Comcast is reportedly looking at making a move into the wireless carrier business
Their service will be provided using a combination Wi-Fi and cellular network.
There are other companies that employ this strategy, like Ting Inc. and Republic Wireless. However, Comcast's size and influence (especially considering their possible acquisition of Time Warner Cable) make it by far the most intriguing company to enter the hybrid Wi-Fi + cellular space. Their move could signal an impending national shift from cellular-only networks to hybrid networks.
How does the hybrid system work?
Well, Ting and Republic Wireless rely upon cellular data provided by Sprint to fill the gaps between home and office, coffee shop and airport.
This is where things get interesting—Comcast can change the game.
Comcast, with it's massive user-base of home Internet customers, is actually attempting to compete with the Big Four of Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile. With over a million hotspots throughout the US, Comcast would seem to have a good starting point. However, their million hotspots barely cover a few parts of the US. They are going to need cell service. Therein lies the rub.
From April 3-6 in Vail, Colorado, some of the brightest minds in the cable television industry will get together for Adaptive Spirit's 19th Annual Event—2014's SkiTam Conference.
While fostering long-term business relationships and enjoying the incredible skiing that Vail has to offer are two of the reasons SkiTam is successful, it's their never-ending commitment to charity that makes this specific conference so special.
For years, Adaptive Spirit has been donating all surplus funds from their Annual Event to U.S. Paralympics "to benefit the remarkable athleticism and competitive spirit of the U.S. National Paralympic Ski Team."
Adaptive Spirit has raised millions of dollars and touched thousands of lives since its inception, and has no plans of slowing down anytime soon.
All of that money, coupled with the unrelenting competitive drive of America's finest Paralympic athletes, has the U.S. Paralympic National Ski Team sitting pretty atop the world's standings in adaptive skiing following their victory in the National Cup!
wefi has decided to jump aboard the bandwagon and join in Adaptive Spirit's charitable efforts. For the second year in a row, David Fishman (Chief Marketing Officer) will represent wefi at the SkiTam conference. wefi is proud to support this event both in person and to offer a donation.
We wish David and every other conference participant luck this weekend in making meaningful and rewarding connections with others, and thank them for their time and support in aiding the U.S. Paralympic team and their endeavors!
For more information on Adaptive Spirit's SkiTam conference, please click here.
And of course, please donate to the cause. Adaptive Spirit accepts donations year-round—every penny helps! You can donate by clicking here.
To check in on David's experiences at the 2014 SkiTam conference, follow wefi on Twitter here.
Net neutrality is about to become a very popular term.
Since news broke that Netflix agreed to pay Comcast—who recently acquired Time Warner Cable— for direct access to their broadband system in order to provide faster speeds for their consumers, net neutrality and its potential impact on the Internet landscape have moved to the forefront.
Used to define the principle 'that ISPs (Internet Service Providers) and governments should treat all data on the internet equally, not discriminating or charging differently by user, content, site, platform, application, type of attached equipment, and modes of communication,' net neutrality is something many users have taken for granted.
Let me give you a relevant example: now that Netflix is paying Comcast money to provide their users with higher-quality streaming content and faster broadband speeds, what's to stop Netflix from charging their users more money? Or, even more dangerous, what's to prevent Comcast from supplying other application providers (think: Facebook, ESPN, etc.) with weaker broadband speeds until they feel that they are properly compensated? The answer, of course, is that nothing is preventing Comcast—this outcome seems inevitable.
Look no further than how Comcast throttled Netflix: "According to recently published Netflix data, the average speeds of the company's prime-time streams to Comcast subscribers dropped 27% from October to January." The result could be costly for Comcast users—and, following this Netflix deal, potentially users of all ISPs.
The ripple effect of this deal won't only be felt by casual web-surfers.
Think about gaming systems like PS4 and Xbox One—both place a tremendous value on their online gaming capabilities: PS4 with Playstation Network and Xbox One with Xbox Live. If they are paying a premium to ISPs for faster broadband speeds, you better believe they'll be charging users to cover that expense.
The list goes on and on.
Where we go from here remains to be seen. This won't be the last time you hear about net neutrality, but it may be the last time that net neutrality exists in the United States. Following Comcast's lead, I expect other ISPs to begin negotiations with other Internet titans to create what will become a tiered-payment Internet system that will render net neutrality obsolete.