We are heating up the mic with some strong takes and stern words for some choice companies. We start off calm with a discussion on the growing problem of major Silicon Valley tech companies impacting their hometown with transportation and housing issues. Mountain View is considering a tax on Google to pay for improvements. Next, the once popular PC maker Dell has announced plans to go public again after a five year hiatus from public trading. Now we get heated… AT&T announced several rate increases immediately after their $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable, and Comcast announced plans to throttle data and hotspot functionality for Xfinity Mobile users. We obviously have strong opinions on both these matters.
A Tax on Google from Mountain View Residents
The Silicon Valley has always been a hotbed for technology firms, venture capitalists, and new startups. The latest major issue to hit the mega-tech companies is a potential luxury tax per employee to help pay for housing subsidies, improving public transit, and reducing the growing homeless population. Mountain View residents will take up a ballot measure in November.
- Google is estimated to pay $3.3 million to the City for upgrades and repairs
- Residents are fed up with congestion, traffic, overpopulation, and more
- Little resistance has been put up by Google, but it is early in the voting process
- A similar attempt failed in Seattle as Amazon applied significant pressure
The Historic PC Maker Dell is Going Public
For years, Dell was a major player in the tech bubble and growth of the PC market. After years of struggling, Michael Dell moved the company into a private entity status to control the company’s finances and reconfigure the culture. Five years later, Dell is making their comeback as reports state the company is going public sometime soon.
- Little is known of Dell’s capabilities within the tech industry at the moment
- Dell says they are well positioned to compete with their services and technologies
- A new entrepreneurial spirit is said to have been integrated into the Dell culture
- Since being privately owned, little has been disclosed and is known of Dell at this point
Shocking, Not Shocking – AT&T Raises Prices
In news that should not surprise any of us, weeks after the announcement of the approval to merge tech giants AT&T and Time Warner Cable…AT&T shares rate increases for a select portion of their services. During judicial hearings, the telecom giant promises better prices for consumers, competitive rates against rivals, and more. They have failed at that. Hear us rant!
- Legacy unlimited data use plans will see an increase of $5 per line in July
- DirecTV Now is increasing $5 per month, claimed to be on par with competitors
- The nickel and diming continues with an increase in a “wireless admin fee”
- AT&T is placing the burden of their $85 billion acquisition on the backs of customers
Comcast Begins Throttling Data for Users
Every internet service and data provider stated that even without the Open Internet Order in place (net neutrality rules), they would not throttle, limit, or reduce data availability. Comcast announced this week that they’d be throttling video resolution and hotspot capabilities for Xfinity Mobile customers. Again, we knew this was going to be happening.
- Video resolution default is going from 720p to 480p beginning this month
- Hotspot speeds are being reduced from 4G to 3G systems
- Comcast claims it is to “maintain the low price point of Xfinity Mobile”
- This will not be the last throttling policy implemented from data providers
Resources & Links