The FCC today announced it will begin collecting first-hand accounts on broadband availability and service quality directly from consumers as part of its Broadband Data Collection program. A new webpage, www.fcc.gov/BroadbandData, explains the FCC’s program and provides direct links to consumer resources including a new “share your broadband experience” option. As the commission develops the tools needed […]
It’s no secret that cable operators and telcos of all sizes have adopted a “broadband-first” stance that emphasizes high-margin, high-speed Internet service and effectively relegates pay-TV to the back seat. But streaming video services, a market that’s now teeming with dozens of virtual multichannel video programming distributors (vMVPDs) and subscription VoD services, remain a key reason why many consumers are connecting to speedy broadband offerings in the first place. At the same time, though, the sheer volume of OTT video service options on the market makes it a challenge for consumers to figure out which ones best suit their entertainment needs as well as the size of their pocketbooks.
Altice USA said it has agreed to purchase Morris Broadband, a high-speed data, video and voice services provider based in North Carolina, in a deal that implies a $310 million enterprise value. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of this year.
Amazon has received authorization from the FCC to proceed with Project Kuiper, its initiative to launch a fleet of low-orbiting satellites that would be used to provide broadband internet access to underserved communities in the U.S. With the commission’s green light, Amazon will now be able to begin the deployment of its 3,236 satellites.
In the case, known as Brand X, the court sided with the Federal Communications Commission’s decision not to regulate broadband cable providers, rejecting a federal appeals court ruling that would have required regulation. “Although I authored Brand X, ‘it is never too late to surrender former views to a better considered position,’ ” Thomas wrote, borrowing language from Justice Robert Jackson in 1950. Thomas wrote a dissenting opinion Monday when the court declined to take on a case asking it to overrule the Brand X decision.
Tech vendors and broadcasters led by Sinclair and Weigel are developing ways to offer high-resolution TV and targeted advertising by layering broadband content on top of the basic ATSC 3.0 over-the-air signals.
Amazon is planning to build a network of more than 3,000 satellites federal filings reveal, in an ambitious attempt to provide global internet access. Known as Project Kuiper, the move represents the latest space ambition from Jeff Bezos.
Video customers are worth substantially less than their broadband counterparts as viewership and focus continues to shift away from providing pay TV service and more toward broadband connectivity, MoffettNathanson principal and senior analyst Craig Moffett said at the National Cable Television Cooperative Winter Education Conference in Atlanta Monday.
Gov. Kate Brown issued an executive order establishing the Oregon Broadband Office within the Oregon Business Development Department. The governor’s recommended budget includes funding to fully staff the new broadband office. “This is an economic and equity issue, ” said Brown. “Broadband is essential for businesses to grow, and for schools, health care providers and first responders to deliver the highest quality of service.”
The FCC is poised to consider expanding uses for a swath of airwaves to accommodate surging Wi-Fi demand. The agency will vote at its Oct. 23 monthly meeting on proposed rules to open up spectrum in the 6 gigahertz spectrum band to millions of Wi-Fi-connected devices, including smartphones, video game consoles and baby monitors. As much as 1 GHz of spectrum could be opened up for unlicensed use, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said in a blog post previewing the commission’s meeting agenda.
Chairman Ajit Pai steps up the FCC’s efforts to help the island territories repair and expand wireless and broadband networks devastated by last year’s hurricanes.
AT&T has started trials in Georgia and a non-U.S. location to deliver high-speed internet over power lines, the No. 2 wireless carrier said on Wednesday, marking its latest push to offer faster broadband service to more customers.
The rules of broadband are changing, and local governments want a say in how they evolve. In an ex parte filing last week with the FCC, several municipal officials, along with a representative of the National League of Cities, “encouraged the commission to work in the direction of partnership with, rather than preemption of, local officials, who share the commission’s goal of closing the digital divide.”
The rumbling under the ground of traditional television is growing louder according to the results of Deloitte’s latest annual Digital Democracy Survey, which polled 2,131 U.S. consumers in early November. The audit, consulting, tax and advisory firm found that 74% of U.S. households subscribe to pay TV and about two-thirds of these people say they keep it because it’s bundled with internet service.
People are starting to chop their subscriptions to save money, just as they do with cable. Smartphones and wifi make the internet accessible without broadband.
The FCC on Thursday passed sweeping privacy rules that limit broadband providers’ ability to engage in online behavioral advertising. The rules, passed by a 3-2 vote, prohibit Internet service providers from drawing on information about subscribers’ Web activity and app usage for ad targeting.
Many of the same app developers focused on the web today will help bring interactivity to ATSC 3.0 viewers in the future thanks to the standard’s W3C compliance and clever use of broadcast, broadband and non-real-time content in the home. Above, NAB’s So Vang demos the interactive in-home experience offered by 3.0 in the NAB Futures Zone during the NAB Show last month.
The FCC will vote this week on an annual report about the state of high-speed Internet deployment around the country, something that has become a magnet for debate. Critics say the report isn’t just a compendium of statistics, but a way for the FCC to expand its authority and place arbitrary standards on Internet service providers.
A group of Democratic lawmakers announced legislation on Monday to have the FCC develop a program to provide broadband to underserved communities — less than a week after the agency’s chairman announced his intention to do just that.
A new study from Kagan Media Appraisals says AT&T, Verizon and other broadband carriers will turn out in force to bid for whatever TV spectrum is available in the FCC’s incentive auction. It also estimates that the carriers will pay $60 billion-$80 billion for 84-100 MHz of spectrum.
President Obama on Wednesday called for the repeal of laws preventing local communities from creating their own broadband networks. The president positioned himself as an antagonist to large cable and telecom companies providing the majority of the nation’s Internet service and said faster speeds would create jobs and foster business competition.
For all those cable haters out there, sorry: Cutting the cord won’t mean cutting out your cable provider. They often own some of your favorite channels (Comcast owns NBC Universal, parent of Bravo and USA) and in most areas they are the gatekeepers to the Internet. Offering popular channels like HBO over streaming could actually help cable companies sell more expensive broadband services to customers. “The cable business is evolving from mainly selling you a pay TV package to mainly selling you a broadband Internet service,” says FBR Research analyst Barton Crockett.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is asking that the FCC reclassify broadband as a utility using Title II of the Communications Act — exactly what net neutrality advocates have been pushing for. In a letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, Pelosi writes that Title II is “an appropriate tool to refine modern rules,” and that it can do so without the FCC overburdening broadband providers.
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said in a speech at startup incubator 1776 that the FCC planned to promote more choices for high-speed broadband and protect competition, because a lack of adequate consumer choice inhibits innovation, investment and economic benefits. Wheeler’s comments could hold implications for Comcast’s efforts to buy Time Warner Cable, which could adversely affect future competition.
Billionaire John Malone’s re-emergence in the U.S. cable business is a bet on the growth of broadband, and he believes the industry can soon deliver speeds of up to 500 megabits per second to the home. Today, Malone also said the nation’s home Internet service providers will ultimately move to a pricing model similar to the wireless industry where fees are based on the amount of data consumed rather than speeds.
European broadcasters are emerging from a period of uncertainty to discover they will have to cede more primary spectrum to mobile broadband operators, but are being offered some concessions over reallocation.
More consumers with cable, satellite or telco TV services have downgraded their services in the last year — and more are on the way. Dallas-based researcher Parks Associates says 13% of consumers who have broadband connections have made cutbacks within the last 12 months — with another 9% to come. The study says this includes some 3.9 million people who regularly watch Internet video.
The broadcasting lobbyist says that Consumer Electronics Association President Gary Shapiro’s opening speech accusing TV broadcasters of “squatting now on our broadband future” misses the mark. “He simply sees a world of wireless broadband, and that’s just not what the future holds,” Smith said. And the NAB chief also accused Shapiro of being out of touch: “He apparently was writing a book and missed the cord-cutting phenomenon.”
Most of the big-ticket speakers at the Web 2.0 Summit this week gave talks that were carefully guarded, offering little deep insight into the tumultuous state of the fast-evolving tech industry out of necessary trade-secrecy. Not FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, who wasn’t too subtle about implying that he’s got a lot on his plate and it’s tough to digest.
Verizon Wireless CTO Tony Melone said this week that the carrier now believes that the best way of handling some of the expected demand for video on its new super-fast broadband network is broadcasting — that is, pumping one signal to many users simultaneously rather than millions of signals one at a time. If Verizon Wireless is thinking this way, my bet is that some of its competitor and would-be competitors are too. There’s an obvious alternative: A thousand TV stations pumping video to mobile devices should satisfy much of the demand for on-the-go video and relieve broadband networks of what may be an uneconomical chore.