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Broadband Direct

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

Back to the (converging?) future

December 31, 1996 7:00 pm | by Michael Lafferty | Comments

As the new year gets underway, a fair number of the technology, new service and roll-out predictions of 1996 have fallen to the wayside. Whether it's financial woes, technical glitches or regulatory hassles, the converging telecommunications nirvana has not quite lived up to its hype...again. A good deal of the resulting frustration can probably be laid at the door of one T.


Who can see the emperor's new clothes?

December 31, 1996 7:00 pm | by Roger Brown | Comments

By now, most people are aware of the blood-letting that took place last month: 2,600 workers — nearly seven percent of the company's workforce — were given pink slips as the company slashed its costs. The cuts hit the local systems hard, but the corporate headquarters wasn't spared, either.

Candian cable ops band together

December 31, 1996 7:00 pm | by James Careless | Comments

Despite the absence of a cable modem standard, and the fact that many of their systems aren't two-way ready, Canada's major cable companies launched a nationally-branded Internet Service Provider (ISP) product called "WAVE" and announced it in November. In many ways, WAVE appears to be utterly groundbreaking.


Keeping Continental on the fast track

December 31, 1996 7:00 pm | by Roger Brown | Comments

It's a dark and chilly morning outside, but Dave Fellows is already awake and out of bed, lacing up his running shoes, as he prepares to hit the streets of Beverly, Mass. It's been a long time since Fellows ran competitively, but taking on a sedentary lifestyle is unthinkable. For the quiet Fellows is driven to win, whether it's in sports or his professional life, and working out keeps him in g...


Low-power TV and digital channels

December 31, 1996 7:00 pm | by Jeffrey Krauss, Digital Television Powerhouse and President of Telecommunications and Technology Policy | Comments

With that controversy out of the way, we can move to the next one: Should low-power TV (LPTV) stations get digital channels? In my opinion, the only controversy is whether the answer is "no" or "of course not." But the LPTV broadcasters are mounting a lobbying campaign in Washington, trying to get a different answer out of the FCC.

High-speed access tech may give telcos a hand

December 31, 1996 7:00 pm | by Fred Dawson | Comments

Will widespread availability of internet access over analog phone lines at twice today's speeds dent the market appeal of high-speed access over cable? It's a question that has been raised by some strategists in the broadband domain in the wake of news that manufacturers of analog modems and chipsets are bringing 56 kilobit-per-second units to market, starting as early as this month.

Cities find 'The plan's the thing'

December 31, 1996 7:00 pm | by Tom Robinson | Comments

When you think about it, reflection, perspective and proper planning are key factors in many aspects of our lives. This is true in many facets of telecommunications, whether it's planning for product roll-outs, setting the framework for the introduction of new services, overhauling existing systems to enhance connectivity and implement new applications or, from a local government's perspective,...


Wrapping up management solutions with OSS

November 30, 1996 7:00 pm | by Michael Lafferty | Comments

Amidst all the hype and hoopla about new broadband services swirling around the industry these past few years, there's been a small, but vital, revolution taking place in the back rooms and back offices of the industry. It hasn't received as many headlines as cable modems, interactive TV or telephony.


Taking backup power underground

November 30, 1996 7:00 pm | by Roger Brown | Comments

Once considered little more than a technical curiosity by some engineers, it now appears that backup electrical power from high-speed flywheel technology could be a viable option for telecommunications network providers within the next 12 to 18 months. After more than a year of development, Cambridge, Mass.


Dead in Its Tracks?

November 30, 1996 7:00 pm | by Alan Stewart | Comments

Once viewed as the telephone industry's secret weapon in its war with cable TV providers, asymmetrical digital subscriber line (ADSL) seems to have been sidelined by the baby Bells as they scramble to maintain their local loop monopoly. In a blow to U.S. ADSL vendors who saw their stock value tumble, Ameritech, BellSouth, Pacific Bell and SBC Communications retained France's Alcatel Telecom as ...


Testing 256 QAM transmission of data over HFC

November 30, 1996 7:00 pm | by Marc Ryba, Senior Project Engineer; and Paul Matuszak, Senior Project Engineer, GI Communications Division, Eastern Operations, General Instrument Corp. | Comments

Addressing industry demands for more efficient bandwidth utilization and building on its experience with 64 QAM transmission over cable, General Instrument has developed a 256 QAM transmission system that provides far more efficient use of cable system bandwidth and expands channel capacity. This expanded channel capacity results in a 44 percent increase in information rate and a 50 percent inc...


What comes around ...

November 30, 1996 7:00 pm | by Thomas J. Staniec, VP — Network Engineering, The Excalibur Group, A Time Warner Company | Comments

"Return Systems 101" (see CED, August 1995, p.66) opened with the theme, "Everything Old is New Again." This article could be paraphrased as "what goes around, comes around." As more networks are being activated with operational two-way signal flow, more questions and ideas surface. Some questions are new and need answers.


RBOCs: slapping their best customers

November 30, 1996 7:00 pm | by Roger Brown | Comments

This is exactly the kind of thinking that has some of the RBOCs, unable to keep up with increased demand for more lines, cellular and other services, in trouble with local utility commissions. Specifically, Pacific Telesis, US West and Bell Atlantic are pointing to a new Bellcore study that says the increasing popularity of the Internet is clogging the nation's telephone lines, making it much m...

The Internet and the telephone network

November 30, 1996 7:00 pm | by Jeffrey Krauss, Surfing the Telephone Net and President of Telecommunications and Technology Policy | Comments

Now the telephone industry has raised a new complaint—Internet subscribers are screwing up telephone networks because the networks weren't designed for Internet connections. Phone companies just can't get it through their monopoly mindset that when customer demand patterns change, the service has to change.


Evolution of the local phone market

October 31, 1996 7:00 pm | by Jeffrey Krauss, Waiting for Local Phone Competition and President of Telecommunications and Technology Policy | Comments

Today, there are many potential competitors on the horizon, each associated with a particular technology — cellular, PCS, LMDS, DEMS, 38 GHz, optical fiber, and of course, cable TV. But I believe that in the long run, there will be consolidation, and there will be a small number of competitors, each utilizing a mix of technologies.



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