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Broadband Direct

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

Microsoft vows app-like update schedule for Windows 8

April 1, 2014 2:07 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The software company is following through on a promise to update its Windows 8 operating system on a regular basis to respond to consumers' complaints and other feedback. Just months after the release of Windows 8.1, Microsoft is preparing changes to make it easier for people to use Windows with traditional keyboard and mouse controls.

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Sprint, T-Mobile caution FCC on AT&T all-IP trials

April 1, 2014 1:57 pm | by Andrew Berg, Wireless Week | News | Comments

Sprint and T-Mobile are calling into question AT&T's recently approved IP-network trials in Florida and Alabama, saying the initiative is holding back the rest of the industry's move to develop cross-carrier IP interconnections. "AT&T’s proposed experiment is putting the cart before the horse," Sprint wrote...

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Exfo intros second-generation multi-mode tester

April 1, 2014 1:54 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The FTB-2 Pro supports up to two 1-slot modules simultaneously such as a combination of Ethernet and OTDR modules. It also supports spectral and multi-layer testing. The platform has the necessary power for high speed, high performance testing, the company said.

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Viacom blacked out on Cable One

April 1, 2014 1:39 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

In the middle of a standoff on carriage fees, the cable operator has removed its Viacom lineup. Cable One is threatening to just let the Viacom channels go. The company noted that its customers have been requesting other channels, including BBC America, Sprout, The Blaze, Hallmark Channel, National Geographic, Investigation Discovery, TV One, Sundance and others.

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Akamai works with Aspera to accelerate file transfer

April 1, 2014 1:09 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The Aspera Upload Acceleration option integrates Aspera’s FASP transfer technology directly into Akamai’s NetStorage cloud-based online storage platform. The integrated system will significantly increase upload transfer speeds, with no need for customers to re-architect the workflow or build custom API calls.

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U.S. Supreme Court could limit software patents

March 31, 2014 2:12 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Is it too easy for high-tech companies to patent inventions that are not really new, but simply take an old idea and blend it with computer wizardry? The Supreme Court is wrestling with that question, and the outcome could send tremors through an industry that touches virtually every sector of the economy, from gadgets on smart phones to advances in anti-lock brakes.

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AT&T plans fourth 300M share buyback in 4 years

March 31, 2014 2:04 pm | by Ben Munson, Wireless Week | News | Comments

AT&T today announced its plans to buy back 300 million shares, representing approximately six percent of the company’s outstanding shares. This is the fourth 300 million-share buyback AT&T has announced in the past four years—the previous three came December 2010, July 2012 and March 2013.

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NetGear offers MSOs a DOCSIS 3.0 gateway

March 31, 2014 1:48 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

NetGear has introduced a DOCSIS 3.0 voice and data gateway for the service provider market that features DOCSIS transmission rates up to 1 GHz, and aggregate Wi-Fi throughput of 1.9 GHz.  The product incorporates a 24 x 8 DOCSIS 3.0 modem, and has IPv6 support.

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FCC bans broadcaster collusion in retrans negotiations

March 31, 2014 1:31 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The FCC issued two key decisions today, one that prohibits broadcast stations from joining together in retransmission consent negotiations, the other opening another 100 MHz of spectrum for Wi-Fi applications. Under the new regulations, two or more separately owned Top-4 broadcasters in the same market would be prohibited from banding to negotiate retrans deals.

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Charter to TWC investors: reject Comcast takeover bid

March 28, 2014 2:11 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Charter Communications is recommending that investors in Time Warner Cable (TWC) reject Comcast’s takeover offer, which exceeded Charter’s offer by more than $25 a share. Charter demanded instead "that the TWC board engage in a full review of its strategic opportunities."

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Microsoft brings Office to the iPad

March 28, 2014 1:55 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The app will allow reading and presenting of documents for free, but will require a subscription to Office365 to enable writing and editing. A subscription for up to five computers and five smartphones costs $100 a year, but a personal version for one computer and one tablet costs $70 a year. The subscription includes 20 gigabytes of storage space on OneDrive.

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Conax integrates with Anevia

March 28, 2014 1:51 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Conax and Anevia have integrated the latter’s video streaming and CDN solutions with the the former’s Contego Unite content protection platform. The two said the combined system simplifies the ability to roll out over the top (OTT) services.

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Harrison promoted to CEO at IneoQuest

March 28, 2014 1:36 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

IneoQuest Technologies has promoted Calvin Harrison to president and CEO, effective immediately. Harrison had been chief operating officer (COO) of the company since 2010. Harrison joined IneoQuest in 2007, serving first as vice president of marketing and business development, and then as COO.

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Lightpath offering 100G transport service

March 28, 2014 1:17 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Demand for 100 gigabit services is rising as companies across financial and market data services, media and entertainment, and healthcare move to support emerging needs for additional bandwidth. These needs include supporting cloud-based services, an influx of devices onto enterprise networks and an increase in volume, scalability, and quality of media content.

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Viacom demanding 100% increases in carriage fees

March 28, 2014 1:16 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The programmer is playing hardball as it negotiates carriage fees with cable operators all across the country, in some cases demanding rate increases variously described as being more than 100 percent and as being 40 times the rate of inflation. By one estimate, there are nearly 700 small cable operators, representing roughly 5 million customers, in confrontations with Viacom.

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