FCC Chair Pai Begins His Promised Rollback of Net Neutrality

The Federal Communications Commission has begun to rollback net neutrality rules established during President Obama’s time in office. FCC chair Ajit Pai, who leads the commission in creating new rules that will benefit mainly cable and wireless companies, argues that net neutrality rules have slowed down investment in broadband infrastructure. To prove his point, he cited a study showing that domestic capital investment among large ISPs has dropped 5.6 percent between 2014 and 2016, which he blames on heavy-handed rules. Continue reading FCC Chair Pai Begins His Promised Rollback of Net Neutrality

T-Mobile’s Binge On Expands Content with ABC, Apple, Fox

T-Mobile’s Binge On service, which lets subscribers stream selected services without the content counting towards their data cap, just quadrupled its offerings with Fox Now, ABC, Apple Music, NatGeo TV and Disney Jr. among others. With these additions, the Binge On program hosts more than 100 content partners, including Netflix and YouTube. The program is catching on with users, whose streaming hours increased 50 percent between June and July. Video quality for Binge On programming is downgraded to 480p. Continue reading T-Mobile’s Binge On Expands Content with ABC, Apple, Fox

Netflix Beats Projections for User Growth In U.S. and Abroad

Netflix added 4.88 million subscribers in the most recent quarter, exceeding expectations for growth of its user base. The company had forecast 4.05 million new subscribers. Netflix believes its popular original programming like “House of Cards” helped attract more users both in the U.S. and internationally. The streaming service is continuing to expand overseas and plans to encrypt its video streams in order to protect the privacy of its now 62 million-strong user base. Continue reading Netflix Beats Projections for User Growth In U.S. and Abroad

Streaming TV Services Look to Bypass Internet Congestion

While the FCC has proposed that broadband companies cannot accept payments for access to an Internet fast lane, some streaming TV services want to be classified as “managed services,” much like digital phone services. This gray area of the net neutrality rules may provide media companies a fast lane opportunity. The FCC allows cable and phone companies to operate managed services, such as digital phone services or video-on-demand, on a special bandwidth so that consumers do not experience dropped calls or video buffering. Continue reading Streaming TV Services Look to Bypass Internet Congestion

Data Caps May Result in Higher Prices for Internet Customers

The U.S. Government Accountability Office warns that data caps may drive the prices of Internet service up for everyone, instead of keeping costs low for the people who only use a small amount of data. Internet service providers do not have enough competition in some places, which would make it easier for ISPs to abuse a usage-based pricing system. The GAO recommends that the Federal Communications Commission develop a voluntary code of conduct for ISPs. Continue reading Data Caps May Result in Higher Prices for Internet Customers

T-Mobile Adds Music Streaming, Stops Hiding Slower Speeds

Cellular company T-Mobile announced last week that it has added 14 new streaming services that will not count towards its customers’ data caps. Google Play Music and other specialty music services are now part of the Music Freedom program, but the deal raises questions about T-Mobile’s role in net neutrality. The FCC also told the company that it needs to be more transparent about throttled Internet speeds for customers who have exceeded their data allowance. Continue reading T-Mobile Adds Music Streaming, Stops Hiding Slower Speeds

Comcast Trademarks ‘True Gig’ High-Speed Internet Service

Comcast applied for a trademark last week for a high-speed Internet service named “True Gig.” The company already offers an expensive high-speed Internet service known as the “Extreme 505” with 505Mbps download speeds, but Comcast plans to eventually launch an even faster gigabit Internet service. The company also wants to use the phrase to describe online video streaming. The company’s previous video streaming service is no longer being offered as a standalone service. Continue reading Comcast Trademarks ‘True Gig’ High-Speed Internet Service

Amazon Readies Launch of First Smartphone with Prime Data

Amazon’s first smartphone, to be released this summer, is expected to offer a unique wireless data plan called “Prime Data.” The phone will feature hardware-assisted 3D effects, four low-power infrared cameras to track the user’s head in relation to the display, and new no-touch gesture controls. It is possible that Amazon’s phone could be made exclusive to AT&T in the U.S., which would result in the first deal based on the “Sponsored Data” program. Continue reading Amazon Readies Launch of First Smartphone with Prime Data