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Comcast Rebrands its Technology Products to Xfinity, and Beyond

Screen shot 2010 02 04 at 6.05.05 PM 490x271 Comcast Rebrands its Technology Products to Xfinity, and Beyond

Comcast is about to give its products and services a huge boosts – from visual improvement, speed enhancement and more control for consumers who partake of what they offer.  The company has just announced a new branding for their technology platforms and products called XFINITY.

According to a post on the Comcast Voices blog, XFINITY will provide their customers with more than 100+HD channels, 50 to 70 foreign-language channels, almost 20,000 Video-One-Demand choices, 50mbps to 100+mbps internet speeds and of course thousands of shows and movies online.

Once it is is officially launched, all of Comcast’s products will now be called XFINITY TV, XFINITY Voice and XFINITY Internet. Comcast’s new branding will be rolled out in 11 markets - Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington D.C., Chicago, Portland, Seattle, Hartford, Augusta, Chattanooga, parts of the Bay Area and San Francisco, plus more to come next year.

The decision to rebrand their products and services was brought about by the sudden explosion in Comcast’s service delivery since the day they have launched their VOD service sometime in 2003. Since then, the company has served 14 billion views comprising of movies, TV shows, music videos, and more. Even its Internet service has grown so fast that they can now provide up to 50mbps speed and will continue to increase some more.

And as technology continues to improve, Comcast and its XFINITY products and services will also grow and keep up with the changing demands of consumers in terms of partaking various media content. Hence, XFINITY seems to be a very appropriate branding.

AT&T to deliver free access to its Wi-Fi network

More than 10 million AT&T broadband subscribers will soon have free unlimited access from its nationwide Wi-Fi network. The offer delivers an annual saving of $60 for AT&T broadband customers, and an annual saving of nearly $240 compared with AT&T Wi-Fi costs for consumers who do not have an AT&T broadband plan.

The enhancement plays directly into the company’s efforts to increase the value of broadband by adding more ways for consumers to stay connected to their worlds.

The free Wi-Fi offer will be available to new and existing customers who subscribe to any of AT&T’s broadband services with downstream speeds of up to 1.5 Mbps, 3.0 Mbps, or 6.0 Mbps. Free Wi-Fi access was initially provided to the company’s higher-speed broadband customers last year.

Marriott makes Wi-Fi free in hotel lobbies

marriott logo Marriott makes Wi Fi free in hotel lobbiesHotel chain Marriott is getting more into free wireless Internet access around the properties of five of its brands. The total number of non-cost Wi-Fi locations for Marriott now stands at around 1,500.

Marriott said that, after introducing free guest room high speed and Wi-Fi several years ago, it had now expanded the free Wi-Fi to guests in lobbies and other public areas. The brands made part of this new offering include Courtyard, Residence Inn, Fairfield Inn, TownePlace Suites and SpringHill Suites.

These free hotspots are only available at hotels in the United States and Canada. Marriott maintains more than 2,900 lodging properties in the United States and 68 other countries and territories.

U.S. broadband use up, says CEA

cea U.S. broadband use up, says CEAThe Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), the trade group for the consumer electronics industry best known for putting on the yearly CES show in Las Vegas, released research today which suggests 72% of American adults have broadband access. They see an increasing demand for content-rich entertainment options and lower prices for access as key factors in future high speed Internet adoption.

The research study determined 57.8 million U.S. households subscribe to broadband at home, an increase of 21 percent in the last 12 months. 75 percent of households with Internet access subscribe to broadband. For these households, 65 percent decided to upgrade for a faster Internet connection. For non-subscribers, 15 percent say price is the number one reason they don’t have broadband in the home.

Broadband access outside of the home is also on the rise, with consumers going online through work, public libraries, and schools as well as even through portable devices like wireless phones.

“With 20 percent of non-broadband subscribers expecting to adopt this service in the next two years, future growth looks strong,” said CEA President and CEO, Gary Shapiro. “Yet, competition among broadband service providers must stay robust for this expected growth to prevail. Consumers must have access to media-rich entertainment content they can use anytime, anywhere at a reasonable price.”

Earthlink enables telephone company free DSL

DSL users who wish not to be tied to their phone company for service now have a new option in limited markets in the form of Earthlink Freestanding DSL. It is priced at up to $19.95 a month for 3.0Mbps of high-speed service.

Earthlink Freestanding DSL allows consumers to get around the need to purchase local telephone service in order to use a DSL line. It will initially be available in Verizon territory, including parts of California, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Washington state, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, D.C., West Virginia and Wisconsin.

“Up until now, many consumers wanting to purchase DSL without the cost of a local phone line had no cost-effective solution,” said Kevin Brand, senior vice president of access at EarthLink. “No longer – Freestanding DSL is a perfect solution for cord-cutters who want more choice and lower monthly bills.”

Toshiba pushing Web-enabled HD DVDs

hd dvd Toshiba pushing Web enabled HD DVDsToshiba said today the next generation DVD format it backs – HD DVD – will begin offering new titles which offer Web-enabled network capabilities. The goal of this new feature is to offer a higher degree of interactivity for HD DVD users.

Folks who update the firmware on their Toshiba HD DVD players, the consumer electronics company said, will find their device now supports improved network connectivity for downloading web-enabled network content. Going through the Ethernet ports one will be able to download and store bonus features or unlock content on the disc which requires a downloadable key. HD DVD owners will also be able to upload content and interact with content providers.

Web-enabled network content became available on June 26 with the launch of Bandai Visual’s anime title “Freedom” volume 1. This title is the first HD DVD anime title available in the United States, the first web-enabled network content disc and the first “twin format” disc (featuring both HD DVD and DVD on one side of the disc).

Broadband users to reach half a billion by 2012

Are you on broadband yet? If not, you may well be by 2012. That’s the year a new report out by research firm Research and Markets suggests there will be close to 500 million broadband subscribers worldwide.

The report indicates that globally, in addition to such a huge growth in broadband users, DSL currently holds a 65 percent market share over cable among high speed subscribers. The USA is one of only two reported countries in which cable subscribers have a larger base than DSL but this is expected to change next year as continued massive deployment of fiber networks by telcos improves the speed and bandwidth of their high speed networks.

Outside of the USA the Latin American region looks to be one of the world’s fastest broadband uptake regions with an annual growth rate of around 54% in 2006. However broadband penetration at the end of 2006 was only 2.5% – less than the global average of 5.4%. Globally at the moment around 50% of Internet traffic is consumed by less than 5% of Internet users.

Cisco creates contest for your idea of the Connected Life

cisco Cisco creates contest for your idea of the Connected LifeCisco is offering innovative people a sizable cash reward as part of a new contest to help shape its version of the connected life. The Connected Life Contest is open now and ends September 14.

The Connected Life, as defined by Cisco, “describes the unique, personalized experiences enabled by networked communications, whether at home, at work, or on the move. Cisco believes that the network is the platform for making daily life more entertaining, more productive and more convenient.” Cisco is looking for users to submit an entry (in 1,000 words or less) describing a new experience or capability they would like networking and communications technologies to help them do, whether at home, at work, or on the move. People are also invited to record a short video describing their idea.

Cisco will work with service providers around the world to select the top ideas, awarding one Grand Prize winner $10,000 and ten runner-up winners $1,000 each.

“We believe in continuous innovation and are always working to bring great ideas to reality,” said Jeff Spagnola, vice president of service provider marketing at Cisco. “We know that many of our customers, from the largest businesses to individual consumers, share our passion for innovation and we invite them to share their great ideas for experiences that they would like to enjoy in their Connected Life — enabled by Cisco and delivered by service providers around the world.”

Akamai offers to help you visualize real-time Internet performance

akami real time Akamai offers to help you visualize real time Internet performanceYou’ve probably asked yourself at least once “why is the f’ing Internet so slow?” One way you may be able to get some answer going forward is Akamai Technologies’ new “Visualizing the Internet” tools.

These Visualizing the Internet tools, unveiled by Akamai today, let you see how healthy the Internet currently is. Akamai draws upon information from over 25,000 servers in more than 750 cities that are used by content providers to provide visual data of why some Web traffic may be slow, infected, or simply non-existent.

Three tools make up Akamai’s offering. A real-time web monitor “identifies the global regions with the greatest attack traffic, cities with the slowest Web connections (latency), and geographic areas with the most Web traffic (traffic density).” Network performance comparision “illustrates how Akamai identifies the fastest and most reliable path available between an Akamai edge server and an enterprise’s origin data center to retrieve dynamic content.”

The final tool, visualizing Akamai, “provides insight into the world’s online behavior at any given moment including how much rich media is on the move, the sheer volume of data being requested, the number and concentration of worldwide visitors, and average connection speeds worldwide.” This data is drawn upon the fact, Akamai said, that at times it handles 20 percent of the world’s total Web traffic.

Nominees for Emmy Award for Broadband announced

natas Nominees for Emmy Award for Broadband announcedThe National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences announced the nominees for four new Emmy Awards for original entertainment programming – comedy, drama, children’s and variety created specifically for broadband, including computers, mobile phones, PDAs and similar devices. The winners will be named at the Daytime Creative Arts & Entertainment Emmy® Awards in Hollywood at the Hollywood & Highlands Ballroom on June 14.

“The nominees represent a cross section of broadband programs, created by both industry leaders and consumers, with the common denominator being quality – the creativity and production values of these programs are exceptional. In fact, this year we had more entries in each of the broadband program categories than any other program category, and the user-generated programs nominated represent nearly 50% of the total nominees. Clearly we have moved toward television anytime, anywhere, by anyone,” said Peter Price, President/CEO of NATAS.

For the first time this year, NATAS partnered with MySpace to create a unique community empowering users to submit content for consideration for the broadband Emmy Awards. Among the dozens of entries submitted via MySpace, Satacracy 88, a weekly drama series, where viewers vote on the ending each week thus directing the continuation of the story, distributed via ItsAllInYourHands.com was nominated in the drama category.