More than three times faster Internet service for no additional cost? Yes, please!
Charter Communications is building up some good will for itself in the St. Louis area, or so it would seem. Several Charter customers report having their base broadband service increased from 30Mbps to 100Mbps this week for free. It's not clear if Charter intends to roll out the same speed upgrade to other parts of the country (a forum users says it's limited to St. Louis), but as far as St. Louis goes, this appears to be a planned speed bump.
Cable companies and tech firms like Microsoft share a common goal
A coalition of cable companies and well known technology firms has been formed to address the "Wi-Fi spectrum crunch" and to lobby Washington to free up unlicensed spectrum. The coaltion is called WifiForward and it includes cable companies like Comcast, Time Warner Cable (which Comcast is trying to acquire), and Charter Communications, along with technology firms like Microsoft, Google, and Broadcom.
Well this is refreshing. Charter took note of a study conducted earlier this year in which it was predicted that the number of devices connected to IP networks will double the global population in 2015, and used that as a springboard to announce faster service tiers for all but its most basic broadband package, and at no additional cost to the end user.
Video streaming and disc rental service Netflix has come out swinging with an analysis of various ISPs' ability to reliably stream Netflix video, Cnet reports. When all the numbers were in, smallish ISP Charter Communication was the winner, barely edging out Comcast, Time Warner, and Cox. Internet providers like AT&T and Verizon were in the middle of the back, and wireless ISP Clearwire was dead last.
This report seems aimed at making ISPs nervous. Netflix has a product that many people love, and the idea that their ISP isn't giving them the best Netflix experience could sway consumers. It only makes sense with the wrangling over bandwidth access fees. Some ISPs have made it known they don't like having to pay to pass all the Netflix data to their customers. Netflix seems to be saying Don't mess with us. We're watching.
The data was acquired by averaging the sustained download rates of each ISP across their entire footprint for a three month period. The newer DOCSIS 3 cable internet connections likely helped cable companies like Comcast and Time Warner to boost their scores here. Companies that rely mainly on DSL didn't really have a chance. How well does your ISP handle that Netflix stream?