Free upload speed upgrades on Verizon FiOS over next few months
Verizon is updating its bandwidth tiers for FiOS, by giving customers higher uploading speeds. Starting from today onward for new and existing Verizon FiOS residential customers, the Internet provider will be upgrading lines at no extra charge, with subscribers being able to upload data at approximately the same speed as they are paying to download content.
Emergency filing made to CPUC, preventing more expensive migration
California-based Utility Reform Network (TURN) has filed a complaint with the California Public Utilities Commission, alleging that Verizon is refusing to repair legacy copper-wire landline telephones. The public advocacy group says that Verizon is "neglecting the repair and maintenance of its copper network" and aims to forcibly migrate clients to IP-based services and fiber-optic connections.
Adds 500Mbps download, 100Mbps upload speed tier with $310 monthly cost
Verizon is updating its FiOS broadband service with a new high-speed package for customers to buy. The new package will provide Internet users on the FiOS Quantum Internet Service a top download speed of 500 megabits per second, accompanied by an upload speed of 100 megabits per second, an increase from the previous top tier's 300Mbps download speed.
Optional push notifications for billing, outages
Verizon has updated the iOS and Android versions of My FiOS, an app supporting the company's fiber service. Both apps have integrated important FiOS TV functions, namely TV listings, DVR scheduling, and a remote control. Previously the app's video functions were limited to watching video on demand.
Suggests paying production companies based on viewership
Verizon is looking towards adding more channels to its FiOS television service, but only if it can pay for shows that its customers actually watch. The proposed system would see Verizon paying channel providers based on how much time is spent by FiOS subscribers viewing the content, instead of its current system where it pays a blanket monthly fee based on subscriber numbers.
Google Fiber tops Verizon FiOS, Comcast
For the first time, Netflix has published data on ISP streaming performance, showing that Google Fiber significantly outperforms its other nationally-active competitors. Netflix's figures give the average speed at which customers of different ISPs can download movies, and it notes whether ISPs have moved up or down in the rankings in the last month. Google Fiber leads the pack with 2.55MBps, with Verizon's FiOS and Comcast significantly behind.
Streaming channels, improved pairing added to iPad app
Verizon has updated its FiOS Mobile iPad [Free, App Store] app adding channel streaming to the mobile device. The latest version of the app now offers 75 channels to be streamed live from anywhere on the home network, as well as improvements to the process used to set up the iPad as a remote control, and other improvements.
Verizon agrees to pay TiVo at least $250 million and the two cross-license patents
The legal patent dispute between TiVo and Verizon has been settled, with the latter paying the former about $250.4 million and monthly licensing fees. Verizon will fork over $100 million initially and then pay the remaining amount in quarterly installments until it's paid off by July 2018. The monthly fees will only apply to FiOS DVR users above a certain level.
TiVo Premiere 4 ships for $250 with 500GB hard drive, standard remote
TiVo has just released the Premiere 4 DVR, complete with four tuners that allows users to record four shows and watch a fifth one. There is also a 500GB drive onboard to store up to 75 hours of high-definition content. It supports the QAM digital cable system and Verizon's FiOS offering, but will not receive analog signals.
Video-on-demand service requires wireless data plan
Verizon Wireless has announced an enhancement to its Viewdini video-on-demand service. Starting today, Verizon customers with an iPhone 4, 4S, iPad 2, or current-generation iPad can now download the previously Android-only Viewdini application and stream content from subscription and free providers such as Comcast Xfinity, Hulu Plus, mSpot, Netflix, Verizon Video, Verizon FiOS, Vimeo, and other TV sites to their mobile devices.
New speed tier announced via internal live event stream
Comcast is reportedly planning to offer a 305Mbps Internet connection before the end of the year. Someone that Broadband Reports considers a reliable source claimed all Comcast employees were treated to a streaming live event about future Xfinity plans, where Chief Executive Officer Neil Smit mentioned the faster tier would be in Verizon FiOS territories "soon."
Wireless service gains 888,000 new subscribers in quarter
Verizon has released its second-quarter financial results, which benefited from 888,000 new wireless subscribers. The company is said to reach 94.2 million customers, marking a five percent jump compared to the same period last year. Total retail wireless service revenue surpassed $15.8 billion for the quarter, up 18.5 percent, while data revenues surged by $1.1 billion year-over-year to reach $6.9 billion.
Verizon FiOS Quantum offers even faster connections
Verizon has revealed its latest high-speed Internet service, FiOS Quantum. The latest update to the service offers users on the top plan or service speeds of up to 300Mbps down and 65Mbps up. On a two-year contract, the price for FiOS Quantum is $205 a month, or $210 without a contract for what Verizon is calling the ‘the fastest mass scale residential service in the US.’
Google Fiber set-top box is made by Humex, gets a generous amount of connections
A new Google-branded IP set top box has undergone testing by the FCC, backing earlier rumors that the company is planning on bringing out a cable TV service. While it may be relegated to where Google Fiber is offered, which is thus far only in Kansas City, Missouri, and Kansas City, Kansas. The box carries the GFHD100 model number and is manufactured by Humax.
FiOS home Internet download speeds to be doubled starting in June
Verizon has revealed it will double all but its lowest-tier FiOS fiber-optic home Internet speeds starting in June. The plans and new speeds are outlined online (pdf). It should be noted, however, that upload speeds weren't quite doubled in most cases, with only the highest and second-highest tier getting bumps in these categories.
Verizon sheds legacy wired tech as FiOS ramps up
Verizon during a call discussing its winter 2012 results made clear that it was shedding large parts of its legacy business in wired technology. It would stop adding DSL subscribers in those areas where FiOS was active, steering everyone towards the fiber service that's now 63 percent of Verizon's home landline revenue. It was implied that existing DSL users would get support until they left Verizon or upgraded to FiOS.
Convergence Consulting estimates 2012 cutters too
Over one million pay TV customers stopped their subscriptions in the US last year, a Convergence Consulting Group research report (PDF) published this month found. The total number was 2.65 million since 2008, as users look to online streaming services such as Netflix. Researchers estimated the 2011 figure at 1.05 million.
Eliminates need for set-top box to view content
Verizon and Samsung have together announced that Samsung will be the first consumer electronics manufacturer to commercially support a Verizon FiOS TV app on new TVs and Blu-ray players. With it, FiOS subscribers can watch programming and on-demand content directly without the need for a set-top box. Samsung will begin incorporating the functionality into its "Smart" devices as it adds them to its product line during 2012.
Verizon to eventually replace FiOS set-top boxes
Verizon will bring out a Media Server for its FiOS subscribers that will eventually replace set-top boxes. It will also have the ability to stream high-definition video to wireless devices such as notebooks, tablets, gaming systems and smartphones. Verizon hasn't revealed prices, timeframes or other details, but TechCrunch was given a peek at the gadgets.
Higher bandwidth coming closer to last mile users
Eight metropolitan areas will soon be getting high-speed "middle-mile" networks. These are the backbones that feed the "last mile" that bring broadband services to customers and businesses. Last week, the city-owned DC Community Access Network (DC-CAN) lit up its 100-gigabit network in Washington, DC, while earlier this week, Verizon said it was upgrading seven cities in its FiOS backbone network to similar speeds.
Verizon may try to take over Netflix
A claim from Mediatech Capital managing partner Porter Bibb late Tuesday maintained that Verizon was "very serious" about buying Netflix. Fueling earlier rumors, he explained to Bloomberg that sources inside Verizon wanted either Netflix or "something similar." Bidding was underway with unnamed competitors that Bibb heard could see a sale before Easter for an estimated $4.6 billion.
Verizon web vide service may hit in 2012
Verizon is planning its own rough equivalent to Netflix for those outside of its FiOS TV areas, insiders explained on Tuesday. Details weren't clear for Reuters' sources, but it would stream a subset of movies and TV for customers that didn't live in an area where its regular IPTV service was an option. It might go live sometime in 2012, but how much of a premium it would have, if any, wasn't apparent.
Microsoft outlines launch plans for X360 live TV
In sync with the fall Xbox 360 Dashboard update, Microsoft has provided a listing of TV providers that will be ready to go this week. Along with existing access to ESPN, Hulu, and Netflix, the December 6 update will also bring EPIX authenticated video in the US, Lovefilm in the UK, MediaSet's Premium Play in Italy, Sky Go in Austria and Germany, Telefonica España's Movistar Imagenio, and MSNBC's Today in the US.
Google may use traditional TV to upturn system
In an odd decision, Google may go into traditional TV, insiders may have divulged Thursday. The YouTube owner would use its Google Fiber in both Kansas City rollouts to include TV and possible VoIP phone service, the Wall Street Journal was told. Early talks were said underway with Discovery, Disney, and Time Warner to supply content.
Verizon My FiOS app hits Android, due soon on iOS
Verizon on Tuesday unveiled a new, all-encompassing mobile app for its services. My FiOS (currently only on the Android Market) lets those who've bought into more than one piece of the Verizon ecosystem control all of it from a central area. Owners can control home automation and monitoring, schedule and steer the DVR and TV, or manage the home phone.
Xbox 360 Comcast and Verizon deal
Microsoft's Xbox 360 live TV option is being unveiled on Wednesday, a late-breaking scoop identified. As expected, providers like Comcast and Verizon will let users pipe video directly to the Xbox, either from the cable itself or through the Internet, AllThingsD found. Viewers will have to authenticate like they do for HBO Go or other cable-owned services, though, as legacy carriers try to shelter themselves from cord-cutting.
Verizon posts FiOS TV streaming app
After months of remote control apps, Verizon fulfilled a frequent request Tuesday by releasing a true TV streaming app for iPads and iPhones. FiOS on Demand (free, App Store) gives access to any content that its IPTV subscribers can see on demand, including movies and TV shows. Subscribers can't buy videos directly due to Apple's rules but can access any videos they bought, rented, or otherwise have access to.
Xbox 360 traditional TV due on Comcast, FiOS
Microsoft's live Xbox 360 TV plans may be much more conventional, insiders tipped on Monday. In a possible disappointment for owners, the company is reportedly talking to Comcast and Verizon about getting the normally cable- and fiber optic-based services piped directly to the Xbox. Digiday understood it would avoid the need for a set-top box.
ESPN app now ready for Xbox Live
Microsoft mid-Thursday took its ESPN Xbox 360 app live. The portal gives Xbox Live Gold members access to live college football and certain other sports normally shown on ESPN3. Viewers can watch up to two games at a time and voice control with Kinect if they have the camera controller.
Digital-only 4 tuner DVR to sell direct to users
Details of the upcoming TiVo Premiere Elite DVR have leaked. According to documents filed with the FCC, the Premiere Elite will have four tuners and can operate (record or view) up to four shows simultaneously. It is THX-certified and fully compatible with 1080p/1080i video. The Premiere Elite has two terabytes of recording capacity, enough to record 300 hours of HD programming. It supports networking with other TiVo boxes for content sharing and is MoCA compatible.
Future Disney deals to require log-in for web TV
Disney is following in the footsteps of the Fox book by requiring online TV show viewers to be pay TV subscribers and log in with a cable ID. According to a Wednesday GigaOM report, the company is working on deals with content distributors to allow this. Thus far, cable networks like CNN and HBO are already requiring such logins.
Agency sees big improvement since 2009 survey
A report issued today by the Federal Communications Commission shows broadband speeds in the U.S. are now significantly closer to what Internet service providers advertise than they were in 2009. The report found that actual download speeds provided by the majority of U.S. broadband providers were within 80 percent or better of companies' advertised speeds. In 2009, download speeds were more often around 50 percent of the advertised rate.
Comcast goes through MIT to test IPTV system
Comcast revealed Wednesday that it was testing a TV-over-IP system for its network. A dry run on MIT's grounds in the fall would prove it can deliver its regular TV service using Internet protocol in a way that would simplify delivering it beyond TV sets. The move as cast by the Wall Street Journal would simplify watching real-time broadcasts on tablets like the iPad, Xbox 360s, and other devices that Comcast can't normally reach.
ABI says online and telco TV hurting cable
In spite of doubts of cord cutting, at least some cable TV providers are feeling an impact from Internet video and some of their more digitally-aware phone companies, ABI Research found in a new study. Cable still had the lead but dropped from 72 percent of TV viewing worldwide in 2009 to 69 percent this past year. What growth there was took place in areas such as Latin America, where many hadn't had access to cable TV to start with and, in Brazil's case, were getting it through a government access plan.
Epix outs apps for Android, Roku, Samsung, more
Video-on-demand and online service Epix on Wednesday released apps that will bring its service to more than one hundred devices. This includes Android-based phones and tablets, connected Samsung TVs and Blu-ray players, the Google TV, Roku set-top boxes, and the BlackBerry PlayBook. All the apps are free and grant access to users authenticated from their cable and satellite providers with access to more than 3,000 Epix movies, original programs, and TV shows.
ESPN intros iPhone and iPod app for live sports TV
ESPN gave iPhone and iPod touch owners a bonus for being subscribed to traditional TV on Thurdsay through its new WatchESPN app (free, App Store). The app lets viewers watch live ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, and ESPNU with a schedule to show both active and upcoming events. The system tries to shelter TV providers and requires a sign-in from a cable or satellite account to get access.
AT&T, Verizon offer free calls, texts to Japan
AT&T on Monday said it has made calling and texting to Japan free effective as of Friday, March 11 and until March 31. At the same time, Verizon is waiving fees for calls to Japan until April 10, again since Friday. This includes calling and texting, with AT&T's US and Puerto Rico customers having free calling while US customers also get text messaging.
Bundles cable, internet, VoIP and wireless
Verizon is using the iPhone to lure new customers to its FiOS fiber optic-based video and internet service. New customers will receive discounted rates for the service bundle they choose and a $200 gift card, enough to offset the cost of the 16GB iPhone 4. The deal is good for new FiOS customers only.
Time Warner asked to clarify fiber network ads
Time Warner Cable is being asked by a National Advertising Review Board (NARB) panel to stop claiming in ads that it uses fiber optic wires. Competitor Verizon challenged the validity of Time Warner's claims, as it offers a true fiber optic network, FiOS. The ads claim Time Warner's network is "dramatically faster" because of its "advanced fiber optic network."
Value-added cross-platform support on the way
Verizon is planning to expand its FiOS TV content beyond its GPON (Gigabit Passive Optical Network) and its next-gen XG-PON2 fiber network through the development of an app service. The aim is to add value to for customers of its service so that they can stream their FiOS TV content on their iPad or other mobile device and download it so that it can be taken on the road in a way that preserves DRM. With FiOS TV as an app that can be downloaded to a mobile device and then linked to a customer’s FiOS TV subscription service. Once linked, users can view their paid content across multiple screens and delivery platforms.
Verizon Home Monitoring and Control gets CES demo
Verizon today gave a tease of a minor but potentially significant home automation service ahead of its appearance at CES next week. Home Monitoring and Control will give home owners a Z-Wave based system that will control any suitably connected part of the home through a computer, smartphone, tablet or FiOS-equipped TV, even when out of the home network. Residents could lock the doors, turn on appliances, lights or the thermostat, and watch what's happening at home if security cameras are installed.
Allows channel, DVR control
Verizon has launched FiOS Mobile for the iPad. The app is a effectively an elaborate remote control for FiOS subscribers, on a basic level letting people change channels, adjust settings or pause, rewind or fast-forward material. People can also browse schedules and video-on-demand listings however, and set DVRs to record individual episodes or an entire series.
Google Fiber picks delayed to early 2011
Google on Wednesday said it was pushing back its decision on the cities for Google Fiber to early 2011. It had originally planned to detail the cities and areas getting 1Gbps Internet access but was "not quite ready" to say which ones. Almost 1,100 communities responded and overwhelmed the company, Google said.
Company claims interest in non-Verizon hardware
FiOS TV access should reach Mac and iOS devices sometime in early 2011, says Verizon's director of consumer product development, Joe Ambeault. The technology is meant for existing FiOS TV subscribers, and for the iPad app, at least, will require home Verizon Internet access to authenticate a device. The company is also working on iOS support for a video-on-demand service.
Verizon FiOS reaches 150Mbps by end of year
Verizon today added an ultimate 150Mbps tier to its FiOS fiber optic Internet access. The speed is three times the previous 50Mbps peak and also boosts the upload speed from 20Mbps to 35Mbps. At maximum speed, a typical 720p movie could download in about four and a half minutes, and 100MB of photos could upload in under 23 seconds.
Verizon outs FiOS Flex View for Android and BBerry
Verizon today switched on Flex View as an on-demand option for FiOS TV viewers. Both the desktop and mobile versions of its Media Manager app can buy or rent the same video on demand options as they would have from the fiber optic service itself. Video is stored locally to work offline and supports bookmarks to pick up playback later.
Verizon iPhone negotiations explained in detail
An iPhone for Verizon is coming early next year but only after the results of three years of talks, an unofficial look has revealed. Along with an interview with soon to retire CEO Ivan Seidenberg, sources have claimed that a CDMA iPhone 4 is a "fait accompli" but that resumed talks started as far back as December 2007, when AT&T was starting to see call drops and delayed messages even on its 2G network due to the iPhone load. Verizon's wireless chief, Lowell McAdam, is said by Fortune to have been making amends for the mistake of rejecting the iPhone earlier but also seizing on AT&T's weakness, which only got worse with 3G.
Verizon FiOS Remote hits iOS and due for tablets
Verizon has quietly posted an iOS version of FiOS Remote (free, App Store) as part of a wider push to expand support. The app builds on an earlier DVR-only app and lets anyone with FiOS TV change channels, bring up the guide, order on demand titles or otherwise steer programming. Direct DVR functions are also available, as is a raw keypad for numbers or text.
Verizon gets ESPN deal for tablets and FiOS
Verizon and Disney today formalized a deal that will bring the ESPN sports channel's content to tablets as well as more to FiOS TV. The plan will give access to ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, Buzzer Beater and Goal Line both on computers and in a tablet-optimized format. The approach is limited to FiOS TV subscribers but will let them authenticate themselves for access when the service goes live in "coming months."
Verizon CEO says TV cord-cutting happening
Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg broke from conventional TV provider thinking today by telling those at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia conference that he expected the Internet to kill cable bundles. He expected that bundles would still have "some life left" but that many younger buyers were simply dropping traditional TV entirely in favor of Internet access. He likened it to wired phone service, which might not be dead but is in the minority and has been largely replaced with cellphones.