Cablevision to Be Acquired by Altice as Telecom Changes Continue

Carl Weinschenk

Cablevision’s agreement to be sold to Altice, a European firm, raises a lot of interesting issues. From the nostalgia perspective, Cablevision is one of the last of the old-time operations. It has been owned by the Dolan family since its launch decades ago. The New York Times story also points out that regulators will look at the deal very carefully because Altice also is in the process of buying Suddenlink Communications.

The Times points to the continuing shifts in the telecom industry. Recent moves include Charter Communications’ attempt to buy Time-Warner Cable (after its sale to Comcast fell apart) and AT&T’s acquisition of DirecTV. These might complicate the regulatory process.

Going Mobile

Autonomous or driverless cars and connected services in those automobiles both bring advantages and challenges – some of which are frightening.


McKinsey seeks to sum it all up in a study, which found that 37 percent of customers in this big study (3,184 recent purchases divided about equally among the U.S, China and Germany) would switch to a car of another maker if it gave them full access to applications, data and media. That number is 20 percent more than a year ago, according to InformationWeek.

The survey also presented views of executives, who are certain that changes are coming:

With technology steering purchasing decisions, a large majority of automotive executives (90%) believe that in-vehicle connectivity and automation will significantly change their business model. Almost as many (80%) expect their business will be challenged by new competitors in the field of connectivity and autonomous driving.

The executives appear to be sure that the automotive sector will never be the same.

iOS 9 Deployment Rate Similar to iOS 8

Owners of Apple devices are installing the newest version of the operating system, iOS 9, at about the same pace as iOS 8, according to a report at MacRumors on Mixpanel’s live tracking of uptake.

The tracking site found that iOS 9, which was released this week, has passed the 12 percent adoption rate quickly. MacRumors’ piece offered commentary from Mixpanel, which made the point that iOS and Android are very different:

This kind of adoption took Android's latest operating system, Lollipop, in comparison 5 months to achieve. One huge advantage Apple got right this year over last year was that the update is much smaller than last year (3.5x smaller) < Apple has empathy for its users who have nearly maxed out the space on their phones. However, one issue for it being substantially slow compared to iOS 7 is that servers are having trouble keeping up right now as people update."

Mixpanel’s numbers were on par with measurements from Paddle, another firm that tracks mobile OS uptake.

Administration Goes Big on Smart Cities

This week, the Obama administration announced a $160 million initiative to fund smart city research. The goal, according to Fortune, is to address challenges as diverse as the environment and crime. The initiative has a big cast of characters:

The initiative, announced in conjunction with a White House forum on smart cities, includes $35 million in new grants through the National Science Foundation, $42 million for connected vehicle research from the Department of Transportation, and $50 million for the Department of Homeland Security to develop integrated information technology for emergency responders. The initiative also establishes the MetroLab Network, 20 partnerships between cities and nearby universities and industry, to pursue connected solutions to real-world problems.

The announcement featured the city of South Bend, Indiana, which has lost jobs steadily during the past decades. It is thought to be the type of community that smart cities could help.

AT&T Under Attack

Usually, Internet security relates to things that happen in cyberspace. Not in this instance. USA Today reports that two AT&T fiber cables were severed in Livermore, California.

The carrier is offering a $250,000 reward. The story says that the cables technically are considered part of the nation’s Internet infrastructure. The crime thus breaks both state and federal  laws. There have been 14 similar attacks in the state since last summer.

The attacks are being conducted in underground fiber vaults, which suggests that the guilty party or parties know what they are doing.

Carl Weinschenk covers telecom for IT Business Edge. He writes about wireless technology, disaster recovery/business continuity, cellular services, the Internet of Things, machine-to-machine communications and other emerging technologies and platforms. He also covers net neutrality and related regulatory issues. Weinschenk has written about the phone companies, cable operators and related companies for decades and is senior editor of Broadband Technology Report. He can be reached at cweinsch@optonline.net and via twitter at @DailyMusicBrk.



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