber-based ISP, but if you need lightning fast Internet right now, you may need to move to Chattanooga, Tennessee. That small town has just announced the fastest U.S. Internet speeds, with 1 Gigabit speeds being made available for both businesses and residents. EPB Fiber Optics, which is Chattanooga's municipally-owned fiber-to-the-premises network, has partnered with Alcatel-Lucent in order to make it happen, and the good news is that this isn't a plan. It's for real, and it's... Read more...
It's about time! For years, gamers have been fighting for respect. Most people don't take them seriously, though the gaming business is obviously a huge one. Razer makes a living from selling accessories to hardcore gamers, and gaming PC sales don't seem to be hurting. So if high-end mice and GPUs sell so well, why wouldn't a high-end Internet service catering to gamers? That's what Demon hopes to do, offering a new broadband service that's supposedly tweaked to provide the best experience for gamers. Bigfoot Networks has tried something similar with their custom Killer network cards, which reportedly level out jitter and make for smoother online gameplay sessions. But Demon's new broadband product... Read more...
Ever heard of AT&T U-verse? Unless your neighborhood is one of the few scattered about America with access to U-verse, there's a good chance that you haven't heard about it. Basically, it's a rival for cable carriers, DirecTV, DISH Network and Verizon's FiOS. It's a fiber-based system that provides Internet, TV and phone service just like any other telco, but AT&T has struggled in reaching plenty of homes while installing the technology. Once a node is built, the reach is rather short, so unless your home is really near a node, chances are you're out of range. But now, that may be changing. AT&T has announced that it's "deploying a new, but long-promised, technology to reach more... Read more...
You may assume that you have no real reason to thank Finland today, but you do. If you're an avid Internet user, you owe the first nation to make broadband service a basic right a great deal of gratitude, because without them being first, there's no telling how long it would've taken for some other country to finally pull the trigger. That's right: while America tries to figure out how to get broadband into rural areas, Finland is moving forward with a far bolder plan that involves giving broadband access to every single citizen. Obviously, this is a huge undertaking, and it'll involve a great deal of spending in order to make it a reality. The move makes Finland the first nation on the planet... Read more...
Timing has a way of spicing things up, and this is definitely one of those cases. During the same week that Verizon announced that they would be cutting back on future FiOS roll outs, AT&T has announced something in the opposite vein. As of this week, AT&T is giving its U-verse users an even faster broadband choice, with U-verse High Speed Internet Max Turbo now available in every single U-verse market--all 120 of them. This option gives broadband speeds of up to 24Mbps downstream and up to 3Mbps upstream, which is far greater than most standard cable connections. Available today for AT&T U-verse residential and small business customers, Max Turbo is the fastest Internet package available... Read more...
The recession has a lot of negative effects, but largely, the technology industry has continued to flourish. Unfortunately, one of the greatest competitors in the Internet industry seems to be scaling back their efforts, and the tough economic conditions are primarily to blame. Verizon made the news in a big way a few years ago, promising to really add a dose of competition to markets that only had a couple of ISP choices (mostly from cable and DSL providers). The FiOS Internet service was unique; it provided a fiber-based alternative that delivered fiber all the way to the home, which enabled users to purchase speeds well over 100Mbps. Those speeds are practically unheard of, but FiOS was forcing... Read more...
Last month, Google shook up the ISP landscape in a big way, and all with the stroke of the (digital) pen. The company announced that they would soon begin testing a 1Gbps home fiber network, which could provide home Internet speeds that could only be realized in one's imagination before. Needless to say, Americans began to get hopeful, and local politicians saw opportunity. Having Google's name (and 1Gbps Internet access) stamped on your town is probably a surefire way to get you in the news (and maybe even add to the tax base), so it's no surprise to hear that city after city is going out of their way to make an impact and sway Google into making their town the first to get this new breed of... Read more...
Broadband Internet. It's a luxury that many of us take for granted, and if it goes out even for a few minutes, we get up in arms about the outage. We expect it to always be there, and we expect it to always work perfectly. Frankly, we don't give a single thought as to how life was pre-broadband. In fact, we probably complain more often than not that our upload speeds are too limited and our ping times are still too high. My, how spoiled we have become. Or have we?According to a new global survey of 27,000 adults in 26 countries for the BBC World Service, just under 80% of Internet users believed that the Web gave them "greater freedom," while 90% said it was "a good place to learn." What's more... Read more...
The Domain Name System, or DNS, is the address book of the Internet. Type in a site name such as www.amazon.com, and DNS servers "resolves" that name into an IP address, which is a set of numbers that can get you to the site. On Thursday, Google announced its own DNS service, called Google Public DNS, which it says is part of its initiative to "speed up the Internet."For most people, DNS is hidden. Routers, DSL and cable modems usually automatically set up the DNS servers used by your home network. You can change this, either by changing the settings on your router, or by changing it on each PC individually, but it's not, as Google itself admits, for the faint of heart.You will have a primary... Read more...
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