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.
Internet company Akamai keeps its pulse on the state of broadband at home and worldwide, and they update their state of the Internet reports every quarter. The latest report has great news for Americans in a handful of states… but it also shows how far, still, the nation has to go on broadband infrastructure before catching up to our international peers.
Comcast and Time Warner Cable have been treating their merger as a foregone conclusion ever since they announced their betrothal in February. And with the companies cozying up to regulators, dropping huge piles of cash on lobbyists and campaign contributions, and making themselves look as good as possible, it’s not hard to see why the execs at the top would be feeling confident. But the FCC has just made a few key hires that make it look like the agency might actually push back against Comcast’s financial onslaught.
Insurance companies are getting a bit better when it comes to processing claims, according to the American Medical Association’s newest report card. The country’s seven largest insurers are paying out the wrong amount to doctors and other providers only 9.5% of the time so far in 2012, compared to 19.3% in 2011 and 20% in 2010.
Northwest Airlines says its employees are going to be taking customer service classes.
US Airways is attempting to restore its ailing customer service operation by hiring 1,000 employees ahead of the summer travel season. The airline also plans to replace 600 self-ticketing kiosks that did not work, with kiosks that work. A decision like that just had to come after a long study undertaken by a committee.
On board its airplanes, US Airways said it would improve the quality of its food-and-beverage offerings in all classes of services on both domestic and transatlantic flights, including offering more and better meals for sale in coach.
Perhaps most useful, the airline, which also posted a $34 million first quarter profit, promised to create ‘passenger operations centers’ that would monitor inbound flights for potential connection delays and send customer service representatives to meet affected passengers at the gate with rebooked flights and, if needed, meal and hotel vouchers. — CAREY GREENBERG-BERGER