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Broadband Direct

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

Report: SoftBank downsizing U.S. operations, giving up on T-Mobile bid

December 12, 2014 1:13 pm | by Ben Munson, Wireless Week | News | Comments

SoftBank is scaling down its Silicon Valley operations. Sources say SoftBank is now considering renting out one of two buildings it leased to accommodate a “T-Mobile driven expansion.” Most of SoftBank’s workforce on the west coast will be moved back to Tokyo or to Sprint’s headquarters near Kansas City.

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FCC ups broadband speed for Connect America

December 12, 2014 1:00 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The FCC has decreed that broadband service providers receiving money from the Connect America Fund must deliver a minimum of 10 Mbps on the downstream, and 1 Mbps on the upstream, up from 4Mbps/1Mpbs. Up to $1.8 billion of funding is currently available each year in the Connect America Fund.

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Windstream appoints Thomas as new CEO

December 12, 2014 12:53 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Windstream Holdings announced on Thursday that Tony Thomas was replacing Jeff Gardner as the company’s new president and CEO. In order to smooth over the transition, Gardner will stay on board as a senior adviser to Thomas and as a member of the company’s board through Feb. 1 of next year. Thomas was also named a director.

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CenturyLink beefs up Big Data with Cognilytics buy

December 12, 2014 12:44 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

CenturyLink announced it has bought Cognilytics, which provides Big Data and predictive analytics services to medium sized and enterprise level businesses. CenturyLink said that Cognilytics helped businesses convert "data to decisions" through its Big Data deployment, management, advanced decision sciences, predictive analytics and data visualization.

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Hearst forks out $81.3M for stake in AwesomenessTV

December 12, 2014 12:39 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Hearst Corp. is betting $81.3 million that Internet video network AwesomenessTV will live up to its name. The investment announced Thursday gives Hearst a 25 percent stake in AwesomenessTV, which DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. acquired in May 2013.

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Today in Engineering History: a radio first and the Olds

December 12, 2014 11:42 am | by Kaylie Duffy, Associate Editor, PD&D | Articles | Comments

On this day in 1901, Italian physicist Guglielmo Marconi sent the first radio transmission across the Atlantic Ocean; the content of the signal was three dots -- the letter S in Morse code. In 2000, General Motors announced its plan to phase out the 103-year-old Oldsmobile, America’s oldest automobile brand.

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Broadband coverage numbers post-Comcast/TWC released

December 11, 2014 2:00 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

If Comcast is allowed to purchase Time Warner Cable, it will have at least one fixed-line broadband competitor with a roughly comparable 25 Mbps tier in only about a third of its footprint, according to information filed with the FCC. The issue is whether the broadband market is competitive.

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Arris stocks OTT Market with Portico TV

December 11, 2014 1:22 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Starting early next year, Arris will add N2TV’s streaming TV service, which is called Portico TV, to its over-the-top streaming platform for cable operators. Arris introduced “Arris Market,” which blends over-the-top (OTT) content with traditional programming services on its set-top boxes, earlier this year as part of its Whole Home Solution.

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Today in Engineering History: Apollo 17

December 11, 2014 1:19 pm | by Melissa Fassbender, Editor, PD&D | Articles | Comments

On this day in 1972, Apollo 17 completed the final lunar landing of the Apollo program.  “The mission was the final in a series of three J-type missions planned for the Apollo Program. These J-type missions can be distinguished from previous G- and H-series missions by extended hardware capability, larger scientific payload capacity and by the use of the battery-powered Lunar Roving Vehicle, or LRV.”

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Imagine upgrades Egypt’s Rotana TV

December 11, 2014 1:16 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Imagine Communications recently completed a major upgrade of the playout and asset management facilities for Rotana TV in Cairo, Egypt. The project allowed Rotana TV, which broadcasts 14 discrete channels as well as time shifts and rebrands, to migrate all of its channels to HD, which allowed the playout center to operate in the file domain.

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Web inventor: Internet should be 'human right'

December 11, 2014 1:14 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

The computer scientist credited with inventing the World Wide Web says affordable access to the Internet should be recognized as a human right, as a report showed that billions of people still cannot go online and government surveillance and censorship are increasing. Tim Berners-Lee said Thursday the Internet can help tackle inequality — but only if it comes with the rights to privacy and freedom of expression.

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HBO, Showtime dominate Golden Globe nominations

December 11, 2014 1:07 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

HBO and Showtime dominated the television nominations for Golden Globe awards on Thursday, illustrating how the archrival pay cable networks have evolved to have very specific strengths. HBO programs and actors were responsible for 15 nominations, with two-thirds of them in the movie or miniseries category. 

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FCC open for comments on 13K hotspots from Comcast, TWC

December 11, 2014 1:05 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Time Warner Cable and Comcast are preparing to possibly deploy another 13,500 public Wi-Fi hotspots between them. The two require permission from the Federal Communications Commission to do so, and the FCC today began seeking public comments as part of its approval process.

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Maximizing the benefits of cloud-based pay TV strategies

December 10, 2014 11:17 pm | by Andy Salo, vice president, product line management, RGB Networks | Articles | Comments

With an abundance of cloud-labeled technology solutions vying for pay TV distributors’ attention, it’s more important than ever that operators be able to filter the hype by setting performance benchmarks reflecting the true requirements of a TV-caliber cloud platform.

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Taking care of business: a Cable-Tec Expo recap

December 10, 2014 11:03 pm | by CED | Articles | Comments

Today it remains somewhat murky where the whole pay TV business is going, or precisely what it will look like when it gets there, but MSOs know for certain they need to prepare their networks to deliver whatever has to be delivered, and Cable-Tec Expo made it crystal clear that those networks will still depend heavily on DOCSIS 3.1.

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