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Broadband Direct

Daily news and top headlines for broadband communications engineering and design professionals

Midcontinent turns up 200 Mbps tier

June 19, 2014 11:40 am | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Midcontinent Communications doubled the speeds on most of its data tiers, which included the debut of a 200 Mbps down, 20 Mbps up service. The speed increases were system-wide—without price increases—except in remote areas within Midcontinent’s footprint of North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota.

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T-Mobile jumps into music streaming with 'unRadio'

June 19, 2014 10:19 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

T-Mobile is jumping into the music streaming game with a price and a package of features that set it apart. At its "Un-carrier" event Wednesday, the fourth-ranked mobile carrier said customers of its Simple Choice plan will be able to stream music from popular services like Pandora, Spotify, Rhapsody, iHeartRadio, iTunes Radio and Slacker without it eating into their high-speed data caps.

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Amazon ties new 4.7-inch phone to its services

June 19, 2014 10:12 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Amazon has introduced a new smartphone that seeks to help consumers locate and purchase products and services from the nation's largest e-commerce company. The Fire phone comes with audio and object recognition technology, known as Firefly, to guide users to Amazon's stores.

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Fifty Years

June 18, 2014 8:00 pm | by Walt S. Ciciora, Expert on cable and consumer electronics issues | Articles | Comments

Ciciora's Corner: I got a shocking call. I was asked if I would be willing to serve on my college class’ 50th anniversary celebration committee. What? Or as my pilot and ham radio friends would say: “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?" Fifty years! That cannot be! But it is! That brings back a flood of old memories.

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A rational way to deliver video description audio

June 18, 2014 7:52 pm | by Jeffrey Krauss, President of Telecommunications and Technology Policy | Articles | Comments

Capital Currents: I’ve written before about the problems of delivering the video description audio track to legacy cable set-top boxes. Now the cable industry seems to have figured out how to transition to a more rational approach. We’ll see if broadcasters are willing to go along.

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YouTube to launch music service that incenses indies

June 18, 2014 1:49 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The video site is adding subscription-based features for music on YouTube, and that "hundreds of major label and independent artists," but a small number of independent artists who had not agreed to new deal terms will have their videos blocked in some countries starting in a few days, even on the free version of YouTube.

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GVTC deploys gigabit network in San Antonio suburbs

June 18, 2014 1:42 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

GVTC Communications has deployed the Calix E7-20 Ethernet Service Access Platform (ESAP) and 700GE family of optical network terminals (ONTs) for the GVTC GigaRegion fiber network that stretches across three cities just north of San Antonio, Tex.

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Spirent develops 400G tester

June 18, 2014 1:27 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

In a development that has ramifications even for CMTS traffic, Spirent has been working with Huawei’s NE5000E core router, which incorporates Xilinx processors, to verify the Spirent 400G Ethernet Test System. The tester works for evaluating 400G systems, ISO layers 1 through 3.

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CenturyLink boots up cloud-based managed services

June 18, 2014 12:32 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

CenturyLink is now offering cloud-based, on-demand managed services to businesses. With the CenturyLink Cloud platform, businesses can tap into managed services — including web servers, middleware, directory services and database applications, along with operating systems — with pay-by-the hour billing.

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Raleigh OKs AT&T’s GigaPower service

June 18, 2014 12:26 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

AT&T has checked Raleigh off its list of North Carolina cities that have ratified the deployment of its fiber-based GigaPower service. AT&T has been working with the North Carolina Next Generation Network (NCNGN) to deploy its 1 Gbps service across six cities in the area

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Amazon is about to jump into smartphones

June 18, 2014 12:17 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Amazon, a company of seemingly boundless ambition, appears to be venturing into yet another market: smartphones. The corporate juggernaut that started out with books and soon moved into music, video, cloud computing and Kindle e-readers is hosting a launch event Wednesday in Seattle, and media reports indicate the product will be an Amazon phone — perhaps one with multiple cameras that can produce 3-D photos.

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DOCSIS 3.1 Checklist

June 17, 2014 5:29 pm | by CED | Webinars

While full-scale DOCSIS 3.1 implementations may not occur for another two years, cable operators are currently preparing their networks. In this live Google Hangout, sponsored by VeEX and hosted by CED, attendees will learn how cable operators and vendors are gearing up for 3.1 rollouts.

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Cisco to buy software orchestration specialist for $175M

June 17, 2014 1:50 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Cisco is in the process of buying privately-held Tail-f Systems, which specializes in implementing applications, network services and solutions across a range of networking devices. Service providers in particular should benefit from Tail-f’s products, using them to manage their networks as they introduce new services at a rapid rate.

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Mediacom working with John Deere on automated farming

June 17, 2014 1:34 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Mediacom Business and John Deere have filed an expression of interest with the FCC that outlines a plan to improve agricultural efficiency and production by driving fiber networks deeper into rural Iowa and connecting commercial farming operations with wireless broadband services.

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Cox Business debuts dual Wi-Fi router; access to CableWiFi hotspots

June 17, 2014 1:17 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

As of last week, Cox Business data customers can tap into more than 250,000 Wi-Fi hotspots across the nation from other members of the CableWiFi Alliance at no additional charge. Also on the Wi-Fi front, Cox Business has deployed a gateway from Cisco that enables public and private SSIDs for its business customers.

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