Tag Archive for Comcast

Net Neutrality – We Win

Let the lawsuits begin!

Net Neutrality - We Win

In addition to the lawyers, lining up to squash Net Neutrality, Michigan’s own Fred Upton—who holds personal investments in AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon—has introduced anti-Net Neutrality legislation that eliminates the FCC’s authority to regulate internet service providers and could crush the agency’s ruling and allow AT&T (T), Comcast (CMCSA) and Verizon (VZ) to rule the Internet at our cost to grow their profits.


I have already seen an ad on BrightHouse cable from Broadband For America, (whose membership page is empty) claiming that the FCC ruling will force them to raise taxes. Here come more imaginary “Regulatory re-captureprofits fees.

For right now, this is a rare win for the 99% in post 9-11 ‘murica. Just follow the money.

Ralph Bach has been in IT for fifteen years and has blogged from his Bach Seat about IT, careers and anything else that catches his attention since 2005. You can follow me at Facebook and Twitter. Email the Bach Seat here.


Quicken Fiber Coming to the D

Quicken Fiber Coming to the DCrain’s Detroit Business is reporting that real estate mogul, Lebron James’ boss, founder and chairman of Quicken Loans Inc., Dan Gilbert announced the formation of a new a Detroit-based high-speed Internet provider to bring service to downtown Detroit –  Rocket Fiber LLC. Mr. Gilbert (@cavsdan) tweeted:

Rocket FiberYes,it’s true @RocketFiber coming to downtown Detroit in near future. Fast as Google or faster. Details in a few weeks pic.twitter.com/fTPRSbauoN

Mr. Gilbert formed Rocket Fiber LLC in 2014. He called the company a “community investment initiative.” Matt Cullen, president and CEO of Rock Ventures, called the new network “the generational leap forward” – leapfrogging where the city is at this point. It’s starting in the downtown and hopefully spreading out to the neighborhoods. There is some interest along the riverfront.Fiber Optic Cable

The first wave of installations will happen in the downtown area between the Lodge on the west, I-375 to the east and I-75 to the north. Rocket Fiber will expand services to residents and businesses in Midtown Detroit along the Woodward corridor.

Crain’s reports that construction is already happening on the “advanced fiber-optic network.” The system will use on hard-wired fiber-optic lines that will be connected to buildings. Users will connect devices in their homes or businesses by either an Ethernet cable or Wi-Fi. An outdoor Wi-Fi offering also will be available, Rock Ventures said.

Rocket FiberThe effort is not entirely altruistic. Undoubtedly part of the project will be to connect the Quicken campus downtown to the new Corktown technical center Bedrock is building at Rosa Parks and Porter which includes a 10, 000-square-foot server room.


Mr. Gilbert is doing something ATT or Comcast could or would not do. – I worked on a job in the City to bring in 12 AT&T (T) POTS and Comcast (CMCSA) Business circuits.

Quicken Loans Data Center - Curbed– OMG – It took ATT a week to get the last three POTS lines in and Comcast projected 6 months to install a city block away from Ford Field and 100 yards from a known working drop. (and now they are going to stop service in Detroit). Thankfully 123.net was able to get the customer up on working on time and budget.  

Ralph Bach has been in IT for fifteen years and has blogged from his Bach Seat about IT, careers and anything else that catches his attention since 2005. You can follow me at Facebook and Twitter. Email the Bach Seat here.

ISPs – Brits Speed U.S. Squabble

ISPs - Brits Speed U.S. SquabbleBritish Telecom has announced its plan to transform the UK broadband landscape from superfast to ultrafast. CircleID reports that the company plans to deliver much faster broadband for homes and small businesses via a widespread deployment of “G.fast” (G.9701) — a technology the company will pilot test this Summer. G.fast is aimed to help BT deliver ultrafast speeds of up to 500 Mbps to most of the UK within a decade. Deployment will start in 2016–2017, BT says.

US broadbandThe day before, the FCC announced that they have re-defined the meaning of broadband in the United States. Under the new definition, US broadband has changed from a measly 4 Mbps down and 1 Mbps up to an anemic 25 Mbps down and 3 Mbps up. There will be little impact for the end user, because this is just gooberment posturing. This will put the US in some low rank internationally. While the UK global telecom giant BT sets its sites on 500 Mbps. The FCC’s presser states that the ruling is meaningless. Their own document says:

… its 25/3 benchmark as a standard to measure the progress of broadband deployment. However, the benchmark is not a minimum speed requirement and does not prevent broadband service providers from advertising or describing slower service as broadband.

Follow the moneyNot surprisingly, 100% of US ISP’s are against this redefinition of broadband the cable lobby is opposed to the FCC’s plan. Ars Technica reports that the Telecommunications Association (NCTA) wrote in an FCC filing Thursday (PDF) that, “Customers do just fine with lower speeds.”

In addition to the CableCo lobby’s opposition, PCWorld reports that Republicans blasted the FCC report and new definition of broadband.


The Register notes how little things have changed. Haters are going to hate. In 2008, Commissioner Robert McDowell opposed increasing the speed definition of broadband from 200Kbps to 768Kbps. McDowell today represents Washington DC law firm Wiley Rein and appeared last week in Congress arguing that the FCC should not introduce net neutrality rules.

Do you want Comcast in charge of the web? Support net neutrality.

Ralph Bach has been in IT for fifteen years and has blogged from his Bach Seat about IT, careers and anything else that catches his attention since 2005. You can follow me at Facebook and Twitter. Email the Bach Seat here.

Comcast to Unplug Motown

Comcast to Unplug MotownComcast (CMCSA) will abandon Detroit if it’s plan to acquire Time Warner Cable Inc. is approved by the Federal Communications Commission. The cable giant filed a response (PDF) to parties objecting to the nation’s second largest provider’s plan to acquire TWC arguing against claims that it would grow too big under the merger.

ComcastUnder its purchase plan, Comcast will withdraw from some markets, continuing to operate, as it does now, in 16 of 20 top markets, only a different set of 16 mostly on both coasts. Comcast lawyers stated, “Comcast will no longer have a presence in the Detroit, Minneapolis-St. Paul, or Cleveland DMAs (designated market areas).”

MLive explains that companies like Dish Network, Netflix and various TV networks have complained that the Comcast-Time-Warner merger would create a new, massive cable company with an anti-competitive advantage. Religious television programmer My Christian TV complained that the deal would make Comcast “the only significant cable outlet in approximately 98 percent of all African-American communities in the country.” Comcast’s response:

Comcast has never served several markets with significant African-American populations such as St. Louis, Cleveland, and New Orleans, among many others, and after the Transaction, will no longer serve Detroit… Comcast estimates that after the transaction, it will serve markets that include approximately 78 percent of the country’s Hispanic households (not counting Puerto Rico in the denominator), though of course many of those households will not be Comcast customers.

Comcast to cut serviceBloomberg says the castaways in Detroit, Minneapolis and elsewhere would belong to a new company, GreatLand Connections Inc., to be created in what the companies call a tax-efficient spinoff. The new company’s debt would exceed industry averages — something that has raised concerns about service in those communities.

“We don’t have the answers we need,” said Ron Styka, an elected trustee with responsibility for cable-service oversight in Meridian Township, Michigan, a town served by Comcast about 80 miles west of Detroit. Municipal officials told Bloomberg they have questions about service, including whether subscribers can keep Comcast e-mail addresses or if the cable-channel lineups may change.

Charter CableGreatLand will start with $7.8 billion in debt, according to a securities filing. Bloomberg says that debt is equal to five times Ebitda, or earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. The debt ratio for Comcast is 1.99 times Ebitda and for New York-based Time Warner Cable it’s 3.07 times Ebitda, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. David Osberg, city administrator of Eagan, MN told Bloomberg.  “It’s not clear whether GreatLand will be financially qualified,” to provide services.

The new company will buy management services from Charter Communications Inc. (CHTR) according to Bloomberg. Charter, which had sought to buy Time Warner Cable, would own a 33 percent interest in GreatLand and become the second-largest U.S. cable company with more than 8 million customers counting GreatLand’s and subscribers it gets in purchases and swaps with Comcast after the merger is completed.


I worked a couple of jobs last year with Comcast last year and it always took them 3 or 4 months to provide service to business customers so many Detroiters may not be sad to see the cable giant go. The Philadelphia company last week acknowledged major customer service woes after a series of viral videos documented the experiences of exasperated customers.

Comcast CEO Neil Smit announced the hiring of a new head of customer service, and wrote in a blog post:

It may take a few years before we can honestly say that a great customer experience is something we’re known for. But that is our goal and our number one priority.

Ralph Bach has been in IT for fifteen years and has blogged from his Bach Seat about IT, careers and anything else that catches his attention since 2005. You can follow me at Facebook and Twitter. Email the Bach Seat here.

Whats a Petabit Network

SFiber optic cableeems like it was a couple of months ago, we were excited about fiber optic cable that twisted light to carry data at 1.6 Tbps per strand. Now Petabit networks are the new benchmark. U.K. and Japanese researchers mashed-up software-defined networking (SDN) and multicore fiber to produce the first Petabit pipe according to Kevin Fitchard at GigaOM. A Petabit is one quadrillion (1,000,000,000,000,000 or 1015) bytes binary digits or one thousand Terabits.

Whats a Petabit NetworkThe researchers mashed-up multicore fibers and SDN to makes very high-speed networks programmable. GigaOM speculates this will allow carriers to adjust the network capacity and latency to meet the needs of traffic traveling over their networks. First the fiber, GigaOM explains that unlike todays single strands of glass, or cores, that carry a single beam of light down the fiber, multicore fiber is exactly what its name implies: multiple cores each carrying a single core’s worth of capacity over the same link. Professor Dimitra Simeonidou at the University of Bristol, called current single-core fiber a capacity bottleneck.

The multcore group, led by NICT and NTT in Japan which built a 450 km (280 mile) section of fiber optics using 12 cores in two rings capable of transmitting 409 Tbps in either direction. That’s 818 Tbps in total, within spitting distance of seemingly mythical Petabit speeds according to GigaOM. The MCF research relies on Space Division Multiplexed (SDM) provided by the multicore fibres.

ResearcherIn order to control the massive bandwidth a team from the High Performance Networks Group at the University of Bristol created an OpenFlow software-based control element to manage those enormous capacities. The Brits implemented an interface that dynamically configures the network nodes so that it can more effectively deal with application specific traffic requirements such as bandwidth and Quality of Transport.

According to the researchers, this was the first time SDN was used on a multicore network. The University of Bristol presser announcing the new technology says this technology will overcome critical capacity barriers, which threaten the evolution of the Internet.


OK so that really – really – really fast. We also know from a 2011 New Scientist article that the total capacity of one of the world’s busiest routes, between New York and Washington DC, is only a few Terabits per second. With bandwidth-hungry applications like cloud computing, social media, and video-streaming continuously growing it forces network planners at firms like AT&T (T), Verizon (VZ) and the NSA to find new ways to grow their capacity.

Data CenterComcast (CMCSA) just finished a 1 Tbps network field trail on a production network between Ashburn, VA and Charlotte, NC. Most likely the first place Pbps networking will be used is in the mega-data centers of the likes of Google (GOOG), Facebook (FB) or Microsoft (MSFT).