One city at a time, Comcast is upgrading its cable internet networks to a fast new high-speed standard, called DOCSIS 3.1. In Chicago, the launch of the tech itself seems to be fine… but finding out how much it costs, if you can sign up for it at all, has proven much harder for consumers.
People like fast internet. Google sells fast internet. People like Google’s fast internet. So far, so good. But Google doesn’t really like building Google’s fast internet, because it costs a lot of money, takes a lot of time, and is logistically complicated to build and maintain. One answer to that problem? Taking the wires out of the equation.
They already dominate in home broadband and in cable TV. But Comcast knows as well as anyone else that your attention is increasingly leaving the living room and going on the road — or at least, split between two screens at once. And if you’re going wireless, well, Comcast wants to meet you there so it can keep taking your money.
The legislative process, in theory, brings us laws that have been robustly debated, discussed, compromised on, and perfected. But in reality, legislatures have this thing where lawmakers can often add completely unrelated amendments or riders to bills to accomplish, well, basically any pet goal they want. That’s what’s happened in Missouri this week, and now municipal broadband in the state is under fire from a law about… traffic tickets.
There are pretty good odds your neighborhood is subject to a monopoly on broadband. It stinks and needs to change, but we’re used to it. We think about it. It’s right there every month, when we get our bills or have a crappy customer service call and still can’t switch providers even if we want to. But there’s a whole other monopoly telecom market that’s still probably costing you a couple hundred dollars a year, and it’s basically invisible to must of us. [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]
Google made two important announcements this week about upcoming Google Fiber launches in San Francisco and Huntsville, AL, indicating its willingness to be flexible about how it deploys high-speed broadband service to new markets. Given that Comcast is the dominant ISP in both of these markets, you’d expect it to be worried, but the cable colossus is shrugging off Google’s encroachment. It shouldn’t. [More]
Just because you pay for a certain internet speed doesn’t mean you get it all the time. That’s just a sad fact of life: those speeds are an “up to” promise, not a “minimum guarantee” promise. But just how often is a lapse below a certain threshold acceptable? And given that internet speeds are variable, how would you make sure your provider knows?
There’s a general feeling in the air that mobile everything is the wave of the future. Optimized websites, streaming apps, new data packages… everything points to a continuing trend of our lives centering around the pocket computers we all carry and still anachronistically call “phones.” It’s one of those things we all “know,” anecdotally as much as anything else. But now there’s new data showing that not only is the mobile future already here, but also it’s robust enough that consumers are starting to pull the plug on their home internet connections.
Publicly-owned broadband networks can be a great alternative to incumbent ISPs like Comcast and AT&T in towns where there’s no competition, or in areas that existing providers don’t want to serve at all. Incumbent ISPs tend to like their pervasive monopoly status, though, and so they support and bankroll protectionist laws that prohibit municipalities from launching their own networks.
A couple of weeks ago, the FCC collected everyone’s comments about why Charter should or should not be allowed to go through with buying Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks in one massive merger. The next step in the process is for Charter to get to respond as to why they think the yea-sayers are right and the nay-sayers are wrong, and they submitted that response this week.
Broadband competition in the U.S. still stinks almost everywhere and most of us are nowhere near gigabit connections. Google, of course, is the biggest — or at least, most popular — name out there trying to change both those things at once, and they’ve announced another three locales where they might plop fiber down if all goes well.
Google has once again lengthened their shortlist of cities that could someday soon see Google Fiber service. If all the plans pan out, the next expansions will come in California and Kentucky.