HOW'S THE COMPETITION?
Things change fast in the telecommunications industry. New products and technology, changing prices, new companies, companies going out of business, reorganizations and mergers. The marketplace never stops changing, and the customers are often the last to hear about changes that will affect them. Aeneas helps you stay informed with what's going on in the telecommunications marketplace right here in Tennessee.
- COMCAST WANTS YOU TO PAY IT EXTRA TO REMOVE YOUR DATA CAPS
By Kevin Downey
Remember those old cellphone plans when you never knew how much you'd pay each month? You had no idea how much you'd be charged for phone calls, for roaming, and for who knows what else? Thankfully, those days are over.
Except, they're coming back for Comcast Internet customers. Comcast, the third largest, and one of the least-liked cable companies in the country, is going to charge Xfinity customers each time they exceed their plan limits.
Right now, Comcast is charging customers in nine states an extra $10 for each 50GB of data they use, over their monthly 300GB allowance. Confused?
That may be Comcast's point. The bottom line is Comcast could be starting a trend where you pay extra, little by little, to go over your data plan. A lot of cellphone providers now simply slow down your Web access when you reach your max monthly data usage. But that could change.
In its defense, Comcast alerts Xfinity customers when they're about to incur an extra charge. Comcast sends out an email, and puts an alert in the customer's Internet browser.
Plus, Comcast is now offering to eliminate the confusion of not knowing how much you're going to pay each month. But, it'll cost you.
Comcast is testing out a $30-per-month extra charge in a few Florida cities like Miami and Fort Lauderdale. It's called their Unlimited Data Option and the idea is that, if you use a lot of data, you'll save money by paying $30 for unlimited data usage, instead of getting charged $10 per each time you use 50GB of data.
But, if you sign up for Unlimited Data Option, make sure you use the data. Even if you use less than 300GB, Comcast will still stick that extra $30 on your bill.
- Time Warner Cable - July 14, 2014 - According to the American customer Satisfaction Index published by Barron's, Time Warner Cable has been ranked as the most disliked company in America. That's out of more than 230 companies among 43 industries. Ouch.
- Verizon - May 21, 2014 - Talk about an overcharge! Effective with its June invoice cycles, the Paper Invoice Charge for Verizon Business customers will increase from $15 to $20! Yes, we at Aeneas encourage customers to subscribe to email billing in an effort to cut down on expenditures and, more importantly, cut down on paper waste/pollution. But we don't seek to punish the customers who would rather receive a physical copy of their bill. Compare Verizon Business's $20 to our $2.50 - $5.00 (depending upon customer type). It's just another reason to stick with your local, loyal telecommunications company: Aeneas Internet & Telephone.
- Time Warner-Comcast & Other ISPs - May 12, 2014 - Did you know that some Internet Service Providers (ISPs) intentionally use outdated equipment to slow down your Internet connection and make certain streaming services "buffer" and choke? According to Mark Taylor, Vice President of content and media at Level 3 Communications, a top Internet "backbone" provider, certain broadband ISPs "are deliberately harming the service they deliver to their paying customers. They are not allowing [Level 3 Communications] to fulfill [sic] the requests their customers make for content." Level 3's General Counsel adds, "Some SIPs...have refused to augment [upgrade] their networks UNLESS the content providers they connect to [such as Netflix] agree to pay them to do so."
Six American ISP companies are guilty of purposefully slowing down your Internet connections: Comcast, Time Warner Cable, CenturyLink, Charter Communications, AT&T U-Verse, and Cox Communications. Who's not on that list? Aeneas Internet and Telephone.
We at Aeneas find this blatant encroachment on Net Neutrality appalling. These companies are all about profit, and obviously do not have their customers' or vendors' interests in mind when they intentionally slow services. At Aeneas, we always strive to bring you the latest technology and best speeds available in your area, even if it means we have to upgrade our networks to do so. You'll never have to worry about Aeneas slowing down your services to make an extra buck.
To read more about companies intentionally slowing down the speeds on their own networks, check out this article from Yahoo! News.
- Google/Gmail - April 29, 2014 - Google's Gmail, Microsoft's Hotmail, Apple, Yahoo Mail, and all the other big email providers claim to offer "free" email accounts. But is that really the case? According to this article by the New York Times, the answer is officially no.
Google is finally admitting that each and every email sent through their servers is scanned for content keywords. This terrible practice has been going on a long time, but only in light of our US National Security Agency/Central Security Service's (NSA & CSS) official snooping of American citizens internet and social media activities has pressure been put on the Googles of the world to admit they do it too! And why is Google reading your emails? To bring in a little extra revenue. That's right. Data collected from your emails is used to help provide "targeted advertising." Just what we need...
"We at Aeneas are old school," says Aeneas CEO Jonathan Harlan, "We think these invasions of your privacy are awful (and worse!). We continue our Aeneas Pledge to you that we DO NOT read our customers' emails, and we DO NOT monitor, record, or sell your internet activities. We RESPECT you and believe the Internet should remain free of intrusion, private, neutral and the sole domain of each and every user!"
- AT&T - October 4, 2013 - As a local Tennessee-based company, Aeneas Internet & Telelphone prides itself on doing what's best for our customers. Unlike the big companies in the telecom industry, we believe in being there for our customers. Our customers are the forethought of every decision we make; what new services to offer, what areas to serve, and especially what price to charge for each service. We never hike up prices just for the sake of profit.
AT&T is a different story. In the last year alone, AT&T has raised the prices on 12 basic services a total of 30 TIMES! And those are just the ones we know about. Why would AT&T do such a thing to its customers? According to Joe Hoffman, principal analyst at ABI Research, "Because they can." (Read an article about AT&T's price increases featuring Hoffman at bgr.com)
AT&T constantly touts its value to the Tennessee General Assembly with an endless mantra of increased capital investments, increased jobs, and increased consumer value. However, the fact that AT&T continues to cut jobs, decrease capital investment, and increase their prices. All in all, AT&T is increasingly becoming unanswerable to Tennessee consumers.
- AT&T - June 24, 2013 - AT&T is up to their old tricky ways, quietly raising service prices and making your bill increase!
- Other Email Providers - May 28, 2013 - Everyone's talking about it nowadays. Almost all of the big name email providers are doing it. And somehow up to 30% of email users are still unaware that it's a common practice among large email providers. What are they doing? Scanning your emails, storing your personal information, tracking your movement online, and in some cases, even tracking your location.
Unlike the big dogs in email industry, we at Aeneas truly care about your privacy.
- AT&T - April 4, 2013 - Customers of AT&T in the state of Tennessee have recently noticed a new fee being added to their March bill. The fee is labeled as a "Tennessee Regulatory Authority 'Inspection' Fee" and costs customers $1.99
While the inspection fee statute is memorialized in Tennessee Code Annotated 65-4-303 - stating "A public utility may recoup its inspection fees by including a line item on its subscribers' bills" - Aeneas finds it hard to understand how AT&T can charge such a fee since the company was essentially declared deregulated by the Tennessee Regulatory Authority (TRA).
AT&T has consistently raised rates on Tennessee consumers. All the while, they have become more and more distant from their customers. Aeneas strives to keep rates down and be there for you when you need us. We appreciate your friendship and business. Thank you for being a part of the Aeneas family.
- JEA - August 1, 2012 - On June 28, Jackson Energy Authority announced its plan to offer business and residential Local area Network (LAN) Support Services. JEA, a municipal utility company, has furthered its encroachment on the private sector. To read the minutes from the meeting that passed this new service.
- AT&T - June 5, 2012 - AT&T recently announced that effective June 15, 2012, they will be increasing their Frame Relay rates by nearly 50%. Aeneas, meanwhile, still continues to focus on offering its customers great local service at affordable and competitive prices.
- Chattanooga Electric Power Board - December 21, 2011 - Chattanooga Electric Power Board (EPB) becomes one of nine publicly owned communications networks in Tennessee, offering ultra high-speed Internet services on a $300 million network funded largely by taxpayers. See more.
- AT&T - September 9, 2011 - AT&T raises rates on several services in Tennessee including business long distance.
- Verizon - June 28, 2011 - Verizon overcharges a customer $233,000 and doesn't reverse the charge until after he goes to the media.
- JEA - June 23, 2011 - JEA is adding Find Me Follow Me and SimRing to their telephone feature offerings. Read more. Aeneas has been offering these great features since 2004. We are constantly working to stay on the cutting edge and offer our customers the most advanced services and features.
- Cavalier - May 5, 2011 - Cavalier Telephone has been bought by a big out of state telecommunications company, PAETEC.
- AT&T - April 13, 2011 - The Governor of Kansas signed a bill loosening price regulation for AT&T in that state. Here in TN, AT&T promised the TN General Assembly that deregulation would mean increased capital investment and employment. But what we've actually seen are price increases and layoffs. Kansas consumers may be in for the same.
- AT&T - April 12, 2011 - As of May 2, AT&T will crack down on any DSL user who exceeds 150GB per month. Customers who receive the company's U-Verse broadband service will have a cap of 250GB. AT&T will charge overage fees of $10 for every additional 50GB of data. Read more.
- JEA - August 24, 2010 - The JEA board voted to issue another $10 in Bond Anticipation Notes, as well as to spend over $1 Million to install a telephone switch. Meanwhile, their electric rates have been raised another 4.72%.
- JEA - August 16, 2010 - JEA is outsourcing support for its local Internet and telephone providers to The Electric Power Board of Chattanooga.
- Charter - February 12, 2009 - Charter to file for bankruptcy. Read more.
- Charter - January 2009 - Charter is exploring options amid bankruptcy concerns.
- AT&T - September 2008 - AT&T has updated its TOS to clarify its internet speed tiers. Read more.
- Memphis Networx - MLGW sells Memphis Networx fiber optic network
- Comcast - April 2007 - Another Comcast customer writes a letter to the editor of the Commercial Appeal.
- Comcast - February 2007 - A letter to the editor in the Commercial Appeal describes problems with Comcast customer service.
- Vonage - September 2006 - The Wall Street Journal has reported that Vonage is demanding customers who didn't pay for stock they agreed to buy pay part of the amount they pledged, even though they won't be getting any stock.
- US LEC and Paetec - August 2006 - The Wall Street Journal has reported that US LEC Corp. (based in Charlotte, NC) and Paetec Communications (based in Fairport, NY) will merge to form one company.
- New Smyrna Communications - August 2006 - New Smyrna Communications will no longer offer telephone service in Tennessee as of September 1.
- Other VoIP Providers - June 2006 - The Wall Street Journal has reported growing customer complaints with VoIP companies like Vonage.
- BellSouth - May 2006 - BellSouth has announced another price increase for Tennessee customers.
- Charter Communications - March 2006 - The merger of AT&T and BellSouth could be a heavy blow to Charter.
- BellSouth and AT&T merger - March 2006 - AT&T has announced it will acquire BellSouth, reuniting four of the Baby Bells created in the 1984 breakup of Ma Bell. Consumer groups have said they will oppose the deal, arguing that consolidation in the phone industry reduces competition and raises prices.
- Cinergy Communications - October 2005 - Cinergy Communications and Access Integrated Networks have petitioned to transfer certain Cinergy customers in Tennessee to Access, a company out of Macon, GA. Please refer to the Tennessee Regulatory Authority docket here.
- Network Telephone - October 2005 - Network Telephone, Inc., is being bought by Talk America, a telephone company out of Pensacola, FL.
- BellSouth - BellSouth raised its prices in July of 2005. Another BellSouth price raise for Tennessee customers occurred in September of 2005.
With all the changes that occur in our fast-moving industry from day to day, be assured that Aeneas isn't going anywhere. We have almost 20 years of experience, and deep roots in the West Tennessee community. If you want dependable local service and high-tech telecom solutions for your home or business, if you're looking for a telecom company that truly values its customers, you can't do better than Aeneas Internet and Telephone.