Subscribe to CED Magazine Articles
View Sample

FREE Email Newsletter

Broadband Direct

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

Is it time to take the plunge?

May 31, 1999 8:00 pm | by James Careless | Comments

When it comes to IP telephony, Canada's Big Four cable companies are like swimmers at a pool: Groupe Videotron and Cogeco Cable are both diving in headfirst, while Rogers Cablesystems and Shaw Commu-nications are shivering on the sidelines, waiting for the water to warm up. Groupe Videotron makes the biggest splash With 1.


Preventing power outages without batteries

May 31, 1999 8:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

Editor's note: This article by Robert Bridge of Multipower Inc. and Jorge Restrepo of Integral Broadband is available as an Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) document. You will need a copy of the free Adobe Acrobat player to download and view it. If you don't have Acrobat installed, click here to obtain a copy from Adobe.

Marriage is a sign of the times

May 31, 1999 8:00 pm | by Roger Brown, Editor in Chief | Comments

When we're older, we're all going to look back at this era of telecommunications history and realize that this was a major turning point in the Internet Age. Big, dominant communications companies are merging, acquiring the expertise they need to redefine themselves as they struggle to stay relevant in today's new world.


Local loop dynamics

May 31, 1999 8:00 pm | by Jeffrey Krauss, Local loop litigator and President of Telecommunications and Technology Poicy | Comments

The FCC has a proceeding underway dealing with the deployment of broadband services by local phone companies, and they've just added two very interesting topics: the sharing of local loop spectrum between the incumbent local exchange carrier (ILEC) and competitive local exchange carriers (CLECs); and the radio emissions from new broadband digital subscriber local loop (xDSL) technologies.

MSOs on verge of deploying assortment of digital services

May 31, 1999 8:00 pm | by Roger Brown, Editor-in-Chief | Comments

They say that once everything goes digital, you can do anything. Long-held beliefs and practices, like dedicated, 6-MHz "channels," are supplanted with bitstreams that simply don't care what the payload is. That's good news for cable operators, who can leverage their wide bandwidths, along with digital compression, to dramatically improve signal quality while simultaneously expanding the number...

Migrating new services over Sonet

May 31, 1999 8:00 pm | by Bill Zornow, Director of Network Operations, Buckeye Telesystems | Comments

As a facilities-based, cable-affiliated regional competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC), Buckeye Telesystems is making strides to generate a base of new business customers for a mix of dialtone voice, data, video and ISP services. Concurrent projects underway at Buckeye Cablesystems, the affiliated cable TV provider, include the ongoing upgrade to hybrid fiber/coaxial infrastructure and a ro...


Building the cornerstone

May 31, 1999 8:00 pm | by Dick Gulley, Staff Applications Engineer, Scientific-Atlanta Inc. | Comments

The impact of convergence and digital technology on the cable industry is leading to major changes in network design and management, and probably nowhere is this more evident than at the headend. The combination of video, voice and data is placing tremendous loads on cable systems that were built just for the delivery of TV programming.


Planning for the future

May 31, 1999 8:00 pm | by Michael Laferty, Associate Editor | Comments

The digital revolution-whether it is video, voice or data-is shaking the cable industry down to its very roots…literally and figuratively. At the very heart of this revolution is the cable headend. With the addition of high-speed data, digital TV, a host of interactive services, and finally, lifeline telephony, old structures and old designs simply won't do.


Creating smarter headends

May 31, 1999 8:00 pm | by Patrick Harshman, Ph.D., Director of Product Line Management, Digital Systems; and Elisa Camahort, Product Marketing Specialist, Harmonic Inc. | Comments

It used to be simple. MSOs provided analog video service, and telcos offered data and telephone service. Though they had the same customers, MSOs and telcos didn't compete. Now, MSOs face ongoing competition from broadcasters and satellite operators, and new competition from telcos with xDSL services, to offer subscribers advanced broadband services.

Prosperity's dangers in a service industry

May 31, 1999 8:00 pm | by Walter S. Ciciora | Comments

For most (but certainly not all) Americans, this is a time of great prosperity. Employment is at record peace-time highs. Most employees feel somewhat secure in their jobs. But because these are more competitive times, the degree of security is a little bit less than in previous economic up-cycles. Luxury goods and premium brands sell well.

Serving up a new business

April 30, 1999 8:00 pm | by Craig Kuhl, Contributing Editor | Comments

The new economics of video-on-demand (VOD) are piquing the interest of a growing number of multiple system operators (MSOs) who, in the past, have considered VOD's multiple components too costly and the revenues too skimpy to venture into the business. However, since Time Warner Cable convened the Full Service Network's $300 million VOD pathfinding trial in Orlando in the early 1990s, the costs...

Healthy skepticism

April 30, 1999 8:00 pm | by Roger Brown, Editor in Chief | Comments

OK, it's confession time. As a journalist, I'm supposed to be above these things, but I'll admit that when it comes to digital subscriber line (DSL) service, I never really believed it would work. DSL is the telcos' great hope for revitalizing their mostly copper network because it allows the provision of data services over existing twisted-pair wire.

Technical types at the table

April 30, 1999 8:00 pm | by Thomas G. Robinson, Executive Vice President, CBG Communications | Comments

Not to say anything derisive about corporate attorney types and other franchise negotiators, because I love them all dearly (in Philly we say we love them "like they was my brother"), but let's be frank here. When it comes to technical issues, I sometimes think they just complicate matters. The ability of any particular technology to meet consumer needs would seemingly be best assessed from a t...

PacketCable spec nears completion

April 30, 1999 8:00 pm | by David Iler, Associate Editor | Comments

... part II Network management This portion of the spec centers upon the SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol)-based information received at the headend from cable modems in the form of Management Information Base (MIB) data. This data is used to measure the reliability and speed of a network. A draft of the spec is due in July.

Taking Control

April 30, 1999 8:00 pm | by Michael Lafferty, Associated Editor | Comments

... part II Andy Paff, chief technology officer at Worldbridge Broadband Services (, says the need for third-party service providers is self-evident, given the costs of building your own Network Operations Center (NOC). "One of the things that became apparent to us," says Paff, "is that operators are going to have to watch their networks seven days a week, 24 hours a day.


You may login with either your assigned username or your e-mail address.
The password field is case sensitive.