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

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...
List shows fastest download speeds for cable and wireless companies

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...
Colorado residents vote in favor of city run broadband

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...
Confessions of a liberal White racist

Confessions of a liberal White racist

reprinted for Yahoo I am the co-owner of a successful business with clients across the U.S. and in 27 countries. We have a racially diverse staff of 22. Over the years I have supported efforts to improve the conditions of “underserved” blacks. And I think it’s fair to say that, while I see the color of a person’s skin, I am able to get beyond it. I am a white man but I attended an integrated junior high school, dated across the race line, and two of my four adopted children are black. There is a good chance my two beautiful daughters will one day bless me with black grandchildren. And I am racist. Racism, I recently came to understand, isn’t about me having some kind of hate in my heart for black people in general, nor is it about me believing that the failures of individual black people in our society are because they are morally or intellectually inferior. Racism is more than individual beliefs and actions. It is a complex system that has given — and continues to give — my racial group a host of advantages and power by oppressing and disadvantaging others. Understanding and confronting that system begins with a history lesson and some simple math. I received that history lesson over the course of a two-day workshop in New Orleans that I attended to better understand disparities. My company’s clients, public sector and nonprofit agencies, have increasingly put disparities at the center of any serious efforts to improve outcomes for children and families. And, perhaps because of the recent presidential election, we are seeing both an increasing sense of urgency and greater willingness to...
Black owned media suffering slow death

Black owned media suffering slow death

(note: this is an excerpt from a 2012 article in The Final Call)                                                                            (note i: logos shown are formally Black owned media that are out of business or now owned by the Hispanic conglomerate Univision or other non Black companies despite whose face they put out front.) CHICAGO (FinalCall.com) – Living in dangerous times is how Sherman Kizart of Kizart Media Partners described the current state of Black-owned media companies during a panel discussion, “Telecom: Minority Media Ownership: Can We keep Hope Alive?” at the 41st Annual Conference of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition and Citizenship Education Fund. Blacks own less than one percent of full power commercial television stations and less than three percent of commercial radio stations, yet make up nearly 14 percent of the total U.S. population. Multi-media consolidation by huge corporate conglomerates, lack of access to capital and advertisers that do not target Black and minority stations are a few challenges making it tough to get a foothold in ownership. Mr. Kizart related the fate of Inner City Broadcasting, a New York-based company founded in the early 1970s that recently shut its doors. At one time, it was the largest Black owner of radio stations nationwide, co-founded by the late Percy Sutton. The company was a founding member of the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters, which advocates for Black media ownership in television and radio. “As of July 12...