N.Y. AG Tells Time Warner to Improve Internet Speeds

Today's topics include the New York attorney general’s insistence that Time Warner improve its Internet speeds in the region, Android’s debut of its new “Nearby” feature, Apple’s use of Intel modems in some of the upcoming iPhone devices and Avaya’s unveiling of its Oceana platform.

Complaints about slower-than-advertised Internet speeds from Time Warner Cable customers in New York state continue to be a focus of the state's attorney general, Eric Schneiderman, who has asked the company's new owner to "clean up Time Warner Cable's act."

In a June 8 letter to Tom Rutledge, CEO of Charter Communications, the attorney general's office wrote that recent Internet speed tests run by customers showed results that were "abysmal" and not in keeping with the company's advertised claims of "blazing-fast" Internet speeds and "super-reliable" connections. The AG's office began last December to investigate an undisclosed number of customer complaints and asked frustrated consumers to run speed tests using open-source tools and then report their results.

Helping mobile users find just the right apps at the very moment they need them is the aim of Nearby, a new Google Android feature that is being rolled out to users. Nearby, which is included in the latest Google Play Services update release and will be installed when a user's device receives the update, will work on the Android 4.4 KitKat mobile operating system and higher.

The new Nearby feature will notify users in a museum about an audio tour app they didn't know about or offer up a barcode-scanning app when a user is in a store and needs to check on the price of an item, said Akshay Kannan, product manager for Google Nearby. Nearby is activated by low-energy Bluetooth electronic beacons that notify it of nearby places to flag to users.

Intel reportedly may find itself in Apple's upcoming iPhone, which would be a significant win for a company that has found itself mostly on the outside looking in on the mobile-device market. Reports have been circulating for a couple of years that Apple was looking at Intel as a second modem supplier to Qualcomm, and officials with the company seem prepared to now make the move.

Citing unnamed sources, Bloomberg reported late last week that some versions of Apple's upcoming iPhone 7 will use Intel's modem chips. The Intel chips will be used in iPhones that will run on AT&T's U.S. network and other devices for the overseas market, the sources said. However, other iPhones on Verizon's network will continue to use modems from Qualcomm, as will iPhones sold in the lucrative China market.

Avaya is putting a focus on the issue of customer experience with the introduction of Oceana, designed to help enterprises more easily include customer needs and desires in their business plans. Oceana is a customer engagement platform that makes it easier for users to improve the customer experience, which can lead to greater customer loyalty, retention and repeat business.

The software-based solution is built on Avaya's recently announced Breeze development environment that includes a simple drag-and-drop visual workflow capability, giving enterprises the ability to keep in touch with customers at all stage of their interactions.

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