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Broadband Direct

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

Keeping pace with the big guys

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

Long ago (two, maybe three years ago) when the idea of high-speed cable modems really caught on in the cable industry, the idea that they could be the linchpin for an economically-viable datacom service in a 100-subscriber system (at least in this lifetime) was considered all but absurd. My, my, what a difference just a couple of years makes.

Necessity drives small ops to new technologies

May 31, 1997 8:00 pm | by Craig Kuhl | Comments

If necessity is indeed the mother of invention, then smaller cable operators are fast becoming Mom's favorite sons. Out of necessity, and in some cases just plain fear, smaller cable operators are becoming more innovative, and inventive, in their use of advancing technologies to further their businesses and to reach those elusive customers and the resultant revenues that in the past were out of...

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National data net could be key to new services

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

Advances in all facets of data-based communications are combining to create a huge advantage over traditional carriers for anyone in a position to build a nationwide network infrastructure, including the cable industry. This is the dawning realization that has brought cable MSOs together on a plan to cooperate in creating such an infrastructure and is the development that is central to GTE's re...

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The DTV process has begun — where are cable operators?

May 31, 1997 8:00 pm | by Andy Paff, President and CEO, Integration Technologies | Comments

The FCC has announced the conclusion of its fifth report and order regarding digital television (DTV). This exercise is intended to be the catalyst for broadcasters to enter the competitive digital world while maintaining "free" programming to the public. The Commission has effectively pushed many of the complicated technical and marketing issues back to the broadcasters.

The DTV process has begun — where are cable operators?(2)

May 31, 1997 8:00 pm | by Andy Paff, President and CEO, Integration Technologies | Comments

The FCC has announced the conclusion of its fifth report and order regarding digital television (DTV). This exercise is intended to be the catalyst for broadcasters to enter the competitive digital world while maintaining "free" programming to the public. The Commission has effectively pushed many of the complicated technical and marketing issues back to the broadcasters.

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The DTV process has begun — where are cable operators?

May 31, 1997 8:00 pm | by Andy Paff, President and CEO, Integration Technologies | Comments

The FCC has announced the conclusion of its fifth report and order regarding digital television (DTV). This exercise is intended to be the catalyst for broadcasters to enter the competitive digital world while maintaining "free" programming to the public. The Commission has effectively pushed many of the complicated technical and marketing issues back to the broadcasters.

Whole-house service gets a face-lift

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

As cable operators begin to grapple with competition from myriad sources, one thing has become abundantly clear: they have to effectively market their service. When cable was the only game in town, marketing took a back seat to network operation and maintenance; with deregulation came competition — and to stay one step ahead, cable systems have to tout their advantages and educate consumers.

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Next-generation FSS may prove formidable

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

Terrestrial network strategists researching the business prospects for evolving satellite capabilities can find reasons for both relief and concern, depending on how far out they look. For operators of wireline broadband networks, the good news is that, even if Rupert Murdoch's much discussed "Death Star" project clears its regulatory and business hurdles, it won't have the technical wherewitha...

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Backlash is music to an operator's ears

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

Take a look at the nascent personal communications services industry. Remember how excited everyone got when this new service was proposed? It seemingly had something for everyone — smaller cellular telephones with longer battery life, digital modulation, and cheaper prices, to boot. Along with the service came the vision of one person/one phone number and a host of other intriguing possi...

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Cox steps up to the plate with telephony in California

April 30, 1997 8:00 pm | by Dave Woodrow, Cox Communications Senior Vice President, Broadband Services; and Guy Gill, Nortel Vice President/General Manager, Access Networks | Comments

In early 1996, with the ink still damp on the Telecommunications Act, Cox Communications was actively exploring the "hows" and "whens" of providing wired voice services to its cable TV customers. Its telephony initiative got a jump-start when Westwood Residential, a Dallas-based developer with southern California expansion plans, approached Cox's Orange County operations to find out just how ca...

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Ready to take off?

April 30, 1997 8:00 pm | by Compiled by CED Staff and Written by Michael Lafferty | Comments

Ah, the fickle finger of fate. During the last decade and a half in the cable industry, that finger has been pointing all over the map, and back again, a number of times. Remember the 500-channel universe? Interactive television? Digital television? High-definition television? How about cable telephony? According to some industry observers (both informed and uninformed), the fickle finger of fa...

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Rain and its effects on microwave spectrum

April 30, 1997 8:00 pm | by Jeffrey Krauss, Intellectual Property Developer and President of Telecommunications and Technology Policy | Comments

The auction prices will depend on the marketplace opportunity for the service that the spectrum will be used for, but also on the effect of rain. Upcoming microwave auctions The major auction in 1997 or early 1998 will be Local Multipoint Distribution Service (LMDS), for a license of 1150 MHz of spectrum at 28 GHz in each of about 500 Rand McNally Basic Trading Areas (BTAs).

Operational issues for digital have arrived

April 30, 1997 8:00 pm | by Wendell Bailey | Comments

The FCC rules under which this service is to be offered are rather strict. The broadcasters in the top-10 markets must begin providing a digital signal within two years, and there are different, but strict, timetables for those in the second and lower markets. The NCTA has, for several years, had a consistent position on how, and under what circumstances this allotment would take place.

For cable, there are numbers in safety

April 30, 1997 8:00 pm | by Craig Kuhl | Comments

It's probably safe to say that accidents, especially job-related ones, don't just "happen." When they do, the ripple effect is felt far beyond the victims, their families, and co-workers, reaching all the way to the company's bottom line. For the cable industry, getting the job done safely is an attitude with growing pains.

Operators look at back-door telephony service

March 31, 1997 7:00 pm | by Dana Cervenka | Comments

Just when cable engineers thought they were beginning to get the technical issues surrounding the provision of broadband data services under control, up jumps an unexpected opportunity—or distraction? Now that operators are putting their plans to offer fullscale cablephone service on hold, they are starting to take a hard look at what it would take to provide various incarnations of Inter...

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