Netflix Boss Reed Hastings Hits out at ISP Traffic Fees

Netflix Boss Reed Hastings Hits out at ISP Traffic Fees
The head of video streaming service Netflix has hit out at internet service providers (ISPs) for demanding a fee to maintain video streaming quality. The company recently “reluctantly” made a deal with US ISP Comcast to make sure its videos were streamed faster and more smoothly.

ISPs argue that data heavy services should share the cost of providing capacity on the networks. But campaigners argue that this approach stifles innovation.

Influential figures, including the likes of web inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee, call for what has been termed “net neutrality” – the principle that all data sent and received using the internet should be treated equally.

Some ISPs said that, for services that put a strain on their infrastructure, content providers should be charged.

Net neutrality supporters say that without rules in place, small or start-up organisations will find it harder to break into the market if they cannot afford to pay for priority service.

This was a point of view supported strongly by Reed Hastings, Netflix’s chief executive. “Some big ISPs are extracting a toll because they can, they effectively control access to millions of consumers and are willing to sacrifice the interests of their own customers to press Netflix and others to pay,” he wrote in a blog post.

Amid concerns that it would pave the way for other ISPs to demand the same, he defended his company’s decision to strike a deal with Comcast.

“Netflix believes strong net neutrality is critical, but in the near term we will, in cases, pay the toll to the powerful ISPs to protect our consumer experience.” But he added: “We will continue to fight for the internet the world needs and deserves.”

As well as the Comcast deal, Netflix is also in talks with another major US provider, Verizon. Verizon – backed by several other ISPs – recently won a court appeal against new rules from the US Federal Communication Commission (FCC) that aimed to ensure net neutrality in the US.

The company said: “The court’s decision will allow more room for innovation, and consumers will have more choices to determine for themselves how they access and experience the internet.”

The FCC said it would still press for a new law, to “ensure that these networks on which the internet depends continue to provide a free and open platform for innovation and expressions”.

Broadband speed should be guaranteed, says Which?

Broadband speed should be guaranteed, says Which?
Broadband companies should give customers the speed and service that they pay for, the consumer group Which? has said.

A survey carried out on its behalf claimed that 45% of customers suffer slow download speeds. Over half of those customers said they experienced slow speeds frequently or all the time.

Ofcom said measures were already in place for customers suffering with speed-related broadband problems. “The internet is an essential part of modern life, yet millions of us are getting frustratingly slow speeds and having to wait days to get reconnected when things go wrong,” said Which? executive director Richard Lloyd. “It’s less superfast broadband, more super-slow service from companies who are expecting people to pay for speeds they may never get.”

Ofcom already has a voluntary code of practice on broadband speeds in place that it says ensures customers are protected.

Providers who have signed up to it must give customers a written estimate of their broadband speed at the start of a contract and must allow them to leave a contract without penalty if they receive speeds significantly below the estimate.

“Ensuring consumers receive a high quality of service from their broadband provider and are fairly treated are high priorities,” said an Ofcom spokeswoman.

A mystery shopping exercise carried out by Ofcom revealed that the code was working effectively, she said. However, there were areas where it could be improved and a revised code of practice would be published in the coming months.

Which? said in practice it supported the code but it was voluntary, not compulsory and providers needed to go further. Rather than providing an estimated speed range that a customer could expect to receive, providers should pinpoint a more accurate speed that customers can expect at their home address and provide this in writing. This written confirmation should be accompanied by information explaining what consumers can do at different speeds – what they could download and how long it would take – and how to test their speed, Which? said.

The customers who took part in the survey were asked if they had experienced buffering or slow downloads when using their broadband connection. They were not asked if they had measured their own connection speed, which can be done using speed checking websites. Nor were they asked in what circumstances the slow speeds were experienced – for example, whether several people were sharing the connection to download large files or whether a wired or wireless internet connection was being used.

According to the survey of 2,000 people, a quarter of those who had reported a loss in service said they had had to wait two days to get it fixed, with one in 10 waiting a week or more. Twenty per cent said they had contacted their internet service provider at least three times when trying to resolve a problem with their broadband connection.

Which? is calling for broadband companies to fix connections as quickly as possible and refund customers for any loss of service. “Broadband providers need to give customers the right information and take responsibility for resolving problems,” said Mr Lloyd.

Does my Business need a Website?

Should I Create a Website? Does My Business Need One?
It used to be said that people always want to follow the latest thing, be it in fashion, sports, that kind of thing. Websites have become a necessity to almost everyone – particularly the business community. Companies, businesses, individuals, even young adults have created websites with their respective purposes, be it for profit, promotion or for entertainment.

Before deciding on the actual content, what should one must consider before creating their website? What are the factors in which must be put to thought before doing so, for example, the cost, maintenance, use, web host and so on.

Firstly, considering potential costs, we must always try to find an reliable and affordable host. A cheap hosting company does not exactly symbolize a credible reliability rating, but we must always look for value for money deals. Also, regarding the efficiency and server/web host reliability, consider issues including telephone support and help – will you be charged when calling the host telephone helpline number. Also look at reviews as these will almost certainly help you decide. There are many great web hosts out there but there are some really bad ones. You have been warned!

Next step; would hiring a professional web designer be an option you could afford? Is it the best option? For simple websites, there are always plenty of cheap or even free sites available, many web development programs are little more than word processors and, as such, relatively easy to use. However, when it comes to more complex and (some would argue) attractive and functional designs, hiring help in doing so would be the best way. It is important to remember that the website, if promoting to the Search Engines effectively, will fast become your shop window to the business community. Will it portray what you want it to say?

So, having considered the fundamentals prior to actually building a website, think “do we actually NEED one”? If creating one would boost sales or promote positive implications to one-self, then by all means, go ahead and do what’s best. A well designed and promoted website can help your business grow and prosper.

Promoting Jessica Brent Makeup Artist

Promoting Jessica Brent Makeup Artist
Direct Submit are now working alongside Jessica Brent Makeup to help promote her new freelance mobile makeup service throughout Newcastle upon Tyne and the North East. With passion for all things fashion, beauty and make up, Jessica has worked with a leading UK cosmetics brand.

Our aim is to help market the website to the widest possible Internet based audience, helping her new business not only grow – but thrive. To this end Direct Submit are helping promote the website to the major Search Engines, including the on-going promotion of Jessica Brent Makeup Facebook page.

Events Marketing Should be Part of Your Marketing Strategy

Seven Reasons Why Events Marketing Should be Part of Your Marketing Strategy
When it comes to any corporate or company marketing strategy you would include plenty of social events to the list. When you add the social events into your marketing strategy, you are able to make contacts with many other associates and it will help your company or business flourish.

One of the biggest reasons why you include events in your marketing strategy is the fact that you make so many contacts. When you make contacts you are able to find new channels and ways to expand your business, as well as, make your business grow by reaching new markets. You never know what you can gain from having new associates.

Another reason to have events is to share the public that you give back to the community. This is a key point for businesses that are big in one area. They grow and find success in the community and should give back to the community. It gives the company more of a public edge.

Also, you should think about your competition. When you through parties and such, you will find the opportunity to mix and mingle with the competition. You can get a feeling for their next move through what the others have to say. You will find that everyone talks about everything at corporate events and you find out a lot about what people think of you and the business.

When you through a party or social event, you can also introduce a new product. You may find that a social event is the perfect time to show off your new investment or allow your guests to try out a new product. It’s kind of like a testing, but an unofficial one. You can get an idea of how it would sell on the market by giving it to your guests. Then you can release it or forget about it depending on your guests.

Another reason why you should through social events in your marketing is to keep your company name in the papers and on the minds of the community. When you do this type of marketing it is called reminder advertising. You are keeping the company and the products of the company in the minds of those who are in your target market and community.

You should also through social events so that the community and competition knows that your company is still in the good. If you can through huge social events for the company then it means that you must be making a profit, right? Well that’s what people are going to think. You should keep this in mind when it comes to any social event.

Also, companies should through events for the company just because it is a way to give back to the employees. They work hard all year long and a party every now and then will be a great benefit to being an employee. It will also make the company look better in the public eye. The community would be more supportive knowing that the company gives back to the community.

There are hundreds of reasons why a company should invest in their employees. The more active that the company is in the community and society, the more they are going to get supported if they ever wanted to expand and other things. With social events you know only gain the public’s interest, but their support as well. That could be one of the most important reasons why you would want to through an event.  Social events have a lot of benefits for any corporate or company’s marketing strategies. Planning an event can be time consuming, but it is worth it.

What is the Internet?

What is the Internet
We at Direct Submit work with individuals & business people who have varying amounts of knowledge of what the Internet actually is and how it works. We have previously promoted the following description on the BBC News website and, as we have been asked to repost this,  thought it might be of interest to others.

What is the Internet?
The internet is a global network of computers that works much like the postal system, only at sub-second speeds. Just as the postal service enables people to send one another envelopes containing messages, the internet enables computers to send one another small packets of digital data.

For that to work, they use a common ’language’ called TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol). If you are on the net, you have an IP address.

When you send a letter, you don’t need to know about the vans, trains and planes that carry it to its destination, or how many post offices it passes through on the way. Nor do you need to know how your packets of internet data are transmitted through a variety of cables, routers and host computers on the way to their destination.

However, different packets can take different routes, which makes the internet relatively resilient. The failure of a particular node or host generally makes little or no difference to the rest of the system.

When you put an envelope in the post, it can contain many different types of data: a love letter, an invoice, a photograph, and so on. The internet’s data packets also carry different types of data for different applications. Common types include web pages, email messages, and large files that might be digital videos, music files or computer programs.

Today, the web is often used to provide an easy-to-use interface for numerous applications, including email, file transfer, Usenet newsgroups, and messages (Internet Relay Chat). This makes the web and the internet appear to be the same thing. However, these applications existed before the web was invented, and can still run without it.

Internet Marketing by Direct Submit

Hoax Email Warning – ‘You’ve got Cancer’

Hoax Email Warning‘You’ve got Cancer’
A health watchdog is warning that thousands of people have been sent hoax emails suggesting they have cancer. The messages appear to come from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). It says the contents are likely to be distressing and has reported the hoax to the police.

It is not clear exactly how many people are affected, but based on the high number of calls to the organisation it is thought to number thousands.

Sir Andrew Dillon, the chief executive of NICE, said: “A spam email purporting to come from NICE is being sent to members of the public regarding cancer test results. “This email is likely to cause distress to recipients since it advises that ‘test results’ indicate they may have cancer. “This malicious email is not from NICE and we are currently investigating its origin. We take this matter very seriously and have reported it to the police.”

NICE is advising people who have received the email – the subject line of which is important blood analysis result – to delete it without opening it and not to click on any links.

 

Modern Life Damaging Infant Brains, Charity Warns

Modern Life Damaging Infant Brains, Charity Warns
Overuse of baby equipment and electronic screens can impede the physical and emotional development of under-threes, a charity has warned.

What About The Children? (Watch?) says modern lifestyles could be harming infant brains. It highlights strapping small children into pushchairs, and the increased use of smartphones and tablets as being particularly damaging. It says these could have an impact in later life.

Watch? promotes the importance of secure attachment in the early years and the vital role that loving care plays in brain development. It is holding a conference in London today focused on how the first three years of life shape a child’s emotional, physical and mental health “forever”. It will highlight the importance of the physical interaction and social engagement between small children and “consistent, loving carers”.

The charity says it is particularly concerned about the impact of modern lifestyles on the brain development of babies and toddlers. Sally Goddard Blythe, director of the Institute for Neuro-Physiological Psychology, is speaking at the conference. “Social interaction helps physical development, for example eye contact, singing and talking. That is not happening if a child is in a forward-facing buggy and her mum is using her smartphone,” she said.

“Infants need opportunity for free movement and exploration whether that is tummy time, cuddling or rough play. “Attention, balance and co-ordination skills learned during the first 36 months of life support cognitive learning and have been linked to school performance later.”

Another contributor, June O’Sullivan, from the London Early Years Foundation, stresses the importance of relationships. “Children’s wellbeing starts with positive attachment to adults who are attuned and responsive,” she said. “If they understand the children’s emotions and put their fears into words, it is very reassuring to the child. “Wellbeing in the early years is the foundation of success at school, in making friends and relationships and for all adult life.”