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Maps are great for finding things that you already know are there. If you want to know where a Target is in your area it's easy enough to pop over to Google Maps and search for Target. Unfortunately, maps are really bad (incapable, actually) of telling you what's provided in your area. Availability.net strives to offer a comprehensive list of what services are available broken out by zip code. That way, if you want to know what you can get in your zip code you can simply go to that page and find out.
Posted: February 22, 2016 by David Curry
Charlie Ergen has been with Dish Network since the very beginning. He’s seen quite a bit of change over the last three decades but there has never been a period in the company’s history more pivotal than right now. Ergen is tasked with salvaging the Dish Network brand as the last quarterly earnings paint a bleak picture for the nation’s second largest satellite television provider.
Compared to 2014, last year saw Dish’s earnings drop by nearly $200 million. The company also lost 81,000 pay-TV subscribers last year, even worse than the 79,000 subscribers who canceled their service in 2014. These numbers on their own are not too surprising, given the currently tumultuous state of affairs for all pay-TV providers. However, the real trouble facing Ergen is that after these figures were released, stock prices for Dish plummeted nearly ten percent. This has led to some vocal criticism from the company’s board of directors.
Having heard such criticism before, Ergen, time and again, has stressed that he does have a plan to steer the company through this difficult point. His main plan is to revitalize the company by capitalizing on the expansive airwaves holdings possessed by Dish. Over the last five years, the business has bought up billions of dollars worth of spectrum and plans to spend another $4.5 billion in an FCC-sponsored auction that will be held in March. Knowing that demand for these airways is only going to increase in the years to come, the CEO of Dish wants to accumulate a large portfolio of holdings so that he will be able to turn around and sell that spectrum for a large profit in the future.
Analysts are mixed over the viability of Ergen’s long-term plan. In the meantime, Dish is working hard to reward existing customers and entice new subscribers with their own Dish promotions. Their current offering of promotion codes can be found here. In addition to regular satellite television discounts, Dish is also offering deals for its streaming service, Sling TV. Promotion codes for Sling can be found here. Specifically designed to appeal to a younger demographic and cord-cutters, Sling offers smaller bundles of television networks, like ESPN and The Disney Channel, for only $20 per month.
As industry insiders griped about Dish’s overall decline in subscribers, a spokesman for the company announced that it had gained over 600,000 Sling subscribers since the service launched last March. According to telecom analysts, these subscribers are almost exclusively new customers and not existing subscribers changing to cheaper plans. Among the same analysts there has been rampant speculation that Dish will announce special discounts to entice new subscribers to Sling TV as college basketball’s March Madness approaches. Whether or not these savings materialize, it is clear from the flurry of activity that Dish is working hard to weather the current storm hitting pay-TV providers.
Posted: September 10, 2015 by David Curry
As advertisements promoting increasing broadband speeds circulate around the internet, elected officials in cities throughout the United States are coming together to ask for a system that gathers performance information across providers. This collective of elective officials, including some mayors, is known as Next Century Cities (NCC), an advocacy group which aims to bring reliable and affordable broadband internet to everyone in the country. Formed last September, the mission of this group is to make available to any community in America fiber broadband with speeds of 1 Gbps.
There are large urban areas included in the NCC, such as Boston, Massachusetts, Seattle, Washington, and Kansas City, Kansas. Overall, there are 35 members of the group, not all of which are large or urban areas, as seen by member communities like Salisbury, North Carolina, which has a population around 33,000, and Yellow Springs, Ohio, which has a population around 3,500. In a letter to the FCC, these city leaders stressed the need to find ways to measure the cost, the reliability, and the speed of broadband internet. The current procedure does not require a standard measurement method for providers, so for the consumer shopping around, the situation is a bit like comparing apples to oranges. Furthermore, the NCC wants the reports produced through these new standard measurement rates to be easily understood, by both government officials and citizens, in the hope that they will be more empowered when selecting a broadband provider.
The member cities of the NCC have gained considerable backing from recent findings published by the Government Accountability Office (GAO). A GAO report suggested two changes to the current FCC policy. The first change involves the FCC publishing resources on broadband performance that are accessible to the general public while still including the pertinent reliability and speed information about the ISPs. The second suggested change involves ISPs adopting a universal standard to measure their broadband speeds but also adding relevant information from consumer reports and research to these findings to make them more inclusive.
Methods for implementing these suggestions have already been developed. The NCC is stressing the need for an advisory panel of local and state officials, in addition to community organizers, to take the new broadband information and present it to cities and individual customers. To ensure that this process goes smoothly, a centralized and accessible database will be created that allows users to track the standardized performance reports for all providers according to geographic region. Finally, there will be measures and assessments made of the general public to ensure that the database meets their needs and that the advisory panel is conveying effectively the pertinent information.