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Broadband Direct

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

Suddenly, the team doesn't feel the same

September 30, 1997 8:00 pm | by Roger Brown | Comments

Reaction throughout the highest levels within the cable industry's technical community might have been similar last month when Wendell Bailey, the National Cable Television Association's venerable VP of science and technology, parted from the Washington-based lobbying organization after 16-plus years.

IP telephony plan no longer stuck on 'hold'

September 30, 1997 8:00 pm | by Fred Dawson | Comments

IP telephony, floated as an interesting possibility for cable interests in industry forums at the start of this year, has quickly moved to the front burner, bringing with it a seachange in MSO thinking about voice services, and indeed, about data networking in general. Cable companies and their affiliates involved in the delivery of data services are working closely with a variety of vendors in...

Place your bets

September 30, 1997 8:00 pm | by Jeffrey Krauss, Spectrum Auction Strategist and President of Telecommunications and Technology Policy | Comments

Background In 1991, the FCC granted a license for 1000 MHz of spectrum in the 27.5–28.5 GHz band in New York City to a company that is now known as CellularVision of New York (CVNY). CVNY proposed to use the spectrum to offer 49 channels of analog video, in a network configuration that reused the 1000 MHz of spectrum in cells only a few miles in radius.


The effects of bit on baud demystified

September 30, 1997 8:00 pm | by Jim Farmer | Comments

The correct answer: "affect" is usually a verb, so use that word when you mean to do something. "Affect" can also be a noun, if you are referring to someone's "emotional affect," or the conscious subjective aspect of an emotion, separate and distinct from bodily changes. "Effect" is usually a noun, so use it when you are talking about something.

Nebraska op cashes in on educational data

September 30, 1997 8:00 pm | by Leslie Ellis | Comments

When Galaxy Cablevision undertook a network upgrade two years ago, it seemed a logical way to save on costs by consolidating headends. This month, that upgrade turns into a moneymaker, too, as Galaxy starts collecting state funds from the Nebraska Department of Education for distance learning and high-speed data services.


Cracking the commercial telecom market

September 30, 1997 8:00 pm | by Leo A. Wrobel, President and CEO, Premiere Network Services Inc. | Comments

Whether provided by telephone or cable companies, the networks of tomorrow will require close collaboration between carriers, equipment vendors and government regulatory authorities. Does your company simply wait for its equipment manufacturers to come in and dictate the direction of technology, running the risk of becoming road-kill on the information superhighway, or do you like to dabble and...

Survey-said! Focus on purchaser preference

August 31, 1997 8:00 pm | by Tom Robinson | Comments

My grandfather, in fact, a now long-retired coal miner, is the epitome of the company man (just think of Tennessee Ernie Ford's song "16 Tons," and you'll get the picture). So I've got a bit of a feel about the turmoil the strikers are going through, especially the long-timers — proud of their association with "Big Brown" but increasingly concerned about how that association is changing.


Satellite plans pose new competition

August 31, 1997 8:00 pm | by Jeffrey Krauss, Satellite Skywatcher and President of Telecommunications and Technology Policy | Comments

First, a review. Geostationary satellites ("GEO") orbit the Earth in a circular orbit at an altitude of 36,000 km, with an orbital period exactly equal to the 24-hour rotational period of the Earth, so they appear to be stationary as the Earth rotates. (What I said in my July column about balancing of gravitational forces was wrong; the satellite's centrifugal force balances the Earth's gravity.


US West playing hardball in the majors

August 31, 1997 8:00 pm | by Roger Brown | Comments

Yes, it's true that the abrupt change of strategy within US West Media Group (the parent company of Media One) will throw some lives out of kilter and force some hard decisions among MediaOne employees who are native Bostonians faced with relocation. After all, when the media giant acquired the former Continental Cablevision last fall, company CEO Bud Hostetter was assured the company headquart...

Video perks give data a sharper image

August 31, 1997 8:00 pm | by Fred Dawson | Comments

The prospects for adding innovative and high advanced types of video-enhanced content to high-speed data channels have brightened considerably in recent months, thanks to emergence of new software tools that not only support video distribution, but greatly alter the functionality within the data feed.


Building an efficient headend for data

August 31, 1997 8:00 pm | by Adrian Jones, Director, Strategic Channel Development, Terayon Communication Systems | Comments

This is the second part of a series addressing the major headend architectural and operational issues in deploying data services over a broadband cable network. These articles examine ways to optimize the headend architecture for broadband data services, the major ingredients in designing a headend to support such services, key considerations when deploying data services and ways of integrating...

What comes first? The human or the machine?

August 31, 1997 8:00 pm | by Michael Lafferty | Comments

As many in the industry have recently discovered, telecommunications competition is a very sharp, two-edged sword. While it supposedly invigorates market forces and spurs innovative services, it can also cause a considerable amount of upheaval in individual companies scrambling to improve their competitive edge.

Primed for video?

August 31, 1997 8:00 pm | by Dana Cervenka | Comments

Sonet equipment, long the darling of the telco industry, is now being embraced by cable operators for the transport of new, high-speed data services, as well as for a support platform for their forays into voice services. But while the Sonet (synchronous optical network) platform has long been optimized for voice and data, the question remains — will Sonet soon see its day in the sun as a...


Will digital roll-out speed ITV, HDTV deployment?

July 31, 1997 8:00 pm | by Fred Dawson | Comments

The cable industry's move into digital TV has suddenly become much more complicated than the first phase of that process was expected to be, thanks in large measure to how long it has taken to get started. Through the four-plus years since Tele-Communications Inc. CEO John Malone spelled out plans for the 500-channel digital TV system, operators waited for the boxes to arrive at price points th...


Is HDTV doomed from the beginning?

July 31, 1997 8:00 pm | by Jeffrey Krauss, Interfacing With the Digital World and President of Tele-communications and Technology Policy | Comments

A year ago, I reported on a disagreement between two groups of TV manufacturers over which command language to use with this interface. Unfortunately, the disagreement still exists. There is no agreement on a standard. And time is running out. The EIA established a standards committee, called R4.1, to develop a standard interface for a communications bus to interconnect a cluster of digital TVs...


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