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Broadband Direct

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

Next-generation FSS may prove formidable

April 30, 1997 8:00 pm | by Fred Dawson | Comments

Terrestrial network strategists researching the business prospects for evolving satellite capabilities can find reasons for both relief and concern, depending on how far out they look. For operators of wireline broadband networks, the good news is that, even if Rupert Murdoch's much discussed "Death Star" project clears its regulatory and business hurdles, it won't have the technical wherewitha...


Backlash is music to an operator's ears

April 30, 1997 8:00 pm | by Roger Brown | Comments

Take a look at the nascent personal communications services industry. Remember how excited everyone got when this new service was proposed? It seemingly had something for everyone — smaller cellular telephones with longer battery life, digital modulation, and cheaper prices, to boot. Along with the service came the vision of one person/one phone number and a host of other intriguing possi...


Cox steps up to the plate with telephony in California

April 30, 1997 8:00 pm | by Dave Woodrow, Cox Communications Senior Vice President, Broadband Services; and Guy Gill, Nortel Vice President/General Manager, Access Networks | Comments

In early 1996, with the ink still damp on the Telecommunications Act, Cox Communications was actively exploring the "hows" and "whens" of providing wired voice services to its cable TV customers. Its telephony initiative got a jump-start when Westwood Residential, a Dallas-based developer with southern California expansion plans, approached Cox's Orange County operations to find out just how ca...


Ready to take off?

April 30, 1997 8:00 pm | by Compiled by CED Staff and Written by Michael Lafferty | Comments

Ah, the fickle finger of fate. During the last decade and a half in the cable industry, that finger has been pointing all over the map, and back again, a number of times. Remember the 500-channel universe? Interactive television? Digital television? High-definition television? How about cable telephony? According to some industry observers (both informed and uninformed), the fickle finger of fa...


Rain and its effects on microwave spectrum

April 30, 1997 8:00 pm | by Jeffrey Krauss, Intellectual Property Developer and President of Telecommunications and Technology Policy | Comments

The auction prices will depend on the marketplace opportunity for the service that the spectrum will be used for, but also on the effect of rain. Upcoming microwave auctions The major auction in 1997 or early 1998 will be Local Multipoint Distribution Service (LMDS), for a license of 1150 MHz of spectrum at 28 GHz in each of about 500 Rand McNally Basic Trading Areas (BTAs).

Operational issues for digital have arrived

April 30, 1997 8:00 pm | by Wendell Bailey | Comments

The FCC rules under which this service is to be offered are rather strict. The broadcasters in the top-10 markets must begin providing a digital signal within two years, and there are different, but strict, timetables for those in the second and lower markets. The NCTA has, for several years, had a consistent position on how, and under what circumstances this allotment would take place.

For cable, there are numbers in safety

April 30, 1997 8:00 pm | by Craig Kuhl | Comments

It's probably safe to say that accidents, especially job-related ones, don't just "happen." When they do, the ripple effect is felt far beyond the victims, their families, and co-workers, reaching all the way to the company's bottom line. For the cable industry, getting the job done safely is an attitude with growing pains.

Operators look at back-door telephony service

March 31, 1997 7:00 pm | by Dana Cervenka | Comments

Just when cable engineers thought they were beginning to get the technical issues surrounding the provision of broadband data services under control, up jumps an unexpected opportunity—or distraction? Now that operators are putting their plans to offer fullscale cablephone service on hold, they are starting to take a hard look at what it would take to provide various incarnations of Inter...


Gaining momentum using two-way coax plant for data

March 31, 1997 7:00 pm | by Alon Carmeli, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Terayon Corp. | Comments

Internet access holds great promise for all levels of cable operators — from large MSOs to small independents. Data services represent a new and potentially significant, fast-growing revenue stream. However, use of first-generation cable modem solutions requires operators to upgrade their cable plants from one-way coaxial plants to hybrid fiber/coax (HFC) networks, thus spending up to $20...


Real-world data story looks promising

March 31, 1997 7:00 pm | by Roger Brown | Comments

Instead, I paused. Thoughts of 500 channels, digital compression, full service networks, interactive TV, Teletext and other failures or missteps flooded my brain. I've seen a lot of neat technology that never went anywhere, largely for non-technical reasons (interdiction, anyone?). So, call me skeptical.

A role for ATM managing local traffic

March 31, 1997 7:00 pm | by Fred Dawson | Comments

Cable and other competitors to the local exchange carriers are at a crossroads when it comes to choosing how they will interface their networks with the networking world at large. In a nutshell, the question comes down to figuring what role, if any, ATM (asynchronous transfer mode) should play in managing local traffic.


Supplying too much of the wrong thing?

March 31, 1997 7:00 pm | by Wendell Bailey | Comments

Perhaps that is a little too cruel. Let me try this: the primary goal of groups that seek to promote public technology is to make sure that no one is left out of the benefits that these technologies offer. There, that sounds better. No matter how you say it, it still comes down to this: how do we make sure that the riches of the Internet and cable TV and telephone connectivity reach those who a...

Putting the interactive platform in place

February 28, 1997 7:00 pm | by Dana Cervenka | Comments

Remember the movie "Tron," where ordinary human beings were sucked up into the innards of their computers, becoming strange participants in a hidden, electronic world? While today's consumer of video and data services might not be ready to take that much of a plunge, subscribers are embracing better quality, more realistic pictures (a la DBS), as well as a more compelling, interactive entertain...


Are Telcos Headed Back to the Future?

February 28, 1997 7:00 pm | by Fred Dawson | Comments

Are the telcos headed back to the future, with fiber-to-the-home turning out to be proving in at about the timeframe originally projected? The answer is yes, says Pacific Bell CEO Dave Dorman. The RBOC chief sees an aggressive fiber-to-the-home strategy taking shape in the telephone industry, with "at least one major telco" planning to deploy all-optical broadband networks in newbuild installat...


Getting ready for cable's digital era

February 28, 1997 7:00 pm | by Roger Brown | Comments

Pity the poor cable TV set-top box. For at least the past 10 years, everyone from consumers to legislators have been trying to rid the planet of the devices, but "the box" that resides on top of millions of TVs refuses to go away. They have remained ubiquitous simply because of their utility—first as a way for operators to offer more than 13 channels, then as a method to provide volume co...



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