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Broadband Direct

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

Taking backup power underground

November 30, 1996 7:00 pm | by Roger Brown | Comments

Once considered little more than a technical curiosity by some engineers, it now appears that backup electrical power from high-speed flywheel technology could be a viable option for telecommunications network providers within the next 12 to 18 months. After more than a year of development, Cambridge, Mass.


Dead in Its Tracks?

November 30, 1996 7:00 pm | by Alan Stewart | Comments

Once viewed as the telephone industry's secret weapon in its war with cable TV providers, asymmetrical digital subscriber line (ADSL) seems to have been sidelined by the baby Bells as they scramble to maintain their local loop monopoly. In a blow to U.S. ADSL vendors who saw their stock value tumble, Ameritech, BellSouth, Pacific Bell and SBC Communications retained France's Alcatel Telecom as ...


Testing 256 QAM transmission of data over HFC

November 30, 1996 7:00 pm | by Marc Ryba, Senior Project Engineer; and Paul Matuszak, Senior Project Engineer, GI Communications Division, Eastern Operations, General Instrument Corp. | Comments

Addressing industry demands for more efficient bandwidth utilization and building on its experience with 64 QAM transmission over cable, General Instrument has developed a 256 QAM transmission system that provides far more efficient use of cable system bandwidth and expands channel capacity. This expanded channel capacity results in a 44 percent increase in information rate and a 50 percent inc...


What comes around ...

November 30, 1996 7:00 pm | by Thomas J. Staniec, VP — Network Engineering, The Excalibur Group, A Time Warner Company | Comments

"Return Systems 101" (see CED, August 1995, p.66) opened with the theme, "Everything Old is New Again." This article could be paraphrased as "what goes around, comes around." As more networks are being activated with operational two-way signal flow, more questions and ideas surface. Some questions are new and need answers.


RBOCs: slapping their best customers

November 30, 1996 7:00 pm | by Roger Brown | Comments

This is exactly the kind of thinking that has some of the RBOCs, unable to keep up with increased demand for more lines, cellular and other services, in trouble with local utility commissions. Specifically, Pacific Telesis, US West and Bell Atlantic are pointing to a new Bellcore study that says the increasing popularity of the Internet is clogging the nation's telephone lines, making it much m...

The Internet and the telephone network

November 30, 1996 7:00 pm | by Jeffrey Krauss, Surfing the Telephone Net and President of Telecommunications and Technology Policy | Comments

Now the telephone industry has raised a new complaint—Internet subscribers are screwing up telephone networks because the networks weren't designed for Internet connections. Phone companies just can't get it through their monopoly mindset that when customer demand patterns change, the service has to change.


Evolution of the local phone market

October 31, 1996 7:00 pm | by Jeffrey Krauss, Waiting for Local Phone Competition and President of Telecommunications and Technology Policy | Comments

Today, there are many potential competitors on the horizon, each associated with a particular technology — cellular, PCS, LMDS, DEMS, 38 GHz, optical fiber, and of course, cable TV. But I believe that in the long run, there will be consolidation, and there will be a small number of competitors, each utilizing a mix of technologies.


Telco video plans becoming clearer all the time

October 31, 1996 7:00 pm | by Roger Brown, Michael Lafferty and Dana Cervenka | Comments

What a difference two years can make. Back in 1994, the buzz around the telecom industry was how every major telephone company was going to aggressively upgrade its network with fiber optics and would be offering a suite of broadband services (e.g., cable TV, interactive entertainment and information, home shopping) to American consumers — all within a tight timespan.


Local telcos, cable companies partner for profit

October 31, 1996 7:00 pm | by Ken Pyle, Product Manager, E/O Networks | Comments

The paradigm for manufacturing companies has shifted from the vertically integrated manufacturer of the postwar era to one working in concert with partner companies to create end-products. Companies may be partners at one level, such as manufacturing, while they compete at another level, such as marketing the product to the consumer.


Is data simply today's CB craze?

October 31, 1996 7:00 pm | by Roger Brown | Comments

For example, at last month's Convergence: Digital Television and Internet conference in San Jose, Stephen Weiswasser, president and CEO of the Americast consortium, was decidedly bearish. "The number of people on-line and the growth rate of on-line is decreasing significantly," he was quoted as saying.

How to build a stainless steel house

October 31, 1996 7:00 pm | by Wendell Bailey | Comments

The best known of these early efforts was the QUBE system by Warner Cable. This service was used in several communities, and was the subject of literally thousands of articles about future two-way offerings. One of the issues that began to surface in late 1981 was directly related to the QUBE service.

Digital video and transport connectivity options

October 31, 1996 7:00 pm | by Jay Shuler, Senior Manager of Broadband Applications, Nortel (Northern Telecom), Atlanta | Comments

Many cable providers understand the compelling need to migrate to an all-digital network, for reasons including pristine signal quality over any distance, rock-solid reliability (bit error rates of up to 1 error in 1,000,000,000,000,000), compatibility with existing long-haul telecom networks and flexibility to accommodate every conceivable type of service.


CED Archive:

October 31, 1996 7:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

Davis says he has talked to some subscribers who are quite pleased with the service. In fact, he says he's even received calls from some people who aren't in the test wondering when they can sign up for SBC's cable service. The FTTC architecture itself has been fleshed out by suppliers like AT&T and Broadband Technologies Inc.


New trend: Traffic control times two

October 31, 1996 7:00 pm | by Tom Robinson | Comments

Yes, I am one of those folks who attempt to get work accomplished while inching down the highway, and yes, I do understand that this increases my chances of being involved in a fender- bender. But currently, at the 0 mph that I'm traveling, the chances of any vehicle-to-vehicle contact are remote. So first I'm wondering, is there anything that could help alleviate this situation and enable me t...


Digital TV equals big electric bills

September 30, 1996 8:00 pm | by Jeffrey Krauss, Electric Bill Payer and President of Telecommunications and Technology Policy | Comments

It shows that some broadcasters will be hit with big electric bills, because they have to use UHF channels for DTV, rather than their current VHF channels. In addition, I've noted some new interference problems that could arise, one of which could affect cable TV. The new assignment table The FCC plans to give each existing TV broadcaster a second TV channel to use for DTV.


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