Improvement in customer service, expansion of low-cost broadband demanded
Several states are having regulatory discussions in governmental circles about the Comcast and Time Warner Cable merger. Two New York state agencies, the Division of Consumer Protection Utility Intervention Unit (UIU) and the Department of Public Service are taking serious issue with the merger and are demanding concessions. As a result, the UIU's vote on its discussion has been postponed from October 2 until November 13, over "deficiencies associated with the Companies' current substandard customer service" and other issues that is sees as being generated or acerbated by a combined company.
Provider calls Dish Network, Discovery Communications, and Netflix out in FCC response
Comcast believes that a number of companies are trying to bully the cable and Internet provider in order to get favorable terms -- in exchange for their non-opposition of the merger with Time Warner Cable. In a response to the comments filed with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) over the proposed merger, Comcast claims that companies are engaging in a sort of blackmail to further their own business interests at the cost of the deal.
Competition by municipal broadband, Google, and wireless declared sufficient
In a filing with the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Comcast has spelled out why it believes it should be allowed to purchase Time Warner Cable. Saying that users have enough high-speed cable options including wireless and satellite, and that switching to one of the "broad range" of competitors it has such as Google Fiber, the giant believes it should be able to complete the merger without citizens or the government being concerned about a monopolistic situation.
Provider stating that ads placed as a courtesy, reminiscent of BitTorrent throttling issue
256 page FCC filing lays out case for rejection of merger
Video streamer Netflix has formally objected to the Comcast and Time Warner Cable merger, with a complaint filed with the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) earlier this week. The streamer believes that the merger hampers consumer access to data, and "would set up an ecosystem that calls into question what we have to date taken for granted: that a consumer who pays for connectivity to the Internet will be able to get the content she requests."
Charter swept up in FCC info dragnet, September 11 deadline for submissions
A request for information from the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has been submitted to Comcast and Time Warner Cable, demanding the pair detail its Internet and programming agreements before the merger is approved. Information sought includes broadcast deals with sports leagues, Internet network management such as that with Netflix traffic, consumer data caps, and other information deemed vital which may impact relations with customers should the deal be approved.
Companies withdraw contributions after watch dog group call the donations suspect
Comcast and Time Warner Cable have withdrawn contributions to the Kaitz Dinner, a yearly event that celebrates diversity in the cable industry. News of the funding removal came after the Citizens of Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) objected to the contributions, as Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Commissioner Mignon Clyburn was being honored with an award at the event.
New measures attempt to make Comcast Internet Essentials cheaper for low-income families
Comcast is attempting to make it easier for low-income families to have Internet access, by lowering the cost even further. The telecommunications giant will be providing its Internet Essentials tier free for up to six months to new eligible users, while qualifying families unable to take part due to existing debts to the company will be able to benefit from an amnesty program.
Agency asks for interconnection agreements for understanding, regulation depends on discovery
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is looking into six additional Internet service providers (ISP) and content providers over interconnecting and peering agreements, according to reports. An official spoke to Ars Technica after it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request seeking information on the Netflix peering deals with Verizon and Comcast. The news comes after FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler announced in June that the agency would be investigating such agreements.
Should speed up OS X/iOS-related downloads
Apple's proprietary content delivery network is now operational in the US and Europe, says Frost & Sullivan analyst Dan Rayburn. Its status was determined by conducting traceroutes for OS X downloads, which show that files are being shuttled directly from Apple to ISPs. The network is estimated to be capable of delivering multiple terabits per second.
Cable deals, Comcast/Time Warner merger interfering
Apple is indeed working on a new set-top that will let people will watch both live and on-demand TV, but won't have it ready until sometime in 2015, a source indicates. Engineers at the company are allegedly being told not to expect to ship the device this year, and working along that timeline. The issue is claimed to be cable companies "dragging their heels," and the possible Comcast/Time Warner Cable merger, which together are interfering not only with the device but a matching TV service.
Company loses only 25,000 customers in the quarter versus 66,000 YAQ
Joining the chorus of quarterly earnings reports, Comcast has released its own figures. The company is reporting consolidated revenue for the second quarter increased 3.5 percent to $16.8 billion, with earnings per share at $0.76, a a 16.9 percent increase from the $0.65 reported in the second quarter of 2013.
Resulting company could have means to leverage control over the broadband pipe
In a memo from Dish Network's Senior Vice President and Deputy General Council Jeffrey Blum to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), a series of meetings on July 7 indicate that the company has raised issues with the prospective merger of Comcast and Time Warner Cable. Believing that the combined business could utilize "choke points," it could leverage control over broadband to do harm.
Consumers agree that prices will rise, quality of service will drop
Customer rights group Consumer Reports has run a survey evaluating the public's opinion of the Time Warner Cable and Comcast merger, and the results strongly disapprove of the combined company. According to the survey, 56 percent of respondents oppose the merger, with 11 percent in favor. The remaining 33 percent had no strong opinion one way or another. However, most respondents still feel that the merger will have negative effects on consumers.
Peering deals seem to have little lasting effect on Netflix user speeds
After a bevy of consumer complaints were filed with the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) against Verizon and Comcast regarding Netflix "throttling," the regulatory agency has begun looking into the problem. The FCC demanded, and has received, the terms of peering deals that Netflix made with both Internet giants, and will examine the issue to see if there is anything that can be done on behalf of consumers.
Service thought to be YouTube clone won't focus on user generated content
An article from Gigaom suggests that Comcast is looking to test its streaming platform by the end of the year. The idea of a Comcast streaming service was rumored to be under development by the company in March, but few details have been released since then. Comcast is looking to bring more focused content, hoping to retain audience attention with a variety of channels they already have rights to.
Secondary SSID will be enabled on 150,000 Comcast routers by end of June
Comcast subscribers in Houston will soon see a new secondary SSID broadcasting from their routers, as the company prepares to create more Wi-Fi hotspots. Approximately 50,000 Comcast routers in the area will begin to offer free "xfinitywifi" hotspot access to other Comcast subscribers, a move the company has previously tested and launched in other areas, despite the controversial nature of the program.
Google transparency report for e-mail encryption prompts Comcast to improve
Comcast is preparing to start encrypting customer e-mails, after a Google transparency report noted a lack of protection on e-mails from its domain. The company claims it is will soon start testing encryption on outbound customer e-mails, advising to the Wall Street Journal that it will take place "within a matter of weeks," and it is "very aggressive about this."
Verizon, Comcast anti-compete agreements, other legislation stymie process
Many US cities have large fiberoptic networking installations, paid for by taxpayer dollars, that are "dark," unknown, or unusable -- primarily due to telecom company lobbyists and threats to localities. At least 20 states have enacted laws or other legal barriers to prevent community access to these networks, and even more have signed non-compete agreements with Internet providers.
Company ups lobbying firms to 40 in Washington, connections to public sector
Comcast has increased the number of lobbying firms employed in Washington DC to 40 since it started the merger process with Time Warner Cable. The Hill reports that it is one of the largest lobby teams ever in Washington, which has increased an already large group from 33 firms employed by the company.
Google takes stance against Comcast, Verizon charging for 'last mile' access
Google will not charge Internet services to host their content at Google Fiber locations, it has revealed. A Google Fiber blog post states the Internet service provider will provide free colocation at its Fiber facilities for services like Netflix, rather than following the lead of Comcast and Verizon in charging for direct access to the last mile connection to the customer.
Public Service Commission to conduct investigation over customer benefit
The New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) will take a deep look into the proposed merger of Comcast and Time Warner Cable, according to a statement released from Governor Andrew Cuomo's office. The commission will examine the proposed deal to see if the two companies coming together would be beneficial to Time Warner customers in the state.
Blog post attempts to clarify remarks before investor group, fails to do so
Trying to backtrack on comments made before the the MoffettNathanson Media and Communications Summit saying that all Comcast customers would be on a "capped" plan by 2019, Comcast Executive Vice President David Cohen is now claiming in a blog post that the company has "no plans to announce a new data usage policy." Cohen also claims that the company will be "looking at adding some unlimited data plans to our trials," despite many of Comcast's customers already effectively having unlimited data.
Service testing 300GB limits in certain markets, with $10 per additional 50GB
Comcast seems to have a plan in place to have all users on a data cap on its broadband service within five years. Comcast Executive Vice President David Cohen told investors earlier today that "in five years Comcast at least would have a usage-based billing model rolled out across its footprint."
Deal would see many popular EA franchises available for purchase
Cable giant Comcast is reportedly close to signing a deal that would stream game industry publisher Electronic Arts' titles to the company's X1 cable box. Under the agreement, games like soccer title FIFA, football simulator Madden, strategy game Plants vs. Zombies and classic titles like Monopoly will be playable on Comcast's new cable set-top box.
Move to pave the way to merger will make Charter the second largest provider
Comcast Corporation and Charter Communications today announced that the companies have reached an agreement on a series of transactions that will see the Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger divest approximately 3.9 million customers. The sale is part of the terms of the deal, where Comcast has agreed to cede a portion of its subscriber so that its total is less than 30 percent of total cable company subscribers overall.
Bid possible due to decline in Comcast stock price since merger announcement
Just a few short days after Comcast's hearing on Capital Hill, Charter Communications is said to be evaluating the notion of starting a bidding war for Time Warner Cable against Comcast. Potentially at stake are the subscribers that Comcast has promised to divest should the merger take place -- worth hundreds of millions of dollars annually.
Wi-Fi hotspots to form core of proposed Comcast carrier
Comcast is considering expanding its existing cable services into becoming a carrier, according to a report. The operator is said to be working on a service that will use Wi-Fi from subscriber routers and public hotspots to provide the bulk of connections, supplemented by cellular coverage provided by an existing carrier, in a hybrid service similar to one Google is reportedly looking into creating.
May tie into earlier Time Warner rumors
An FCC filing made by Comcast and Time Warner -- attempting to defend their proposed merger -- also hints that Apple is developing a new Apple TV set-top, reports note. "Today, Google competes as a network, video, and technology provider, and 8 out 9 of the next Google Fiber markets the company announced are in Comcast or TWC areas," part of the filing reads. "Apple tablets are viewing platforms for cable services even while Apple offers an online video service, Apple TV, and explores development of an Apple set-top box."
Remarks in response to Netflix concerns of ISPs demanding payment for traffic
The FCC is apparently not going to examine Netflix CEO Reed Hastings' call for a wider net neutrality. Shutting down the discussion, an FCC spokesperson said that the matter was not up for consideration in the upcoming Open Internet proceeding. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler noted (incorrectly in the eyes of critics) that arrangements such as between Netflix and Comcast are "not a net-neutrality issue."
Early-stage talks could see Apple-supplied device with higher-quality connection
Apple is reportedly in discussions with Comcast, which could see the two collaborate on a streaming TV service. Sources for the Wall Street Journal claim the service would involve Apple supplying the set-top box to customers, with Comcast giving the device preferential treatment in the bandwidth management of the connection itself.
First Comcast transparency report details government requests for customer data
Comcast received a total of 24,698 requests for customer data from law enforcement officials in 2013, the company has revealed in its first transparency report. The telecommunications provider is joining a number of other technology companies, including competitor Verizon, in providing summary figures to reveal how much data the US government is requesting about its subscribers.
Multi-state group to look at effect on broadband industry
Comcast and Time Warner Cable are facing more than just federal inspection of the merger between the pair. Reports are surfacing that Florida, Indiana, and other as-yet-unnamed states are looking at the transaction, in conjunction with the federal government effort by the US Department of Justice.
Report notes six percentage point drop on cable company market share
According to data collated by the Leichtman Research Group, Comcast and Time Warner Cable are suffering under the weight of the economy and the "cord-cutting" movement. In 2013, Comcast lost 305,000 subscribers, with Time Warner Cable shedding 825,000. Combined, the pair will have 33.1 million customers, approximately two-thirds of the US cable company market.
'Energy Rewards' program offers Comcast benefits, movie screenings to users
Cable provider Comcast has partnered with a division of NRG Energy to launch an electricity-supplying initiative known as Energy Rewards. The very limited trial, in portions of Allegheny County and Beaver County in Pennsylvania, offers entertainment industry-related benefits for customers of the new effort, including "extended freeviews" of premium channels, and prepaid Visa cards as rewards for signing up.
Four committees have vast majority of members with Comcast funding
Comcast is scheduled to appear before Congress to defend its proposed $45 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable. Records have recently been uncovered that show Comcast's political action committee having given contributions to 15 of 18 Senate Judiciary Committe members, and 32 of 39 members of the House Judiciary Committee. Both committees have scheduled hearings regarding the merger, and can allow -- or prevent -- the buyout from happening.
Comcast subscribers can soon purchase access to Netflix produced House of Cards
Comcast subscribers will soon be able to purchase access to the episodic series House of Cards without requiring Netflix, according to a report by Variety. The cable company has struck a pact with Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, providing rights to sell the first season of House of Cards through its Xfinity Store service. The Xfinity store offers on-demand video streaming on a variety of devices for Comcast subscribers -- the company's own answer to Netflix or Amazon Instant Video. In a similar deal made with Lionsgate, Orange is the New Black will be available on the Xfinity Store in May.
CEO calls deals necessary for survival of streaming services like Netflix
In an interview with CNBC, Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam noted that he was fairly certain that he would strike a similar deal as Comcast's with Netflix, making the streaming video purveyor pay for bandwidth, at least in part. McAdam called the Netflix deal with Comcast a "good thing," which allows for funding necessary infrastructure maintenance and build-outs.
Content streaming company to have direct access to ISP network
In a report from the Wall Street Journal, Netflix has entered into an agreement with Comcast to end throttling of bandwidth by the provider. Netflix customers have been plagued by declining streams since an appeals court ruled the FCC's net neutrality rules were invalid. The move comes as a surprise as the FCC is currently working on new strategies to keep the companies from treating internet traffic in an unfair manner. Netflix has agreed to pay Comcast an undisclosed sum in order to have a direct link to the ISP.
Cable company deal covers 30 million subscribers, could complete by end of 2014
Comcast has announced it will acquire Time Warner Cable, confirming earlier reports. The purchase will see Comcast acquire 100 percent of TWC's 284.9 million shares, worth approximately $45.2 billion, with the stock-for-stock transaction exchanging each TWC share for approximately 2.875 CMCSA (Comcast) shares, or effectively $158.52 per TWC share.
Deal offers $159 per share for buyout
Reports of a finalized deal between Time Warner Cable and Comcast have begun to circulate. According to CNBC reporter David Faber, Comcast will be offering $159 per share to purchase Time Warner Cable. Any deal would be subject to Federal Communications scrutiny, and would likely take over a year to finalize.
Companies study potential antitrust hurdles
Comcast is reportedly mulling a potential takeover bid for competitor Time Warner Cable, unnamed sources have told CNBC. Although Time Warner Cable is said to be considering various buyers, the company is claimed to favor a merger with Comcast if it finalizes the decision to sell.
Xfinity TV Store offers movies weeks before DVD releases
Comcast has launched a service that sells movie and TV show streams and downloads to customers on set-top boxes, one that leaked late last week. The Comcast Xfinity TV Store extends Comcast's existing video-on-demand free and rental offerings with an option to have purchases permanently viewable in the future.
Cable company could offer movie purchases shortly after theatre run
Comcast could allow its subscribers to buy movies on their cable boxes, according to recent reports. The cable company is claimed by unnamed sources to be preparing to offer customers the service, via set-top boxes and through the browser via the Xfinity TV website, with the possibility that it will launch before the end of this year.
Package geared for streaming content
Comcast is reportedly preparing a new offering that essentially unbundles HBO service from a traditional cable TV package. In a promotion spotted by GigaOM, the company is enabling customers to purchase basic Internet service with local TV channels and HBO content for $40 per month.
Changes expected as Vodafone removed from picture
Verizon has reportedly confirmed that it has ended a joint venture with cable companies Comcast, Time Warner and Bright House Networks. In a conference call following the company's quarterly earnings report, Verizon CFO Fran Shammo suggested the partnership was terminated in August in response to developments in technology and changing market conditions.
Negotiations could lead to Netflix video on cable boxes in future
Cable providers in the United States could be adding Netflix to its set-top boxes in the future, according to a new report. The streaming video service is said to be in early-stage negotiations with cable services to introduce the app to customers, which would in theory allow subscribers to directly use Netflix without switching to another living room device, such as a game console.
Box for Android introduces updates feed, offline support, multiple accounts
Cloud storage service Box has updated its Android app with a number of changes. The new updates feed in version 2.2 includes a document preview area for recently-uploaded items as well as recent activity, something viewable in the new resizable home screen widget, while offline file support has been enhanced. Multiple accounts can now be accessed in the same app, and a new navigation drawer and viewing options are also included.
Plan will provide downloaders with legal content links, claims report
Comcast is said to be working on its own alternative to the Copyright Alert System (CAS) anti-piracy system, also known as "six strikes," operated by the Center for Copyright Infromation (CCI). The rumored system would see Comcast providing users identified as downloading infringing content links to buy or rent the content legally.
Launch limited to Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania
Comcast has expanded its Xfinity TV service to offer a prepaid version to customers. The pay-as-you-go cable service will provide users with a number of standard definition channels, including a mix of local and national channels, and provides a way for potential viewers to get cable TV without requiring to submit to a credit check nor provide a Social Security Number.