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Broadband Direct

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

Economists stump for free-market telecom action

December 4, 2001 7:00 pm | by Anne Kerven | Comments

Whether or not the U.S. House of Representatives votes on HR1542, The Internet Freedom and Broadband Deployment Act of 2001 (Tauzin-Dingell bill) this month is up in the air, but a group of top economists are weighing in on its impact. The group of free-market economists signed a letter to the Bush administration calling for it to "do everything possible to accelerate the process of deregulatin...

Application moves Hughes merger closer

December 3, 2001 7:00 pm | by Anne Kerven | Comments

Taking their controversial merger a step closer to completion, General Motors, EchoStar Communications and Hughes Electronics applied to transfer certain licensing control to the proposed company. The application asks the U.S. Federal Communications Commission to allow the trio to transfer control of the satellite, earth station and "other related authorizations" to the new entity.

SCTE launches two programs, lines up CLC sessions

December 3, 2001 7:00 pm | by Anne Kerven | Comments

The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers launched an e-mail trainer discussion forum and a new speakers bureau, and lined up sessions for its Chapter Leadership Conference in March. The trainers discussion forum is an e-mail discussion group, where broadband trainers and training managers can post questions, solve problems and discuss experiences with industry experts, including SCTE's...

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Optical Cable fires president/CEO/chair

December 2, 2001 7:00 pm | by Anne Kerven | Comments

Optical Cable Corp. says time-consuming litigation and disputes with brokerage firms distracted its president, CEO and chair too much from his work, and removed him per a board recommendation. The board says Robert Kopstein had pledged substantially all of his personally held unregistered shares in the company toward substantial personal margin loans from several brokerage firms.

DSL zeros in on displaced cable subscribers

December 2, 2001 7:00 pm | by Anne Kerven | Comments

Even as AtHome and cablecos teeter on renegotiations, others are jumping in with deals for displaced subscribers. DirecTV Broadband Inc. offered two free months of its DSL service at no charge to cable users who need immediate service. But customers must sign up for one year of DSL service, although the company says it will waive its $49.

Cablecos weigh in on AtHome ruling, most still talking

December 2, 2001 7:00 pm | by Anne Kerven | Comments

On the heels of Friday's ruling allowing ExciteAtHome to renegotiate cableco contracts, the company says it is doing just that — save for AT&T Broadband. Meantime, other cable companies say they're switching customers over to semi-complete networks, and are negotiating to keep the others up and running on AtHome's systems.

GM hands off DirecTV to EchoStar

November 30, 2001 7:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

Following months of negotiations, EchoStar Communications Corp. finally emerged as the winner of the DirecTV Inc. sweepstakes. In another deal in which Charlie Ergen appeared to have gotten the best of News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch, EchoStar is set to merge with General Motors Corp.'s Hughes Electronics Corp.

Intertainer, Microsoft team on PC-based VOD

November 30, 2001 7:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

Extending a previous relationship, Intertainer Inc. and Microsoft Corp. have launched a streaming video-on-demand subscription service to MSN's ISP customers in 35 broadband markets, including hubs such as New York City, L.A., Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington D.C. Intertainer said it houses more than 70,000 hours of content, including movies like "The Mexican," "Fifteen M...

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Dorado forms cable unit

November 30, 2001 7:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

Dorado Software Inc. has created a new division designed to help cable operators handle automated subscriber management and service activation of new broadband services. Terry Poindexter is heading Dorado's Folsom, Calif.-based cable division, and is overseeing the company's Redcell Access Cable product.

Juniper jumps on Pacific Broadband for $200

November 30, 2001 7:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

Advancing on a more aggressive cable network equipment strategy, Juniper Networks Inc. inked a deal to acquire start-up Pacific Broadband Communications in a stock deal valued at $200 million. The deal, announced in mid-November and expected to close before the end of 2001, will give Juniper access to PBC's "Kodiak" line of cable modem termination systems, as well as the custom silicon and soft...

TWC taps multiple VOD vendors

November 30, 2001 7:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

A deluge of video-on-demand vendors came forth in recent weeks to tell the world that they are taking significant roles in Time Warner Cable's aggressive VOD strategy. Though word had spread earlier this year that the MSO and nCUBE Corp. had a VOD agreement in the hopper, the deal finally became official in early November, when the vendor said Time Warner Cable would buy 77 VOD servers for ser...

Conexant puts satellite chip in orbit

November 30, 2001 7:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

Conexant Systems Inc. unveiled a single-chip dual-stream demodulator for satellite receiver systems. Targeting set-tops and receivers with personal video recording capabilities, Conexant's CX24130 can process two video streams simultaneously. "The attention in the last year is [focused on] PVR capability, and the ability to record something in the background while [the viewer] watches another ...

Sylantro weaves VoIP application plans

November 30, 2001 7:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

IP-based telephony services are still squarely in the nascent stage, but at least one company is making big application plans in the background for the day when deployment of the technology picks up the pace. Three-year-old Sylantro Systems' focus is on the business side of telephony applications, using IP as the mechanism to deliver them.

Comcast defines initial HD strategy

November 30, 2001 7:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

Comcast Cable Communications Inc. began marketing a tier of high- definition television services to about 1.3 million customers last month in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. Comcast's initial HD lineup is comprised of programming from major networks such as ABC, NBC and CBS, as well as shows and movies from premium nets HBO and Showtime.

Charter forges Microsoft TV pact

November 30, 2001 7:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

Giving Microsoft Corp.'s interactive television strategy a big boost, Charter Communications Inc. agreed to buy 1 million Microsoft TV software licenses over the next seven years. Charter, a champion of "thick-client" set-tops, said it would offer the software on Motorola Broadband-built DCT-5000 boxes and run applications supplied by Digeo Inc.

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