HBO Max will get a less expensive, ad-supported tier in June

A shot from the upcoming <em>Dune</em> adaptation, which will hit theaters and HBO Max this year.

Enlarge / A shot from the upcoming Dune adaptation, which can hit theaters and HBO Max this 12 months. (credit score: Chiabella James/Warner Bros.)

This June, HBO Max will get a less expensive, ad-supported subscription plan, mother or father firm AT&T instructed buyers at the moment. Nonetheless, a particular value and launch date haven’t been introduced. Proper now, an ad-free subscription to HBO Max prices $14.99 month-to-month in the US.

There’s one main catch, although: the ad-supported model of the service won’t stream the much-hyped Warner Bros theatrical releases. These movies embrace Marvel Lady 1984, which confirmed concurrently on HBO Max and in theaters in December of 2020, and Dune, which is predicted to premiere this 12 months.

HBO will be part of Paramount+, Hulu, and another streaming providers in providing (at the least) two tiers—one comparatively low-cost one which includes pre-roll or mid-roll promoting, and one with a better month-to-month charge that includes no advertisements. Nonetheless, a few of HBO Max’s opponents, like Disney+ or Netflix, don’t do offered promoting in any respect.

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AT&T guarantees fiber-to-the-home enlargement in 90 metro areas this 12 months

AT&T technician working with cables on a utility pole.

Enlarge / An AT&T technician engaged on a fiber mission. (credit score: AT&T)

AT&T at present stated it can deliver fiber Web to a couple million extra properties and companies by the top of this 12 months. “In 2021, AT&T plans to extend its fiber footprint by a further three million buyer areas throughout greater than 90 metro areas,” AT&T stated. This is able to elevate AT&T’s fiber deployment to about 18 million properties and companies.

AT&T supplied a listing of the 90 metro areas right here. The overwhelming majority of them have already got AT&T fiber entry, as seen on this AT&T fiber map.

This doubtless means the three million new areas will primarily encompass properties and companies near AT&T’s current fiber installations as a substitute of properties and companies in totally unserved areas. We requested AT&T for extra particulars on the deliberate fiber deployment and can replace this text if we get extra info.

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AT&T and Frontier have let telephone networks disintegrate, Calif. regulator finds

A pair of scissors being used to cut a wire coming out of a landline telephone.

Enlarge (credit score: Getty Photographs | CalypsoArt)

AT&T and Frontier have let their copper telephone networks deteriorate by means of neglect since 2010, leading to poor service high quality and plenty of prolonged outages, a report commissioned by the California state authorities discovered. Clients in low-income areas and areas with out substantial competitors have fared the worst, the report discovered. AT&T particularly was discovered to have uncared for low-income communities and to have imposed extreme worth will increase including as much as 152.6 % over a decade.

The report was written in April 2019 however saved non-public as a result of knowledge submitted by the carriers was deemed confidential and proprietary. The report lastly turned public after the California Public Utilities Fee (CPUC) dominated in December 2020 {that a} redacted model needed to be launched by mid-January.

A abstract of the CPUC-commissioned report recognized six key findings:

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AT&T buyer since 1960 buys WSJ print advert to complain of gradual speeds

A snail resting on a computer mouse, to illustrate slow Internet service.

Enlarge (credit score: Getty Pictures | Synergee)

A person who has been an AT&T buyer since 1960 has a message for CEO John Stankey concerning the firm’s failure to improve DSL areas to trendy Web service. Aaron Epstein, 90, is so annoyed by his 3Mbps Web plan that he took out a Wall Avenue Journal advert in immediately’s print version in an effort to submit an open letter to Stankey.

“Expensive Mr. Stankey: AT&T prides itself as a frontrunner in digital communications. Sadly, for the individuals who dwell in N. Hollywood, CA 91607, AT&T is now a serious disappointment,” Epstein wrote within the letter.

Epstein paid $1,100 to run the advert for in the future within the Manhattan and Dallas editions of immediately’s Journal, he instructed Ars in a telephone interview. He selected the Manhattan version to succeed in traders who would possibly wish to stress AT&T into upgrading its community and Dallas as a result of that is the place AT&T is headquartered, he stated.

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AT&T eats a $15.5 billion impairment cost as DirecTV debacle continues

A man with an umbrella walking past a building with an AT&T logo.

Enlarge / A person walks with an umbrella outdoors of AT&T company headquarters on March 13, 2020, in Dallas, Texas. (credit score: Getty Pictures | Ronald Martinez)

AT&T misplaced 617,000 clients from DirecTV and its different TV companies within the ultimate quarter of 2020, capping a yr wherein it misplaced almost three million clients within the class, AT&T reported right this moment.

AT&T right this moment additionally knowledgeable the Securities and Change Fee that it has taken “noncash impairment fees of $15.5 billion” associated to its ongoing DirecTV debacle. AT&T mentioned the $15.5 billion fees replicate “adjustments in our administration technique and our analysis of the home video enterprise… together with our choice to function our video enterprise individually from our broadband and legacy telephony operations.” This operational choice “required us to establish a separate Video reporting unit and to evaluate each the recoverability of its long-lived belongings and any assigned goodwill for impairment,” AT&T mentioned.

AT&T mentioned it additionally logged “fees of roughly $780 million from the impairment of manufacturing and different content material stock at WarnerMedia, with $520 million ensuing from the continued shutdown of theaters in the course of the pandemic and the hybrid distribution mannequin for our 2021 movie slate.”

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AT&T might hold majority possession of DirecTV because it closes in on closing deal

A DirecTV satellite dish mounted to the outside of a building.

Enlarge / A DirecTV satellite tv for pc dish seen exterior a bar in Portland, Oregon, in October 2019. (credit score: Getty Photographs | hapabapa)

AT&T is reportedly closing in on a deal to promote a stake in DirecTV to TPG, a private-equity agency.

Sadly for patrons hoping that AT&T will relinquish management of DirecTV, a Reuters report on Friday mentioned the pending deal would give TPG a “minority stake” in AT&T’s satellite-TV subsidiary. However, a private-equity agency seeking to wring worth out of a declining enterprise would not essentially be higher for DirecTV prospects than AT&T is.

It is also doable that AT&T might cede operational management of DirecTV even when it stays the bulk proprietor. CNBC in November reported on one proposed deal wherein “AT&T would retain majority financial possession of the [DirecTV and U-verse TV] companies, and would keep possession of U-verse infrastructure, together with vegetation and fiber,” whereas the client of a DirecTV stake “would management the pay-TV distribution operations and consolidate the enterprise on its books.”

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AT&T kills off the failed TV service previously often called DirecTV Now

A large AT&T logo seen on the outside of its corporate offices.

Enlarge / AT&T company workplaces on November 10, 2020, in El Segundo, California. (credit score: Getty Pictures | AaronP/Bauer-Griffin)

AT&T is killing off the online-video service previously often called DirecTV Now and introducing a no-contract possibility for the newer on-line service that changed it.

AT&T unveiled DirecTV Now late in 2016, the 12 months after AT&T purchased the DirecTV satellite tv for pc firm. Costs initially began at $35 a month for the live-TV on-line service, and it had signed up 1.86 million subscribers by Q3 2018. However prospects shortly fled as AT&T repeatedly raised costs and minimize down on the usage of promotional offers, leaving the service with simply 683,000 subscribers on the finish of Q3 2020.

In 2019, AT&T modified the identify from DirecTV Now to AT&T TV Now, creating confusion amongst prospects and its personal workers as a result of the corporate concurrently unveiled one other on-line streaming service referred to as AT&T TV.

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Broadband energy customers explode, making information caps extra worthwhile for ISPs

An illustration of $100 bills being sucked into an Internet connection.

Knowledge cap money. (credit score: Aurich Lawson | Getty Photographs)

The variety of broadband “energy customers”—individuals who use 1TB or extra per thirty days—has doubled over the previous yr, making certain that ISPs might be in a position to make more cash from information caps.

In Q3 2020, 8.Eight p.c of broadband subscribers used at the very least 1TB per thirty days, up from 4.2 p.c in Q3 2019, in keeping with a examine launched yesterday by OpenVault. OpenVault is a vendor that sells a data-usage monitoring platform to cable, fiber, and wi-fi ISPs and has 150 operators as clients worldwide. The 8.8- and 4.2-percent figures discuss with US clients solely, an OpenVault spokesperson instructed Ars.

Extra clients exceeding their information caps will end in extra overage prices paid to ISPs that impose month-to-month information caps. Greater utilization may also increase ISP income as a result of folks utilizing extra information are inclined to subscribe to higher-speed packages.

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The tech antitrust downside nobody is speaking about

After years of constructing political strain for antitrust scrutiny of main tech firms, this month Congress and the US authorities delivered. The Home Antitrust Subcommittee launched a report accusing Apple, Amazon, Google, and Fb of monopolistic conduct. The Division of Justice filed a criticism towards Google alleging the corporate prevents shoppers from sampling different search engines like google.

The brand new fervor for tech antitrust has to date ignored an equally apparent goal: US broadband suppliers. “If you wish to speak about a historical past of utilizing gatekeeper energy to hurt rivals, there are few higher examples,” says Gigi Sohn, a fellow on the Georgetown Regulation Institute for Know-how Regulation & Coverage.

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AT&T loses one other 600,000 TV prospects because it seeks purchaser for DirecTV

AT&T's logo and stock price displayed on a monitor on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in January 2019.

Enlarge / AT&T’s emblem and share worth displayed on a monitor on the New York Inventory Trade on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019. (credit score: Getty Pictures | Bloomberg)

AT&T misplaced 627,000 TV prospects in Q3 2020, an enchancment over earlier quarters as the corporate continues its try to promote its failing DirecTV division.

In earnings outcomes reported immediately, AT&T mentioned it misplaced 590,000 “Premium TV” prospects, a class that features DirecTV satellite tv for pc, U-verse wireline TV, and the net service generally known as AT&T TV. AT&T additionally misplaced 37,000 prospects from AT&T TV Now, the streaming service previously generally known as DirecTV Now.

The Premium TV lack of 590,000 prospects in Q3 is the very best outcome since AT&T misplaced 544,000 subscribers in Q1 2019. AT&T’s Premium TV losses ranged from 778,000 to 1.16 million prospects per quarter from Q2 2019 via Q2 2020. AT&T presently has 17.1 million Premium TV prospects, down from over 25 million in early 2017.

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