Unlimited Data = Throttled Users

Mobile users who have held onto unlimited data plans tend to guard them with their lives. The treasured flow allows them to surf the web and stream video to their hearts’ content without hitting any caps. But that doesn’t mean the experience is always pleasant. While Verizon is the latest to face criticism for its plans to throttle data, it appears none of the major providers are innocent. AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint have all been known to throttle unlimited data users as they gobble up bandwidth. Not all of them use the same methods, but results are the same –

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Changes Coming to E-Rate Program

As an E-Rate specialist, I help clients make sense of what can be a confusing program. I recently shared this information about important changes to the E-Rate program with my clients, and am happy to share it here today as well. On July 11, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced steps to modernize the E-Rate program and expand access to digital learning technologies by providing support for Wi-Fi networks in schools and libraries. The program increases focus on the largest and most urgent needs – closing the Wi-Fi gap – while transitioning support away from legacy technologies to 21st century

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Canada Making Large Broadband Investment

Rural communities stand to benefit from a major broadband investment from the Canadian government. On Tuesday, the government called for communities lacking high-speed Internet to apply for a share of the $305 million funding that will be available over the next three years. “Connecting Canadians is about ensuring that Canadians, whether they live in urban centers or remote regions of the country, have access to the latest wireless technologies and high-speed networks at the most affordable prices possible,” Industry Minister James Moore said in a statement. If the project is successful, about 98 percent of Canadians will have access to

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Facebook Rolls Out Free Wi-Fi to Students’ Homes

Providing improved Wi-Fi access to students is becoming a big initiative in the United States. In fact, the Federal Communications Commission just announced a $2 million plan to do just that. Facebook is taking this goal even further with a trial to provide Wi-Fi to students’ houses in Forest City, N.C. Forest City is conveniently the location of one of Facebook’s largest data centres. The trial was rolled out in cooperation with the local school board and non-profit high-speed fiber Internet provider Pangaea, with 75 to 100 homes participating. There is no word yet as to whether Facebook will extend

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Canadian Court Orders Google to Delist Site

Ever since the European Union ruled that users have the right to have embarrassing or defaming links delisted from Google, people have been applying to be forgotten in a virtual sense. However, this ruling was specific to Europe. Now a Canadian court has ruled that Google must delete links for a very similar reason in a decision that may reach beyond borders. Canadian company Equustek Solutions filed a complaint alleging another company stole its ideas and sold similar technology on over 300 websites after conspiring with former Equustek employees. The Supreme Court of British Columbia agreed, and ordered links to

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Comcast Rolls Out Xfinity Network in Houston

Comcast took a big step in blanketing Houston with public Wi-Fi hotspots by rolling out its Xfinity Wifi system on Tuesday. About 50,000 subscribers with newer routers now host the network, which allows free access to fellow Comcast customers. The company promises it will have 8 million hotspots in 19 of the largest cities across the United States by the end of the year. “Wireless access is increasingly important to our customers, and we are building a network that not only meets today’s needs but also stays ahead of tomorrow’s demands,” said Marcien Jenckes, Comcast executive VP of consumer services,

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Funding Boosts Windstream’s Rural Infrastructure

Windstream expects to provide broadband to 75,000 homes thanks to USDA Rural Utilities Service stimulus funding, the company announced at the recent Stephens Spring Investment Conference in New York. It is the only provider in many of the markets and is expected to play a large role in the program. Execs have said customers can expect to receive speeds of 10 Mbps and higher. “In a lot of these locations, all that’s really is available is satellite broadband on the stimulus side so we feel really good about our chances to be the only game in town in terms of

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Verizon Rages at Netflix for On-Screen Message

Verizon has slapped Netflix with a cease and desist letter after the online streaming service posted messages blaming slow speeds on the telecom company. The on-screen messages popped up when a video was buffering, blaming the interruption on the congested Verizon network. Steaming mad, Verizon has accused Netflix of pulling a PR stunt, and has demanded it be provided with a full list of all customers that saw the message on their screen. “There is no basis to assert that issues with respect to playback of any particular video session are attributable solely to the Verizon network,” wrote Verizon general

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Customers Least Satisfied with ISPs, TV Services

It looks like Americans are fed up with their Internet Service Providers, ranking their satisfaction with them below all other industries, including banks, hospitals, utilities and the U.S. Postal Service. Ouch. According to the 2014 American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), ISPs weren’t the only ones to take a beating – subscription television service was second last on the list of 43 industries, only two benchmark points higher than the last-place finishers. “Customer satisfaction with pay TV service pales in comparison with other types of household services such as energy utilities and fixed-line telephone service, which customers rate as more reliable

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FCC Moving Forward With Rural Broadband Improvements

The Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Connect America program has been given the green light by a federal appeals court to begin funding improvements to rural broadband infrastructure. Instead of covering rural telephone service costs, the $4.5 billion program will now set its sights on high-speed Internet service in high-cost rural areas. The FCC kickstarted the effort in 2011, but phone companies that were enjoying annual subsidies under the program protested and took the matter to court. In its judgement, the appeals court dismissed their complaints, saying the phone companies were “either unpersuasive or barred from judicial review.” Connect America is

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