Pete still has the unlimited data plan with AT&T and they're trying to get him to give it up. He uses about 60GB a month and he doesn't want to give it up because they watch a lot of video. AT&T has a cheaper unlimited data plan now, and he's thinking of moving to it.
Rob wants to know who best provider is for the iPhone in Los Angeles? Leo says that in a huge metropolitan area like LA, he'll have his pick of the litter. He shouldn't trust the carrier coverage maps, as they are too optimistic. There are third party sites like OpenSignal.com that will give an independent assessment. T-Mobile and Sprint are also good, but they have dead pockets in the suburbs. AT&T and Verizon are best in LA.
It may not be an April Fool's Joke, but it sounds like one. Verizon, AT&T, and Comcast have moved to assure customers that while Congress has officially passed a law stripping privacy protections from internet users, their data will not be sold and they won't be spying on customers. This begs the question — why did they need the law passed in the first place?
David is trying to put his router into bridge mode, but he's having issues doing it. Leo says that if he's using the cable router and modem, they may have disabled the router protocol that would do that. The chatroom agrees. He can't do that with an AT&T UVerse modem. It just won't let him have his own router.
Leo says David is better off going with Spectrum and buying his own DOCSIS 3 modem. Then he can do it himself and have more freedom. UVerse is very strict because of QoS.
In performing what what the FCC called illegal "sneak charges" for ring tones and other items without consent, AT&T violated FCC regulations and must now pay customers back over $88 million in charges. Leo says it amounts to about $30 per customer.
AT&T is buying Time Warner for $85 billion. Time Warner includes HBO, CNN, TBS, TNT, Warner Bros, and more. The reason these carriers, AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, etc are buying media companies is because they don't want to be in the business of being a 'dumb pipe' for internet access. They want to be in the content business. It's expected that the deal will get regulatory approval without issue.
Gary is a bird photographer and he wants to know if there is a phone that can switch between Verizon and AT&T. If Gary has an unlocked phone, he can swap out SIM cards as necessary and the iPhone will switch from carrier to carrier. If he's in good standing with his carrier he can request that they unlock it. Or he can just buy one unlocked.
Google has Project Fi, which can switch to whatever the strongest carrier is, but the iPhone can't do that.
John has discovered that he can use his mobile phone number through his Samsung Gear Watch through NumberSync. He can also sync it with his tablet. But people that have called him have been getting a voicemail message saying he's not accepting calls. AT&T swapped out his phone and his watch, and while AT&T says they never had this issue before, there's forum posts filled with people complaining about the problem. Leo says that AT&T is chasing a dollar.
Terri has an old Razor flip phone and it's about to be disabled by AT&T. Leo says that if AT&T is doing that for network reasons, then they should give her a free phone to replace it. She should be able to get another flip phone if she wants. If Terri wants a smart phone, then she'll have to remember it will cost a lot more with the data plan. If she's ready for that, she'll be able to do a lot more with it. Leo recommends having her son take her to the AT&T store and see what the options are. She could go pay as she goes, or get a 2 year data plan.
Leo says while DSL does come over the copper lines, there's no technical reason that he would need to have phone service to have DSL. Having DSL without phone service is called "Dry Loop DSL." Rob will need to talk the provider into offering it.