A federal judge approved the merger of Time Warner and AT&T this week, opening the floodgates for even more large mega corporate mergers. Comcast moved almost instantly to provide a massive bid on 21st Century Fox, outbidding Disney by over 15%, setting off a huge bidding war. Leo says that the judge got it wrong and this represents a serious problem for consumers, even though customers like it because it saves them money in the short run.
Bob bought a Samsung Galaxy S9 and he thinks it's too large for his hand. Leo says that larger phones are the future, as people prefer a larger screen to hand comfort. Bob also has hundreds of contacts on his phone that aren't his after he synced it. Leo says it's possible that AT&T or Samsung sold Bob a phone that was returned and hadn't wiped it before doing so. But if they sealed it up to make it look new, that's against the law.
Jane had DSL Extreme, but she says that AT&T won't allow it over the phone lines anymore. Leo says there's something going on with her particular neighborhood. She's still getting phone service, though. Jane says that AT&T isn't offering DSL either, but they're trying to push UVerse. Leo says that AT&T has decided to eliminate copper in her neighborhood and start using fiber. Fiber is glass and works better than copper.
Dan has AT&T and a new TP-Link router. Can he use his own with the AT&T DSL modem that has a router built-in? Leo says yes. He can turn off the AT&T's router radios and network address translation. He could try putting it into bridge mode. He'll have to open up the browser IP address and look for a place that will enable him to turn off the router altogether. He'll also have to disable DHCP. If he can't do that, then he can put the TP-Link into bridge mode and it will just pass the signal along. He should also look for a passthrough mode.
Mark ordered an iPhone X from Apple and he's worried about the order. He ordered an AT&T model, but his wife moving to Verizon. Can he swap it through the Apple store? Leo says that's probable. He'll definitely want to do that since the phones are locked to the carrier. The Verizon model would work with AT&T, but not the other way around. That's because Verizon's phone is unlocked, but have different radios in each. Leo suggests not even opening the box. He should just take the phone to the Apple Store and swap it out.
John has issues with coverage in his home town. Leo says that the irony is that AT&T is considered to have total universal coverage, but that doesn't seem to be the case entirely. Leo says to go to the carrier he's with and ask them for a FemToCel. If they want to keep his business, they'll give him one for free. With it, it will route his calls over the internet for cell service to his phone.
Paul and his wife are traveling to Croatia Saturday and he's worried about data roaming charges. Leo says that international data is rapidly changing thanks to T-Mobile's free Edge data plan that started last year. As such, AT&T has changed from offering an expensive data package to a "day pass."
Google Fi is a solid option, because they would pay as they go at $10 a month. If they have a Google phone, then they'll be in good shape.
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?