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Broadband Direct

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

The CBO plays CYA

October 31, 1999 7:00 pm | by Jeffrey Krauss, Spectrum Auction Gambler and and President of Telecommunications and Technology Policy | Comments

Two years ago, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) told Congress that by auctioning off spectrum now used for analog TV broadcasting, the Treasury could raise $6.1 billion. Now the CBO has released a report saying that the $6.1 billion estimate was grossly inflated, but it isn't its fault. In fact, it will be the cable industry that's to blame, because cable won't accept a "must-carry" regime...

Pushing the digital transformation forward

October 31, 1999 7:00 pm | by Roger Brown, Editor-Chief | Comments

It may have come several years later than originally forecast, but cable operators are finally deploying digital video services in significant numbers as they race to keep up-or even surpass-the brisk sales of digital direct broadcast satellite systems. Certainly, consumers are becoming more aware of the benefits of digital video, and are the driving force behind the new push.

Retail know - how

October 31, 1999 7:00 pm | by Roger Brown, Editor in chief | Comments

The recently-announced merger of industry icon General Instrument with global behemoth Motorola has the potential to shake up the cable TV marketplace as never before. The ramifications of the marriage between the two companies run both wide and deep. Motorola recognizes that companies that can offer integrated communications services will be highly successful in tomorrow's marketplace.

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More on "open access"(2)

September 30, 1999 8:00 pm | by Jeffrey Krauss, Unbundled Accessory and President of Telecommunications and Technology Policy | Comments

Arguments over "open access"-AOL's political play to get access to cable modem subscribers-always seem to deal with legal issues-whether or not local franchising authorities have jurisdiction, whether cable modem service is cable service or telephone service, etc. Nobody is talking about the technical and operational difficulties in accomplishing open access.

Case closed? Beating down the 'access doors'

September 30, 1999 8:00 pm | by Roger Brown, Editor-Chief | Comments

Imagine, for just a minute, that you're the world's largest Internet Service Provider, dominating a country that has gone absolutely Internet ga-ga. You have more than 17 million paying subscribers and a market capitalization higher than some countries. You have the power to make or break certain "dot-com" companies simply by choosing to (or not to) make a deal with them.

Caseclosed?Beatingdownthe'accessdoors'

September 30, 1999 8:00 pm | by Roger Brown, Editor-Chief | Comments

Imagine, for just a minute, that you're the world's largest Internet Service Provider, dominating a country that has gone absolutely Internet ga-ga. You have more than 17 million paying subscribers and a market capitalization higher than some countries. You have the power to make or break certain "dot-com" companies simply by choosing to (or not to) make a deal with them.

fee, PHY, fo, Fumble

September 30, 1999 8:00 pm | by Michael Lafferty, Associate Editor | Comments

What with the accumulated hyperbole that's built up about the cable industry, high-speed data and cable modems going retail, it really can't be any surprise that the industry itself got caught up in the smaller-better-faster race that's engulfed the high-tech world. No sooner does one high-tech startup company bolt out of the starting blocks, than another entrepreneurial brainstormer shoots out...

More on "open access"

September 30, 1999 8:00 pm | by Jeffrey Krauss, Unbundled Accessory and President of Telecommunications and Technology Policy | Comments

Arguments over "open access"-AOL's political play to get access to cable modem subscribers-always seem to deal with legal issues-whether or not local franchising authorities have jurisdiction, whether cable modem service is cable service or telephone service, etc. Nobody is talking about the technical and operational difficulties in accomplishing open access.

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Digital broadcasting cram down?

September 30, 1999 8:00 pm | by Walter S. Ciciora | Comments

Things that evolve over more than a decade tend to end up in ways not originally envisioned. When powerful special interest groups get involved, the ultimate outcome can become warped and not in the best interest of the public. It appears that this is happening with broadcast digital television. Let's begin the discussion by listing the stakeholders.

A line in the sand

September 30, 1999 8:00 pm | by Roger Brown | Comments

CableLabs didn't want to touch it. The National Cable Television Association said no, thanks. Even some of the most-oft quoted sources in cable TV chose to speak only on background. What is it that's keeping so many people mum? The dreaded "open access" concept. It's simply impossible to find anyone in the cable industry who isn't emotional about the issue.

Home networking: Cable TV's next payoff?

September 30, 1999 8:00 pm | by James Careless, Contributing Editor | Comments

Home networking-connecting multiple devices to a common cable TV connection-used to be a buzzword. Now, it's becoming a reality. The proof: in Canada, Rogers Cablesystems has been quietly rolling out home data networks for its @Home subscribers. The service is known as MIPs. Short for "Multiple IPs," MIPs "gives the customer up to three IP addresses for connecting PCs in the home," says Wayne H...

Squeezing new gear into existing headends

August 31, 1999 8:00 pm | by Craig Kuhl, Contributing Editor | Comments

Space may not be the cable industry's final frontier, but for operators trying to find more of it for their headend equipment, it's close. The advent of advanced services and technologies, including network monitoring, high-speed data, Internet access and more, is bringing with it on-going challenges to cable operators to squeeze more hardware and sophisticated components into an already shrink...

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The next wave: Wireless/wireline hybrids?

August 31, 1999 8:00 pm | by Fred Dawson, Contributing Editor | Comments

Once disparate broadband access strategies are beginning to coalesce around a tightly integrated, hybrid wireline/wireless platform that could pose significant new challenges to the dominant wireline players in cable and telephony. The idea of mixing fixed wireless and wireline components into a single network to accomplish wide and rapid penetration of the local marketplace started to take off...

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Lighting up the neighborhood

August 31, 1999 8:00 pm | by Roger Brown, Editor-Chief; and David Iler, Associate Editor | Comments

Recent advances in optical technology are rapidly making possible something that just a couple of years ago was considered unthinkable: The deployment of fiber to nodes so small that the network has become almost entirely passive, and fiber is pushed so close to the home that consumers can nearly reach out and touch it.

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Home wireless networks

August 31, 1999 8:00 pm | by Jeffrey Krauss, Wireless Netwatcher and President of Telecommunications and Technology Policy | Comments

As we know by now, home phones and computers are often in different rooms than cable boxes, and existing in-home phone wiring may be substandard for digital transmissions. Running new wiring from room to room is time- consuming and expensive. Wireless home networks will emerge in the next year or two as an important alternative.

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