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Customer ditch cable in record numbers, cables answer; rise prices

People are ditching cable at record speed, so of course AT&T is hiking prices Chris Mills @chrisfmills December 6th, 2017 at 1:37 PM 2017 has been a standout year for cord-cutting. In July, August, and September, cord-cutters set a new record for ditching traditional pay-TV, with an estimated 1.2 million people ditching their cable or satellite subscription in those three months alone. So how is AT&T, one of the biggest providers of cable and owner of satellite service DirecTV, going to deal with this existential threat? By raising prices, of course. TV Predictions spotted a series of upcoming changes to DirecTV pricing that will take effect in the new year. Depending on what package DirecTV subscribers have, the price increase on the plan will be anywhere from $2 to $8. Some areas are also getting a hike of up to $1 on the “Regional Sports Fee,” a neat way of charging customers twice for the content they’re paying for. “Due to higher costs of programming, the monthly rate for the below services will increase on January 21, 2018, and the changes will appear in billing statements starting on that date,” AT&T reportedly said in a statement. Price increases likely won’t be limited to DirecTV’s satellite brand, either. AT&T CFO John Stephens hinted to analysts last month that the company may increase prices on DirecTV Now next year, thanks to a planned update to the service that should roll out in early 2018. Price increases are likely to come alongside new features like DVR and pay-per-view events. Unfortunately, DirecTV Now competitors like Sling and YouTube TV already offer those features, and... read more

List shows fastest download speeds for cable and wireless companies

(note: with the nation moving more and more to digital for content delivery, broadband speeds is becoming more important.  Higher speeds are necessary for watching HD and 4K video. What is surprising is that with new technology instead of the prices for faster broadband service going up, they are actually going down.  However, some carriers count on their customers being uninformed,)     Stealth Communications, a competitive carrier providing service to businesses in New York City, offers the fastest average download speeds of the top 40 carriers in the U.S., according to new research from BroadbandNow, a company formed to fill in gaps left behind when the government cut back on funding for the interactive National Broadband Map. Stealth’s average download speed was 145.9 Mbps. BroadbandNow used broadband measurements from M-Labs in compiling the fastest average U.S. download speeds by carrier. M-Labs is a partnership between New America’s Open Technology Institute, Google Open Source Research, Princeton University’s PlanetLab and other organizations. It has conducted millions of speed tests on actual broadband connections nationwide. “M-Labs is one of the more trusted speed test tools,” said Jameson Zimmer, director of content for BroadbandNow, in an email to... read more

Colorado residents vote in favor of city run broadband

Mallory Locklear,Engadget Thu, Nov 9 11:28 PM EST Internet access and quality varies widely depending on where you live in the US. There’s a huge rural broadband gap that the FCC, companies like Microsoft and the Trump administration have said they’d like to close in the coming years and as Cleveland’s situation shows, service can be drastically different even within the same city. One solution that has been proposed as a fix for spotty or inadequate broadband service is city-run internet, and it’s one that Colorado communities are continuing to back. Colorado state law requires municipalities to hold public referendums before they can provide services like broadband internet access. And as of Tuesday’s elections, Ars Technica reports, 31 of the state’s 64 counties have opted to allow their local governments to build broadband networks. Voters in Fort Collins, Colorado joined those supporting municipal broadband, approving a ballot measure giving its city council permission to establish a city-run network. The measure passed despite an anti-municipal broadband group that spent nearly half of a million dollars campaigning against it. The group was funded by the Colorado Cable Telecommunications Association and the city’s chamber of commerce, which Comcast and CenturyLink are members of. And though it doesn’t mean each of them will actually build their own broadband networks, over 100 cities, towns and counties in Colorado have now passed ballot measures allowing their towns to do so, Motherboard reports. Other states have been even more aggressive in their attempts to restrict municipal broadband. Earlier this year, a Virginia politician proposed a bill that would make municipal internet nearly impossible to establish throughout... read more
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