When cable and telecom companies go through the effort of writing anti-consumer legislation for states, they can later be counted on to lobby to keep those laws in place when challenged. Case in point: Lobbyists for Comcast and AT&T recently helped kill a small piece of legislation in Tennessee that would have allowed a city-run utility to expand the reach of its broadband service. [More]
Earlier this year, Comcast announced that Atlanta would be one of the five markets to get a taste of new broadband technology that provides fiberoptic-level data speeds over existing cable lines. And while the cable company has previously charged exceedingly high amounts for high-speed fiber access, Comcast says it will only be charging $70/month in Atlanta for this new service. [More]
If you don’t like your wireless company’s service, or your current rate plan, you’re free to change providers. But if you think your wireless provider is breaking the law, you can’t sue the company; and it doesn’t matter which of the four major carriers you have, because they all strip their customers’ of their legal rights. [More]
Open enrollment for insurance is the very special time of year when at your job or on a health insurance exchange, you are able to add or drop insurance or change plans for any reason or for no reason. It also exists for other kinds of insurance, like insurance on your mobile phone. AT&T is running an open enrollment period now, if you want phone insurance but failed to sign up within 30 days of buying yours. [More]
More than a year after competitor Dish launched its Sling TV live streaming service, DirecTV is following suit with the announcement of a new product called DirecTV Now. [More]
Google hasn’t even decided whether or not it will bring its high-speed Fiber broadband and TV service to Louisville. The Kentucky city is currently listed as merely a “potential” Fiber market. But that hasn’t stopped AT&T from suing Louisville administrators in an effort to make sure that Google will have a tougher time if it chooses to launch there. [More]
When you sign up for telecommunications services — some combination of TV, broadband, and/or phone — you’re told you’ll pay something like $49 or $99 a month… and yet the price you actually pay can be as much as 40% or more on top of that, thanks to a heap of sometimes confusing charges and fees. Which ones do you blame the government for, and which are made up by your cable company? One business at a time, we’re going to use real customers’ bills to break it down. We’ve already looked at Comcast and TWC. This time we’re switching it up a bit to have a look at satellite, and will be dissecting a bill from DirecTV.
Now that mobile carriers have switched from subsidizing handsets to making us buy them our own darn selves, their inducement for customers to switch is now offering to pay off what you owe to our old carrier. That could be early termination fees, or your balance from buying a device on installments: doesn’t matter. T-Mobile started the trend, and now AT&T is increasing their incentive. [More]
For most people, the term “5G” is still some ineffable promise of lightning-fast wireless data that will — like the cable arrive sometime between two and five… years from now. AT&T is hoping to get a better idea of exactly what this next generation of wireless connectivity will be when it starts testing in Texas later this year. [More]
Last year, when the FCC was preparing to vote on the new Open Internet Order (aka “net neutrality”) and its reclassification of broadband Internet as a vital utility, virtually the entire telecom and cable industry claimed this change would ruin investment and slow innovation. But a look at the year-end financial figures for the biggest naysayers casts a lot of doubt on these dire predictions. [More]
Earning calls can be a drag, full of heavily massaged numbers and industry jargon meant to make anyone listening fall asleep. To spice things up, T-Mobile has created a drinking game, but not for their own magenta-hued earnings. Instead, T-Mo is intent on getting everyone drunk while listening to AT&T’s quarterly report.
Years after ditching the unlimited data plans that it used to convince so many consumers to switch from boring old feature phones to the iPhone (and other smartphones), AT&T has announced it is bringing back its “unlimited” offering starting at $100 a month. Oh, but it’s only for DirecTV and U-Verse customers. [More]
It’s been in the offing for some time, but AT&T has officially declared that after Jan. 8, 2016, the company will no longer be offering 2-year contracts to most customers. [More]
Not even a year after Verizon CFO Fran Shammo declared that the company is a “leader, not a follower,” Verizon is making it very clear that it lives in a Bizzaro world where “leader” means “do things that other companies did first.” This time, Big V is demonstrating its “leadership” by following in the footsteps of other companies that have enticed customers to switch by paying off their contracts. [More]
The holidays can be a tiring, stressful time, full of never-ending checklists. While you might have checked off plenty of your to-do items, if you’re a Verizon or Sprint customer, you’ll want to make sure you add “check to see if I’m eligible for a bill-cramming refund,” to the top of your list. [More]
For a bunch of the big cable and satellite companies, it does indeed look like a very merry Christmas and a happy new year are on the horizon — but consumers can be forgiven for feeling a lot more grinchy about it. That’s because all the new nickels, dimes, and dollars that are going to line businesses’ big virtual pockets are coming directly from subscribers in the form of unasked-for price hikes.