Credit: Steven Depolo via Flickr.

Why Comcast just added a $1.50 ‘Broadcast TV Fee’ to your monthly bill

At the beginning of this year, Comcast began charging customers a controversial new fee of $1.50 to cover the costs of certain programming. Called the “Broadcast TV Fee,” the new line item has just started appearing on the bills of Washington state residents to the ire of local customers. Besides price hikes typically upsetting customers, this one… Read More


GeekWire Radio: Amazon music, Lively shutdown, and the new world of tech design

We’ve got a lot to discuss on this week’s GeekWire radio show, starting with our thoughts on Amazon’s new Prime Music streaming service — the online retailer’s latest push into the world of digital media, and a prelude to its expected smartphone unveiling next week. As detailed in this review by GeekWire’s Blair Hanley Frank, the new service is a nice… Read More


Comcast rolling out controversial Xfinity WiFi public hotspot feature for home wireless routers

Comcast is rolling out a new feature for its Xfinity Internet customers in the Seattle region and other parts of Washington state that turns home wireless routers into public Internet hotspots by broadcasting a separate WiFi signal from the router that can be used by other Comcast/Xfinity customers. It’s part of a broader national expansion of the… Read More


Cable TV providers slip in Seattle tech survey, as satisfaction and users decline

Seattle residents don’t always agree on things, to say the least, but they are increasingly united in their sentiments about the city’s incumbent cable TV providers — with many preparing to drop cable television service altogether if things don’t improve. Cable TV subscribers have declined to 59 percent — down 13 percentage points since 2009 — among the more… Read More

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray

Seattle Mayor: ‘We should not allow our Internet access to be managed by a private monopoly’

Seattle citizens need better and more affordable Internet. That’s the vibe from Seattle Mayor Ed Murray’s blog post this morning, in which he vows to improve Internet options and performance while securing “Seattle’s position as a leader in technology once again.” Murray’s post does not detail how exactly the City will achieve better connectivity and… Read More


Meet your new cable giant: Comcast calls $45B Time Warner buy ‘pro-competitive’

Television is much more than traditional cable or broadcast these days. That is one of Comcast’s biggest challenges, and it’s also one of the company’s primary justifications for the proposed $45.2 billion all-stock acquisition of Time Warner Cable, announced overnight. If approved by regulators, the deal will give Comcast about 30 million subscribers — spanning… Read More

David Cohen

Comcast and Khan Academy team on broadband push for low-income families

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. – Comcast Executive Vice President David L. Cohen took the stage at The Atlantic’s Silicon Valley Summit this morning to announce a new partnership with Khan Academy to help bring broadband internet access to underprivileged communities. The popular online education site will partner with Comcast’s Internet Essentials program in what the company is describing as… Read More

Outgoing Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn is in favor of a publicly-owned broadband network.

Mayor McGinn: Seattle should create a public fiber Internet utility if Gigabit Squared fails

The ambitious plans to implement a high-speed gigabit Internet network in 14 Seattle neighborhoods seem to be falling apart. Financial problems are forcing Gigabit Squared, the company behind the project, to delay efforts. Even though outgoing Mayor Mike McGinn, who acknowledged this setback in an interview with GeekWire on Monday, won’t be around to handle this issue,… Read More


Mayor McGinn: Seattle’s high-speed Internet project delayed, possibly in jeopardy

Financing problems are forcing Gigabit Squared to delay plans to implement a high-speed Internet network in 14 Seattle neighborhoods using the city’s dormant “dark fiber” network. Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn — a longtime champion of the project who will leave office at the end of the year — acknowledged the setback in an interview with GeekWire this afternoon. He… Read More


App of the Week: Xfinity TV Go adds live TV streaming

This week’s App of the Week is the perfect companion for watching live TV on your iOS or Android device…so long as you’re a Comcast subscriber. Xfinity TV Go is Comcast’s latest revision of its streaming solution for subscribers to its cable service. The marquee new feature from Comcast’s update is the ability to stream… Read More

Mayor Ed Murray.

Ed Murray: ‘To infer that I’m some hack for Comcast doesn’t bear out the facts’

Ed Murray doesn’t understand why his opponent in Tuesday’s mayoral election is accusing him of being “Comcast’s candidate.” A report by the Washington Post published Thursday suggested that Comcast, along with other Internet providers, was contributing to Murray’s campaign in hopes of putting a stop to Gigabit Squared’s planned high-speed fiber network. Incumbent Mayor Mike McGinn then sent an… Read More

Ed Murray

Murray voices support for Gigabit Internet, as McGinn calls Seattle mayoral rival ‘Comcast’s candidate’

State Sen. Ed Murray, running against incumbent Mike McGinn for Seattle mayor, says he supports a plan to bring alternative high-speed Internet to Seattle — countering McGinn’s attempts to label him as “Comcast’s candidate.” The political jousting follows reports Thursday afternoon highlighting Comcast’s campaign contributions to Murray. A report by the Washington Post suggested that Comcast, along with other… Read More


Set-Top Box Showdown: A graphical guide to your options

[Editor's Note: Jon Mann is a design director at Artefact, the Seattle-based technology product design firm. This post and graphic are republished with permission from the company's blog.] Remember when your choice of a TV service provider was your cable box or a set of rabbit ears? Life was simpler, less than 10 years ago……. Read More


Comcast’s Xfinity X1 service suffers overnight outage

Comcast’s Xfinity X1 television platform experienced a widespread outage overnight, showing blank screens for many users across the country, according to reports on Twitter and the Comcast customer forums. The outage appeared to be worst close to midnight last night, based on reports made to Engadget reported on the news shortly after 3 a.m. This… Read More


Xfinity X1: How Comcast roped me back in to cable

Over the years I’ve treated my TV viewing as a personal sport — with the primary objective of getting as much of my favorite content as I can while spending as little money as humanly possible. At various times I’ve plugged my Mac into my television using an HDMI adapter, used the PlayOn service to stream… Read More


Comcast wants to give pirates a legal alternative to torrenting: Make them paying customers

The cat-and-mouse game between media companies and pirates has a long and sordid history. Currently, “big content” is relying on the Copyright Alert System, a “six-strikes” program that warns users pirating media a half-dozen times before throttling their download speeds. According to a report by Variety, there may be a different system on the horizon. Comcast… Read More


Blazing fast broadband on the cheap: Pricing unveiled for Seattle’s gigabit Internet

Good news for those wanting to browse the web and download content at breakneck speeds: Ultra-fast Internet is officially arriving in Seattle early next year at an affordable price. Washington D.C. broadband developer Gigabit Squared today announced residential rates for the ultra high-speed fiber network in Seattle it agreed to build last December. There will be three pricing… Read More