Faster Upstream Speeds for Cable Broadband

Cable companies are said to be planning upgrades to their networks that would see upstream speeds increase to around 20 Mbps by 2015. At present, most networks have shared upstream speeds of 6-28 Mbps, depending on the service tier. The boost comes via DOCSIS 3.0 technologies.

REDFLY for the BlackBerry — Not the Solution You Were Looking For

REDFLY BB BOLDThe REDFLY from Celio is a product like no other, and can be a good fit for road warriors. The REDFLY is built to do only one thing, extend the screen and add a full keyboard to supported smartphones. The little laptop has no memory, no storage and no processor; it uses those on the connected smartphone. All it does is display the phone screen on the 8-inch display of the REDFLY, and makes the keyboard and trackpad available to interact with the phone.
I was impressed with the original REDFLY when I tested it over a year ago. That model worked with Windows Mobile phones, and I found it worked very well. That is important, as a special device like the REDFLY built to do one thing has to do it well. I was excited to hear a new version was available to work with the BlackBerry, as that would be the perfect target audience for the REDFLY. An evaluation unit arrived late yesterday, and in just a short time I must say this is not a solution I would recommend to BlackBerry owners.
Read More about REDFLY for the BlackBerry — Not the Solution You Were Looking For

Voice Is Cable’s Secret Weapon for Growth

news20091106-1.gifEarlier this decade, when cable companies started their foray into the phone business, not many gave them much of a chance to succeed. Sure, they could sell a lot of broadband connections, but no one thought they would be players in telecom services such as voice. Fast-forward to today, and the situation is entirely different. During the first half of 2009, cable companies across the globe generated about $30 billion in telecom service revenues, according to Telegeography, a market research company. Voice, in fact, has become the secret weapon for cable companies around the world. Read More about Voice Is Cable’s Secret Weapon for Growth

FCC Makes Phone Number Portability Even Faster

[qi:105] The Federal Communications Commission issued an order today that makes number portability faster. Carriers now have one day instead of four to switch phone numbers when requested by a customer’s new carrier. Large carriers have nine months to comply with this rule. The new order impacts the U.S. phone companies more, for they are the ones losing wireline customers at a rapid clip. With many of them going completely wireless, cable companies are picking up customers for their broadband phone service just as fast. This ruling is going only to exacerbate phone companies’ problems, but the cable companies are understandably thrilled. (Related posts: Area Codes Are Dead )

After a Shaky 2008, U.S. Broadband Growth Picks Up

q12009broadbandstatsNearly 1.6 million new Net users signed up for broadband from top 10 providers in the U.S. during the first quarter of 2009. That is about 600,000 more than 1.01 million net additions in the fourth quarter of 2008, reports Bruce Leichtman’s research company, Leichtman Research. In comparison, we had 2.2 million additions during the first quarter of 2008, followed by 887,000 new users in the second quarter of 2008 and 1.3 million in the third quarter. 2008 was the first year we saw some serious slowdown in broadband growth. According to Pike & Fisher, a research firm, broadband growth will decline 12 percent in the U.S. but subscriptions will rise about 8 percent. Read More about After a Shaky 2008, U.S. Broadband Growth Picks Up

Now Verizon Wants Cable TV Portability. No Really!

With the clock ticking on FCC Chairman Kevin Martin’s tenure, his special friends in the phone business are asking him to give them the moon, the stars and the sun: In other words, a cable TV version of number portability.

Verizon today asked the Federal Communications Commission to require the cable industry to make it as easy for consumers to choose a new video provider as it already is for them to switch voice providers. The process to switch video providers is more cumbersome for consumers…Cable incumbents do not accept disconnect orders from the new provider; instead, they require the customer to contact them directly to cancel service after choosing a new video provider and to return equipment. (press release)

Verizon’s arguments and press release may seem consumer-friendly, but one has to take all of it with a barrel of salt. Now, as you well know, I am no fan of cable companies — who apparently want to watch what you are doing inside your living room — but it’s hard to believe Verizon.

Even despite all the legal and other hassles, the satellite guys have been competing with cable companies for video customers — and they didn’t need a sugar daddy (aka the FCC) to help them out. Verizon should learn to compete in the open market. Read More about Now Verizon Wants Cable TV Portability. No Really!