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Visualizing Commotion Development Progress | CommotionWireless.net

Commotion Wireless Mesh Network is being developed on multiple platforms and through a variety of interacting packages on each platform. The video animation visualizes the development process over time.

 

The core Commotion project is at the center, with sub-projects exploding out over time as development ebbs and flows. Branches and leaves represent files and code being added to sub-projects like Android, Tidepools, Linux, and OpenWRT.

 

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Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream
Everything about Broadband Policy, Network Infrastructure, Voice, Video and Data Services, Devices and Applications for Managing our Planet
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Google launches free, 'unlimited' photo, video storage service | Blair Hanley Frank | NetworkWorld.com

Google launches free, 'unlimited' photo, video storage service | Blair Hanley Frank | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Google is offering a major bump in photo and video storage with a new service that lets users store an unlimited number of images and clips for free.

The new service, called Google Photos, is supposed to simplify how people manage the massive amount of media they’re generating from their smartphones, according to Anil Sabharwal, a Google lead project manager, who announced the service at the company’s I/O developer conference in San Francisco on Thursday.

Starting Thursday, users can upload images up to 16 megapixels in size, and 1080p high-definition video from Android and iOS devices, and via desktop web browsers.

It works with a new Photos app that organizes users’ images by date and lets them pinch to move between viewing their photos by the day, month or year they were shot. They’re also organized intelligently based on who’s in the photo, or where they were shot.

Google Photos also uses the company’s search technology to let people find particular situations, like images taken during a “snowstorm in Toronto.”

The app also includes an Assistant feature that uses machine learning to suggest new ways to pull together images from a user’s photo library. The feature will pull together video clips and images from events into slideshows and video montages automatically that users can then edit and share.


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CBS's Moonves 'Broadcasters' Comment Draws Fire from ATVA | John Eggerton | Broadcasting & Cable

CBS's Moonves 'Broadcasters' Comment Draws Fire from ATVA | John Eggerton | Broadcasting & Cable | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Cable operators in a pitched battle with broadcasters over retrans fees latched on to a comment attributed to CBS president Les Moonves at the Code Conference Wednesday.

“We're programmers. The term 'broadcasting' doesn't mean anything anymore," Moonves said, which was immediately used by the American Television Alliance to hammer the company, which has aggressively sought more retrans compensation as what Moonves considers fair value for TV stations that still provide the most popular programming viewed on cable.

"If CBS wants to be treated like every other channel, then by all means, they should surrender their spectrum back to the government and give up all their special government handouts like “must carry” and other regulatory advantages,” said ATVA spokesman Trent Duffy.

ATVA members include Charter, Time Warner Cable, Dish, DirecTV, telcos and many others.

"A foundational principle of federal communications law is that in exchange for free use of the public airwaves broadcasters agree to take actions that benefit the public. These principles are enshrined in the Radio Act of 1927 and the Communications Act of 1934, which mandate that broadcasters serve the public interest, convenience and necessity. Apparently, that’s news to CBS President and CEO Les Moonves."

But Duffy was just getting started.


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New satellites give major boost to DirecTV HD, 4KTV capacity | Joseph O'Halloran | Rapid TV News

New satellites give major boost to DirecTV HD, 4KTV capacity | Joseph O'Halloran | Rapid TV News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

After notable failed satellite missions elsewhere, DirecTV is reporting the successful launch of two spacecraft that it says will significantly increase HD capacity, secure the future of 4K/Ultra HD and back up its existing fleet.

Launched on a single ARIANE 5 launch vehicle operated by Arianespace from the European Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, the two new craft comprise DIRECTV-15 (D-15), an all-CONUS (Continental United States, including Hawaii, Alaska and Puerto Rico) beam satellite, and SKY MEXICO-1 (SKYM-1), SKY MEXICO's first owned-and-operated satellite.


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NM: Taos broadband mainline almost done, final steps still buffering | Katharine Egli | taosnews.com

NM: Taos broadband mainline almost done, final steps still buffering | Katharine Egli | taosnews.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The backbone of Kit Carson Electric Cooperative’s fiber-optic network is expected to be finished by June 30, but it’s not clear when every home and business that wants access will be connected and online.

The delay, according to Kit Carson spokesman Andrew Gonzales, is because of the enormous number of people who signed up to have fiber-optic cable brought to their buildings. These so-called “drops” are the last leg of the network installation, but are necessary to offer connectivity, Gonzales said.

“We have 10,000 requests for drops,” Gonzales said Wednesday (May 27). “That’s quite a bit.”

According to a project update posted on Kit Carson’s website and dated May 25, the “mainline” of the network is 94 percent complete.

Gonzales explained the mainline is the trunk line that carries data long distances; it also is tied in directly to major buildings and institutions like the hospital, government buildings and schools.

Once finished, Gonzales said all of those “anchor institutions” will have access to the network. The target completion date for that phase is June 30, Gonzales said.

But for everyday business owners and residents, the wait will probably be longer.

Gonzales explained splicing individual drops from the electric meter to the home itself is currently 68 percent complete. Communities on the periphery of Kit Carson’s service territory — places like Amalia and Eagle Nest where work first started — are almost completely done. In other communities, that phase has barely begun.

Kit Carson is reporting 332 customers on the network, according to the update.


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Stalking Your Friends with Facebook Messenger | Aran Khanna | Medium.com

Stalking Your Friends with Facebook Messenger | Aran Khanna | Medium.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

(Full Disclosure: I will be starting an internship at Facebook on an unrelated team in June of 2015)

Edit: At Facebook’s request I have again deactivated the *official* version of the extension. For the tech savvy: to get your own unofficial version running (or fix your now deactivated extension) there are instructions on the Github page.

When I came to college Facebook Messenger became an integral part of my digital life. I quickly found that it was the easiest way to keep in touch with old high school friends, contact people I had just met, organize impromptu poker games with people I hardly knew, and everything in between. However, I didn't realize how much data about me Messenger was revealing to the people I chatted with until last week when I began tinkering with my message history.

As you may know, when you send a message from the Messenger app there is an option to send your location with it. What I realized was that almost every other message in my chats had a location attached to it, so I decided to have some fun with this data. I wrote a Chrome extension for the Facebook Messenger page (https://www.facebook.com/messages/) that scrapes all this location data and plots it on a map. You can get this extension here and play around with it on your message data.


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Suddenlink becomes the latest MSO to integrate Hulu | Daniel Frankel | Fierce Cable

Suddenlink becomes the latest MSO to integrate Hulu | Daniel Frankel | Fierce Cable | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

St. Louis-based mid-sized cable operator Suddenlink Communications has become the latest MSO to integrate Hulu into its program guide.

Later this year, Suddenlink will begin offering the subscription video-on-demand service through the TiVo set-top boxes it deploys to its more than 1.1 million subscribers.

The announcement follows similar revenue sharing agreements made by Hulu with Cablevision (NYSE: CVC), Armstrong, Atlantic Broadband, Mediacom Communications, Midcontinent Communications and WideOpenWest.

"We have complementary catalogs with MVPDs," said Hulu distribution chief Tim Connolly at INTX earlier this month. "They're focused on the most recent episodes, and our content is mostly back catalog and archival seasons. And presenting a holistic environment is something an operator like Cablevision wants."


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WA: Seattle Energy Committee Meets to Discuss Muni Fiber Possibilities: Video Available | community broadband networks

WA: Seattle Energy Committee Meets to Discuss Muni Fiber Possibilities: Video Available | community broadband networks | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

As the talk of municipal broadband grows louder in Seattle, city leaders are gathering to learn more about what deploying at a fiber network may entail. On May 13th, the Seattle Energy Committee and leaders from citizen group Upgrade Seattle met to discuss the needs, challenges, and possibilities. Chris joined them via Skype to provide general information and answer questions. He was in Atlanta at the time of the meeting. Video of the entire meeting is now available via the Seattle Channel and embedded below.


King5 also covered the meeting (video below).

"We're starting from a different place in terms of the infrastructure," said Karen Toering with Upgrade Seattle. "The city already has in place hundreds of miles of dark fiber that we're not even using right now that were already laid in the years previous to now."

Upgrade Seattle sees that dark fiber as the key to competition which will lead to better consumer prices and service from private providers.

Businesses are also interested in reliability, argues Upgrade Seattle. Devin Glaser told the committee:


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Charter strikes deal with Time Warner Cable to create mega cable and Internet firm | Cecilia Kang | WashPost.com

Charter strikes deal with Time Warner Cable to create mega cable and Internet firm | Cecilia Kang | WashPost.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Charter Communications said Tuesday that it has struck a deal to acquire Time Warner Cable for $55 billion, creating a new giant in an industry racing to hook up homes to high-speed Internet as cable television declines.


The merger of the fourth- and second-largest cable providers will create a new contender in an industry long lacking competition and will face strong scrutiny from federal regulators who have complained of too much power in the hands of a few firms, particularly Comcast.


Charter will pay Time Warner Cable $195.71 a share, a significant premium over Time Warner Cable's closing stock price Friday. The company also announced the purchase of small cable operator Bright House Networks, which will be combined with the two companies.

The merged company will serve 23.9 million cable, broadband Internet and phone customers in 41 states including in New York, Dallas and Los Angeles.

The deal comes just one month after Comcast's surprising decision to drop its own bid for Time Warner Cable, a deal regulators later said would harm consumers. Federal officials said the combination of Comcast and Time Warner Cable would put more than half of all U.S. broadband subscribers under the control of one company, giving it the potential to thwart competition from streaming services such as Netflix and YouTube.


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Charter says it’s buying Time Warner Cable. Here’s what customers can look forward to next. | Brian Fung | WashPost.com

Charter says it’s buying Time Warner Cable. Here’s what customers can look forward to next. | Brian Fung | WashPost.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Charter Communications stands to become a massive player in the cable space with its $55 billion purchase of Time Warner Cable. But the deal is taking place at a time of tremendous change for the industry — and that means Charter needs a long-term plan.

Part of that plan may include a new, Internet-based video service and a cellular service that runs primarily on WiFi, said Charter chief executive Tom Rutledge in interviews Tuesday. Both ventures would expand on a key source of growth for cable companies — high-speed broadband — and help Charter fend off attacks by its rivals in other industries.

[Charter strikes deal with Time Warner Cable to create mega cable and Internet firm]

"We think that WiFi lends itself to the modern smartphone and smart tablet use," Rutledge said. "We want to keep deploying that where people work, where people gather, where people play. And ultimately, we could begin to sell mobile services on WiFi."

Rutledge also hinted in an interview with CNBC that Charter might someday offer its own Netflix-like streaming video app. And, in what will likely be even shorter time frame, Charter plans to roll out a new customer interface that lists streaming video content right alongside programming from the cable lineup, blending so-called over-the-top video that relies on an Internet connection with more traditional TV offerings.

"All of that product can be integrated into our new user interface that will allow customers to seamlessly move between over-the-top and cable on every device that they own," Rutledge told CNBC.


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Peru: Govt provides USD346m funding for regional broadband programmes | TeleGeography.com

The Peruvian government has signed contracts to finance regional broadband development projects in four areas, namely Apurimac, Ayacucho, Huancavelica and Lambayeque. In total, the four programmes cover the deployment of fibre-optic infrastructure to 1,344 villages, connecting 1,607 schools, 812 health centres, 97 police stations and 93 other public entities and benefiting around 750,000 Peruvians.


Contracts for deployments in Apurimac, Ayacucho and Huancavelica were handed to the Gilat consortium, providing funding of USD82.66 million, USD97.27 million and USD106.41 million respectively, whilst Spanish-backed Telefonica del Peru – which operates under the Movistar brand – won the USD59.24 million contract for the development in Lambayeque.

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The Time Warner Cable deal will provide ‘lower prices for faster’ Internet, says Charter’s CEO | Ceilia Kang & Brian Fung | WashPost.com

The Time Warner Cable deal will provide ‘lower prices for faster’ Internet, says Charter’s CEO | Ceilia Kang & Brian Fung | WashPost.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Charter Communications said Tuesday that it was buying Time Warner Cable for $55 billion, just one month after Comcast withdrew its bid for the nation's second-largest cable company.


Charter chief executive Tom Rutledge spent a few minutes chatting with The Washington Post about the deal, his company's future and the fate of the cable industry.


The following transcript has been edited for length and clarity.


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Cox’s Mark Greatrex Talks Gigabit Internet at NCTA | Julianne Twining | NCTA.com

Cox’s Mark Greatrex Talks Gigabit Internet at NCTA | Julianne Twining | NCTA.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Earlier this month, NCTA and CTAM, the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing, hosted a discussion with Mark Greatrex, Chief Marketing & Sales Officer at Cox Communications and Chairman of the Board at CTAM.


He shared with us new research on how their customers engage with cable and broadband and how Cox is building stronger customer service relationships. He also discussed how Cox’s gigabit broadband service, G1gablast, is changing how customers are using the Internet.


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In 5 years, 80 percent of the whole Internet will be online video | Brian Fung | WashPost

In 5 years, 80 percent of the whole Internet will be online video | Brian Fung | WashPost | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Video is eating the Web.

Already, we know that Netflix accounts for one-third of Internet traffic at peak hours. Toss in YouTube, and that figure rises to roughly half of all bandwidth consumed. But even that's small potatoes compared with what's coming. In five years, 80 percent of the entire world's Internet consumption will be dominated by video. That number will be even higher in the United States, approaching 85 percent.

That's according to the latest projections from Cisco, which publishes an annual study peering into the near future of the Web. The newest report, out Wednesday, predicts that by 2019, the Internet will have become more or less a big video pipe. Part of the growth will come from adding new people to the Internet — for the first time, over half the world's population will be digitally connected. But individual Internet users are also expected to consume more video over time, and at a higher quality, which will put tremendous new burdens on the world's Internet infrastructure.

"The cord-cutting household [consumes] more than twice as much data per month as non-cord-cutters," said Robert Pepper, Cisco's vice president of global technology policy.

When you see the Internet as a huge distribution channel for video, it puts virtually everything that tech and communications companies are doing into perspective. Telecom firms like Verizon are racing to expand their cellular networks so that they can deliver video over LTE. Cable companies are fleshing out their public WiFi hotspots so users can watch videos outside their homes. Content providers like HBO and CBS are putting their programming on the Internet so that customers don't have to be tethered to their television sets.


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College kids to the rescue with IT support startup HelloTech | Bob Brown | NetworkWorld.com

College kids to the rescue with IT support startup HelloTech | Bob Brown | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Not that Baby Boomers or Gen X homeowners are clueless about technology, but startup HelloTech is banking on people of a certain age needing a bit of assistance to live the Internet of Things dream.

The West Los Angeles startup this week announced it has added $2 million in venture funding to the $2.5 million it attracted last fall to expand the on-demand, in-home tech support service that it officially rolled out this week in LA.

CEO Richard Wolpert, a 4-time startup founder whose background includes stints as president of Disney Online and chief strategy officer at RealNetworks, says the need for HelloTech has been borne out of the explosion of new and useful home technologies and the decline in retail tech outlets (aside from Best Buy and its Geek Squad) that offer tech installation/support.

HelloTech is vetting and hiring mainly college students to make house calls to help clients hook up everything from wireless stereo systems to video surveillance systems to wireless computer networks. The startup is partnering with product vendors like Sonos, Nest and Linksys, though insists it doesn’t do any hard selling: Tech support is its emphasis.

The top calls so far relate to newfangled wireless issues (speeding up networks, addressing dead spots, connecting printers) and old-fashioned computer issues (slow machines, virus identification).


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All the personal data that Verizon FiOS uses to keep you from canceling | Shelly Banjo | Quartz.com

All the personal data that Verizon FiOS uses to keep you from canceling | Shelly Banjo | Quartz.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

When you call Verizon FiOS, the customer service representative on the other end of the line already knows quite a lot about you.

The American television and internet provider is now closely tracking exactly what you watch, what devices you use, and how much data you consume. It knows whether your household spars over DVR conflicts and how many hours your kids spend binge-watching shows on HBO.

What’s more, the company is listening in on phone calls to customer service in real-time, with supervisors poised to jump at the moment they sense a fight brewing or hear trigger words from an unhappy customer, such as “switching to Time Warner Cable.”

In a presentation at a meetup of data enthusiasts in New York City, Verizon executive Mahmoud El Assir detailed what happens behind the scenes when customers call into the Verizon FiOS help line. It’s part of the company’s efforts to stay ahead of competitors in the increasingly fierce battle over TV and internet service.

El Assir explained how Verizon monitors billions of data points a day from 7 million Verizon FiOS customers to make sure its customer service representatives know pretty much everything about their customers’ TV consumption habits before they start trying to talk someone out of canceling a bundle of channels or getting rid of that extra DVR.

“Customers are four times more likely to upgrade their DVR boxes to newer versions that record more shows when we bring up the data on recording conflicts,” El Assir told Quartz.


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CBS Might Partner With Apple For Internet TV Deal | Wayne Friedman | MediaPost.com

CBS Might Partner With Apple For Internet TV Deal | Wayne Friedman | MediaPost.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

CBS Corp. is closing in on a deal with Apple to be part of its new Internet-based, stand-alone TV service, which could garner higher TV network fees than with other traditional TV providers.

Speaking at the Code Conference event in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, Les Moonves, president/chief executive officer of CBS Corp. said CBS would “probably” make a deal with Apple.

He met recently with Eddy Cue, senior vice president of Internet Software and Services for Apple.

Speaking later with CNBC, Moonves said: “Apple [isn’t talking] about a 200-channel universe; it’ll be less than that. It will be a different offering that is digital. We will do better in a 15- to 17-channels universe. You’ll always need CBS.”

Moonves told CNBC that he believes CBS will get paid more for Apple than from traditional pay TV providers.


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MN: Norman County Broadband 2014 Update: Have and have nots | Ann Treacy | Blandin on Broadband

MN: Norman County Broadband 2014 Update: Have and have nots | Ann Treacy | Blandin on Broadband | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

I’m working on a County-by-County look at the State of Broadband in MN. My hope is to feature a county a day (in alphabetical order). In November, Connect Minnesota released their final report on broadband availability. Here is how Norman County stacked up:

  • Household Density: 3.3
  • Number of Households: 2,863
  • Percentage serviced (without mobile): 59.15%
  • Percentage serviced (with mobile): 61.92%


Norman is a county of haves and have-nots. In 2010, the FCC listed Norman County as one of the least served counties in Minnesota. Thanks to an ARRA-funded project awarded in 2011, part of the county is now well served. So they are no longer one of the least served, but at 61 percent they are still in need.

That being said, one of my favorite stories of business use of broadband comes from Norman County: Weave Got Maile…


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Monopoly power tightens grip on US economy | Al Jazeera America | David Cay Johnston Opinion | Al Jazeera America

Monopoly power tightens grip on US economy | Al Jazeera America | David Cay Johnston Opinion | Al Jazeera America | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

This week, Charter Communications announced plans to buy Time Warner Cable as well as the much smaller Bright House Networks. These actions illustrate the increasingly sclerotic condition of the American economy.

Instead of enjoying the benefits of competition, America suffers from ever more concentrated ownership of vital, privately owned infrastructure. This deal, if approved by regulators, would make this problem even worse.

In 1980 we had 37 large railroads; we now have seven. Rules that once limited broadcast chains to a handful of stations now allow massive concentration of ownership with a predictable narrowing of perspectives. At the same time the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission turns a blind eye to records in its own files showing egregious price gouging by monopoly oil and gas pipelines.

There is nothing business owners hate more than competition because profits are harder to earn and margins are thinner. But competition is essential to well-functioning markets. As Adam Smith’s “The Wealth of Nations” taught us 239 years ago, “the freer and more general the competition” the greater the public benefits, while “to widen the market and to narrow the competition, is always the interest of the dealers.”

Less competition means higher prices and vastly greater wealth for those who can exert oligopoly or monopoly control over an industry. These companies then use their enhanced economic power to lobby and donate their way to government rules that ease their already modest tax burdens, drive down wages and further reduce consumer rights.

If the Federal Communications Commission lets the cable deal go through, then Charter will control almost 30 percent of broadband Internet service. The company would enjoy the benefits of operating as a monopoly or part of a duopoly, free to charge much higher prices than a competitive market would allow.

For Charter shareholders this is a great deal. It is especially good for John Malone, the controlling shareholder whose wealth has allowed him to become the largest private landowner in the United States.


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Is Internet access necessary for economic well-being? FCC chairman thinks so. | Cristina Maza | CSMonitor.com

Is Internet access necessary for economic well-being? FCC chairman thinks so. | Cristina Maza | CSMonitor.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

This year, the Federal Communications Commission decided that broadband Internet should be treated as a public utility, similar to the telephone network. Now, the FCC’s chairman says that, like the phone network, the Internet should be subsidized for the poor.

Since 1985, the Lifeline program has provided qualifying, low-income consumers with discounted telephone services. Supporters of the program argue that access to phone services is essential for calling for medical help, searching for employment, and, ultimately, for attaining overall economic well-being.

On Thursday, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler told his colleagues that Internet access is just as important as telephone access for people trying to climb out of poverty. His $1.7 billion proposal would give recipients the option to choose between phone service, Internet access, or a combination of both, The New York Times reported.
Recommended: How much do you know about US entitlement programs? Take our quiz.

“People increasingly depend on the Internet for access to jobs, education, news, services, communications, and everything else under the sun,” says Kristine DeBry, vice president of the Policy Strategy Center at Public Knowledge, a consumer advocacy group in Washington.


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The latest Time Warner Cable merger isn’t Comcast all over again, execs argue | Brian Fung | WashPost.com

The latest Time Warner Cable merger isn’t Comcast all over again, execs argue | Brian Fung | WashPost.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Charter Communications said Tuesday it's buying Time Warner Cable in a $55 billion mega deal that would give Charter some 24 million customers in parts of the country ranging from Washington state to South Carolina.

Hanging over the announcement, though, is Comcast. You can't talk about an acquisition of Time Warner Cable without discussing Comcast's failed bid for the nation's second-largest cable company, which collapsed last month.

[Charter strikes deal with Time Warner Cable to create mega cable and Internet firm]

It's clearly something Charter has thought about, too — and the company addressed the issue head-on in response to the first question on an investor call Tuesday morning.

"We're a very different company than Comcast, and this is a very different transaction," Charter chief executive Tom Rutledge said on the call.

Just like the Comcast-TWC deal, the Charter-TWC merger has to be approved by federal regulators, including the Federal Communications Commission.

Charter is already moving to counter some of the arguments that helped sink the Comcast merger. For instance, what executives are calling the "New Charter" will be much smaller than a Comcast-Time Warner Cable mash-up would have looked like, company officials say, which could help limit regulators concerns about potentially anticompetitive behavior.

While a Comcast deal would have controlled more than half the country's high-speed Internet subscribers and roughly one-third of the nation's cable TV market, the latest deal would give Charter only about 30 percent market share in broadband and 17 percent in cable video, according to the company.


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Charter Communications Starts Advertising Blitz: Its Internet Service Has "No Data Caps," AT&T U-verse Does | Phil Dampier | Stop the Cap!

Charter Communications Starts Advertising Blitz: Its Internet Service Has "No Data Caps," AT&T U-verse Does | Phil Dampier | Stop the Cap! | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Charter Communications is now heavily advertising the fact its Internet service “has no data caps,” in an attempt to leverage customers away from AT&T DSL (150GB cap) and AT&T U-verse (250GB cap).

Charter quietly shelved its softly enforced usage caps several months ago and is now using its cap-free experience as a marketing tool to convince customers to switch from AT&T and other phone company broadband options that often include usage limits.

“They used it with me to convince me to drop U-verse for Charter,” writes Stop the Cap! reader Jennifer in Tennessee. “I hate usage caps.”

Charter is also using its cap-free broadband as a key argument in favor of its merger deal with Time Warner Cable and Bright House (which have no usage caps either).


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U.N. report: Encryption is important to human rights — and backdoors undermine it | Andreaa Peterson | WashPost.com

U.N. report: Encryption is important to human rights — and backdoors undermine it | Andreaa Peterson | WashPost.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

A new report from the United Nation's Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights says digital security and privacy are essential to maintaining freedom of opinion and expression around the world -- and warns that efforts to weaken security tools in some countries may undermine it everywhere.

The report written by special rapporteur David Kaye says that encryption -- the process of digitally scrambling information so that only authorized persons can access it -- and anonymity tools "provide the privacy and security necessary for the exercise of the right to freedom of opinion and expression in the digital age." The report will be presented to the U.N. Human Rights Council next month.

It comes amid a growing debate in the U.S. about how to best balance personal privacy rights and national security. Since former government contractor Edward Snowden's revelations about National Security Agency surveillance programs, tech companies have scrambled to encrypt more of their products.

Now, some U.S. law enforcement officials are pushing to have tech companies build ways for the government to access secure content passing through their products -- so-called "backdoors."

FBI Director James Comey and NSA chief Adm. Michael Rogers have said that the growth in encryption use could make it harder to track criminals -- and argued that the government should require companies to build ways for law enforcement to access encrypted content.


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America's Cable Cartel: The Scorecard of Two Decades of Mergers That Left You With a Bigger Bill | Phil Dampier | Stop the Cap!

America's Cable Cartel: The Scorecard of Two Decades of Mergers That Left You With a Bigger Bill | Phil Dampier | Stop the Cap! | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

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Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
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"The French Slasher" Patrick Drahi/Altice Likely to Target Cablevision, Cox, Mediacom Next for Quick Buyouts | Phil Dampier | Stop the Cap!

"The French Slasher" Patrick Drahi/Altice Likely to Target Cablevision, Cox, Mediacom Next for Quick Buyouts | Phil Dampier | Stop the Cap! | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Patrick Drahi and his Luxembourg-based Altice SA appears to be out of the running to buy Time Warner Cable, but are likely to quickly turn their attention to acquiring several of America’s remaining medium-sized cable companies: Cablevision, Cox, and Mediacom.

“While it is still possible that Altice counters on TWC, we do not believe that it can match Charter [and backer John Malone’s] funding firepower and will ultimately lose out,” wrote Macquarie Capital’s Kevin Smithen. “In our opinion, Altice is more likely to turn its attention to Cablevision or privately held Cox or Mediacom, in an effort to gain more fixed-line scale in order to compete against Charter and Comcast.”

Last week, cable analysts were surprised when Drahi swooped in to acquire Suddenlink, one of America’s medium-sized cable operators.

“Altice’s decision to buy Suddenlink (at an unsupportably high price) creates even more uncertainty in an industry where virtually every element of the story is now in flux,” said MoffettNathanson analyst Craig Moffett.


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Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
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Comcast Raising Rates July 1st; Higher Cable TV Surcharges, $3 More for Double-Play Broadband/TV Package | Phil Dampier | Stop the Cap!

Comcast Raising Rates July 1st; Higher Cable TV Surcharges, $3 More for Double-Play Broadband/TV Package | Phil Dampier | Stop the Cap! | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Just in time for the summer fireworks, Comcast’s own rate explosion may be arriving in your mailbox. The cable company is boosting rates on cable television and broadband service in several regions, including higher Broadcast TV surcharges and, for some, the introduction of a new compulsory sports programming fee. Comcast customers shared their rate increase letter with Broadband Reports.

The original notification letter was littered with grammatical and spelling errors and obviously was never proofread. Maybe they are using the extra money to hire someone to help out with that. We’ve translated the text into the English language:


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