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Broadband Direct

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

DSL providers grab for cable's data bounty

May 31, 2000 8:00 pm | by James Careless, Contributing Editor | Comments

The Canadian digital subscriber line (DSL) market is a paradox. On the one hand, market analysts are predicting a banner year for Canadian DSL. In fact, the Yankee Group's Canadian Market Strategies March 2000 report says, "The year 2000 will mark the beginning of a business DSL boom for the Canadian marketplace.

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Another flavor of must-carry

May 31, 2000 8:00 pm | by Jeffrey Krauss, Datacasting Dervish and President of Telecommunications and Technology Policy | Comments

You are all familiar with the must-carry dispute between broadcasters and cable operators—broadcasters want cable operators to carry their digital signals in their entirety. And cable operators don't want to. But here's a new flavor of must-carry—TV networks want their local broadcast affiliates to carry the digital network feeds in their entirety, and the broadcast stations don't w...

Ka-Boom!

May 31, 2000 8:00 pm | by Michael Lafferty, Associate Editor | Comments

Depending on where you stand, digital television is the greatest thing to come along since color TV, or it's the biggest boondoggle since northern carpetbaggers wreaked havoc in the devastated South after the Civil War. A recent report by Cahners' In-Stat Group (an independent research group owned by CED's parent company, Cahners Business Information), says "good news is on the horizon for the U.

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Making the big push

May 31, 2000 8:00 pm | by Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor | Comments

As the growing ranks of overbuilders construct and deploy fast, high-capacity networks, joining the competitive threat posed by DBS players fashioning high-speed data, time-shifting and interactive services, the buzz they're generating can make it appear to an outside observer like the cable industry is standing still while it watches its own networks grow gray, and long in the tooth.

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Filling in the Gaps

May 31, 2000 8:00 pm | by Roger Brown, Editorial Director and Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor | Comments

When it comes to deploying new services over a cable TV network, the lion's share of the work falls on the shoulders of regional engineers who must do what it takes to make a company's vision come to life. To get a feel for what life is like on the front lines, CED magazine Editorial Director Roger Brown and Senior Editor Jeff Baumgartner convened a telephone panel of four experts.

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V.O.D. is H.O.T.!

May 31, 2000 8:00 pm | by Walter S. Ciciora, Cable Just Needed to Innovate and Apply Large Hard Disks to This Purpose. | Comments

As you may know, CED magazine has a Consulting Engineers Committee. I am honored to chair that committee this year. We recently had our annual meeting to review the current critical topics, so that the CED staff can plan to cover them over the next year or so. I was surprised that by far the most important topic was video-on-demand (VOD).

Reliability through simplicity

May 31, 2000 8:00 pm | by Jim Chiddix, Chief Technical Officer, Time Warner Cable | Comments

Cable operators have long been stigmatized by a perception that their networks are inherently unreliable, yet, reliability has always been a major industry concern. Some of the very first SCTE conferences in the '70s focused on reliability because, at that time, it was common to have 40- or 50-amplifier cascades that, frankly, weren't all that reliable.

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Doing more with less

May 31, 2000 8:00 pm | by Craig Morrall, Product Marketing Manager, Wavetek Wandel Goltermann, Cable Networks Division | Comments

At this point in time, the argument has been presented many times regarding the value of return path monitoring to provide quality service. In this traditional framework, it has proven its worth as an effective tool. However, operators have the unique opportunity to create a new paradigm for return path monitoring that will impact critical areas for the deployment and management of advanced ser...

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Nurturing broadband start-ups

May 31, 2000 8:00 pm | by Roger Brown, Editorial Director | Comments

When semiconductor powerhouse Broadcom Corp. bought a tiny start-up company called Digital Furnace a few weeks ago for a nice, tidy $136 million, it underscored the tremendous value of a good idea. It also proved the old axiom, it's not what you know, it's who you know. Putting researchers and technologists in touch with like-minded people from the business world is the goal of those who run th...

Girls just wanna have fun

May 31, 2000 8:00 pm | by Craig Kuhl, Contributing Editor | Comments

'I think it's kind of a waste of intelligence. Girls like the analytical side, more than just the basic electrical thing."—Fairfax, Va. junior high school girl and her thoughts on a career in technology. Geeky. Boring. Antisocial. Boy-centric and, well, . . . lame. Not exactly flattering terms for IT, high-tech and engineering careers.

Web-based media hits fast track

April 30, 2000 8:00 pm | by Fred Dawson, Contributing Editor | Comments

The pursuit of market opportunities for interactive Web-based entertainment media has moved onto two fast tracks, one devoted to exploiting minimal access speeds to deliver streamed multimedia content, and the other focused on trumping this with media streams that operate in the multi-megabit realm. For players in the first category of streamed service development, the good news is that technic...

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Elbowing their way in

April 30, 2000 8:00 pm | by Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor | Comments

And to think some people have been complaining that the Telecommunications Act of 1996 was a bust. That piece of legislation, which effectively deregulated the telecommunications industry to spur competition in the local loop, has indeed taken time to have an effect. Today, however, network "overbuilders" are returning en masse, loaded with confidence, flush with cash and ready to take on cable...

Stepping outside the Comfort Zone

April 30, 2000 8:00 pm | by CED Staff | Comments

In the end, it all comes down to serving the customer. Remember the old axiom: "Customers don't care how they get their HBO—they just know they want it"? Facing up to that reality is causing a growing number of cable TV system operators to move beyond old business paradigms and embrace the very technologies that used to be considered the exclusive property of their mortal enemies—na...

High on wireless

April 30, 2000 8:00 pm | by Dana Mendell, Executive Editor | Comments

Data (and yes, the money that goes with it) changes everything. The latest case-in-point is broadband wireless technology. Once scoffed at by the wireline establishment as being an inferior Ripple to wireline's Dom Perignon, suddenly, it's looking better and better, thanks in part to the desire of companies everywhere to cash in on the Internet access/datacom frenzy.

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xDSL marks the spot?

April 30, 2000 8:00 pm | by Michael Lafferty, Associate Editor | Comments

For those of the twisted-pair persuasion, transport of digital content (be it voice, video or data) has never been easy. In fact, when ADSL first appeared in the early 1990s and then was transformed into a host of permutations that made it difficult for anyone to keep track of, the situation only got more confused.

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