Browsing articles in "Cable / MSO"
Jan
28
2015

TracFone's "Unlimited" Plan Really Wasn't, FTC Says

TracFone Wireless, the largest prepaid mobile service provider in the United States, has been ordered by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to refund $40 million to customers whose “unlimited” service either was throttled or suspended. The issue is the advertising of “unlimited” prepaid data service plans that include a provision for a reduction of speed after a certain threshold of usage. Such throttled access speed cannot be advertised that way, the FTC concluded. Since 2009, […]

Jan
28
2015

TracFone to Pay $40 Million For Misleading 'Unlimited' Claims -

You can add TracFone to the large list of wireless operators who simply don’t understand what the word “unlimited” means. The FTC’s complaint (pdf, via The Consumerist) notes that starting in 2009, TracFone advertised and sold a number of “unlimited” data offers under the Straight Talk, Net10, Simple Mobile, and Telcel America brands, but failed to inform consumers that these plans would be throttled after a certain amount of usage. As part of a settlement […]

Jan
28
2015

Google May Buy Carrier Payment Platform SoftCard -

As we noted last Friday, things haven’t been going particularly well for AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile’s mobile payment platform, SoftCard. Already struggling for brand attention, the company had to change its name from ISIS due to the Islamic extremist group of the same name, and is now laying off employees as part of a reorganization. Now rumors suggest that Google may be poised to buy the company for scrap to be integrated into Google Wallet. […]

Jan
28
2015

Google MVNO To Float Between T-Mobile, Sprint Networks -

Rumors had existed for years that Google was planning to get into wireless service, though last week Google’s plans to launch an MVNO became notably more solid. What we know so far: Code named “Nova,” Google’s MVNO will have a heavy emphasis on free Wi-Fi calling and will use both the Sprint and T-Mobile networks. The Wall Street Journal has a few more details, noting that the MVNO’s devices will monitor T-Mobile, Sprint and Wi-Fi […]

Jan
28
2015

Frontier Pretends Not To Be Worried About Google Fiber Expansion -

Last year, Frontier Communications CEO Maggie Wilderotter stated that people don’t really need 1 Gbps, and that the 3 to 6 Mbps most of her customers can get was just fine for most people. Last summer, trying to downplay the fact said 3-6 Mbps is painfully uncompetitive, Wilderotter called Google Fiber “hype” that “confuses customers,” and that even talking about 1 Gbps services was something that was “disrespectful” to the customer base. With Google Fiber […]

Jan
28
2015

FCC Strongly Warns Hotels Not to Block Wi-Fi -

Back in October we noted that Marriott agreed to pay a $600,000 fine to the FCC for blocking user access to their own tethered phones or mobile hotspots, instead forcing convention center attendees to use Marriott’s pricey Wi-Fi. At the time we noted how this was a pretty clear example of Marriott simply using technology in an uncompetitive fashion, though in filings since Marriott has attempted to argue they were only looking out for the […]

Jan
27
2015

FCC Clarifies: Hotels Cannot Block Use of Personal Hotspots

The Federal Communications Commission has clarified that hotels cannot block other mobile hotspots while guests are on the property. That, the FCC is, is a violation of Section 333 of the Communications Act. The ruling actually confirms what some argue, namely that network neutrality rules probably are not needed to prevent many forms of potential anti-competitive behavior. The FCC has for years adhered to policies that prevent blocking or interference with lawful apps. So despite […]

Jan
27
2015

Google Fiber Officially Announces Major New Expansion -

Confirming rumors that began bubbling forth earlier this week, Google today confirmed that Charlotte, Raleigh Durham, Atlanta, and Nashville will be the next deployment locations for the company’s speedy Google Fiber service. According to a Google blog post, not only will those four cities be next in line, the search giant will also eventually deploy Google Fiber to Phoenix, Portland, Salt Lake City, San Antonio and San Jose. Pricing has yet to be announced, but […]

Jan
27
2015

Google is Vertically Integrating the Internet Ecosystem

Google is expected to announce launches of Google Fiber in Atlanta, Charlotte, N.C., Raleigh-Durham, N.C. and Nashville, Tenn. very soon. Those launches come as Google also is said to be preparing to enter the U.S. mobile service provider business and has invested $1 billion in SpaceX, Elon Musk’s satellite firm. SpaceX, in turn, has announced plans to build a new constellation of low earth orbit satellites to provide Internet access to people in Asia, Africa […]

Jan
27
2015

Comcast Caught Ghost Writing Merger Support Letters -

While this is sadly the status quo for most companies in most industries, The Verge does a good job in a report highlighting how Comcast has been ghost writing letters for politicians expressing gushing support for their merger with Time Warner Cable. Comcast has been frequently crowing about the amount of support their merger enjoys, often forgetting to mention that the lion’s share of this support has to be paid for in some fashion. The […]

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