PNC watches website
PNC Financial Services Group Inc. customers could be experiencing difficulty logging in to the bank’s website after a group on Monday threatened renewed cyber attacks on some of the biggest U.S. lenders.
“We are focused on minimizing disruption to our customers but will be reviewing the cause of this incident,” said Amy Vargo, a spokeswoman for Pittsburgh-based PNC, which has operations in Akron.
The al Qassam Cyber Fighters Group threatened this week to target banks’ websites in retaliation for an anti-Muslim film, American Banker reported.
PNC, the seventh-largest U.S. bank by deposits, declined to comment on whether the service disruptions were the result of cyber attacks. “We are aware of the situation and working to restore full access,” Vargo said.
Cable offerings expand
Time Warner Cable, which has a division based in Akron, announced the launch of increasing viewing options for the Apple iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch.
TWC said features include free and “Premium On Demand” programming anywhere in a home.
Other details include: more than 4,000 television shows and movies from 91 providers plus the ability to search the On Demand catalog and parental control capability.
The company said its channel lineup and more information can be found online at www.twcableuntangled.com.
Dish wants to expand
A proposal to allow Dish Network Corp. to offer mobile-phone service has enough votes to win approval at the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, according to commission staff members.
FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski’s proposal to regulate Dish’s airwaves has support from at least three of the five FCC commissioners, including Democrats Genachowski and Jessica Rosenworcel and Republican Robert McDowell, according to three FCC staff members who asked not to be identified because the vote hasn’t been made public.
The second-largest satellite-TV provider needed FCC approval to start wireless service that could compete with No. 1 Verizon Wireless and No. 2 AT&T. Dish has built up its spectrum holdings as it seeks to decrease its reliance on the satellite-TV business, which is losing subscribers. Dish has said its ability to enter the wireless business could be crippled by the proposal’s requirement that it limit power for its planned network. That’s intended to prevent interference with government-owned frequencies.
Sports charge added
DirecTV has started charging new customers $3 more per month if they want a package that includes multiple regional sports networks. It’s the latest attempt by a TV operator to pin the cause of rising TV bills on content companies. The charge went into effect nationally with little fanfare in September, a couple months before DirecTV agreed to pay more for new sports channels provided by competitor Time Warner Cable Inc. that have exclusive coverage of the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers. Time Warner Cable had asked nearly $4 per month per subscriber for the channels.
DirecTV said the surcharge is “a way of recovering some, but not all of the costs of sports in certain markets.”
Many of the nation’s largest cities have multiple sports networks, including New York and Los Angeles. DirecTV says the affected markets represent about 20 percent of the country’s 210 designated market areas.
The extra $3 fee is tacked on for all new customers who want channel packages above the lowest tier. The lowest tier without regional sports networks starts at $30 a month.
The next step up is called “choice” and starts at a promotional price of $35 a month, not including the extra fee. The “choice” level has about 10 more channels such as the Cooking Channel and IFC along with regional sports networks, which offer coverage of local sports teams.
The move is similar to a decision by Charter Communications Inc. in late 2010 to break out how much each customer pays each month for the cost of retransmitting local broadcast TV signals, which had previously been given to the cable TV operator for free.
Yahoo grows email
Yahoo is spiffing up and expanding its email service in an attempt to regain some of the ground lost to a Google alternative that lured away millions of users. The changes are meant to make Yahoo’s email faster and easier to use on the Web. To cater to the growing audience checking their email on smartphones and tablet computers, Yahoo also introduced mobile apps for the iPhone, iPad and devices powered by Microsoft’s recently released Windows 8 system. Yahoo also updated its email app designed for Google’s Android operating system.
Compiled from staff and wire reports