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ExtraBITS for 7 August 2017

In ExtraBITS this week, DirecTV Now has reached a deal with CBS Networks to stream its content, and AT&T’s and Verizon’s networks both slowed down after they started offering unlimited data.

DirecTV Now Gains CBS Networks — AT&T’s live TV service DirecTV Now has reached an agreement to live stream content from CBS Networks, including local CBS stations and The CW in several markets, as well as (on premium tiers or for additional fees) CBS Sports Network, Pop, and Showtime. CBS is notoriously reluctant to join streaming services, generally preferring its own solutions, like CBS All Access.

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AT&T and Verizon Networks Slow Down after Unlimited Plans — According to a report by OpenSignal, Verizon’s and AT&T’s 4G LTE download speeds have gotten slower in the months since the carriers brought back unlimited data plans. Between OpenSignal’s February 2017 and August 2017 reports, AT&T’s average speed fell 6.8 percent to 12.92 Mbps while Verizon’s fell a whopping 11.7 percent to 14.91 Mbps. OpenSignal doesn’t suggest that there’s anything nefarious happening, only that increased demand is resulting in overall slower speeds. Interestingly, both Sprint (by far the slowest carrier) and T-Mobile (the faster carrier), which have offered unlimited data for years, saw an increase in their average speeds during this period: 8.6 percent for Sprint and 4.8 percent for T-Mobile.

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