With Strike Ongoing, Vandalism Hits Verizon

Carl Weinschenk

Verizon is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in what it calls “incidents of sabotage” in the northeast. The vandalism comes as the strike against the company by the Communications Workers of America (CWA) continues. WirelessWeek said that there have been at least 24 incidents in five states during the past few days. In New Jersey, sliced fiber at a network facility cut service to subscribers and local emergency personnel. In Massachusetts, vandalism did the same to some subscribers for 16 hours. Voice communications and Internet access was cut in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York.

Google Gets FCC OK for Test

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has given Google approval to test 3.5 GHz wireless capabilities on light poles and other structures in Kansas City, Missouri.

This is the first large test of the spectrum that will be used to create the Citizens Broadband Radio Service that the FCC mandated a year ago, according to Computerworld. The tests, which could last a year and a half, could enable the company to reach areas not served by Google Fiber.


Speeds as fast as 300 Megabits per second (Mbps) and connectivity for Internet of Things (IoT) will be possible.

Inside Rural Broadband

“The Impact of Rural Broadband,” a study sponsored by The Hudson Institute’s Foundation for Rural Service, offers a look at rural broadband. The report found that $24.2 billion poured into the economies of states that host rural broadband services last year.

That’s misleading, however. About two-thirds of the money ends up in urban areas, according to the report on the study at Telecompetitor:

This occurs, in large part, because key equipment and services needed to support broadband construction come from urban areas, the author noted. “Broadband is a relatively capital intensive sector and the capital goods overwhelmingly come from outside the areas rural broadband providers serve,” the report states.

The report found that rural broadband created 69,600 jobs last year and supported more than $100 billion in ecommerce.

Google: Not Just Search

The Verge reports on comments made by Google CEO Sundar Pichai on the company’s earnings call this week. Pichai said that Google is looking to expand aggressively into cloud and artificial intelligence (AI).

The piece points out that search, the service upon which Google has grown hugely rich, is slowing. Getting more deeply into cloud is not a stretch, according to Pichai, who pointed out that Google, in essence, had always been in that business. It had just been using it internally.

Now Google will begin trying to profit from the platform. The goal is to transform the company in a relatively short period:

Google ultimately wants its cloud business to eclipse its advertising one by 2020, and the ambitious effort is central to the company's ongoing transformation into a business-class service provider.

Pichai also said during the call that artificial intelligence and machine learning are important to Google’s future.

Verizon FiOS Has a Rocky First Quarter

Verizon said that during the first quarter, it signed 36,000 FiOS video subscribers. That’s down fully 60 percent from the 90,000 subscribers it welcomed onboard during the same quarter a year ago. The company ended the quarter with 5.86 million FiOS video subscribers.

In good news for the company: The new subscriber figure was 20,000 more than new customers signed during the last quarter of 2015.

The results seem consistent with expectations, according to an Associated Press report on the Hollywood Reporter. Analysts say that telecom television providers are expected to lose subscribers year-over-year, while cable operators are expected to have a good quarter.

Verizon said it added 98,000 FiOS broadband connections, only 1,000 less than in the fourth quarter. The company added 133,000 during the first quarter of last year. It ended the first quarter of this year with 7.13 million subscribers.

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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