The Minnesota city of St. Paul sits, like its twin Minneapolis, squarely in Comcast territory, with nary a competitor in sight. But the franchise agreements that create local monopolies can also be used to residents’ benefit: as part of the contract that lets them be the exclusive cable company in town, Comcast offers low-income and elderly St. Paul residents a discount off their cable bills. Great, right? Well, it would be… if anyone in town could actually sign up for it.
15 Years Into Agreement To Provide St. Paul’s Elderly A Cable Discount, Comcast Reps Have Never Heard Of It
UPDATE: Just hours after Walmart pointedly announced it would offer its own mega-sale in response to Amazon’s Prime-member only deal day happening on Wednesday, the online retailer released its own barbed statement, reminding consumers they could avoid missing all the deals by simply signing up for a free 30-day trial of Amazon Prime. [More]
The official paperwork for Charter’s bid to buy Time Warner Cable isn’t even in yet, let alone approved, but the two companies are already making good on one promise to play nice: as of Tuesday, Charter subscribers in Los Angeles who are also baseball fans will finally be able to watch their own home team on TV.
Just weeks after rumors surfaced that Walmart was working on its own Amazon Prime-esque service, eBay is jumping into the game — except its subscription service is only available across that big Atlantic pond – for now. [More]
Most of the country doesn’t have much competition for broadband services. But in some of New York City’s boroughs, particularly Brooklyn and the Bronx, Cablevision and Verizon FiOS fight head to head for residential customers. The battle between the two is often ugly, and with a new lawsuit filed yesterday, it just got uglier.
Report: DOJ Has An Eye On Apple As It Makes Moves To Push Free Streaming Music Rivals Out Of The Way
Let’s be honest: It would be ideal for a business if it could somehow snap up every customer looking for a certain service. But because we (thankfully) live in a world filled with choices, companies instead must compete with rivals to get our hard-earned dollars. A new report says Apple is preparing to debut its new streaming music service by trying to put the squeeze on competitors like Spotify that offer content for free.
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.
FCC Proposes Treating Online TV Like Cable TV; Amazon Objects If It’ll Stop You From Binge-Watching ‘The Wire’
There’s another internet-related firestorm a-brewing at the FCC. This one is not as broad or as contentious as the now infamous net neutrality ruling, but it is bringing all the big players out to have their say. And what, you might ask, has everyone worked up? It’s the big bandwidth bugaboo of the twenty-teens: online video.
An icy, delicious turf war has finally come to an end, almost two years after one mobile ice cream vendor accused another frozen treats truck driver of bullying him and trying to run him out of town. A judge in upstate New York dismissed stalking and harassing charges against the snow cone truck brought by an ice cream rival back in 2013.
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.
In a signal that the Apple Watch’s arrival is nigh, Apple’s retail stores across the country are apparently ditching other fitness and health wearables. [More]
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.
2014 was a record-setting year in an enormous variety of ways, both good and bad. As we wrap up and head into 2015, here’s a look at what happened, and what we learned, in the 2014 that was.
In August, as part of the merger oversight process, the FCC asked Comcast and Time Warner Cable for more information about their operations and their plans. In answer, Comcast has submitted 735 pages of documentation. That’s a lot of information, but Comcast’s responses have one key theme: the Comcast/TWC merger will not harm competition, because broadband competition is plentiful… no matter what the rest of us, including the FCC, seem to think.
AT&T: Municipal Broadband Should Be Banned Anywhere Private Companies Might Want To Do Business Later
It’s no secret that AT&T and other big ISPs are no fans of municipal broadband projects. There are laws on the books in many states that block the expansion of municipal networks, but the FCC is considering using its authority to override those laws and let communities build networks if they wish. AT&T is also no fan of this proposal. In fact, says AT&T, not only should public networks be barred anywhere there is already a private option, but also they should be barred in any place there might possibly be a plan to build a private option in the future.
When we say that someone has cracked the DRM on something, usually it means a pirated song, game, book, or movie is about to make its way through the less-than-legal back channels of the internet. But this time, one company is announcing that they’ve cracked the DRM on another company’s coffee tech.
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.
Not very much happens in Washington, D.C. in August. But even as the city slows down, FCC chair Tom Wheeler continues to make strong noises about using the FCC’s authority to preempt state laws that prohibit the expansion or creation of municipal broadband utilities. And now, some members of Congress are joining him.