Tag - Fiber
AT&T is planning to make its gigabit-speed Internet service available in more cities, by aiming to bring it to 38 new metropolitan areas by the end of next year. The expansion, which aims to head off the expansion plans of competitors such as Google Fiber, will bring the total number of AT&T GigaPower locations up to 56 areas, if the proposed network upgrades and construction in all of the new locations go ahead.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is making it easier for carriers to switch their copper networks for fiber versions, by changing the rules over the network upgrades. Accepted by commissioner vote yesterday, the new rules effectively give carriers the ability to upgrade without FCC permission in many cases, so long as affected customers are warned in advance of the changes, and service is not reduced in any way.
Chanute -- a small Kansas town with a population near 9,000 -- is seeking to expand its current municipal fiber in order to offer broadband services to its residents. To do so, the town must abide by a law from 1947 to seek permission from the Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC) to sell bonds for the funds to build out the infrastructure. However, AT&T holds concerns over the potential effects the municipal service will have on the area, large enough that the company asked for permission to intervene into the proceedings.
During an analyst conference on Wednesday, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said that the company is considering putting a hold on its build-out of gigabit fiber networks for select cities in the US until a decision is made on net neutrality rules. The company announced in April that it would be bringing high-speed fiber to 100 cities and municipalities.
Time Warner Cable is expanding the TWC Maxx initiative it launched earlier this year in Los Angeles and New York City, by upgrading its network in Austin, Texas, along with seven other markets at a later time. Subscriber speed increases for its Internet service are touted, for both consumer and business customers, alongside an expansion of the TWC Wi-Fi network into the greater Austin area, and a new "all-digital" TV line-up.
AT&T has outlined a plan to roll out and expand its fiber service to 100 candidate cities and municipalities across the United States. The plans, which includes 21 new metropolitan areas, expands upon the company's existing U-Verse with GigaPower build-out taking place in Austin, Texas, which will see subscribers receiving TV services as well as a fiber connection promising speeds of up to 1 Gigabit per second.
BT has worked with Alcatel-Lucent in the United Kingdom to achieve what the companies are calling the fastest "real-world" network connection. In a trial, the two companies saw speeds peaking at 1.4Tb/s over a pre-existing core fiber connection and using commercial grade hardware, something which is the equivalent of transmitting 44 uncompressed HD films in one second.
AT&T has started accepting registrations for its fiber-based Internet offering in Austin, as the company continues to fight against Google Fiber. U-Verse with GigaPower offers residents in the city TV services and Internet access at speeds of up to 300Mbps, which will be upgraded to gigabit speeds at no extra charge when it becomes available in 2014, though an option for a cheaper plan requires AT&T to monitor the connection's usage.
Seattle's plans to have its own gigabit Internet service may be delayed longer than expected, according to the outgoing city mayor. Mike McGinn, the current Seattle mayor being replaced at the end of the year, revealed that current attempts to get the Gigabit Squared fiber network going have allegedly been hampered by issues in securing funding for the project.
Citizens of Los Angeles could receive broadband or even a gigabit connection in the future, according to new plans. The Los Angeles City Council is drafting a request for proposals from companies to develop the network, which will require "fiber to be run to every residence, every business, and every government entity within the city limits of Los Angeles."
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Scrivener for iOS to arrive in late July
For some long-time Scrivener users, to quote Paul Simon, "these are the days of miracle and wonders." As it marks its 10th anniversary in business, developer Keith Blount has announced that the long-awaited iOS version of his creative-writing tool Scrivener is to be submitted to the App Store, following strong praise from beta-testers. The program, expected in late July, will sell for $20 and work with both the iPad and iPhone. When we interviewed Blount last January, he added that Scrivener 3 for Mac would follow along shorty afterwards. http://bit.ly/2901XLE
WhatsApp now handles over 100M calls daily
WhatsApp is celebrating that it is being used for over 100 million calls every day. In a brief notice, the Facebook-owned messaging platform advises the voice-calling feature it rolled out to its users last year now deals with an average of over 1,100 calls initiated per second. Earlier this year, it increased the security of its calls and other messages, by introducing end-to-end encryption on all platforms. http://bit.ly/292HqCX
Adele's '25' album now streaming
Recording artist Adele has "pulled a Kanye" after saying that her current album "25" would not be available for streaming. The seven-month-old record, which has yielded a number of hit singles, is now available for streaming on all the major streaming services, such as Apple Music and Spotify, as of today in most major markets, with worldwide distribution to come. Reportedly, the singer had demanded streaming be limited to paid subscribers -- a condition that has hurt some streamers with artists, who aren't paid royalties for free or trial listens . Apple pays performers its normal royalty rates during its free trial, avoiding the issue -- and having repeated success in both signing up exclusives and placing those exclusives into the top of the charts. http://ti.me/28U7NOu
SanDisk iXpand case has battery, storage
A new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s case from SanDisk appears to be the "holy grail" of accessories: a stylish and protective case that offers both extra storage as well as the option of extra battery power as well. The iXpand Memory case offers either 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of additional storage incorporated into the case, and an optional add-on battery pack (sold separately) adds up to an extra day or more of charge. Through the associated iXpand app, camera photos and videos can be automatically stored on the extra storage, optionally password-protected, The cost for the case is (in order of storage capacity) $60, $100, and $130. The battery pack's release data has not yet been announced, but the add-on should retail for an additional $30. http://bit.ly/291epHu
Fifth Hong Kong store to open June 30
The 46th official Apple store in what the company calls the "Greater China" region will open at 10AM local time in Hong Kong's New Town Plaza in the Sha Tin district on Thursday, June 30, according to a new page on Apple's retail website. Despite slowing growth due to economic turmoil in China, the country is still Apple's fastest-growing market. The new story will be the fifth for Hong Kong, a lucrative market for Apple thanks to the high concentration of wealth there and a thriving "gray" market. Normal store hours for the new store will be 10AM to 10PM every day. http://apple.co/291diaT
Apple Music bug bites very short songs
There appears to be a reproducible bug in the current version of iTunes -- version 12.4.1, running on OS X 10.11.5, both the current non-beta versions of the respective software -- that causes a streamed song to become "stuck" in endless buffering if the streamed item just before this happened was 60 seconds or less in length. The problem appears to stem from code in iTunes that signals the next track to start downloading one minute before the currently-playing track is done, and thus songs shorter than one minute don't trigger the download. Locally-stored music is unaffected by the bug, and the problem does not appear to exist in either the macOS Sierra developer beta or versions of iTunes earlier than 12.4, and does not affect the iOS Music app at all. http://bit.ly/291cN0l
Walmart Pay expands to 15 states
Walmart, one of the key progenitors of the failed CurrentC mobile payment system that was distinguished from Apple Pay by its ability to collect and share customer financial and buying data among its participants, has expanded the soft rollout of its alternative solution "Walmart Pay" to an additional 15 US states following a pilot program in Arkansas and Texas last month. Walmart continues to resist adding Apple Pay. The system, built into the Walmart app for iOS and Android, works with a complicated system of the camera scanning a purchase code at the register, then generating a QR code which is then scanned by the register. The system is available now in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington, DC. http://apple.co/28SqZfu