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Broadband Direct

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

Behind the curtain: How Comcast drives VOD usage

September 18, 2014 8:07 pm | by Mike Robuck | Articles | Comments

Special events like Watchathon help Comcast’s more than 20 million video subscribers drill down into its 50,000 video assets on their set-top boxes, 400,000 online assets and the 20,000 pieces of video that are available via its Xfinity Go App. The stunts also help move the TV Everywhere ball forward.

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Small cells: Recognizing the opportunities, meeting the challenges

September 18, 2014 8:03 pm | by Ed Myers, vice president of telecommunications and sales, Parallel Infrastructure | Articles | Comments

The wireless data revolution and its impact is analogous to Boyle’s Law, which states that a gas will expand to fill the available space. The same can be said for a data network. The more throughput available, the more uses people will find to fill up that pipe.

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The role of tech hobbies

September 18, 2014 7:46 pm | by Walt S. Ciciora, Expert on cable and consumer electronics issues | Articles | Comments

Ciciora’s corner: An enthusiastic technologist is likely to be much more productive, innovative, and engaged. He or she will likely enjoy the job to a higher degree and perform better. Genuine enthusiasm for technology cannot be contained. It spills over into hobbies and other activities.

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The people of Expo 2014

September 18, 2014 7:39 pm | by Mark Dzuban, President & CEO, SCTE | Articles | Comments

Engineering-wise: As we approach SCTE Cable-Tec Expo 2014, the face of cable innovation has evolved into a holistic approach to service delivery. The tactical solutions of the early days have long given way to strategic approaches and the recognition that making the right decisions today can enable delivery of multiple services tomorrow.

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WiFi - The Next 15 Years Bring Higher Expectations

September 18, 2014 7:33 pm | by Justin Colwell, Vice President, network technology, CableLabs. | Articles | Comments

This year, Wi-Fi celebrates its 15th birthday with a number of important milestones: more than 2 billion chipsets sold per year, exceeding the Gbps milestone with 802.11ac, and the first commercial launch of Passpoint/ HotSpot 2.0. Cisco estimates by 2015 more than half of the world’s Internet traffic will be carried by Wi-Fi.

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TV’s enduring mantra: Buy or die

September 18, 2014 7:31 pm | by Stewart Schley, Media & technology writer | Articles | Comments

Memory Lane: Before they started launching or buying their own cable channels in the 1990s, the Big 3 television networks were sanctimonious about an upstart medium called “cable TV.” The smugness was rooted in reality, at least for a while. The force that lavished the three networks with rich profits was scarcity.

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War of the Words

September 18, 2014 7:26 pm | by Brian Santo | Articles | Comments

In Perspective: Defining a problem is common engineering practice, but the approach is hardly limited to engineering. In the communications business, definitions have become weapons. Worse is when companies deliberately obfuscate definitions for competitive advantage.

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Network neutrality nonsense

September 18, 2014 7:04 pm | by Jeffrey Krauss, President of Telecommunications and Technology Policy | Articles | Comments

Capital Currents: Sometimes the Internet becomes “sluggish,” but it’s impossible to know whether it’s due to congestion in the local access network, in a transit network, or at the server that stores the content. Traffic management procedures can be instituted by the content providers, by the transit network operators, and/or by the retail Internet access providers.

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Verizon expands XLTE to 22 more markets

September 18, 2014 1:26 pm | by Andrew Berg, Wireless Week | News | Comments

After substantially completing its nationwide LTE buildout on 700 MHz, Verizon began supplementing that with an AWS LTE deployment. The carrier is promising XLTE will deliver double the LTE bandwidth and faster peak speeds. T-Mobile has also been working on improving capacity.

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Alibaba post-IPO structure gives insiders control

September 18, 2014 1:13 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Other companies including Google Inc. and Facebook Inc. also have tried to preserve control for their founders, often by awarding them a different class of stock with more voting rights. But research suggests such arrangements enrich insiders at the expense of other shareholder.

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AT&T uncorks 300 Mbps data tier for businesses

September 18, 2014 12:52 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

This morning AT&T announced it would offer businesses a new data tier with symmetrical speeds of up to 300 Mbps initially with future plans to hit 1 Gigabit. With its AT&T Business Fiber offering, AT&T is mirroring the rollout of its residential GigaPower service that launched in Austin late last year with speeds of 300 Mbps before transitioning to 1-Gig this summer.

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NCTA kills off Cable Show, rebrands as INTX

September 18, 2014 12:42 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Faced with dwindling attendance over the past few years and the continued evolution of Internet technologies, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) has pulled the plug on The Cable Show in favor of rebranding it as INTX. INTX, which stands for the Internet and Television Expo, will still be held on The Cable Show’s original schedule of May 5-7 next year in Chicago, but with more of an Internet focus.

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News Corp opposes Google in EU antitrust case

September 18, 2014 12:36 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

The media conglomerate controlled by Rupert Murdoch is joining the fray in Google's protracted European antitrust case, saying the technology company unfairly distorts competition. Robert Thomson, CEO of New York-based News Corp., says in a letter to the EU's antitrust authority that Google is "willing to exploit its dominant market position to stifle competition." 

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Senate Commerce Committee passes satellite bill

September 17, 2014 6:48 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The Senate Commerce Committee has passed STAVRA, reauthorizing satellite TV broadcast of distant signals. One of the few non-satellite provision retained prevents local TV stations from colluding when negotiating retransmission consent contracts with cable operators.

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Authentication inhibiting TVE growth? Poll says: poppycock!

September 17, 2014 1:45 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

It is commonly held that the authentication process is so cumbersome for TV Everywhere that it is retarding the growth of TVE services. TDG says that’s simply not true. Only 7 percent of TVE users view the process of authentication negatively, with less than 1 percent ranking the process as "very difficult."

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