You’re probably a good person who tries to help your fellow man whenever you can, but did you know that you might be lending your home Internet connection to anyone and everyone in your area? Last June, Comcast became the latest Internet service provider to offer up its subscribers’ home Internet connections to any other Comcast customers who might be in the area. By default, newer Comcast routers enable a second public Wi-Fi network that anyone within range can connect to using their Comcast account login credentials. As Minnesota’s Pioneer Press recently learned, however, not all Comcast customers knew of the change and some of them were horrified to learn about it. More →
It’s time to accept the fact that targeted ads are no longer restricted to your browser. Facebook is stuffing them inside your mobile apps, Apple might put them in your thermostat, and now The Washington Post is reporting that Comcast and NBC Universal are bringing targeted advertisements to your television. Much like the intelligent political ads that Dish and DirecTV announced earlier this week, the newly-minted NBCU+ service will “allow marketers to target groups of consumers that fit certain demographic and interest profiles.” More →
In a bit of good news for Comcast subscribers — a rare bit of good news, some might argue — a new report suggests that the company is about to double or even triple its Internet data speeds for some subscribers. DSLReports on Tuesday afternoon cited an anonymous source in claiming that Comcast is preparing to increase data speeds for some subscribers. Speeds were already boosted for many users less than a year ago, but the ISP apparently isn’t done widening pipes for its customers. More →
In a federal copyright-infringement lawsuit filed recently in Philadelphia, Comcast is suing a former employee over the rights to software he developed while working for the pay TV giant in Colorado. Defendant Robert Orlowski helped form the company Tuning Analytics, LLC to market and sell software he developed that tracks a TV watcher’s viewing habits by being installed on his or her set-top box. Orlowski also filed two patents protecting the technology used in his software. According to Comcast’s suit, however, it has rights to Orlowski’s software and to all related patents. More →
Don’t worry, American consumers: the death of net neutrality is no big deal and it won’t harm your online experience at all. That’s the takeaway from the various responses U.S. Internet service providers offered up to the public following Tuesday’s U.S. appeals court ruling that killed net neutrality rules. Some believe the ruling will ultimately lead to the destruction of the Internet as we know it today, giving service providers free rein to squeeze money out of companies looking to give their services an edge by allotting them additional bandwidth that standard service will not enjoy. But according to companies such as Comcast and Verizon, that won’t be the case at all. More →
With the increasing number of ultra-high definition (UHD, or 4K) TV sets and displays being launched by various companies – including affordable models that were just introduced at CES 2014 – content providers are apparently trying to provide more 4K content that can take advantage of the higher resolution screens. Comcast has confirmed during a panel on UHD content that it will start offering 4K content as soon as February, the Hollywood Reporter says, when it will stream “some stuff” in 4K from the 2014 Winter Olympic Games that take place in Sochi from February 7 to February 23. More →
Like a good exorcist, the Federal Communications Commission looks set to drive back the merger sent from hell. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Republican FCC commissioner Ajit Pai says that the FCC is very unlikely to sign off on any proposed merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable because the Obama administration has shown itself much less likely to approve major telecom mergers — such as the blocked AT&T-T-Mobile merger — than a Republican administration might be. A merger between Time Warner Cable and Comcast, which are the two largest cable providers in the United States, would further consolidate an industry that is already uncompetitive in many major markets. In addition to Comcast, smaller cable provider Charter has also been rumored to be interested in buying up Time Warner Cable.
Longtime readers know that I’ve been very critical of both Comcast and Time Warner Cable over their pricing policies, their service quality and their overall business practices. This is why I gasped in horror when I learned Friday morning that Comcast is talking with the Federal Communications Commission about what regulatory hurdles it needs to cross to merge with Time Warner Cable. More →
If there’s one thing that Americans have been clamoring for, it’s fewer choices when it comes to cable providers. CNBC reports that Comcast has been asking the Federal Communications Commission about the regulatory hurdles it might face if it tries to buy Time Warner Cable in a massive merger that would turn America’s two largest cable companies into an even bigger behemoth. While Time Warner Cable is apparently listening to several suitors’ offers, CNBC’s sources say that the company would prefer to be bought out by Comcast over any other competitor. More →
It happened, cord cutters… it really happened. Following a report from DSLReports, it appears as though Comcast has made a new Internet service plan available in some markets that really is a cord cutter’s dream come true. The new offering, dubbed “Internet Plus,” bundles 25Mbps Internet service with HBO GO, local TV channels and Comcast’s Streampix streaming movie and TV show service for $40 per month to for a year. The service then jumps to $70 per month after the first 12 months, which is still a bargain for cord cutters compared to other options out there (personally, I pay Time Warner Cable $60 each month just for 30Mbps Internet service with no TV package). The new Internet Plus service is not available in all areas, it would seem, but it will go a long way to answer the prayers of many cable subscribers who have dreamed of ditching all of the filler in their cable TV bundles but couldn’t survive without Sookie, Nucky and the Khaleesi. A screenshot of Comcast’s unicorn follows below. More →
There are times when you just have to tip your cap to Comcast for coming up with creative ways of swindling its subscribers. The company’s latest masterpiece has been the rollout of its channel encryption program, which now forces customers who have even the most basic television services to get all of their channels through a digital adapter box. More →
According to a recent report, Netflix is negotiating with several American cable companies in an effort to become a feature in regular set-top boxes. Comcast is one of the companies considering adding Netflix streaming to its boxes, The Wall Street Journal claims. Netflix has already struck such deals in Sweden and the United Kingdom. Why would Comcast be interested in boosting Netflix? One possible explanation is Breaking Bad. The cult show debuted to tepid ratings — the fourth season finale grabbed only 1.9 million viewers. But after Netflix added the show to its roster and offered it robust support, the show’s audience soared during its last two seasons. For its final episode, Breaking Bad was watched by a stunning 10.3 million viewers. More →
Twitter may have found a good way to shore up potential revenue streams ahead of its IPO. BGR sister publication Variety reports that Twitter has partnered with Comcast on a new initiative called “See It” that will let users “record and watch NBC Universal programming directly off the social media platform.” Here’s how it works: Twitter will add a “See It” button to Comcast customers’ Twitter feeds that will let them watch their favorite NBC Universal shows online through any device they’re using or to access their television’s set-top box to start recording the show. While the Comcast deal isn’t likely to be a huge money-maker for Twitter, the microblogging site could see a nice boost in revenues if it negotiates similar deals with other cable companies and content providers.