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Monthly Archives: November 2016

Kansas Launches State Initiative for High Speed Internet in Schools

In order to keep schools up to date with those in other states, Kansas is making moves to spread high speed internet to schools throughout the state, a potential $100 million initiative with nonprofit EducationSuperHighway in the works.

More from the Garden City Telegram:

Officials described EducationSuperHighway’s role as providing technical expertise. The organization will coordinate with districts and internet service providers to develop plans for upgrades.

Gov. Sam Brownback said Kansas may have to allocate upward of $10 million toward the program, which he said would come from the Universal Service Fund. The hope is that 80-90 percent of project costs can be paid for through the federal government.

“Our goal is simple: bring digital learning capabilities to every Kansas classroom,” Brownback said. “Technically speaking, that means we need fiber-optic connections to every school. We need Wi-Fi access in every school. We need connectivity that districts can afford.”

EducationSuperHighway aims to provide districts with analysis and technical resources to help with upgrades that are cost-effective. According to the Kansas State Department of Education, the organization’s services will be free.

Kansas is not paying the nonprofit for its services, Brownback said. EducationSuperHighway draws upon a variety of corporate and philanthropic funders, including foundations connected to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Microsoft founder Bill Gates.

A largely rural state, Kansas faces some of the problems of other states with widespread rural populations, in that service providers do not see money in building the infrastructure necessary to bring high speed internet to far-flung areas. Hopefully this initiative will benefit not only schools, but in the long run, the entire population.

NFL Sunday Ticket on DIRECTV – Week 12 Schedule

NFL Sunday Ticket on DIRECTV – Week 12 Schedule

The only way for NFL fans to catch every game, every Sunday on their home TVs is with NFL Sunday Ticket, exclusively available from DIRECTV. NFL Sunday Ticket and DIRECTV are both available from Mid-America Satellite. Check back each week for the times and listings for Sunday’s games on NFL Sunday Ticket right here at the TV, Internet and Phone Blog.

Here’s the Sunday afternoon schedule for Week 12 of NFL action:

  • 1pm EDT
    • Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens – Channel 705
    • Jacksonville Jaguars at Buffalo Bills – Channel 706
    • Tennessee Titans at Chicago Bears – Channel 707
    • San Diego Chargers at Houston Texans – Channel 708
    • Arizona Cardinals at Atlanta Falcons – Channel 709
    • New York Giants at Cleveland Browns – Channel 710
    • San Francisco 49ers at Miami Dolphins – Channel 711
    • Los Angeles Rams at New Orleans Saints – Channel 712
  • 4:05pm EDT
    • Seattle Seahawks at Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Channel 713
  • 4:25pm EDT
    • Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos – Channel 714
    • Carolina Panthers at Oakland Raiders – Channel 715

Enjoy the games!

AT&T/DIRECTV Streaming Service Set to Launch

DIRECTV Now, a streaming alternative to cable and satellite TV services from AT&T, will launch November 28. In direct competition with DISH Network’s Sling TV service, DIRECTV Now will offer 100 channels at a starting price of $35 per month.

More from Variety:

AT&T is planning to offer various sign-up incentives to recruit subscribers. Customers who commit to three months of the service will get a free Apple TV (worth $150), while those who pay for one month will receive an Amazon Fire TV Stick ($35).

The DirecTV Now documents also revealed that many networks will support a 72-hour “catch-up window” to let users watch shows from the past three days; ESPN is among the networks excluded from the replay feature but customers can log in to WatchESPN to view select past programming. DirecTV Now also will include a video-on-demand library of up to 14,000 titles. (AT&T has declined to comment.)

“If you can bring a compelling price point and a compelling content package and some innovation with it,” Stephenson told analysts on AT&T’s third-quarter 2016 earnings call, “we are absolutely convinced that this is going to be very, very attractive for a large group of customers who really aren’t even in the market today.”

While the Sling TV service is what is known as a “skinny” bundle, with only 35 channels starting out, the DIRECTV Now/AT&T service is aimed at customers who watch a greater number of channels. Will this new service wrangle some of the customers who were cutting the cord already, or will it cannibalize current cable TV and satellite TV consumers? It’s hard to tell at this point.

NFL Sunday Ticket on DIRECTV – Week 11 Schedule

The only way for NFL fans to catch every game, every Sunday on their home TVs is with NFL Sunday Ticket, exclusively available from DIRECTV. NFL Sunday Ticket and DIRECTV are both available from Mid-America Satellite. Check back each week for the times and listings for Sunday’s games on NFL Sunday Ticket right here at the TV, Internet and Phone Blog.

Here’s the Sunday afternoon schedule for Week 11 of NFL action:

  • 1pm EDT
    • Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns – Channel 705
    • Baltimore Ravens at Dallas Cowboys – Channel 706
    • Jacksonville Jaguars at Detroit Lions – Channel 707
    • Tennessee Titans at Indianapolis Colts – Channel 708
    • Buffalo Bills at Cincinnati Bengals – Channel 709
    • Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Kansas City Chiefs – Channel 710
    • Arizona Cardinals at Minnesota Vikings – Channel 711
    • Chicago Bears at New York Giants – Channel 712
  • 4pm EDT
    • Miami Dolphins at Los Angeles Rams – Channel 713
  • 4:25pm EDT
    • New England Patriots at San Francisco 49ers – Channel 714
    • Philadelphia Eagles at Seattle Seahawks – Channel 715

Enjoy the games!

Cable TV Sports Talk Wars Escalate with ‘First Take’ Move

The underlying wisdom at ESPN and now at Fox Sports 1, the upstart competitor on cable TV to the Worldwide Leader in Sports, is that hot takes mean ratings. That’s why Fox Sports 1 hired away first Colin Cowherd, then former First Take host Skip Bayless, away from ESPN to build a stable of “controversial” sports pundits with ridiculous, unfounded opinions that, nonetheless, get people to watch. Since Bayless departed, First Take has replaced him with Max Kellerman, and ratings have gone down, though they still beat the Fox Sports 1 Bayless show Undisputed. They want to keep doing so, and thus have moved First Take from ESPN2 to ESPN.

More from Awful Announcing:

First Take’s viewership will undoubtedly increase on its new channel, as more people are inclined to mindlessly tune into ESPN than ESPN2, but that won’t necessarily mean anything. Is there any reason to think switching First Take and the two SportsCenter programs will result in a greater total audience? Won’t the ratings hit SportsCenter takes cancel out the gain First Take sees?

Meanwhile, it’s disappointing to see three hard-working and capable news anchors demoted to ESPN2 in favor of mindless debate. The news is particularly brutal for Champion, who escaped hosting First Take and earned her own SportsCenter show, only to have her time-slot swiped by her former program. That has to be dispiriting for Champion and for all the on-air personalities at ESPN who don’t resort to gratuitously provocative opinions.

Will this work out for ESPN, or is sports talk debate TV not as popular as before without Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith as a duo? We’ll see.

NFL Sunday Ticket on DIRECTV – Week 10 Schedule

The only way for NFL fans to catch every game, every Sunday on their home TVs is with NFL Sunday Ticket, exclusively available from DIRECTV. NFL Sunday Ticket and DIRECTV are both available from Mid-America Satellite. Check back each week for the times and listings for Sunday’s games on NFL Sunday Ticket right here at the TV, Internet and Phone Blog.

Here’s the Sunday afternoon schedule for Week 10 of NFL action:

  • 1pm EDT
    • Kansas City Chiefs at Carolina Panthers – Channel 705
    • Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars – Channel 706
    • Denver Broncos at New Orleans Saints – Channel 707
    • Los Angeles Rams at New York Jets – Channel 708
    • Atlanta Falcons at Philadelphia Eagles – Channel 709
    • Chicago Bears at Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Channel 710
    • Green Bay Packers at Tennessee Titans – Channel 711
    • Minnesota Vikings at Washington Redskins – Channel 712
  • 4:05pm EDT
    • Miami Dolphins at San Diego Chargers – Channel 713
  • 4:25pm EDT
    • San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals – Channel 714
    • Dallas Cowboys at Pittsburgh Steelers – Channel 715

Enjoy the games!

Google Fiber High Speed Internet Hits a Snag

Google Fiber, Alphabet’s high speed internet program piloting in several cities across the United States, is putting its efforts to expand on pause, as well as laying off or reassigning about ten percent of its staff, with the company deciding to refocus its efforts on wireless rather than fiber optic service. The eight metro areas that already have Google Fiber will not be affected but those in the cities where the company was supposed to expand will have to keep their current high speed internet services.

More from Ars Technica:

Here are the details on where Google Fiber will and won’t be deploying Internet service. Google Fiber is already available in:

  • Atlanta, Georgia
  • Austin, Texas
  • Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Kansas City in Missouri and Kansas
  • Nashville, Tennessee
  • Provo, Utah
  • Salt Lake City, Utah
  • The Triangle in North Carolina

Google Fiber is still publicly committed to building in Huntsville, Alabama; Irvine, California; San Antonio, Texas; and Louisville, Kentucky. Those plans are unchanged, the company says.

Eleven areas that Google Fiber listed as either “potential” or “upcoming” Fiber cities are subject to the “pause,” or have simply been removed from Google Fiber’s published plans entirely. That’s where employees will lose their jobs. The cities where the ISP’s fiber operations will be paused or ended are:

  • Chicago, Illinois

  • Dallas, Texas

  • Jacksonville, Florida

  • Los Angeles, California

  • Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

  • Phoenix, Arizona

  • Portland, Oregon

  • San Diego, California

  • San Francisco, California

  • San Jose, California

  • Tampa, Florida

Stay tuned at the TV, Internet and Phone Blog for more on this story as it develops.

NFL Sunday Ticket on DIRECTV – Week 9 Schedule

The only way for NFL fans to catch every game, every Sunday on their home TVs is with NFL Sunday Ticket, exclusively available from DIRECTV. NFL Sunday Ticket and DIRECTV are both available from Mid-America Satellite. Check back each week for the times and listings for Sunday’s games on NFL Sunday Ticket right here at the TV, Internet and Phone Blog.

Here’s the Sunday afternoon schedule for Week 9 of NFL action:

  • 1pm EDT
    • Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens – Channel 705
    • Jacksonville Jaguars at Kansas City Chiefs – Channel 706
    • New York Jets at Miami Dolphins – Channel 707
    • Dallas Cowboys at Cleveland Browns – Channel 708
    • Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings – Channel 709
    • Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants – Channel 710
  • 4:05pm EDT
    • Carolina Panthers at Los Angeles Rams – Channel 711
    • New Orleans Sanits at San Francisco 49ers – Channel 712
  • 4:25pm EDT
    • Indianapolis Colts at Green Bay Packers – Channel 713
    • Tennessee Titans at San Diego Chargers – Channel 714

Enjoy the games!