Later this year, Iridium's satellites will be "de-orbited," and they will burn up as they fall. This column explains what went wrong, and the implications. Mobile satellite service Iridium was designed to offer "mobile satellite service," or MSS service to mobile terminals. There are several other MSS systems operating, including Inmarsat and American Mobile Satellite Corp.
The funny thing about being so closely associated with a growth industry (like the "broadband" industry has become) is that when it gets hot—really hot—companies come out of the woodwork with new ideas they sometimes laughingly call "solutions." Marketing executives will actually stand up in front of people and try to make you wonder how you've gotten along for oh-so-many years with...
Every shining success is shadowed by risks, and nowhere is that truer than in the world of Internet access. In this area, the risks come from hackers. Trouble is, "the risks go up as things like ease of connectivity increase," says Frederick Avolio, president of the computer security firm Avolio Consulting.
Once upon a time, in several cities not so far away, a triumvirate of aggressive cable MSOs that had grown up happy and contented delivering video to the masses, began to offer telephony services to their customers. The goal was simple: To siphon off some of the lucrative telephony revenue that had been hoarded by the evil and wicked incumbent Local Exchange Carriers.
For the last month or so, I've appeared as an expert witness on behalf of the cable industry at Open Access hearings, explaining why Open Access is not technically feasible right now. While there are some ISPs who really would like to become resellers of cable modem service, on the whole, this debate has become one of religion and trying to slow the rollout of cable modem service.
While it appears a network-based powering system eventually will replace batteries, one unavoidable delimiting factor that must be accounted for is the legacy tap behind a customer's house, Spoor cautions. "Typically, cable plant will have 60 or 90 volts running down the line, but that power is blocked at the tap," he says.
Fee, fi, fo, fum. I smell the blood of an IP bum! While it ain't exactly Grimm's Fairy Tales verbatim, there may be a few digital subscriber line (DSL) giants out there grumbling that refrain as they see the voice-over-IP (VoIP) efforts of a few adventurous operators in the United States and Canada. And given the predicted jackpot, it's no wonder this scramble for the golden IP goose may blow e...
"Cable-ready" is a term originally adopted unilaterally by the consumer electronics industry, without permission or consultation with the cable industry. Many years ago, television tuners involved multiple mechanical switches and a rather cumbersome turret apparatus. The switch contacts were subject to corrosion and wear.
A few random notes I've had over the past few weeks: When you live in the limelight, you need to be careful of everything you say and do. For people like America Online's Steve Case and Global Crossing's Leo Hindery, I can't help but wonder what it must be like to make some very public statements, only to have to spin them later.
... part II Newbridge, which just won the contract for buildout of a nationwide LMDS network in Belgium by British Telecom subsidiary BT Belgium, has taken pains to integrate wireless broadband access capabilities into its multi-platform edge switches to support the needs of major U.S. carriers like MCI Worldcom, Sprint and NextLink Communications for efficient means of operating over a mix of ...
On the surface, the seven-layer OSI (Open Systems Interconnect) model seems relatively easy to grasp. From the transmission medium-oriented physical layer (Layer 1) to the data program management-related application layer (Layer 7), OSI was designed as a logical flow model to define all the elements necessary to enable any two computer systems anywhere to communicate.
Over the past two to three years, as the cable TV industry fondly made predictions about the impact a standards-based cable modem would have on its bottom line, it gave only passing attention to how millions of these high-speed money makers were actually going to be deployed. Fortunately, the magnitude of this undertaking is finally getting the attention it deserves.
On May 10, 2000, the FCC is scheduled to begin what could become the biggest (dollar-wise) spectrum auction yet. The bands 747–762 MHz and 777–792 MHz will be auctioned. This could bring in more dollars than the PCS auctions, because this spectrum is more desirable. Or maybe not, because the winners won't get to use the spectrum for a number of years.
Whether the mega mergers roiling cable lead to intense new competition among top players or to new levels of cooperation, it seems safe to say that one result of the intensifying scramble to stay on top could be the eventual dominance of cable's infrastructure in local broadband communications transport.
I'm glad to have an opportunity to write my first column for this magazine in 10 years. An enormous number of things have happened in the cable industry since then, although, looking back through old issues of CED, I see the seeds of many of the things that are transforming the industry today. Thirty years ago, the cable industry was tiny, serving subscribers scattered through small-town Americ...