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Broadband Direct

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

MEMORY LANE: Measuring Progress

February 28, 2009 7:20 pm | by Stewart Schley, Media & technologywriter, Denver, Colo. | Comments

Interest in electrical light alone wouldn't be enough to provoke a build-out of first-generation networks for moving electricity across cities and towns. There had to be proof that the economics of charging for electricity would work to produce an investment return on the laborious task of wiring the community and building the grid.

Open Mic: Cable's proactive approach to keeping video customers

February 28, 2009 7:15 pm | by John Callahan, CTO of ActiveVideo Networks | Comments

As broadband infrastructure becomes a viable medium for video delivery to the consumer, television is being hard-pressed to provide the same level of choice and control that Web video offers to viewers – especially "the Millennials," who are our future market.

CAPITAL CURRENTS: Oops!

February 28, 2009 7:10 pm | by Jeffrey Krauss, President of Telecommunications and Technology Policy | Comments

It seems that DirecTV made a major blunder in interpreting an FCC technical rule, and as a result lost its place in line for a valuable broadcasting satellite slot.

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Web Extras - March 2009

February 28, 2009 7:00 pm | Comments

"When commercial services first started taking off, customers typically were larger and were served via a CWDM-based network. The filters and drop cables needed to connect a subscriber were often spliced into existing closures, leveraging optical cables already in place for residential broadband services. As long as customers remained few and far between, this one-at-a-time method worked well.

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Preconnectorized solutions: For state-of-the-art optical access deployments

February 28, 2009 7:00 pm | by Mark Conner, market development manager at Corning Cable Systems | Comments

For commercial services now, and residential services in the future, preconnectorized assemblies enable very rapid network deployment, usually at similar or better total installed cost compared with current methods. Ultimately, the design methods and solution sets will be similar for both commercial and residential services.

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You Snooze, You Lose

January 31, 2009 7:50 pm | by Brian Santo, Editor | Comments

MSOs have been hearing it for years, that providing business services is like printing money. It turns out the enterprise market is fruit that isn’t hanging all that low, but small- and medium-size businesses (SMBs) represent a clearly lucrative market that even the smallest operators can justify targeting.

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Next-generation set-tops and TVs

January 31, 2009 7:45 pm | by Hugh Carter Donahue, analyst and consultant on communications applications and policies | Comments

Digital set-top boxes and television receivers with robust memory and processing power will take on greater roles as cash registers and marketing agents in interactive and broadband video and advertising markets.

Consider the business of commercial installations

January 31, 2009 7:40 pm | by Jim Barthold, Contributing Editor | Comments

While telephone techs were viewed, fairly or not, as professionals with crisp, clean outfits and white-gloved hands, cable installers were perceived as shirt tail out, tobacco-chewing, wall-drilling invaders who are only slightly more welcome than carpenter ants.

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IN PERSPECTIVE: Cable’s cannibal diet

January 31, 2009 7:35 pm | by Brian Santo, Editor | Comments

I got a demo of the Clear residential/mobile service last month, in a car with an in-dash screen and WiMAX (and Wi-Fi – Wi-Fi can come free with WiMAX). As we drove across the Willamette River and back, then picked our way through downtown Portland, Ore., Clear was easily downloading video from YouTube and Hulu.

MEMORY LANE: When the Internet went higher

January 31, 2009 7:30 pm | by Stewart Schley, Media & technology writer, Denver, Colo. | Comments

Imagine the Internet didn’t flow from a tangle of buried wires but instead rained down freely from the sky. Wherever you go, it’s there, nearly anywhere in the world, its presence orchestrated by a band of satellites that toss signals to one another like baseballs, assuring seamless connectivity.

Open Mic - Near-term strategies for optimizing bandwidth

January 31, 2009 7:25 pm | by John Roy, Vice president of cable operations and engineering for the Comcast Media Center | Comments

Despite the current economy, there are a number of cost-effective solutions that can help cable system operators grow their businesses and improve their competitive position.

CICIORA’S CORNER: Engineering projects and the Panama Canal

January 31, 2009 7:20 pm | by Walter S. Ciciora, Ph.D., Recognized Industry Expert on Cable and Consumer Electronics Issues | Comments

The first part of the story is a lesson in how a major success does not mean there will necessarily be another. The story starts much earlier with the French entrepreneur, Ferdinand de Lesseps, who built the 119-mile-long Suez Canal.

CAPITAL CURRENTS: Unethical behavior in Kevin Martin’s FCC

January 31, 2009 7:15 pm | by Jeffrey Krauss, President of Telecommunications and Technology Policy | Comments

By the time you read this, Kevin Martin will no longer be FCC chairman, and we can all say good riddance. Late in his term, the Congress investigated reports of corruption and deceit at the agency. The result was a report full of name-calling...

Web Extras - February 2009

January 31, 2009 7:05 pm | Comments

The Evolution of Traffic Optimization - The challenges facing today’s broadband network are a result of technical and business decisions made early in the evolution of public data networks.

The Evolution of Traffic Optimization

January 31, 2009 7:00 pm | by Don Bowman, Sandvine's co-founder and CTO | Comments

The challenges facing today's broadband network are a result of technical and business decisions made early in the evolution of public data networks.

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