How ISPs “Compete” With Municipal Networks: Lobbying and Campaign Donations That Block Them

How ISPs “Compete” With Municipal Networks: Lobbying and Campaign Donations That Block Them

Say you’re mayor of a small city. Your city is small enough and far enough away from other cities that the big cable companies don’t want to spend what it would cost to run wires through your town, because the amount they will make in return isn’t worth it. That’s reasonable, from a business perspective. So you and the residents of your city get together and come up with a plan to make a public broadband utility instead. Makes sense, right? You’d happily pay someone else to do it for you, but since they don’t want to take your money you’ll do it yourself. Only — surprise! In come those self-same cable companies to block you from doing that, too, and they get your state’s legislature and governor to pass a law against you for good measure, so you can never try again. [More]

Sprint Offers $60 Unlimited Data Plan That Won’t Interest Real Data Hogs

(Will Middelar)

Earlier this week, Sprint’s new CEO Marcelo Claure tried to take a swing at its bigger and/or faster competition by announcing a shared data plan that gives you a ton of data… on a network that’s currently so slow you’ll never get to use it all. Now Claure and company are trying again, offering an unlimited data plan that’s cheaper than the competition but probably won’t win over savvy data devourers. [More]

AT&T To Offer Gigabit Broadband Service In Apple’s Home Turf

AT&T To Offer Gigabit Broadband Service In Apple’s Home Turf

While Verizon’s FiOS expansion plans are apparently idling in the “to do… maybe, at some point” bin, AT&T appears to be moving forward with its plans to roll out its GigaPower gigabit broadband network to more markets. Today, the Death Star announced that it has selected its first target in California’s Silicon Valley — the city of Cupertino, better known as the home to Apple HQ. [More]

Comcast Says Mobile Data Is Competitive, But It Costs $2k To Stream Breaking Bad Over LTE

Comcast Says Mobile Data Is Competitive, But It Costs $2k To Stream Breaking Bad Over LTE

Comcast keeps on claiming that mobile broadband is real competition for wired home broadband. But for most users, it’s just plain not. Not only is the speed and reliability of mobile broadband still hugely variable depending on location and time of day, but also mobile data is still clearly not competitive on price. And how much more expensive is it to keep your phone on 4G instead of grabbing the nearest wi-fi signal? Our math says that trying to use your mobile data the same way you use your home wi-fi will cost you about twenty times more per month than your wired broadband bill. You’d have to be Walter White to be able to afford to watch all of Breaking Bad over your wireless network. [More]

(Misfit Photographer)

Sprint Is Prepping To Start A Price War, But Will Competitors Take The Bet?

Earlier this week, Sprint abandoned months of planning for a takeover of T-Mobile and fired CEO Dan Hesse after seven years of failing to make the company competitive with Verizon or AT&T. Now Sprint’s Chairman says the new CEO is prepping to start a price war to win over customers, but is Sprint really in a position to pick that fight? [More]

T-Mobile, Where Second Place = “Undisputed” Champ

T-Mobile, Where Second Place = “Undisputed” Champ

Yesterday, T-Mobile sent out a press release claiming that it is now the industry leader in prepaid wireless (we’ll get to that later). The statement from the magenta mobile provider also included the boast that T-Mobile “has maintained the undisputed title of America’s fastest nationwide 4G LTE network” and links to a recent test as evidence. Problem is, the results of that test don’t seem to back up T-Mobile’s horn-tooting. [More]

This is where I could gloat about last night's thumping of the Astros at the hands of the Phillies, but neither team has much to brag about this season.

AT&T, DirecTV To Take Over Comcast SportsNet Houston; Will Fans Finally Be Able To See Games?

Things are looking up for Houston Astros fans. The team isn’t currently in last place, and the ‘stros are outperforming the even more woeful Texas Rangers. Now comes news that some Houston-area sports fans may even get to watch their favorite teams on TV after a bankruptcy court determined to hand over ownership of Comcast SportsNet Houston to AT&T and DirecTV. [More]

All Four National Wireless Companies Accused Of Breaking FCC Rules By Hiding Information About Data Throttling

All Four National Wireless Companies Accused Of Breaking FCC Rules By Hiding Information About Data Throttling

Just over two weeks ago, the FCC not-so-gently reminded all four big wireless carriers that although true “net neutrality” might not apply to them, there are still rules about transparency and disclosures that they have to follow. At the time, FCC chairman Tom Wheeler said that companies had no excuse to think the FCC wasn’t watching them — and the FCC isn’t the only group putting wireless companies on notice over their lack of transparency. [More]

Wireless Carriers Are Victims Of Phone Cramming Too, They Just Make Billions Of Dollars Instead Of Losing It

Wireless Carriers Are Victims Of Phone Cramming Too, They Just Make Billions Of Dollars Instead Of Losing It

Opening your monthly mobile phone bill to find it significantly more expensive than it’s supposed to be can be infuriating. Finding out that it’s more expensive because you were charged for products you never requested is even worse. But wireless cramming is a practice that more and more consumers – and wireless providers (huh?) – are finding themselves victims of. [More]

T-Mobile Unveils $100, 10GB Family Plan. Is It Any Good?

T-Mobile Unveils $100, 10GB Family Plan. Is It Any Good?

Family plans are all the rage with wireless companies. Get groups of customers to buy a bucket of data together for a discounted price. This morning, T-Mobile announced a new plan that it hopes will lure customers in from AT&T, but the company isn’t making a big deal out a major restriction that could make the offer unattractive to some families. [More]

Kate Cox

From AT&T To Verizon: What The Web’s Biggest Players Told The FCC About Net Neutrality

The FCC originally planned to stop taking comments about their net neutrality proposal on Tuesday. But after demand overwhelmed and crashed their antique IT system, they extended the deadline to 11:59 p.m. (EDT) tonight. As of yesterday, well over one million comments had been entered, and that number’s still going up. Clearly, the public cares — but what is the public saying? [More]

Senator Challenges Comcast, AT&T Execs On Opposition To Municipal Broadband

Senator Challenges Comcast, AT&T Execs On Opposition To Municipal Broadband

The Senate Commerce Committee held hearing today on broadband competition, media consolidation, and the future of online video transmission. Among the witnesses were Comcast exec David L. Cohen and AT&T bigwig John T. Stankey. During the hearing, Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey directly asked the two about competition from municipal broadband providers. [More]

Verizon Trying To Twitter-Snipe Mildly Annoyed Customers Of Other Carriers

Verizon Trying To Twitter-Snipe Mildly Annoyed Customers Of Other Carriers

Having written about every major wireless carrier over the last 4+ years, I’ve come to realize one thing: Just about everyone hates their current wireless provider and is constantly talking about switching. So it makes sense that these competitors would scour the competition’s social media feeds and try to lure away disgruntled customers. Yet only Verizon, by far the largest carrier in the U.S., seems to be making a go of it. [More]

AT&T Says DirecTV Merger Will Save Money, But Not For Customers

AT&T Says DirecTV Merger Will Save Money, But Not For Customers

While the folks at AT&T and DirecTV try to claim that their proposed merger is different from the pending marriage of Comcast and Time Warner Cable, both deals have one bit of double-talk in common, with the companies all saying their respective deals will help them be more efficient and save money while no one is willing to commit to passing those savings on to customers. [More]

Here’s Why You Should Think Twice About Using AT&T Or Comcast WiFi Hotspots

Here’s Why You Should Think Twice About Using AT&T Or Comcast WiFi Hotspots

If you’re a customer of AT&T or Comcast, you’re probably very aware of these two companies’ efforts to create massive networks of free WiFi for their subscribers to use when away from home. But a new report shows just how easy it is for an unseemly character to fake one of these hotspots and steal your information. [More]

Amazon Finally Unveils Details Of 3-D Fire Phone

Amazon Finally Unveils Details Of 3-D Fire Phone

After weeks, months, millennia of speculation that Amazon would get into the phone business, the e-tail giant has finally unveiled the smartphone it had been promising (via “leaked” stories and quotes from “people close to the situation”) since the dawn of man. So what is it and is it worth spending your hard-earned (or even your stolen) money on? [More]

New Amazon Phone Will Reportedly Be An AT&T Exclusive

New Amazon Phone Will Reportedly Be An AT&T Exclusive

Seven years ago, AT&T scored millions of new customers by being the only U.S. wireless provider to offer the Apple iPhone. That exclusive has long since faded into memory and the iPhone is no longer the market dominator it once was. But it looks like AT&T might be hoping that lightning strikes twice, as a new report claims that the Death Star will be the sole carrier for Amazon’s rumored smartphone and/or sex toy. [More]

AT&T Confirms Some Wireless Customers’ Phone Records, SSNs Accessed In April Security Breach

(So Cal Metro)

Check your mail, AT&T wireless customers — you might have an announcement from the company disclosing a data security breach that happened two months ago. Snail, mail indeed. AT&T confirmed over the weekend that three workers at one of the company’s vendors accessed an undisclosed amount of AT&T Mobility customers’ records. [More]