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Net Neutrality – A presidential U-Turn? November 11, 2014

Posted by wastedspacer in Global Industry, Political Issues, Rants, Social State.
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NNewt*sigh* Too little too late perhaps? I hear all of the Comcast, Verizon and AT&T execs crying foul over this supposed U-Turn. It seems that now we have a president unfettered by the mountain of promises needed to get elected and able to say what he really thinks! Of course, it will make way for 2016 presidential candidates to “disagree” with a now unpopular leader and enable new cable company supporting politicians to line their campaign pockets with the vast trove of funding to decry the misguided neutrality musings of the former president!

I like the chart with the Netflix shakedown, Comcast (and to some extent Verizon/AT&T for that matter) is all about squeezing maximum profit so they can spend  what appears to be 90% of it on marketing, lobbying, lawsuits, civic “incentives” to help block private and community cable or communications initiatives and of course a large pot of money to buy up any of the smaller competition and supplemental organizations. Comcast doesn’t actually need to block access only neglect to add upgraded connections where customer streaming services like Netflix add burden. It can then shake-down those service providers to pay to accelerate the process. “XFINITY” marketing suggests is all about giving the customer fast access to the services they desire – yet their actions are completely counter to that!!!

Now we have a huge presidential support for Net Neutrality! Throwing all of his old-buddy election campaign backers under the bus now he no longer has a future presidential bid to worry about funding! Plus the chances of any future Democratic candidates seeking Obama endorsement are unlikely – OTOH I’m sure the cable guys will be only too happy to help them if they can oppose this Net Neutrality stance.

We have the appointment of the former pro-cable lobbyist Tom Wheeler as the chairman of the FCC. presidential golfing buddies – Comcast’s CEO Brian Roberts, campaign bundle specialist David Cohen Exec VP at Comcast who was a staunch supporter and massive fund-raiser for the Obama campaign with some really compelling Comcast promises including grand statements around “internet for the poor”. (How extensive was this and where did that actually end up)? No wonder all these folks are now crying foul – but I guess this is politics 101 when you no longer need the money from those former “buddies” toss them under a bus!

http://deadline.com/2014/11/comcast-responds-obama-net-neutrality-1201280353/

http://www.phillymag.com/articles/david-l-cohen-profile-david-l-explained/

Once again the end-consumer is going to be the one ultimately paying for this with increasing charges, no improvement and possible degradation in services!

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ATT U(seless)-Verse October 15, 2009

Posted by wastedspacer in 1, Business Directions, Rants, Technologies, Technology Drivers.
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Years of adverts, one mile from ATT’s HQ, in 2014 we have U-V Internet but no U-Verse TV in ATT’s own backyard!

Consider the hot summer of 2007 in San Ramon California where AT&T begin a riotous assault on our senses offering a wonderfully fast TV/Internet/Phone service dubbed U-Verse! Excited at the thought that at long last, the fiber channel was finally here and I could get a piece of it. We quite literally live on the doorstep of AT&Ts Northern Cal Headquarters which I can even see from my back-garden.

Ever since moving to San Ramon, I have been a loyal PacBell, er SBC… er AT&T customer thoughout the years and have been an early adopter for ISDN (Project Victoria) and then one of the first DSL subscribers.

Expecting that AT&T would again roll this out to their local community first may have been a little premature but I went to the web site, popped in our phone number and sadly receive the message:

We’re sorry. Currently, AT&T U-verse service isn’t available for the address associated with this phone number:

*sigh* but I dutifully sign up to be informed as soon as U-Verse is available, the general sentiment from the advertizing was that it should be within months so I believe I can wait. I hear reports from new housing developments and other cities that are happily getting their U-Verse but still not the loyal AT&T customers in their back yard.

I am under a constant barrage of eMail asking me to sign up for U-Verse all the way through to the summer of 2008. AT&T continues to pump out millions of dollars to advertize in magazines, on the radio and TV waving the flags of U-Verse successes all over the place, but not in our neck of the woods 😦 Again, I am constantly invited to check to see if we can have access.

We’re sorry. Currently, AT&T U-verse service isn’t available for the address associated with this phone number:

Another year goes by with the constant battering of advertisements from AT&T amid the tortoise and other ATT denigration “Slowski” campaigns from their chief rival – Comcast. Again and again I check my telephone number and sign up for “tell me when U-Verse” notifications. I constantly hear of freinds and colleagues that are getting their U-Verse connections all over California (even remote parts). Still no sign of U-Verse again in our part of San Ramon 😦

Finally, well over another year later, I am hearing more pitches and received yet another series of Email requests to sign up for U-Verse. Once again that disappointing phrase comes up:

We’re sorry. Currently, AT&T U-verse service isn’t available for the address associated with this phone number:

I have no idea why AT&T can’t either get its act together and deliver its promise -or- tell its back-yard neighbor customers what technologies, process (or politics) of the local town infrastructure has been blocking our ability to recieve this service? It just seems that if a company wants to be commercially successful the LAST thing they should be doing is shouting availability from the rooftops where there seems to be no capability to deliver it to much of the audience!

One of these days, AT&T might eventually wander up the hill and connect us or maybe we’ll see the Verizon guy with the glasses appear instead?

Ah well, should I again don the pink glass spectacles and chant: “all I want for Christmas is High Speed Internet (That doesn’t involve Comcast)”!

*** Update Feb 2010 ***
STILL NO U-VERSE GOOGLE – Please connect San Ramon to your Fiber link and sock it to ATT 🙂

**** News Flash March 2010 ***
I was informed by a workmate that ATT Is cutting up roads and digging huge long trenches only a few miles away in Dublin. Wow – could this finally be some high-speed fiber closing in?

NOT A CHANCE *sigh* After my colleague asked the works foreman if that was fiber being pulled the answer was NO JUST REPLACING THE COPPER – AAAAGGGHHH!! ATT what is wrong with you, if you are digging up roads why oh why are you NOT putting in fiber for goodness sake??? Is it as simple as you ordered a load of copper ten years ago and have to bury it somewhere??

*** Fast Forward –  May 2014 ***

Now I have both Comcast/Xfinity (Cable) + a worthless cable-box bypassing the most excellent tuner in my TV AND AT&T/DSL internet connections in the house and they are equally disfunctional, outrageously wasteful customer-disenfranchising organizations. We did briefly sign up with Direct-TV (with a view of displacing Comcast TV) but alas the only workable but enlarged (due to low-azimuth/weak signal) dish placement was right over our backyard deck and seating area. The cancellation process was a breeze, I have to say that the Direct-TV marketing and service personnel were exceptional however I fear that will be severely diluted when mashed up with the AT&T marketing machine 😦

Unbelievably 5 years on, ATT continues the onslaught of marketing, endless telemarketing sales calls, $4 Million spots at the Superbowl, fliers. Reportedly the annual marketing budget for AT&T  is $2.36 BILLION (albeit slightly less than Comcast’s). Add to that the massive many $BILLIONS war-chest of cash used to buy Direct-TV matching Comcast’s insatiable appetite to buy the competition. Customers should ask (of both companies) after all this what is left  of their subscription to actually provide some form of value added service?

At least we can now get ATT U-Verse Internet (I don’t want/need voice)  but no TV (though I can’t wait to start getting the ATT/Direct TV marketing crud – yeah right!)  but I can still see the ATT regional HQ from my back yard. I understand a number of the employees there are being laid off or shifted to Texas? Perhaps that HQ has a questionable future.

(Twitter: MPWA)