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Broadband Direct

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

One step ahead

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

Through the pages of this report, we intend to help break down the barriers that have traditionally separated cable providers, satellite operators, telecom companies and others who are all striving to offer customers a wide range of high-speed data, video and packet-based voice services. We intend to provide the level of information that lives up to the name of the report series.

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Broadband providers pull banner year

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

Despite an array of potential advanced services set-backsa worldwide shortage of fiber, tuners and memory chips, a disconcertingly empty retail channel for cable modems, and a Gordian knot of software integration problems that tripped up most interactive television effortscable and its broadband competitors posted enormous subscriber gains.

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Whos got the money?

December 31, 2000 7:00 pm | by Craig Kuhl, Contributing Editor | Comments

Call them what you wantoverbuilders, broadband or alternate service providers, even choice providersbut theyre kicking some serious assets into play as they prepare to take on cable and telephone companies in key markets across the country. The expanding war chest for a growing stable of broadband service providers that intend to offer voice, video and data from state-of-the-art networks built ...

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Small towns building broadband futures

December 31, 2000 7:00 pm | by Michael Lafferty, Associate Editor | Comments

Competition. Great word. Great concept. Except when youre the sole provider of a particular product, and someone has the audacity to offer the same thing, usually at a cheaper price, right next door. But, thats the situation more and more cable operators are finding themselves in when municipal-owned utilities decide to take broadband matters into their own hands.

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Austin: Broadband battleground

December 31, 2000 7:00 pm | by Michael Lafferty, Associate Editor | Comments

Its no secret that Texans do everything big. They live big. They spend big. Hell, they even fight big. Remember the Alamo? Well, dont forget Austin either. Yep, thats right, Austin. As the United States enters the digital world of the 21st century, the primary goal of the 1996 Telecommuni-cations Act is finally coming to fruition.

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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...

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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...

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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.

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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.

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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.

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