ISPs have been exposed as hijacking the search traffic that some of their customers have tried to type into Yahoo and Bing search engines, and now the backlash begins. Now companies involved in the scheme has been hit with a lawsuit and may face Congress.
The pay TV industry shed at least 193,000 subscribers last quarter, based on public earnings results. While most were low-end subscribers that didn’t pay for HD, DVR or other value-added services, the industry faces a tipping point if it keeps focusing on ARPU above all else.
Most major public cable, satelleite and IPTV providers have announced earnings, and it’s clear that the second quarter was a weak one in terms of net subscriber additions. That will cause many to once again question whether online video services are causing viewers to quit cable.
A Verizon executive doesn’t foresee a need for broadband caps on the companies’ FiOS networks at the current time, despite other large ISPs such as AT&T, Charter and Comcast implementing them. Instead Verizon is talking up the idea of homes with 10 gigabit per second connections.
AT&T rolled out its bandwidth caps this weekend, which will result in additional charges for customers that use more than 150 GB per month. How close are you to those caps? Check your AT&T or Comcast bandwidth meter and let us know in our survey.
AT&T is planning to send out letters next week to notify subscribers about a coming broadband cap of 150 GB per month for DSL subscribers and 250 GB per month for U-Verse subscribers, says company spokesman Seth Bloom in an interview at SXSW.
Charter Cable plans to start enforcing monthly data caps on its users in December, according to a spokeswoman. The cable operator will also implement a congestion management plan similar to one designed by Comcast after it got in trouble with the FCC for blocking P2P files.
There’s now even more evidence that subscribers are cutting the cord and opting out of paying for cable: By adding up subscriber losses from four of the top five cable companies, we found that more than half a million users have ditched their cable companies.
I still think the Verizon MiFi is the most impressive mobile device I have used, even after weeks of use. It never fails to make an impression on me when I pull it out and with one button, connect to the 3G network and use it on one or more devices. The Verizon (s vz) model that I have was first followed closely by the Sprint (s s) model that is now available and their customers are getting exposed to the magic that is MiFi. Novatel (s nvtl), maker of the MiFi, made it clear that HSPA networks would get the love, too, and the first version of the device for those networks has appeared. But it’s picked up some extra features that I’m not convinced I appreciate.
It may just be the pictures but this model of the MiFi looks a bit bigger than the one I have. Mine couldn’t be thinner or smaller and this new model looks pudgier. If it is, it’s probably due to a couple of new features that Novatel has included in this version. They have included a microSDHC slot to allow files to be shared by devices accessing the Wi-Fi hotspot. That could be a useful feature and I have no problem with it being included as long as it’s not responsible for making the gadget bigger than the models without the drive.
The feature that I am questioning is the inclusion of a Linux-based application server that hosts apps for serving to devices connected via Wi-Fi. This allows for carriers to put their apps on the device for customer use. This sounds OK on the surface, but it has obviously added an unnecessary layer of complexity to the device. One of the biggest strengths I see of the MiFi in my use is the simplicity — push a button and get busy. This app server could add a whole new layer of unnecessary complexity. What if the device hangs up while being used? It will happen at some point; you know it will.
Overall this is another fine model in a great product line for Novatel. It means they can cover just about every 3G network globally and that’s a great thing. Let’s hope it doesn’t keep getting added features that are not really needed.
Updated with AT&T response: Time Warner Cable (s TWC) may have backed off its plans to meter broadband for now, but AT&T (s T) still has tiered broadband trials going on in Reno, Nev., and in Beaumont, Texas. And judging from one consumer’s experience with the trial, AT&T has backed off of its planned efforts to offer a 150-GB-per-month download tier — and it doesn’t inform users of the caps until after they’ve ordered service.
An AT&T subscriber near Lake Tahoe forwarded me a letter received via express mail a week after she signed up for naked DSL service from the ISP. The letter noted that AT&T has four tiers that allowed downloads of between 20 GB and 80 GB per month. When we reported on AT&T discussing its trial efforts with the Federal Communications Commission back in November, it said that the tiers would begin with a 20-GB-per-month tier and go all the way up to 150 GB per month. Update: AT&T spokesman Seth Bloom says that customers subscribing to AT&T’s fiber-to-the-node U-verse service can sign up for a higher 150 GB per month tier. While it may have lowered its tiers, t The carrier is sticking with a planned $1 per GB charge for users who exceed their limit. Read More about The Case of AT&T’s Incredible Shrinking Broadband Tiers