Cheaper, More Competitive Broadband: Not Gonna Happen Anytime Soon, Analyst Tells Congress

Cheaper, More Competitive Broadband: Not Gonna Happen Anytime Soon, Analyst Tells Congress

A committee in Congress yesterday held a hearing on promoting broadband infrastructure investment. That is, getting more wires put in the ground so more people can get online faster and more reliably. That’s a laudable goal that we here at Consumerist tend to cheer on. But one theme became clear from the testimonies of the assembled analysts, industry members, and local public companies who spoke: real improvement is going to be a long, ugly series of fights… and consumers are going to keep paying a lot more while it happens. [More]

(frankieleon)

AT&T Claims 11.7M People Could Get Gigabit Fiber If DirecTV Merger Approved

AT&T and DirecTV are still hoping their mega-merger is on track for approval. While they wait, the FCC has been asking them to clarify some of their earlier statements about why this deal is a good idea for the public. And buried in those new answers is the nugget that post-merger, AT&T plans to bring fiber networks to almost 12 million customers… kind of. [More]

(Great Beyond)

The Guy Who Started Tesla Wants To Shoot The Internet To You From Space

Elon Musk is kind of becoming 2015’s mad billionaire genius. Not only does he run a very successful electric luxury car company that has jumped into the electricity business, but also he has a space company, SpaceX. For the last decade, SpaceX has been working with NASA to send things (and eventually people) to the International Space Station. Now, it appears that SpaceX has a plan in mind to become a global broadband provider. [More]

Report: Dish And T-Mobile Mulling Merger (Again)

Report: Dish And T-Mobile Mulling Merger (Again)

Last fall, rumors started swirling that satellite TV company Dish Networks and mobile carrier T-Mobile were eyeing a merger. And now, many months later, it looks like the two companies may indeed be close to a deal. [More]

Why Charter Thinks Their Plan To Buy TWC Is Different Enough To Succeed Where Comcast Failed

Why Charter Thinks Their Plan To Buy TWC Is Different Enough To Succeed Where Comcast Failed

After months of rumors, this morning it became official: Charter plans to step in where Comcast failed, with a $55 billion plan to acquire Time Warner Cable. Regulators looked unfavorably on Comcast’s bid, finding it would have too many negative effects on consumers and on competition. But Charter clearly would not be trying its own takeover, with such a huge price tag, if they didn’t think they stood a good chance of success. So what makes the second offer so different from the first — and is it any more likely to succeed? [More]

Why Your Cable Company Doesn’t Always Know If Your New Address Gets Service

Pixel

There’s a story we hear far too often: someone is buying a house. Before they put any money down, they do their research. They call the local cable/Internet provider to make sure they can get broadband service at this new address. They double-check. They triple-check. They search the property for wires, call back, and make sure they’ll be okay. Then they take out the mortgage, move in, and… surprise! There’s no broadband service after all, there won’t be any, and now they’re up a very expensive creek. [More]

Comcast Decides Competing Against Municipal Fiber Is Just Fine, Brings 2 Gbps Service to Chattanooga

Comcast Decides Competing Against Municipal Fiber Is Just Fine, Brings 2 Gbps Service to Chattanooga

While most of us languish away without even a flicker on the horizon of someday getting gigabit speeds or real broadband competition, residents in a handful of cities are lucky enough to have both. This summer, Chattanoogans will join the shortlist of Americans who not only have blazing fast internet, but also a choice of providers. [More]

AT&T Becomes Latest ISP To Promise New Homeowner Broadband Connection At Address They Won’t Actually Serve

AT&T Becomes Latest ISP To Promise New Homeowner Broadband Connection At Address They Won’t Actually Serve

You’ve heard it all before: a man buying a new home needs to make sure it has acceptable broadband connectivity, not just for entertainment but also because he works in IT. He calls the provider in the area three times before moving, and every time is assured that they service his house. Until he moves in and finds out that in actual reality, they don’t, and aren’t sure why they said they did. The last time we shared such a tale of woe, it was Comcast in Washington state. This time, it’s a homeowner in Michigan, and the ISP that doesn’t know what they actually do is AT&T. [More]

Time Warner Cable Promises Free Internet Speed Boost To Charlotte Customers Before Google Moves In

Time Warner Cable Promises Free Internet Speed Boost To Charlotte Customers Before Google Moves In

The new rule of the internet might well be: where Google goes, competition flows to follow. And so, Time Warner Cable customers in Charlotte are about to see a big boost in internet speeds long before a Fiber rollout comes to their town. [More]

In Atlanta? You Can Soon Sign Up For Internet Twice As Fast As Google Fiber. The Downside: It’s From Comcast

In Atlanta? You Can Soon Sign Up For Internet Twice As Fast As Google Fiber. The Downside: It’s From Comcast

Atlanta residents are now well-poised to join inhabitants of metro Raleigh and Kansas City as citizens of one of the nation’s few crucibles of fiber competition. Comcast is setting its sights squarely on Google Fiber today with the announcement of a new fiber to the home offering at twice Google’s speed, and Atlanta is the lucky city getting first dibs. [More]

Akamai's top 10 worldwide best average internet connection speeds for the end of 2014.

Virginia’s Got The Fastest Broadband In The U.S., But South Korea’s Still The Speed Fiend’s Place To Be

It’s that time again! Internet company Akamai keeps a sharp eye on the state of broadband at home and abroad, and delivers a quarterly report lining up just how we’re doing. But despite a whole huge pile of brand new data, the story remains the same: the U.S. still has a lot of catching up to do if we want to consider ourselves among the global broadband elite. [More]

Google Fiber To Expand More, Adds Salt Lake City To List Of Lucky Locales

Google Fiber To Expand More, Adds Salt Lake City To List Of Lucky Locales

Google said earlier this year that the FCC’s net neutrality rule wouldn’t stop them from investing more in Google Fiber, and it looks like they really meant it. The service is now slated to expand to yet another location: Salt Lake City. [More]

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler speaking at the FCC's Open Meeting on February 26, 2015.

FCC Votes To Allow Cities To Expand Broadband Networks

As expected, the FCC today has confirmed an order permitting two cities to expand their existing municipal fiber broadband networks despite state-level laws that block them from doing so. [More]

What You Need To Know About Tomorrow’s Votes On Net Neutrality And Municipal Broadband

What You Need To Know About Tomorrow’s Votes On Net Neutrality And Municipal Broadband

On Thursday morning, the Federal Communications Commission will sit down to discuss and vote on two big issues — net neutrality and municipal broadband — that the cable and telecom industries have campaigned heavily to defeat and obscure. Because of these industry-backed efforts and the legalese involved, many consumers are having difficulty separating myth from reality. In an effort to cut through that haze, we’ve attempted to answer the most pressing questions about these two topics before tomorrow’s vote. [More]

AT&T Chasing Google, Offering $70 Fiber Broadband To Kansas City Residents

AT&T Chasing Google, Offering $70 Fiber Broadband To Kansas City Residents

A handful of Americans are getting one step closer to actual 21st century, competitive broadband this week, as AT&T has announced that effective immediately, it’s competing to bring fast fiber internet to the greater Kansas City area, where Google Fiber has been dominating all the attention for the last few years. [More]

FCC Chairman: Commission Should Approve Cities’ Requests To Preempt State Laws That Block Local Broadband

FCC Chairman: Commission Should Approve Cities’ Requests To Preempt State Laws That Block Local Broadband

Chattanooga’s biggest claim to fame, in 2015, might be its super-fast, publicly-owned, gigabit fiber network. The model has been hailed as a triumph of modern technology and infrastructure by the White House and the FCC, but the network has been unable to expand because of a law on the books in Tennessee designed to tamp down public competition to private ISPs. Last year, the city asked the FCC to intervene so they could build out their network — and now, it looks like they’re going to get their wish. [More]

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, speaking at the FCC open meeting on January 29, 2015.

FCC Votes To Make 25 Mbps The New Minimum Definition Of Broadband

As expected, the FCC voted this morning to approve a new standard for defining what qualifies as broadband internet. The new standard officially requires a minimum download speed of 25 Mbps, an enormous increase from the previous minimum standard of 4 Mbps. [More]

White House Calls For More Municipal Broadband Networks, Urges FCC To Override State Laws Blocking Them

White House Calls For More Municipal Broadband Networks, Urges FCC To Override State Laws Blocking Them

The White House is on a tear with major internet issues this winter. After two other speeches this week in which the President called for stronger consumer data protections and stronger cybersecurity laws, today President Obama will deliver remarks in Iowa singing the praises of municipal broadband and asking the FCC to do away with the laws that block them. [More]