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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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."
AT&T Network on Demandenables business customers to order, add, or change business services on their own in near real time. The services available will include Internet access, VPNs, and Ethernet. AT&T will offer the service commercially in Austin by the end of this year.
Atlantic Broadband has seemingly beaten AT&T to the punch by launching a symmetrical 1-Gigabit service in the Miami area. Atlantic Broadband’s 1-Gigabit service took flight this summer in ultra-wealthy Indian Creek Village, which is located in Miami-Dade County.