The Weekly Technology News 1/18 Edition
Few Gleanings from my perusing the Internet.
FCC to Redefine “Broadband” as 25 Mbps or Faster – A huge chunk of the U.S. may no longer have “broadband” service soon, if a new plan by federal regulators to change the definition of high-speed access is approved. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler proposed Wednesday to increase the U.S. definition of broadband to 25 megabits per second, saying the current definition of 4 Mbps just doesn’t cut it anymore. That “dated” standard is “inadequate for evaluating whether broadband capable of supporting today’s high-quality voice, data, graphics and video is being deployed to all Americans in a timely way,” according to an FCC fact sheet about the proposal.
Sprints Latest Promo Drives 700 Percent Increase in Retail Traffic – According to new research from Placed, a company that tracks location through mobile phones on an opt-in basis, the first week of Sprint’s “Cut Your Bill in Half” promotion increased foot traffic at Sprint retail shops by 700 percent week over week compared to competitors AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon. Even though Sprint is a distant third in that list, the recent promotion saw their overall market share rise nearly 3 percent from the recent increase in store visits.
How the Great Unbundling of Pay TV Could Backfire on Consumers – Today the oversized cable bundle remains the standard, but the door to unraveling the cable package has been opened, thanks to the arrival of a broad variety of viewing options—notably including standalone streaming options from HBO, the Dish Network, and Netflix that require no cable package. However, analysts have long warned that we should be careful what we wish for in terms of an a la carte viewing future. In 2010, the New Yorker reported that if the bundle disappeared, the cost per customer for each channel would soar, “perhaps on a customer-by-customer basis.” The likely result would be that loads of channels would go out of business, and that the average customer would pay roughly the same amount monthly he was paying for the big bundle. And in light of Dish’s rollout of Sling TV this week, the New York Times summed up previous research on the topic of how an a la carte TV scene would play out, writing, “contrary to many peoples’ intuition, the unbundling of cable service could actually lead to slightly higher prices for fewer channels.”
Sources: The Wall Street Journal, online; CNET. Boy Genius Report; SlashGear; The Verge. Fortune (Money), online. Android Authority; GeekWire; Wireless Week, online. Ars Technica; Consumerist; Re/code; SlashGear.
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