Just like the networks themselves, traditional thinking about powering options is undergoing a major revolution. As recently as a few years ago, there was one accepted network power design; today, there are numerous trade-offs to consider. For example, MSOs are already transitioning from 60-volt AC power to 90 volts to give them more "reach" with power.
For many across this country, power to the people has meant the provision of public power. In fact, there are over 2,000 public power systems in operation today. Because some of these are currently expanding, modifying or upgrading their infrastructures to provide telecommunications services, and many more are taking a hard look at such developments, one day soon, public telecommunications in s...
Part 68 Part 68 of the FCC Rules contains detailed technical rules that were adopted to limit hazardous voltages that might be produced by customer-owned telephones, in order to protect the health and safety of telephone company employees. But it was quickly expanded at the request of telephone companies to prevent customers from bypassing the telephone network billing systems.
CEOs of every major communications and hardware company were seemingly elated at the news. It is perhaps ironic now to realize that although the new law allows cable TV companies to get into the telephony business and telcos to offer video, neither scenario is immediately likely, except perhaps in some select markets.
Broadband data services have recently received a lot of well-deserved attention from the media and cable system operators. These novel data services provide extremely high-speed and cost-effective access to the Internet and other electronic services to residential and commercial subscribers. They create new value for cable system operators by capitalizing on cable systems' most unique asset...
With the passage last month of the telecom reform bill, many are now predicting all-out war between cable MSOs, long distance carriers, local exchange carriers and every other communications provider as they skirmish to beat one another at their own game. In fact, battlelines are beginning to take shape in several locations, especially between the telcos themselves.
What would have seemed a dream list of capabilities for high-speed modem and data support systems just six months ago is now within reach for commercial rollouts this year. "We're much further along then I'd hoped to be at this point in the process," says Richard Green, president of Cable Television Laboratories, in reference to the industry's push for agreement on protocols.
John Brouse, director of network development at Jones Intercable, was named the 1996 Polaris Award winner at the SCTE Conference on Emerging Technologies in San Francisco last month. The Polaris Award is sponsored by the SCTE, Corning Inc. and CED magazine and was created to recognize the efforts of the "next generation" cable engineer who exemplifies an aggressive and innovative approach to fi...
The topic covered here is the hazards of retail sale of set-top boxes. Congressman Bliley has put forth an amendment requiring the sale of set-top boxes from consumer electronics retailers such as Circuit City, one of his constituents. As I mentioned in a previous column, the consumer electronics industry has positioned set-top boxes as evil things, the work of the devil.
This isn't the first time that in-home cabling issues have risen to the top of the priority list. For years, the industry has been trying to deal with substandard in-home wiring and connectors that are typically installed by do-it-yourselfers. Often, the equipment used comes from retail hardware and electronics stores and is of poor quality, with little or no shielding.
As fiber optics continues to spread throughout broadband communication plants, and new fiber equipment is beginning to feature higher power outputs, many safety and training professionals in the industry are re-energizing their fiber optic training efforts. Kevin Wilkes, director of field services for Integration Technologies, says that while fiber optic technology continues to change, fiber op...
The past year saw many gains in engineers' understanding of the performance parameters of hybrid fiber/coaxial networks, but the technical cost/benefit equation that is the key to the digital future remains nearly as elusive as ever. "The key pacing item is our ability to upgrade our networks," says David Woodrow, senior vice president for broadband services at Cox Communications.
Cable television operators have a long history of providing service to institutional customers such as schools, businesses and government users. In the past 18 months, the combined factors of increased competition and demanding franchise renewals have made the provision of distance learning service mandatory for many operators, and for some, an opportunity to generate new revenues.
The last time the FCC wanted to impose access charges on "enhanced service vendors" like packet data networks and data retrieval services, it encountered a firestorm of grassroots opposition and threats from Congress. The FCC backed down. Now, an FCC staffer has been quoted as saying that this time, Internet users could be hit with this tax.
In the past, whenever nostalgia would grab hold of me, I would, in turn, grab the phone, seek out an old friend or relative and find out the latest and greatest concerning my old stomping grounds. But now I've found an additional way to revisit my hometown (actually two hometowns, as I split my formative years between Richmond, Va.