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$100 Internet bill became $340 for no reason, Frontier customer says

Enlarge / Man posing for stock image is really surprised by the size of his bill. (credit: Getty Images | sturti)

Frontier Communications' purchase of FiOS and DSL networks from Verizon last year led to immediate problems for customers that took weeks to resolve.

More than a year later, some ex-Verizon customers in Florida say they are still having major problems with their new provider.

"Some say Frontier Communications has overcharged them hundreds of dollars and have struggled to get a satisfactory response from customer service," a report by ABC Action News in Tampa Bay said last week.

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Hurricane Irma took 7 million cable and wireline subscribers offline

Enlarge / Destroyed power lines hang above a road on September 12, 2017, two days after Hurricane Irma swept through the area. Power outages played a big role in Internet, TV, and phone disruptions. (credit: Getty Images | Spencer Platt )

More than 7 million subscribers to cable or wireline telecom services have lost service due to Hurricane Irma.

"There are at least 7,184,909 (down from 7,597,945 yesterday) subscribers out of service in the affected areas in Alabama, Florida, and Georgia," the Federal Communications Commission reported Tuesday in its latest storm update. These are subscribers to Internet, TV, or phone service or some combination of the three.

In addition to those 7 million, many subscribers in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands lost service. "Since there are widespread power outages in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, the FCC has received reports that large percentages of consumers are without either cable services or wireline service. Companies are actively working to restoring service," the FCC said.

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Jurassic World Evolution is a theme park sim from Planet Coaster dev Frontier

Frontier, the developer behind the sublime Elite Dangerous and Planet Coaster has new sim in the works. Jurassic World Evolution is a theme park sim, but instead of ferris wheels you have Triceratops, and instead of worrying about guests getting sick, you have to worry about guests getting eaten by a freaking T-Rex.

Jurassic World Evolution puts players in control of operations on the island of Isla Nublar, as featured in the original Jurassic Park. The goal is to build new attractions, bioengineer new dinosaur breeds, and figure out the best way to keep said dinosaurs away from paying punters. "Every choice leads to a different path and spectacular challenges will arise when 'life finds a way,'" says Microsoft.

Further details are thin on the ground, but there is a release date of "Summer 2018," which just so happens to be when the next film Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, is due to be released.

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Frontier laid off state Senate president after broadband vote it didn’t like

Enlarge / West Virginia State Senate President Mitch Carmichael, a former Frontier employee. (credit: Mitch Carmichael)

Broadband provider Frontier Communications recently laid off the West Virginia state Senate president after a vote the company didn't like—and yes, you read that correctly.

West Virginia does not have a full-time legislature, and state lawmakers can supplement their part-time government salaries ($20,000 a year, according to BallotPedia) with jobs in the private sector. West Virginia Senate President Mitch Carmichael, a Republican from Jackson County, was also a sales manager for Frontier. But after six years with the company, Frontier terminated his employment on May 26.

The dismissal came just weeks after Carmichael voted for a broadband infrastructure bill that was designed to bring faster speeds, lower prices, and more competition to Internet customers. It was described as a layoff in local press reports, but Carmichael said in multiple interviews that he believes the Senate vote led to his newfound unemployment.

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Elite: Dangerous 2.3 expansion adds camera, multicrew—and a certain 7 exoplanets

Enlarge / Looking up at the TRAPPIST-1 system's M8 star. (credit: Frontier Developments)

More than two years after its official release back in December 2014, spaceship simulator Elite: Dangerous continues to grow and add content. The latest update is called “The Commanders,” and it bumps the game’s version number to 2.3 (or 1.8, if you’re not running the “Horizons” expansion). There are plenty of new features in 2.3, including a vastly updated camera system for taking in-game images or movies; a “commander creator” feature for players to create and customize their avatars; and the ability to join friends on their ships and fly as a single crew.

But one feature will be showing up as a last-minute addition: the newly discovered TRAPPIST-1 star system, complete with its seven exoplanets, will become part of the game’s simulated galaxy.

NASA broke the news about the discovery only days before the 2.3 update was set to enter semi-open (pay wall) beta testing among the Elite: Dangerous player base. Between that announcement and some last-minute bugs, publisher and developer Frontier decided to slip the beta date from February 23 to February 27 to try to add bug fixes and the TRAPPIST-1 system to the game. The bad news is that the newly discovered exoplanets won’t make it into Monday’s beta release; the good news is that TRAPPIST-1 will be in the second beta release, which will come some days or weeks after the initial beta.

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