AT&T Wants You to be Impressed by its ‘6G’ Claim

· Andrew Orr · Link

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The 5G 2020 iPhone hasn’t even been launched yet, but AT&T wants you to think that 5G isn’t good enough and you should be looking forward to 6G. AT&T Communications CEO Jeff McElfresh doesn’t want you to forget about his company.

I do believe that you will see many of the iPhone subscribers move to upgrade to the device […] I think customers, based on the pressures of the economy that we’re all facing today, will make a calculated decision as to what they want to do. And we’re going to be there to offer them any device that Apple launches here shortly.

McElfresh added that AT&T already has engineers working on next-generation 6G networking, noting that it will take years before the technology fully materializes. No further details were shared about these efforts.

Why a company would be bragging about their nonexistent 6G network is beyond me, unless of course there’s money involved somewhere. It has to be about money, because not only does AT&T plan to give you a paltry $10 for an ad-subsidized plan, AT&T CEO John Stankey wants more taxpayer money, aside from the US$400 billion dollars the telecom industry already squandered.

AT&T’s Mandatory Arbitration Clause Deemed Illegal

· Andrew Orr · Link

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A panel of judges in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that AT&T’s mandatory arbitration clause is unenforceable.

AT&T appealed that ruling to the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, but a three-judge panel at that court rejected AT&T’s appeal in a ruling issued Tuesday. Judges said they must follow the California Supreme Court decision—known as the McGill rule—”which held that an agreement, like AT&T’s, that waives public injunctive relief in any forum is contrary to California public policy and unenforceable.”

The ruling can be found here [PDF].

AT&T Blocks Encrypted Email App Tutanota

· Andrew Orr · Link

In certain areas of the U.S. some AT&T users found they couldn’t access their inboxes in encrypted email app Tutanota.

Starting on January 25th 2020, we have had constant complaints from AT&T mobile users who were unable to access their encrypted Tutanota mailbox. While AT&T seemed willing to fix this when we reached out to them, the issue is still not solved and reports from users keep coming in.

While some AT&T users confirmed the block, others said that they were able to access Tutanota. As AT&T has not fixed the issue after more than two weeks, we are reaching out publicly in the hope of getting the attention of the right people at AT&T.

Broadband Companies Want FCC to Hide Data on Internet Speeds

· Andrew Orr · Link

Internet providers have successfully persuaded the FCC to remove unfavorable data that shows their advertised speeds are typically higher than their actual speeds.

Internet experts and former FCC officials said the setup gives the internet companies enormous leverage. “How can you go to the party who controls the information and say, ‘please give me information that may implicate you?’ ” said Tom Wheeler, a former FCC chairman who stepped down in January 2017.

Jim Warner, a retired network engineer who has helped advise the agency on the test for years, told the FCC in 2015 that the rules for providers were too lax. “It’s not much of a code of conduct,” Mr. Warner said.

So it seems these companies regularly lie about their internet speeds. Shocking, I know.

AT&T Raises Price of DirecTV Again

· Andrew Orr · Link

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Despite losing millions of customers the last time it did this, AT&T decided to once again raise the price of DirecTV. Monthly rates will increase by US$8/mo starting on January 19, 2020.

The $8-per-month increase will apply to the DirecTV Premier plan that currently costs $189. A $7 increase will apply to the Ultimate package that costs $135 and to the Xtra package that costs $124; a $5 increase will apply to the Choice plan that costs $110; a $4 increase will apply to the Select package that costs $81 a month and to the Entertainment package that costs $93; and increases of $1 or $3 will apply to basic plans.

AT&T, T-Mobile Rolling Out Call Authentication

· Andrew Orr · Link

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AT&T and T-Mobile are starting to roll out the call authentication feature based on T-Mobile’s SHAKEN/STIR technology.

Call verification won’t eradicate the issue, but it’ll give subscribers the choice not to answer potentially illegal calls, which could be scams or attempts to steal their identity…An AT&T spokesperson also told us that the carrier is testing a way for the SHAKEN/STIR protocol to work for everyone at no extra cost. To be precise, the company is developing a way to make the protocol work with AT&T Call Protect, which can block fraudulent calls for free.

It better be free. Security shouldn’t be an optional purchase.

Which Carrier Really Has 'America's Best Network"?

· Andrew Orr · Link

Every carrier at one point seems to be crowned “America’s Best Network” but which one is actually the best? It turns out that the companies that perform these tests use different methodologies and so reach different conclusions.

In recent weeks, three key studies have reached conflicting conclusions about the top four nationwide carriers, which includes Sprint. But reports by RootMetrics, OpenSignal, and PCMag that, respectively, gave top honors to Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T aren’t wrong—not if you understand how they were put together.

AT&T Robocalls to Be Blocked in the 'Coming Months'

· Andrew Orr · Link

AT&T logo

AT&T robocalls will be automatically blocked, the carrier announced. New customers have the service now, and existing customers will have it “in the coming months.”

AT&T’s Call Protect service does three things: it detects and blocks fraudulent calls entirely, flags telemarketers and spam calls as “Suspected Spam” when the phone rings, and allows you to maintain a personal block list to specifically block individual numbers.

It’s about damn time that carriers start using robocall-blocking technology. And I mean automatically; they all have their various blocking apps.

AT&T Administrative Fee Results in Lawsuit

· Andrew Orr · News

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AT&T is being sued in California over its US$1.99/month administrative fee that it doesn’t disclose in its advertised rates.

Apple Earns Money, Services vs. Hardware, and AT&T's Fake 5G with Ken Ray - ACM 511

· Bryan Chaffin · Apple Context Machine Podcast

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Bryan Chaffin is joined by guest cohost Ken Ray for a spirited look into Apple’s earnings report. The two also weigh the real meaning behind Apple’s outward emphasis on services and what that means for Apple hardware. They cap the show with a rant about AT&T’s fake 5G. Spoiler: AT&T’s claims of a “5G” network are fake.