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Broadband Direct

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

MEMORY LANE: Bring on the juice

June 30, 2009 8:20 pm | by Stewart Schley, Media & technologywriter, Denver, Colo. | Comments

According to the 1930 U.S. Census, 90 percent of the nation’s rural dwellers had no electricity. That is to say, no way to store meat without it spoiling and no way to light rooms at night except for candles or kerosene lamps. These conveniences were by then familiar to the majority of Americans who had electricity in the 1930s.

Open Mic: The value of learning through an SCTE chapter

June 30, 2009 8:15 pm | by Tom Gorman, SCTE board chairman and vice president of field operations for Charter Communications | Comments

On any given day, at any cable operator’s tech center, training is going on for: safety, competition, VoIP, SDV, tru2way, HD, new sales incentives, customer service, how to use reports, Cable 101, etc.

CAPITAL CURRENTS: Old waiver requests never die

June 30, 2009 8:10 pm | by Jeffrey Krauss, President of Telecommunications and Technology Policy | Comments

Back in 2006, a company called Clarity Media filed a waiver request under the FCC’s Cable Television Relay Service (CARS) rules to deliver multichannel digital television service at some 250 truck stops around the country.

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All-fiber access network design using branch-connected terminals

June 30, 2009 8:05 pm | by Teresa Bazzle, Systems Engineer & Mark Conner, Market Development Manager, of Corning Cable Systems | Comments

“I want my HDTV” – several feeds of it, in fact, along with 20 Mbps Internet, streaming video and a single provider for everything. The growing appetite for bandwidth is changing the business model again.

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ROADMs make PMD mitigation a must

June 30, 2009 8:00 pm | by Mike Andrews, System Sales Specialist for Exfo | Comments

While today’s network equipment technology can support higher data rates, including 40 Gbps, existing optical links are not necessarily ready for the upgrade.

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Web Extras - July 2009

June 30, 2009 8:00 pm | Comments

One type of optical degradation is polarization mode dispersion (PMD), and it’s becoming a bigger problem than previously anticipated. Mike Andrews of Exfo discusses a means of characterizing and alleviating the problem... CED’s editors are now diving deeper, providing additional perspective on some of the top stories in the news. Visit our site for editor Brian Santo’s blog, “And Another Thing,” and get additional insights from senior editor Mike Robuck’s blog, “Write Stuff.”

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SCTE rides engineering renaissance

June 1, 2009 10:10 am | by Mike Robuck | Comments

The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers has built up a mountain of accomplishments during its previous 40 years of existence, and now that mountaintop is providing a good perch for where the association needs to go in the future.

ARE YOU EXPERIENCED?

May 31, 2009 8:45 pm | by Brian Santo, Editor | Comments

There’s been a lot of talk, talk, talk about quality of experience in the last few years, but now the industry is beginning to walk the walk. Operators have been educating themselves about, and are beginning to implement, technologies and processes to provide QoE, and that is encouraging more vendors to support those efforts.

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WHITE SPACE - Not everyone appreciates free air

May 31, 2009 8:40 pm | by Jim Barthold, Contributing Editor | Comments

Even gas stations don’t give out free air anymore, so it’s little wonder that the federal government’s offer of free air – unpaid access to the wireless radio spectrum known as white space – is meeting a mixture of skepticism, confusion, and even some resistance throughout the telecom space.

WIRELESS BROADBAND - Preparing for the quad play

May 31, 2009 8:35 pm | by David Ginsburg, vice president of marketing at InnoPath Software | Comments

The road to 4G has two branches: WiMAX and Long Term Evolution. For a number of years now, operators – mostly in emerging regions – have been trialing WiMAX. There have already been a few commercial deployments, notable among them the launch of Clearwire’s Clear WiMAX service in Baltimore and Portland, Ore., and this month in Atlanta.

IN PERSPECTIVE: Neglect in D.C.

May 31, 2009 8:30 pm | by Brian Santo, Editor | Comments

The NCTA should be proud for having staged a Cable Show 2009 that was a business, technological and political success. The SCTE, WICT, NAMIC and Walter Kaitz Foundation got short shrift, however. I heard no complaints about the quality of their events, but they were all compromised by a lack of visibility and accessibility.

MEMORY LANE: Who’s calling?

May 31, 2009 8:25 pm | by Stewart Schley, Media & technologywriter, Denver, Colo. | Comments

This is a tough one for young peopleto fathom, but there was a time when you didn’t know who was calling on the telephone until you lifted the receiver and said, “Hello?” Phones rang and people answered, and only then was revealed the identity of the caller – friend, spouse, seller of encyclopedias or carpet-cleaning services.

CICIORA’S CORNER: The Early Television Museum

May 31, 2009 8:20 pm | by Walter S. Ciciora, Ph.D., Recognized Industry Expert on Cable and Consumer Electronics Issues | Comments

I just returned from the 2009 Early Television Convention in Hilliard, Ohio. It was an enjoyable and informative event. I would encourage spending some time on the museum’s Web site. But do it when you have time to browse because you could end up spending several hours without even realizing it.

Open Mic: Path to addressable ads goes through virtual zones

May 31, 2009 8:15 pm | by Ran Oz, CTO, executive vicepresident and co-founder of BigBand Networks | Comments

Cable operators continue to look for ways to enhance TV advertising, which has remained a valuable source of income with an annual growth rate of around 5 percent. Today’s economic climate requires any new initiatives, advertising-related or otherwise.

CAPITAL CURRENTS: Motorola vs. the cable industry

May 31, 2009 8:10 pm | by Jeffrey Krauss, President of Telecommunications and Technology Policy | Comments

It’s not too often that you see a telecom equipment vendor taking a public position that is adverse to the position of its customers. But that’s exactly what is going on in the FCC white spaces proceeding.

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