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Broadband Direct

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

Cutting up the pie and taking a bite

November 30, 1998 7:00 pm | by Roger Brown, Editor | Comments

They clearly don't like the idea, but cable operators who plan to capitalize on the impending standardization of high-speed data modems by having them sold at local retail outlets may have to be prepared to share some of their monthly subscription revenues. That economic paradigm may come as a tough pill to swallow, but retailers will demand some sort of revenue "annuity" over and above hardwar...

Magic Eight-ball says...

November 30, 1998 7:00 pm | by Roger Brown, Editor in Chief | Comments

With the well-publicized and impending Triple Whammy (the simultaneous end of a decade/end of a century/end of a millennium) getting so much attention in the media, we'll soon be reading plenty of retrospectives concerning just about every conceivable subject. Newspapers, magazines, television and every other outlet will be featuring the top tumultuous events that have shaped our history, and w...

Putting the pieces together for VoIP

November 30, 1998 7:00 pm | by Jim Albrycht, Technical Consultant, Nortel Networks | Comments

With the implementation of broadband networks, subscribers can utilize simultaneous video, voice and data services over a two-way connection. Taking advantage of this technology, cable operators are beginning to offer subscribers a two-way broadband service, both in real-time and store-and-forward modes.


Cable operators go the distance

November 30, 1998 7:00 pm | by Roger Brown, Editor | Comments

With all the focus on residential telephony provision over HFC networks, many lose sight of the fact that a wide range of "other" telephony services can be profitably provided by cable operators to their customers. Services such as shared-tenant services, coin phones, business-to-business services and the like are all ripe for the picking.


Small ops look to digital alternatives

November 30, 1998 7:00 pm | by Craig Kuhl, Contributing Editor | Comments

Digital technology's lofty status as the cable industry's newest poster child is generating more interest and increasing the momentum into digital services for many cable operators. No doubt, digital will be widely deployed in the coming years, offering highly touted services such as video, Internet, high-speed data and more, along with the magical technology which promises to bring breathtakin...


Cable's early adopters of telephony

November 30, 1998 7:00 pm | by Michael Lafferty, Associate Editor | Comments

While analysts have pointed their fingers at the pending merger of AT&T and TCI as the first true sign of impending telecommunications competition, the fact is that a handful of operators are already taking it to the RBOCs. These MSOs are reaching out and touching thousands of subscribers by leveraging their upgraded networks to deliver not only video and high-speed data, but facilities-bas...

It's a circuit-switched world for now, but everyone's talking about IP

November 30, 1998 7:00 pm | by David Iler, Associate Editor | Comments

In a short span of a few months, telephony-over-cable has quickly moved from lady-in-waiting to center stage. This "marriage" of telephony and HFC was consummated this summer when the most sober of corporations, AT&T, announced its merger with Tele-Communications Inc. AT&T further drove home its commitment to telephony-over-HFC when, in October, it placed an initial order of $50 million...

Who's driving the broadband bus?

October 31, 1998 7:00 pm | by Andy Paff, Chief Technology Officer, Worldbridge Broadband Services | Comments

Cable operators tend to think narrowly about the HFC (hybrid fiber/coax) local access world when it comes to emerging telecom standards and services. Broadband local access is one of the most difficult and expensive issues facing the evolution of the public network. It's also been the most visible concern throughout the 1990s.


New products, November 1998

October 31, 1998 7:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

Monitoring ingress Trilithic's Ingress monitoring system


Is IP telephony in your future?

October 31, 1998 7:00 pm | by Fred Dawson, Contributing Editor | Comments

The technical pieces are rapidly coming together to open a path for cable into a vast range of service possibilities revolving around the functionalities of IP telecommunications. Within the industry, the two leading task forces charged with defining the parameters that will make such services possible are close to solidifying the key draft specifications as vendors prepare to roll out products...

Set-top box operating systems

October 31, 1998 7:00 pm | by David Iler, Associate Editor | Comments

The "brains" inside the next generation of advanced digital set-top boxes will be any one of a number of small, sophisticated operating systems that fall within the burgeoning category of "embedded applications." For now, PowerTV, the operating system chosen for Time Warner's Pegasus box, and Windows CE, the OS apparently selected by Tele-Communications Inc.

Set-top boxes: Get ready for the never-ending upgrades

October 31, 1998 7:00 pm | by Michael Lafferty, Associate Editor. | Comments

As the cable industry ventures ever further into the digital era and begins wide-scale deployment of set-tops, like it or not, the industry will discover, and more importantly have to learn to live with Moore's Law-that components will get better, faster and cheaper every 18 months. As a result, cable professionals will be living their own version of the popular children's fable and movie, "The...

OpenCable closing in on a standard

October 31, 1998 7:00 pm | by Michael Lafferty, Associate Editor | Comments

Just like cable modems, the key to an interoperable, retail-available digital set-top is a standard to which manufacturers around the world can build. And just like cable modems, the digital set-top standard has made incredible progress in a short amount of time. It was only a year ago that CableLabs' Executive Committee officially stepped on the gas and put the "OpenCable" standardization effo...

Turnkey solutions: Bringing smaller ops online

September 30, 1998 8:00 pm | by Michael Lafferty, Associate Editor. | Comments

Conventional wisdom says high-speed data-over-cable means you have to be big for the economics to work. As a result, companies have been designing huge data networks and planning for the traffic they'll carry. Yet interestingly, mid-sized and small operators are rushing into the high-speed data industry, often beating their larger brethren to the punch.

Comparing high-speed data turnkey providers, part I

September 30, 1998 8:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

Below is part I of CED's October, 1998 comparison of high-speed data turnkey providers, which accompanied our article: Turnkey solutions: Bringing smaller ops online. Subscriber/customer totals represent cable subs or homes passed by a cable system. @Home Network 25 Broadway Redwood City, CA 94063 Tel: 650-569-5000; Fax: 650-569-5100 Web address: http://www.


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