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Broadband Direct

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

Small ops struggle to launch new services

November 30, 2000 7:00 pm | by Craig Kuhl, Contributing Editor | Comments

For small, independent cable operators, the realities of increasing competition, advancing technologies, lack of access to capital and the growing popularity of new services are presenting both opportunity and concern as they redefine and reinvent their businesses. Small Operators' Numbers Game Average cost of key equipment: Converter boxes—$360 Headends—$360,000 computers—$25...


Internet security challenges

November 30, 2000 7:00 pm | by Jeffrey Krauss, Internet Smurfer and President of Telecommunications and Technology Policy | Comments

The Internet has brought huge changes to the cable industry in the areas of new services and applications, and has created enormous opportunities. But the Internet has also created challenges in the areas of security and copy protection. Because of the Internet, the audio recording industry has lost control of its products, and now the video production industry is running hard to keep from bein...

Taking the hybrid road to IP telephony

November 30, 2000 7:00 pm | by George V. Cook Jr., Cable Technical Marketing Manager, Lucent | Comments

The emergence of converged IP services riding over a cable hybrid fiber/coax (HFC) network promises great opportunities for cable operators, including new revenue from high-speed Internet data, interactive digital television and cable telephony services. How quickly a cable operator can make the jump to offering multiple IP services depends on its business objectives, what its network looks lik...


2001: The dawning of the DOCSIS delivery platform?

November 30, 2000 7:00 pm | by Doug Jones, Chief Architect, YAS Corp. | Comments

Mankind has been in the world for 30,000 years. During the first 29,500 years, the agricultural age, we worked together and created a world of towns and cities of up to 100,000 people. During the last 500 years, we created the industrial age and developed cities of up to 15 million people and the workplace of the past century.

PCDTV cards: Friend or foe to cable?

November 30, 2000 7:00 pm | by James Careless | Comments

Pop quiz: Which room in American homes will likely welcome the first wave of digital television (DTV) sets? Need a hint? It's not likely to be the living room. Why not? Because conventional wide-screen DTV sets currently cost $3,000 or more, and most consumers aren't going to be buying one anytime soon.

Taking aim on ITV

November 30, 2000 7:00 pm | by Leslie Ellis, Technology Analyst | Comments

By the end of this month, cable could count 8.1 million digital cable subscribers, if the top-seven U.S. cable providers continue to attract new customers at the same rate in the fourth quarter as they did in the first half of the year. That's nearly nine percent penetration of about 68 million basic cable subscribers, at an aggregate run rate of about 162,000 new sign-ups each week.

Voting vs. messing with the market

November 30, 2000 7:00 pm | by Walter S. Ciciora, Ph.D., Recognized Industry Expert on Cable and Consumer Electronics Issues | Comments

I am writing this just a few days before going to the polls to vote in the Presidential election. Voting is considered a sacred duty in the United States. Those who don't vote are criticized as being not worthy of democracy. Even those who fail to vote agree that losing the right to vote would be a great tragedy.

Interesting times

November 30, 2000 7:00 pm | by Jim Chiddix, Chief Technical Officer, Time Warner Cable | Comments

We live in "interesting times." Anxiety created by a turbulent and poorly seen future is reflected in the gyrations of the stock market and a kaleidoscope of breathless news stories. Washington, with urging from every stripe of lobbyist, seems desperate to understand, what, if any, regulatory stance it should take.


Balancing power options is no easy task

November 30, 2000 7:00 pm | by Michael Lafferty, Associate Editor | Comments

The cable TV industry has come a long way in the last decade or so, in a lot of different ways. With the introduction of two-way systems for high-speed data and interactive television, and now with the advent of lifeline telephony services, network reliability and the powering systems that make it all possible have become absolutely vital.


Doing my best Jeane Dixon

November 30, 2000 7:00 pm | by Roger Brown, Editorial Director, Broadband | Comments

This time last year, in this space, I cast a deeply sarcastic eye on the events surrounding the cable industry. I then made a humorous (I hope) attempt to predict the major events of 2000. In that commentary, the goal was to look at current trends and match them with outlandish outcomes, all in an effort to make readers think about the kinds of things that just might happen.


Tapping the Braintrust

November 30, 2000 7:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

The cable industry's chief technologists are under immense pressure to lay the foundation that will allow their companies to roll out myriad new services, including digital TV, interactive services, high-speed data and telephony. But as deployments move ever closer, new issues and obstacles crop up. CED Editorial Director Roger Brown, Multichannel News Technology Editor Jeff Baumgartner and ind...

ITV: Your new best friend?

October 31, 2000 7:00 pm | by Leslie Ellis, Technology Analyst | Comments

It used to be that interactive TV was the gently swirling eddy, minding its own business in the wide wake of broadcast digital TV. And what a wake it's been. Throughout the first half of this year, cable's top operators logged an average of 125,000 new digital customers weekly, for a grand total of more than 5.

Competition breeds innovation

October 31, 2000 7:00 pm | by Thomas G. Robinson, Executive Vice President, CBG Communications | Comments

It's often said that necessity is the mother of invention. Similarly, it can be said that competition is the mother of innovation. When it comes to technological innovation, this certainly seems evident in the system architectural concepts pursued by a spate of overbuilders around the country. The various ramifications of all the proposed overbuild activity in the cable services market was a ho...


High reliability: Pulling back the datacom curtain

October 31, 2000 7:00 pm | by Tom Cloonan, CTO; and Don Brown, Director of Software Engineering, CADANT | Comments

In order for the Internet to become the communications network, datacom infrastructure suppliers will have to stop talking about "carrier class" and actually deliver telecom-grade products. Why carrier-class reliability? As Multiple System Operators (MSOs) begin to deliver enhanced services made possible by DOCSIS 1.

Open access: It could get worse

October 31, 2000 7:00 pm | by Roger Brown, Editorial Director, Broadband | Comments

One of the hottest techno-political conversations that's going on in boardrooms around the country these days centers on the issue of service convergence within a cable system. Engineers and network planners are taking good, long looks at their network architectures and are beginning to wonder why they continue to build what is, essentially, a "three silo" network, with separate silos dedicated...


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