FCC Approves Charter’s Purchase of TWC and Bright House

The Federal Communications Commission has approved the proposed acquisitions of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks by Charter Communications. If California regulators also approve (a decision is expected by Thursday), the deals would result in the second-largest broadband provider and third-largest video provider in the U.S. The Time Warner Cable deal is valued at $56.7 billion, while the Bright House deal is valued at $10.4 billion. Thomas Rutledge, president and chief exec of Charter, said the deals would lead to increased competition, more access to affordable broadband and new jobs. Continue reading FCC Approves Charter’s Purchase of TWC and Bright House

Comcast to Introduce 1,000-GB Data Limits in Select Markets

In the wake of customer backlash over limits and surcharges, by June 1, Comcast will unveil a 1,000-gigabyte cap for broadband customers in markets previously limited to 300-gigabytes monthly. In 2012, the company stopped enforcing a universal 250-gigabyte limit, and since then has been testing different Internet plans in mainly Southern states, reaching 14 percent of its homes or 2.8 million customers. Comcast has stated that 10 percent, or more than 2 million people, use 300 gigabytes or more a month. Continue reading Comcast to Introduce 1,000-GB Data Limits in Select Markets

Regulators Set Conditions for Approval of Charter-TWC Deal

While federal regulators are closer to approving the Charter Communications acquisitions of both Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks, the FCC and Justice Department have introduced conditions designed to protect streaming video companies and help provide affordable broadband services for low income households. The $71+ billion deal would make Charter the second-largest broadband service provider in the U.S. with about 19.4 million subscribers, and the nation’s third-largest cable TV provider with 17.4 million customers. Continue reading Regulators Set Conditions for Approval of Charter-TWC Deal

Verizon’s Zero-Rating for Go90 Likely to Spur FCC Response

Up until now, “zero rating” has been a gray area in net neutrality, but Verizon’s recent action might force the FCC to clarify its stance. Zero rating means that an Internet provider allows certain video and/or music streams to not count against a subscriber’s data cap. Verizon just confirmed that it has applied zero-rating to its new go90 service, thus giving itself preferential treatment and putting competitors such as Netflix, YouTube and other streaming services at a disadvantage. Continue reading Verizon’s Zero-Rating for Go90 Likely to Spur FCC Response

Judge: Cox Not Entitled to Safe Harbor from Copyright Liability

U.S. District Judge Liam O’Grady ruled that Cox Communications is not, as it claimed, a mere conduit for those who infringe copyrights but instead has liability for not implementing a repeat-infringer policy. The suit originated with BMG Rights Management and Round Hill Music, which both sought the help of Rightscorp, a company that tracks down online pirates and, controversially, demands they pay up or face lawsuits. Cox had asserted that Rightscorp’s demands were unreasonable and did not cooperate. Continue reading Judge: Cox Not Entitled to Safe Harbor from Copyright Liability

Pay TV Industry Loses 532,000 Subscribers in North America

Cord cutting continues to impact the pay TV industry. According to a new report from Strategy Analytics, the top 20 cable and satellite TV providers lost 479,000 subscribers in the U.S. between April and June, while operators in Canada lost 53,000 customers, marking the highest rate of decline experienced thus far in North America. The report comes after the first net drop of pay TV subscribers for the first three months of a year, following a disappointing Q1. Additionally, digital IPTV subscriptions fell by 62,000 in the U.S. and 9,000 in Canada. Continue reading Pay TV Industry Loses 532,000 Subscribers in North America

Merger Talks Between Dish and T-Mobile at the Formative Stage

Dish Network is in discussions to merge with T-Mobile US, say people familiar with the matter. While financial specifics remain unresolved, the people indicate that the combined company would be led by Dish Chief Exec Charlie Ergen as chairman, and his T-Mobile counterpart John Legere as CEO. The deal would merge the second-largest satellite TV operator in the U.S. with the fourth-largest wireless carrier. Dish has a current market capitalization of $33 billion, slightly higher than T-Mobile’s $31 billion. Continue reading Merger Talks Between Dish and T-Mobile at the Formative Stage

Charter to Purchase Time Warner Cable in $55.3 Billion Deal

Charter Communications has agreed to purchase Time Warner Cable for $55.3 billion in cash and stock. Including the debt Charter will assume, the total deal is valued around $79 billion. The move follows in the wake of Comcast’s attempted bid to acquire TWC. Charter will also move ahead with its purchase of Bright House Networks for $10.4 billion, and the three combined companies would make Charter the second largest TV and Internet provider in the U.S. with 24 million customers. Comcast currently holds the top spot with 27.2 million. Continue reading Charter to Purchase Time Warner Cable in $55.3 Billion Deal

Comcast Planning to Launch Short-Form Online Video Service

Comcast reportedly has plans to launch an online video service similar to YouTube, which would offer short-form content. By offering original content, Comcast hopes it would appeal to a younger demographic and create shows that could also be distributed as part of its traditional TV cable package. The company has yet to announce an expected launch date. Meanwhile, Comcast has unveiled Xfinity Share for its Triple Play customers, which allows users to beam live video to their TVs or those of their friends. Continue reading Comcast Planning to Launch Short-Form Online Video Service

Xbox One Support for OTA TV Should Appeal to Cord Cutters

With its newly added capabilities to support over-the-air TV broadcasts, including HD content, the Xbox One is gearing up to become the ultimate cord-cutting device. Microsoft had always intended for the Xbox One to become a console with extensive media capabilities extending beyond gaming. Its support for over-the-air TV now complements services such as Netflix and Plex, in addition to OneGuide integration and compelling features including voice control and the ability to pause live TV. Continue reading Xbox One Support for OTA TV Should Appeal to Cord Cutters

Comcast Confirms That It Has Dropped $45 Billion Bid for TWC

Comcast issued a statement this morning that the proposed merger with Time Warner Cable has officially been terminated. “Today, we move on,” noted Comcast Chairman and CEO Brian Roberts. “Of course, we would have liked to bring our great products to new cities, but we structured this deal so that if the government didn’t agree, we could walk away.” Reports had circulated in recent days that a merger of the country’s two largest cable operators was ending as Comcast faced intense regulatory scrutiny regarding the $45.2 billion acquisition. Continue reading Comcast Confirms That It Has Dropped $45 Billion Bid for TWC

Netflix Signs Paid Peering Deal with TWC for Faster Streaming

Time Warner Cable signed a direct interconnection deal with Netflix, which makes it the fourth of the biggest ISPs to sign such an agreement with the video service. The deal should improve the Netflix experience for TWC broadband subscribers. Netflix signed similar deals with AT&T, Comcast and Verizon in recent months after fighting with the providers. Despite signing the paid peering agreements, Netflix continues to argue before the FCC and publicly that such arrangements violate net neutrality. Continue reading Netflix Signs Paid Peering Deal with TWC for Faster Streaming

Los Angeles Requests Plans to Build Fiber Broadband Network

The Los Angeles city government put out a request for information regarding the construction of a citywide fiber and Wi-Fi network. Dutch company Angie Communications was the only one to make its full response public. It responded to the RFI with an ambitious plan to build an entire LA fiber network within five years, including the infrastructure for metro and street access. In addition, the company proposes a nationwide 4G cellular network and Wi-Fi network. Continue reading Los Angeles Requests Plans to Build Fiber Broadband Network

Sprint Edges Closer to a $32 Billion Deal for Rival T-Mobile

SoftBank’s Sprint unit is reportedly poised to make a $32 billion offer to acquire T-Mobile that could take place early this summer. According to people familiar with the matter, the two telecoms have agreed on the broad outlines of a merger, but are still working on a formal contract. If completed and approved, the deal would combine the country’s third- and fourth-largest wireless operators, and potentially establish stronger competition for industry leaders Verizon and AT&T. Continue reading Sprint Edges Closer to a $32 Billion Deal for Rival T-Mobile

Report: Copyright Alert System Distributes 1.3 Million Notices

The Center for Copyright Information released official figures on Wednesday regarding the first 10 months of the anti-piracy program initiated by movie studios, record companies and Internet providers. The group reports that it has forwarded 1.3 million copyright alerts thus far to consumers that have been accessing infringing media content. The voluntary industry agreement was designed to educate consumers and curb online copyright infringement. Continue reading Report: Copyright Alert System Distributes 1.3 Million Notices

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