AT&T GigaPower Service Offers Data Privacy for Monthly Fee

GigaPower by AT&T, the company’s 1 gigabit-per-second service, was introduced in 2013 in Austin, Texas — and this week it rolled out in Kansas City, Missouri. While customers can enjoy ultrafast fiber-optic Internet access for $70 per month, AT&T also tracks their online activities. Those who prefer to keep their browsing habits private can pay an additional $29 a month. Since opting out of sharing such data is typically offered free of charge, some are questioning whether AT&T’s model will discourage people from doing so. Continue reading AT&T GigaPower Service Offers Data Privacy for Monthly Fee

Google Continues Expansion of Ultrafast Fiber Internet Service

Google announced yesterday that it plans to deliver its Fiber Internet service with speeds of one gigabit per second (100 times faster than average U.S. broadband) to many of the neighborhoods in 18 cities of metro areas including Atlanta, Georgia; Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina; and Nashville, Tennessee. As with its initial three areas, the company will offer its one gigabit Internet service for $70 per month, while an Internet and TV package will cost $120-$130, depending on the location. Continue reading Google Continues Expansion of Ultrafast Fiber Internet Service

Proposed FCC Rule Change Potential Big Step for Internet TV

The FCC is considering a change to federal regulations that could potentially put Internet TV providers on the same level as traditional cable TV companies. If the change were implemented, Internet TV providers would reportedly have the same ability as today’s cable and satellite companies to negotiate for carrying broadcast TV stations. The change could therefore help emerging multichannel video programming distributors (MVPD) to license the content necessary to become serious contenders. Continue reading Proposed FCC Rule Change Potential Big Step for Internet TV

FCC May Introduce New Regulations for Online Video Services

Insiders indicate that the Federal Communications Commission is presently considering the introduction of new regulations for companies that provide subscription video services via the Internet. The FCC is reportedly looking at whether online providers should be regulated the same as traditional cable and satellite companies — or multichannel video program distributors. The move could affect those companies that are planning to launch OTT online video services in the future. Continue reading FCC May Introduce New Regulations for Online Video Services

New AT&T Internet and Cable Plan Includes Free Amazon Prime

AT&T is introducing a new Internet TV bundle that offers U-verse high speed Internet, U-verse TV, HBO, and a year-long subscription to Amazon Prime. The bundle is priced at an introductory rate of $39 per month. This move is part of AT&T’s strategy to lure cord-cutters who unbundle their expensive cable packages to opt for more online steaming options. AT&T’s partnership with Amazon Prime also shows the company’s interest in expanding its content offerings. Continue reading New AT&T Internet and Cable Plan Includes Free Amazon Prime

Verizon Settlement is Largest in FCC History Involving Privacy

Following an investigation by the Federal Communications Commission regarding the use of customer information for marketing campaigns, Verizon has agreed to pay a settlement to the federal government. The FCC investigated allegations that Verizon used personal information without notifying customers or obtaining their consent. To end the investigation, Verizon will pay $7.4 million to the U.S. Treasury and notify its customers of their opt-out rights on every bill for the next three years. Continue reading Verizon Settlement is Largest in FCC History Involving Privacy

Despite Blockades, The Pirate Bay’s Numbers Are Increasing

The Pirate Bay’s visitor count has doubled since 2011 despite repeated attempts to block the website. Courts around the world and entertainment industries have pushed for Internet providers to block subscriber access. Meanwhile, about 9 percent of the site’s users connect to it through a proxy, showing that some people are willing to bypass court-ordered blockades. The numbers do not prove that blockades are ineffective, however, since the increased traffic could be from different countries. Continue reading Despite Blockades, The Pirate Bay’s Numbers Are Increasing

Cable Execs Call for Action to Challenge Online Competitors

Cable industry executives gathered at the NCTA Cable Show to discuss growing competition from online video content providers, and the need for cable TV to improve delivery systems of cable programming across all devices. By improving the consumer experience and video-on-demand services, cable companies hope to “protect their turf” from the likes of Netflix and Hulu. Also, leaders in the cable industry recognize the need to find a solution for rising cable TV prices. Continue reading Cable Execs Call for Action to Challenge Online Competitors

Technicolor Ultra HD Set-Top Box Supports High Frame Rate

Earlier this week, Technicolor revealed a prototype of its new Ultra HD set-top box that will allow viewers to watch TV in 4K resolution and at high frame rates twice as fast as typical 30 fps set-tops. Targeted for cable and satellite services, it is is the industry’s first high frame rate 4K STB. Technicolor, which is hoping to start rolling out the first Ultra HD boxes in about a year, is showcasing its family of STBs at this week’s National Cable & Telecommunications conference in Los Angeles. Continue reading Technicolor Ultra HD Set-Top Box Supports High Frame Rate

Digital Media Companies Present for Marketers at NewFronts

The Digital Content NewFronts are an annual event in which companies that offer digital video give marketers a preview of their upcoming programming so that marketers will consider buying commercials ahead of time. This year, the growing event featured The New York Times, AOL, Microsoft, BuzzFeed and others. Among the newest offerings, Condé Nast will announce its plans to rapidly expand its online video content at its NewFronts presentation next week. Continue reading Digital Media Companies Present for Marketers at NewFronts

Will Proposed FCC Regulations Create a Two-Speed Internet?

The Federal Communications Commission has proposed to allow broadband providers to charge fees for high-speed Internet for faster delivery of video and other data, essentially allowing a premium Internet fast-lane for companies that can pay. Small content providers may not be able to compete because they do not have the resources to pay for high delivery speeds. The regulations would also prohibit broadband companies from blocking or slowing down individual websites. Continue reading Will Proposed FCC Regulations Create a Two-Speed Internet?

Verizon Expands In-Home Device Streaming with CBS and Fox

In an effort to convince customers that pay TV is worth the cost, Verizon is expanding its live TV streaming options to allow FiOS subscribers to watch local CBS and Fox stations at home on mobile devices. The company is also adding 16 available-for-viewing cable channels to its out-of-home live TV streaming for a total of 25. Still, those channels do not include broadcast channels or many popular cable nets. Such multiplatform rights have proven difficult to for cable providers to obtain. Continue reading Verizon Expands In-Home Device Streaming with CBS and Fox

Nexus TV: Google May Launch Android Set-Top Box Next Year

Google is rumored to be working on a set-top box that will run Android, play video games and stream from services such as Netflix, Hulu and YouTube. The device, reportedly named “Nexus TV,” is said to be scheduled for launch in the first half of 2014 and may include a motion sensor that can be controlled with an Android smartphone. Earlier this fall, Google apparently showed developers an early version of the box, which won’t support live broadcast. Continue reading Nexus TV: Google May Launch Android Set-Top Box Next Year

FCC Chair: “When Competition is High, Regulation Can Be Low”

The FCC’s new chairman, Tom Wheeler, spoke on Monday about usage-based pricing for Internet bandwidth, which has been strongly debated among public interest groups. Wheeler expressed his support for remaining steady with current Net neutrality rules. During a Q&A session at Ohio State University, he also suggested the marketplace should be allowed to “evolve” before coming to an ultimatum about whether providers should charge consumers based on bandwidth usage. Continue reading FCC Chair: “When Competition is High, Regulation Can Be Low”

TV Ratings Consistently Declining as Consumers Go Mobile

Media consumers are spending more time on mobile devices and less time watching television, and ratings from the past couple of years suggest that cable TV is on the decline. Since 2010, about 5 million people have ended their cable and broadband subscriptions. And for the first time ever, less than half of major broadband companies’ subscribers pay for cable TV. Broadcast and cable TV ratings have been heading downward since the end of 2011. Continue reading TV Ratings Consistently Declining as Consumers Go Mobile

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