Comcast Rolls Out Xfinity Mobile to All Stores Across Philadelphia Region

General views at the Comcast Xfinity Store Thursday, June 1, 2017, in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. (Jeff Fusco/AP Images for Comcast)

If you plan to ditch your Verizon or AT&T phone bill for a Comcast one, you can now do so at your local Xfinity store. Comcast announced on Wednesday that it has officially rolled out Xfinity Mobile at all stores across Philadelphia, the surrounding suburbs, New Jersey, and northern Delaware.

Comcast began selling Xfinity Mobile online and through call centers in all of its service areas on May 17 after months of testing the new service. The hybrid model relies on Verizon’s 4G LTE network and Comcast’s Wi-Fi network of around 17 million hotspots nationwide. Read more »

WATCH: Comcast CEO Brian Roberts Explains Why Comcast Isn’t Well-Liked

Image via Bloomberg.

Bloomberg’s The David Rubenstein Show kicked off its latest season last week with a tell-all interview featuring Comcast CEO Brian Roberts. The leader typically operates behind the scenes but spoke candidly with David Rubenstein on some hot topics including the company’s poor customer service record, stance on net neutrality, and push against the growing cord-cutting movement.

A question on Rubenstein’s mind was why cable companies like Comcast aren’t liked in the same way that Apple or Amazon are loved by the public. Roberts gave him two answers.  Read more »

Comcast Ranked 4th Top Corporate Startup Investor in the World

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Comcast, one of Philadelphia’s largest companies, has an impressive, growing record of looking after smaller ones.

Since 2011, reports Philly.com, Comcast’s ventures unit has invested a combined valuation of billions of dollars in 105 different early-stage companies, numbers that recently earned them the number four spot on CB Insight’s 2016 Global Corporate Venture Capital list of the world’s top startup investors.

Amy Banse, managing director and head of funds for Comcast Ventures, calls the program the “Lewis and Clark” of Comcast, an apt nickname in a time when innovation has more frequently begun to stem from smaller companies. “We are witnessing a change that is as fundamental as the Industrial Revolution, and we are in the first or second inning of that,” Banse told the Inquirer. Read more »

Chamber Says CHOP, Drexel Would Suffer Under Philadelphia’s Wage Equity Law

Rob Wonderling. Image via Twitter.

The Chamber of Commerce has finally opened up about the “broad coalition” of business community members who say they’d suffer if Philadelphia’s new wage equity law takes effect.

In a revised lawsuit submitted this week, the Chamber reestablished its case, which was thrown out by a court on May 31. Common Pleas Court Judge Mitchell S. Goldberg dismissed the Chamber’s complaint on the grounds that the organization lacks standing, mainly because it failed to name a single member business that’d be harmed.

The Court gave the Chamber 14 days to respond with a revised complaint—counsel for the Chamber responded just in time on Tuesday.

The revised lawsuit still argues that the law violates employers’ First Amendment rights, and would make it harder for companies to do business because salary history is integral to the hiring process. The complaint also posits that Philadelphia will become less competitive as businesses will overlook the city as a place to settle down.

And to strengthen its case for standing, the complaint also names just thirteen out of over a thousand of the Chamber’s member companies, including Philly behemoths like Drexel, CHOP and Comcast.

“The Ordinance faces opposition from abroad cross-section of businesses in the city—including prominent women-owned companies, rapidly growing small businesses, and established large firms, who collectively have created tens of thousands of jobs across all sectors,” the lawsuit states.

The complaint organizes the companies according to how they’d be harmed by the law:  Read more »

Comcast Loses to TiVo in Patent Dispute

A little over a year after accusing Comcast and its set-top partners Arris and Technicolor of violating a software patent, DVR maker TiVo has emerged victorious in the International Trade Commission (ITC) dispute.

A judge ruled that Comcast is guilty of violating two patents owned by Rovi Corp., TiVo’s parent company. Specifically, Comcast’s “AnyRoom” DVR search feature, which allows remote recording and access through the company’s X1 video platform, was found to borrow from TiVo’s software.

No settlement agreement has been announced yet, and it is likely that the telecommunications giant will contest the ruling, Engadget reports. An initial attempt to counter-sue was made in June of 2016, when Comcast accused Rovi of violating their contract by filing the patent licensing dispute in Texas instead of New York. Comcast did not immediately respond to a request for comment.  Read more »

14 Philadelphia-Area Companies Make Fortune 500 for 2017

Clockwise top L to R : AmerisourceBergen workers volunteer at AmerisourceBergen Foundation event; Rendering of new Aaramark HQ; Comcast Tower from One Liberty; Du Pont banner, Image via Flickr; Campbell Soup Co. HQ.

On Wednesday, Fortune released its renowned Fortune 500 list of the country’s top grossing companies, and a total of 14 are in the Philadelphia area.

This year, the 63rd year of the ranking, Fortune 500 companies make up two-thirds of the country’s GDP with $12 trillion in revenues, $890 billion in profits, $19 trillion in market value and 28.2 million employees globally.

In the region, specialty chemical company Chemours, located in Wilmington, Delaware stands out. It’s the first time the DuPont spinoff has been ranked on the list, stepping in after its first full year as a standalone company. “Though Chemours stock initially stumbled out of the gate, it rallied with a vengeance in the latter part of 2016, finishing the year with a 317% return,” Fortune wrote.

Real estate company Toll Brothers made the largest leap of the bunch, coming in at #497 this year up from #576 in 2016. Crown Holdings and DuPont, experienced the biggest dips, both dropping twelve spots from their 2016 positions.

Philadelphia’s two highest-ranked companies — AmerisourceBergen and Comcast — moved up in rank. Read more »

Comcast’s New machineQ Tech Could Revolutionize Philly’s Smart City Effort

Image via Comcast.

Since receiving a Readiness Challenge grant from the Smart Cities Council in February, Philadelphia has been abuzz with ideas on how to improve the city with technology. And with machineQComcast’s latest Internet of Things (IoT) development — we may soon start to see a fair amount of these Smart City ideas in action.

This week the company will host an Internet of Things hackathon with Technical.ly to give developers a chance to start building machineQ-based solutions. Comcast first announced machineQ initiatives last October as a new business trial venture in Philadelphia. According to the company, the B2B platform, a Low-Power Wide-Area Network (LPWAN) that utilizes long-range (LoRa) technology, allows partners to gather, transmit and analyze data from connected devices all across the city. This means developers that create LoRa sensors for any number of infrastructural points (think cameras, dumpsters, water meters) can connect the sensors to the machineQ network and collect specific data from each individual sensor. The Philly trials over the past few months have focused on use cases like utility metering, asset tracking, and environmental monitoring for factors like temperature, pollution and noise. Read more »

Comcast Backs Down on Threat to Sue Net Neutrality Advocacy Group

The Comcast Center

Last week, as the net neutrality war continued to pick up steam, Comcast made an effort to shut down Comcastroturf.com, a website run by Internet advocacy group Fight for the Future.

The telecommunications giant sent Fight for the Future a cease and desist order on the grounds that the website infringes on the company’s intellectual property, but after reviewing the website further, Comcast has pulled back on its threat to sue the pro-net neutrality group.

Fight for the Future has been campaigning against the FCC’s recent decision to roll back net neutrality regulations, urging the public to submit their comments and frustrations to the FCC online. That’s where Comcastroturf.com comes in. The group created the website after it suspected that more than 450,000 fake anti-net neutrality comments were submitted to the FCC. On Comcastroturf.com, users can search the FCC’s docket to check if a fake comment was submitted under their name. Read more »

Comcast’s Roberts Had One of America’s Biggest CEO Paychecks Last Year

Brian L. Roberts. Image via YouTube.

The New York Times has compiled a fresh list that ranks 200 of the highest-paid CEOs in the country, and Comcast CEO Brian L. Roberts made the top 20.

The ranking is based on Equilar 200 Highest-Paid CEO data that collects CEO compensation information for companies with annual revenue of at least $1 billion.

Roberts’s 2016 compensation is listed as $28.6 million up from $27.5 million in 2015, a four percent increase. The list also includes a breakdown of the CEO’s earnings: $3 million salary; $11 million bonus; $4 million in perks; $5 million in stocks; and $5 million in options. Read more »

Comcast Is Fighting an Embarrassing Net Neutrality War on Twitter

Images via Twitter.

To much public dismay, the FCC voted last Thursday to begin dismantling Obama-era net-neutrality rules. Net neutrality keeps the internet free and open by requiring internet service providers (ISPs) to treat web traffic equally and fairly. With the regulation in place, Comcast, for example, doesn’t have the right to block a user’s access to certain websites or apps and also can’t throttle Internet speeds. Net neutrality also blocks paid prioritization by internet providers, which would allow them to prioritize the websites and apps that fork up extra cash.

As the FCC reopens the bitter war over Internet regulation, Comcast has already gotten knee-deep in its own battle on Twitter.  Read more »

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