Future uncertain for AT&T and DirecTV merger, future suitors for TWC
As expected, Comcast and Time Warner Cable have both walked away from the blockbuster merger deal, citing governmental resistance from the Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission. In a statement about the collapse, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts said that "we would have liked to bring our great products to new cities, but we structured this deal so that if the government didn't agree, we could walk away."
FCC, Department of Justice threatening deal
Facing stiff opposition from the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC), as well as staunch opposition from the Department f Justice and members of Congress, Comcast is reportedly going to drop plans to acquire Time Warner Cable. A final decision will be made today, and an announcement of the breakdown could be as soon as Friday, according to sources familiar with the matter.
Comcast bringing 2 gigabit Internet to California in June
Comcast will be bringing its 2 gigabit Internet service to California, following the "Gigabit Pro" initial announcement for the service in Atlanta. Part of a number of upgrades to service speed for customers in the area starting from May, including free speed increases and a new 250Mbps tier, Comcast will introduce its gigabit-level service to nearly three million homes in the state starting in June. Pricing for the service has yet to be announced.
Comcast trumps Google Fiber by offering double the speed
Comcast is attempting to trump Google Fiber's 1 gigabit per second (Gbps) connection speed, by offering residential customers a faster service. Starting from next month, the cable company will be selling Gigabit Pro, an Internet service that promises 2Gbps connections both for downloads and uploads, with Atlanta set to be the first market to receive it.
Comcast notably not allowing PlayStation 4 HBO Go app to operate
HBO Go has been enabled for the PlayStation 4 in the United States, allowing most cable customers with the channel included in their subscription to access the app, with one notable exception. Comcast is still denying access to HBO Go through the PlayStation 4 and the PlayStation 3, but it is unclear why the cable company is taking the stance in the first place.
CEO comments, job advertisements point to future Wi-FI phone service
Comcast may be exploring the possibility of creating its own wireless service, using its collection of Wi-Fi hotspots. While comments made during a conference call with analysts may hint at the cable company's potential mobile phone service, a report claims Comcast has placed multiple job advertisements, looking for staff to create the mobile service.
'Outpouring of thoughtful and positive comments' came directly from Comcast
The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) frequently puts out a call for comments as part of their decision-making process, and usually hears back from concerned citizens as well as "astroturf" industry-funded campaigns. In the case of the merger of Comcast and Time Warner Cable (TWC), however, Comcast posted a thank you to the politicians, organizations and businesses that submitted comments in its favor. An investigation of those letters, however, has revealed a number of politicians who's comments were penned by Comcast employees, and simply signed off on, much like the situation where Mississippi State Attorney General Jim Hood sent a subpoena to Google which was later discovered to have been written by the MPAA's law firm.
Needs more time to review and approve, but 'pleading cycle' remains unaffected
In spite of Comcast CEO Brian Roberts' assertions earlier this month that the merger with Time Warner Cable (TWC) is going along smoothly, the FCC has paused the informal 180-day clock on its investigation into the merger, due to a total of roughly 38,000 documents submitted by TWC beyond its deadline, and after the FCC had believed it was finished with that part of its investigation into the merger.
Streaming app from HBO hits Fire TV today, Fire TV Stick in spring
HBO Go is heading to a number of streaming devices now and in the near future, it has been revealed. Owners of Roku streamers on Comcast will soon gain access to the app and Showtime, while Amazon's Fire TV users are able to stream from the service straight away, with the app also including support for the Fire TV's voice search functionality.
Scheme providing public Wi-Fi from customer homes is security risk, increases costs, claims lawsuit
Comcast is being sued by subscribers of its Internet service for hosting a public hotspot within their home. Joycelin Harris and Toyer Grear filed with the US District Court of Northern California over the company's decision to allow home routers to open up the routers of its own customers to other users, something the suit claims was performed without authorization and is a potential risk to systems on the home network.
Replies in Comcast-TWC merger due December 23, AT&T-DirecTV by January 7, 2015
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced December 3 that it is restarting the informal "shot clocks" in the review of the $45 billion Comcast-Time Warner Cable and $48.5 billion AT&T-DirecTV proposed mergers. As the FCC is now allowing parties to review confidential information once again, it restarted the pleading cycles with new deadlines for each merger.
Group including Dish, Writers Guild of America and more urge DOJ, FCC to reject merger
A new opposition group emerged today to declare war on the proposed Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger, stressing the negative effects such a deal would present to cable and Internet markets, competition and consumers. The Stop Mega Comcast Coalition proposes in a manifesto that the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reject the merger.
Roberts believes merger on track for completion in March, working on net neutrality
The merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable is moving along, according to recent statements from Comcast CEO Brian Roberts. Roberts said that his company is moving "full steam ahead" with the $45 billion deal to acquire Time Warner Cable, an acquisition that would bring an additional 11 million customers to Comcast's Internet and television services.
Confidential programming agreements requested in early October source of the delay
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has stopped its "180-day informal time clock" in the review of the merger proposals for Comcast and Time Warner Cable, as well as AT&T and DirectTV. The reason for the stoppage involves the modified joint protective orders that the FCC created at the beginning of October, which content companies are now using to bar outside sources from reading confidential programming agreements.
Worcester, MA city council advises city manager not to allow Comcast transfer
A city council has declared it does not want Comcast to provide service to its residents. The council of Worcester, MA has voted against the transfer of the city's cable license from Charter to Comcast over the cable giant's "substandard consumer service practices," as well as believing it lacks the management experience to maintain the service for the region.
Majority of shareholders support merger, Lexington puts resolutions in play to stop transfer
Comcast and Time Warner Cable have jumped at least two hurdles on their way to merging into one company. This week the majority of Comcast and Time Warner Cable shareholders voted to approve the deal for the merger. However, it appears that another problem has surfaced with the government of second-largest city that Time Warner Cable serves.
Procedures created to protect public interest, alleviate media firm confidentiality concerns
In the review of the proposed mergers between Comcast and Time Warner Cable, or the proposed AT&T-DirecTV deal, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) believes that reviewing the contracts and agreements made by the merger applicants and media companies is important. Last month, the FCC requested that media firms turn over information about deals with Comcast, something that the provider and media companies fought back on. However, the FCC now has plans in place to address some of their concerns in both mergers.
Clock stopped on FCC time table, grants more time to respond to 850-page response
After receiving a lengthy responses from Comcast and Time Warner Cable and several other factors, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) decided to extend the "Replies to Responses and Oppositions" period for the proposed Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger. The period, which was originally scheduled to end October 8, is now extended to October 29. As a result, the FCC has paused its 180-day "shot clock" for transaction reviews.
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 exacerbated 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.