In Soviet Russia, Comcast have YOU!!1
I have Comcast.
oooh, too bad so sad. And I see Aahz has Charter.
I seem to remember Ragnar has Optimum *and* FiOS.
I guess we'll have to see how this new service turns out. Technically, if they upgrade from "150 Mbps but it degrades to dialup speed when the neighborhood kids come home from school" to a new "10 Gbps but it degrades to dialup speed when the neighborhood kids come home from school" then it's not really a usable upgrade. But if it's not stupidly oversubscribed like a DOCSIS plant is, and they have enough Internet bandwidth at the head end, then they could really compete with Verizon on quality.
If nothing else it'll give Verizon a run for their money, and they'll offer me a fabulous deal to re-up when my contract expires in 2019.
It really does look like copper's days are finally numbered, though, at least for video services. AT&T is ending the "U-Verse" brand, renaming it to "AT&T Internet" and "AT&T Phone" and driving customers to DirecTV (which it owns) for television service. Verizon is already on fiber, Altice is moving to fiber, it's clear that if you want to remain competitive as an MSO now you have to roll out fiber.
Comcast, on the other hand, will probably continue putting a thousand subscribers on a single node, and three HD channels on every 6 Mhz slot, and pretend it's a usable service.
I wouldn't go back to Cablevision unless something radically changed with them.
They ran fiber to Shady Side, MD. Surely, there's hope for where you live.
And we also know that Verizon has clearly stated that they're going to focus, for the short term, on increasing their network's penetration in the areas they already serve. So if you're in a FiOS market but your neighborhood isn't wired, you've got a chance; if you're not in a FiOS market, you're going to be waiting a while; if you're not in Verizon territory you are permanently SoL.
Again, the message I got from reading the Altice and AT&T announcement on the same day is that the days of video over copper are numbered. The only remaining question is what technology will be used over the fiber. Various forms of PON are used by Verizon FiOS and Google Fiber, and those seem to be the most efficient way to go for now; I'd rather just see a pure Ethernet infrastructure extended out to each subscriber.
The people who lose bigly are those in AT&T territory, who are now stuck with DSL+satellite for a generation.
Thu Jan 12 2017 10:13:41 PM EST from wizard of aahz @ UncensoredI hate Charter.. But I hated Frontier worse. Which was what I got when ATT UVerse gave the area to Frontier. It was horrible. Comcast Xfinity is the only other option up here. Verizon is NEVER running fiber to the boonies where I live.
Sadly, Verizon is selling a bunch of their territories to Frontier, as well. Thankfully, not Boston yet!
Fiber up in the mountains up here.. Not likely anytime soon. BUt it's fun to toy with them some.
100% of subscribers want a dumb pipe and a la carte TV channels. 0% of providers want to deliver that service.
We tried to deliver a la carte TV channels at my previous job, and had worked out the way to pull it off for cell phones, but the cable companies are such fucking bastards, they have the networks over a barrel somehow.
The blame for this state of things lie primarily on Comcast and their ilk.
The only other way to work around that is to start generating quality programming completely outside the networks that people would want to receive.
In the interim they'll probably try to steer subscribers away from third party over-the-top services by pulling douchebag moves like imposing data caps on subscribers who don't take a TV package, and/or bullying the OTT services into paid peering, etc. Unfortunately our new FCC chairman is an opponent of net neutrality so they will probably get away with it for a while.
(although, why should I sigh? I don't even watch television anymore. I refuse to participate in that broken business model anymore, and prefer on-demand viewing).
They don't seem to have carriage agreements with enough networks yet to make it a true competitor to cable/satellite, but I have a feeling they'll get there. $35/month, bring your own bandwidth, and it includes the broadcast networks (they seem to be doing it the same way satellite providers do, carrying the local stations where possible, or the nationwide network feed otherwise).
Unfortunately, they *do* have ESPN. For this service to be useful, it has to include a bigger selection of networks, and we have to be able to pick them a-la-carte instead of taking a package that includes ESPN at $7/month which I will never watch.
Obviously this isn't the most efficient way to use Internet bandwidth. Aside from the poor choice to implement on DSL, the U-Verse video service was the right idea. When a carrier owns the IP network end-to-end, they can make sure multicast is implemented properly so you don't have to send a separate data stream to every subscriber who tunes in to a channel. When a subscriber's TV service comes from a third party, the Internet carrier has no choice but to carry the data separately for everyone.
Most DSLAMs can run native IP, and many of the independent DSL providers did, before they all went out of business.
Anyway, since AT&T (sorry ... at&t) controlled the entire U-Verse plant end to end, I think they did have the multicast thing set up correctly. IPTV used multicast in a way that only required one stream to be sent to the DSLAM (or "VRAD" as they called it) and the set top boxen picked up the multicast with no trouble. The problem wasn't multicast, it was that there simply wasn't enough bandwidth to effectively deliver triple-play services on DSL, even though they pissed off a lot of people by putting DSLAMs in gigantic huts in every neighborhood.
(I know U-Verse still exists, but I'm using past tense because they've basically given up on it and are trying to transition everyone to DirecTV.)
memo. They're still pushing U-verse
with some amount of conviction.
Although the U-Verse TV service is not being discontinued, they are rebranding U-Verse as "AT&T Internet" and "AT&T Phone" and steering new customers towards DirecTV. There seems to be some indication that they want to eventually have a box at the subscriber prem that can combine the DSL and Satellite services, and then distribute the combined services through the subscriber's inside wiring. As Professor Hinkle would say, "messy, messy, messy!"
As television networks begin to broadcast in 2160p (4K UHD) things are going to start getting difficult for any provider not deploying fiber all the way to the subscriber. Even venerable old DOCSIS is going to be a squeeze, as each 6 MHz slot can carry one analog channel, about seven digital SD channels, two HD channels, about 38 Mbps of Internet, or ... half a UHD channel. Of course, there are still a lot of networks that haven't even moved from 720p to 1080i yet, so that could be a while off yet. But it's clear that bandwidth requirements are only going to keep going up, so the non-fiber technologies' days are numbered. Verizon is of course sitting pretty, having completed its fiber rollout years ago and is now the fifth largest MSO in the United States. Altice (who operate Optimum and Suddenlink) seem to see the writing on the wall and are reportedly getting ready to build a fiber network capable of delivering 10 Gbps to the subscriber.
(Disclaimer: I am fascinated by the technology and love keeping up with it ... but none of this matters to me because I've already got fiber to my home, plenty of bandwidth, and I despise commercial television.)