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Broadband Direct

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

WOW! trims 9% of workforce

December 4, 2014 12:54 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Cable over builder WOW! is cutting 9 percent of its more than 3,000 employees. According to a story by DSLreports.com, the layoffs started Wednesday. A company spokeswoman said the elimination of the 270 jobs would continue through early next year.

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Liberty Global picks Amdocs to power MVNO deployments

December 4, 2014 12:45 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Liberty Global is using Amdocs’ mobile virtual network operators (MVNO) platform to support its mobile services in Hungary, Switzerland and the Netherlands. With Liberty Global’s foray into quad play services, Amdocs said its Compact Convergence solution reduced time to market while also integrating MVNO with existing business support systems (BSS.)

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Coalition forms to oppose Comcast's purchase of Time Warner Cable

December 3, 2014 1:45 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Several opponents of Comcast’s proposal to buy TWC, including some smaller cable operators, have banded together, calling themselves the Stop Mega Comcast Coalition. There are no conditions the regulatory agencies involved can set on the merger that will avoid the substantial harms they say will be caused by the merger.

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Infographic: Cogeco to launch neutral Public Cloud

December 3, 2014 1:25 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Cogeco Data Services will launch its Public Cloud service early next year, which it said was Canada’s first neutral public cloud offering. The service will provide businesses access to public, private and hybrid cloud capabilities.

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ViXS Systems intros Ethernet-over-coax chips

December 3, 2014 1:13 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The ViXS XConnex EoC solutions can be deployed with 4 RF channels delivering 700 Mbps of payload traffic, with an option for field software upgrades to increase bandwidth up to 1.6 Gbps without any changes to existing hardware, the company said.

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Alpha bags Cheetah Technologies

December 3, 2014 1:12 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Power solutions vendor Alpha Technologies announced this morning that it had acquired Cheetah Technologies for an undisclosed sum. Alpha said it would keep the doors open on Cheetah’s Pittsburg facility. In addition to serving similar market sectors and mutual customers, the two companies have collaborated on outside plant power supply monitoring for “several decades.”

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RCN Business rings up Office Mobility app

December 3, 2014 1:06 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

RCN Business has launched a new app that lets its business customer employees stay connected with their office phones when they’re on the go. The Business Office Mobility app, which is a new feature from RCN Businesses’ hosted voice and business phone with call manager products, works with both iOS and Android devices. 

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Suddenlink adds CBS to primetime VOD lineup

December 3, 2014 1:01 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Suddenlink Communications has added programming from CBS, which is currently the nation’s top-rated broadcast network, to its VOD primetime lineup. With CBS in the fold, Suddenlink now offers free on demand programming from all four major broadcast networks, which also includes ABC, Fox and NBC.

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Layer3 to use SeaChange gateway management system

December 3, 2014 12:50 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Layer3 TV aims to be a “next generation cable provider,” but has yet to define what that means beyond saying it intends to blend TV, social and digital life (whatever that means) working within “the existing distribution paradigm.” That it is using products from SeaChange provides only a few other hints at the general direction the company is moving in.

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End game re-think: In Perspective

December 2, 2014 9:25 pm | by Brian Santo | Articles | Comments

For all the buzz Google is inspiring with Google Fiber, its 1 Gbps customers still have no idea how to get even close to exhausting that bounty. So do Google’s competitors need install fiber? With little real demand for 1 Gbps and with D3.1 and G.fast able to support 1 Gbps if and when it’s needed, the answer appears to be no, with some exceptions.

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HBO scripts a pay-TV sequel: Memory Lane

December 2, 2014 9:18 pm | by Stewart Schley, Media & technology writer | Articles | Comments

Now HBO is redrawing the lines again by embracing the idea of a direct-to-consumer video service. It may feel revolutionary, but HBO really isn’t making pay-TV history. Because the model of a premium cable channel spinning off an online variation had already come. And gone.

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Proactive network maintenance: Engineering-wise

December 2, 2014 9:10 pm | by Marty Davidson, VP Engineering & Network Operations, SCTE | Articles | Comments

PNM began with CableLabs’ reference implementation of their tool utilizing pre-equalization to address linear noise and interference problems. But PNM today is much more than pre-equalization. It’s about customers, it’s about their quality of experience, and it’s about operational efficiency and changing the way we look at service performance.

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Watching TV: Ciciora’s Corner

December 2, 2014 8:42 pm | by Walt S. Ciciora, Expert on cable and consumer electronics issues | Articles | Comments

Many years ago, late at night, my wife came into the family room and asked me what I was doing. I told her I was “watching TV.” She noted that there was no programing on, just a test pattern. I wasn’t watching programming, I was watching TV! As an engineer in the research department at Zenith in the Chicago area, I was educating my eyes.

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November / December 2014

December 2, 2014 8:26 pm | by CED | Digital Editions | Comments

In this issue, we profile Sherita Ceaser, the recipient of the 2014 Women In Technology Award. CED editors attended the 2014 Cable-Tec Expo, caught up on keynotes, sampled the seminars, and sat through the sessions to bring you a comprehensive overview of the technologies that are driving progress in the cable industry. Contributed articles address managing networks – one looks at smart home networks, the other at the cloud.

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Lip synch revisited: Capital Currents

December 2, 2014 7:57 pm | by Jeffrey Krauss, President of Telecommunications and Technology Policy | Articles | Comments

Ever since the earliest days of digital television, broadcasters have struggled to deliver a television signal with the sound and picture synchronized. That’s because the end-to-end chain from production to compression to storage to distribution to decompression consists of devices that each introduce some latency.

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