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Broadband Direct

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

Memory Lane: Let’s be friends. Again.

September 11, 2013 6:47 pm | by Stewart Schley, Media & technology writer | Comments

The 1980s were sweet times for cable programmers. Flush with cash from a dual-revenue stream economic model that was the envy of the TV business, they were rising in power and eager to grow. Cable companies recognized how essential these programming providers were to the growth of their industry, particularly as cable began to push into major metropolitan markets.

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Capital Currents: 5 GHz Unlicensed Devices

September 11, 2013 6:40 pm | by Jeffrey Krauss, President of Telecommunications and Technology Policy | Comments

 The FCC regulates the 5725-5850 MHz “WiFi” band under Section 15.247 of the FCC Rules. But much of the current interest deals with the bands known as U-NII. An important part of the FCC proceeding deals with two bands in the 5 GHz range that are not currently allocated for either WiFi or U-NII use. The big dispute is over interference.

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Lowering OPEX for VoIP services delivery

August 1, 2013 4:36 pm | by By Dave Martin, vice president of marketing, Edgewater Networks | Comments

The mind-boggling diversity of IP phones, soft clients, and PBX systems in enterprise environments represents both an opportunity for growth as well as a technical and operational challenge for service providers. Business customers are anxious to enter the world of VoIP, cloud-hosted PBXs, unified communications, and other productivity-boosting and cost-cutting alternatives to legacy voice systems.

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Maintaining VOD’s Competitive Edge

August 1, 2013 11:00 am | by Jon Shaver, senior director of content development at Comcast Media Center | Comments

A decade ago, the industry tapped into the potential of centralized solutions, such as content delivery networks (CDN) and super headends (SHE), in order to reduce the capital, infrastructure and management required for receiving traditional set-top box (STB) VOD assets from a variety of content providers. 

Striking twice

July 25, 2013 3:55 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

In 2002, the two satellite companies started touting HD, and only when it became clear that their having more HD channels was gaining traction with consumers did cable companies add some alacrity in their drive to expand their HD packages. 

Say what?

July 25, 2013 3:42 pm | by Stewart Schley | Comments

In the early 1950s a trio of researchers at Bell Laboratories took great pains to hear and understand the varying acoustical patterns associated with the human expression of vowels. They paid attention to subtle differences in the phonetics associated with a soft “o” versus those of an elongated “e.” 

The Next Generation

July 25, 2013 3:13 pm | by Walt S. Ciciora | Comments

Since you are reading this publication, you are most likely a cable telecommunications technologist. If you are like most of the technologists I have known, you enjoy your career and are enthusiastic about all things technical and scientific.

HTML5 and cloud-based UIs – a reality check

July 25, 2013 3:04 pm | by Robin Wilson | Comments

There’s hardly a discussion held today on user interfaces (UI) that does not expound on the wonders of HTML5 as their core building block. And similarly, no future TV delivery platform is fashionable unless it has a cloud-based component.

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Staying energized

July 25, 2013 2:56 pm | by Mark Dzuban | Comments

I’ve never been a fan of the “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” line of thinking. I’ve always felt that it diminishes the importance of education and overweights the value of networking and connections. 

FCC loses a big court appeal

July 25, 2013 2:22 pm | by Jeffrey Krauss | Comments

The FCC has lost another big case at the Court of Appeals, with this one likely to have a big impact on cable TV programmers and the ability of cable operators to decide which programmers to carry, and on which tier. The specific case involves Comcast and the Tennis Channel. 

Time Warner Cable upgrades home phone app

June 19, 2013 1:35 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

The MSO upgraded its VoiceZone Connect App, which now gives TWC phone subscribers access to their home phone service from almost anywhere, at anytime. Customers can now click-to-call outside of the home, enabling them to use their calling plans (including international calling plans), away from home.

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Home automation wherever you are...

June 18, 2013 7:37 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

Home services – packages that include some combination of home automation, home monitoring, and home security – have a long way to go before they rival any of the other elements in the residential bundle in terms of revenue. But the potential is there and initial indications are highly encouraging.

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Comcast's Stemper takes care of business

June 18, 2013 7:11 pm | by Mike Robuck | Comments

Bill Stemper, president of Comcast Business Services, spent part of the Cable Show in Washington D.C. being honored by his peers in the cable industry. After a 30-year-career in cable, Stemper chalked up a win in the National Cable & Telecommunications Association’s Vanguard Awards in the cable operations and management category.

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Exploring the benefits of a Fiber Deep architecture

June 18, 2013 6:47 pm | by John Dahlquist | Comments

Regulators, institutions and businesses all continue to expand green initiatives. Cable operators are no exception to this trend as they continue to look for ways that can help them reduce power consumption and evolve their networks in order to increase their return on investment and become more socially responsible.

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Deploying CCAP: Not just another box swap

June 18, 2013 6:24 pm | by Jorge Salinger and Ty Pearman | Comments

As service offerings continue to expand and the end users’ appetite for these services continues to grow, MSOs are putting a tremendous effort into keeping up with the demands on the edge network. The concern is the finite resources, including space, power and cooling, used to handle these expansions within the headend and/or hub.

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