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Broadband Direct

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

Outlook up on FTTH and FTTC deployments

October 14, 2001 8:00 pm | by Anne Kerven | Comments

Fiber-to-the-home systems will reach 2.65 million American homes by 2006 and fiber-to-the-curb systems, 1.9 million more in the same time frame, a study says. By the end of this year, FTTH will reach 89,000 homes, and FTTC, 915,000. Residential Broadband Access in the United States: Fiber-to-the-Curb and Fiber-to-the-Home by KMI Corp.

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AOLTWC shifts management with three new execs

October 14, 2001 8:00 pm | by Anne Kerven | Comments

AOL Time Warner Inc. named three new execs in its cable division and ousted its president after two months on the job. The company says the new organizational structure, of which the new appointments are part, will hasten its marketing of two-way digital services. The company appointed John Billock new vice chair and COO, after a stint as president of HBO's U.

NCUC denies approving fiber-thru-gas-lines technology

October 11, 2001 8:00 pm | by Anne Kerven | Comments

The industry's seen fiber optic cable go the last mile via sewer lines — but gas lines? Sempra Fiber Links says it just finished stringing fiber optic line through a one-mile span in the North Carolina service territory of Frontier Energy. But its claims that the North Carolina Utilities Commission attested to the technology's safety aren't true, a NCUC spokesman says.

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Williams bids $25 M for bankrupt iBEAM

October 11, 2001 8:00 pm | by Anne Kerven | Comments

Williams Communications will buy all substantial assets of iBEAM Broadcasting Corp. for $25 million in cash, it says, even as iBEAM filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in Delaware yesterday. Under the deal, Williams will lend up to $18 million to iBEAM to keep it running until the deal closes, says Williams spokesman Jeff Pounds.

Teligent bankruptcy court moves approval date

October 11, 2001 8:00 pm | by Anne Kerven | Comments

Teligent Inc.'s bidders will have to wait until Oct. 30 to see who gets the company. A federal bankruptcy court was to determine the winner today, but the hearing date reportedly was pushed back and court clerks could not say why. In August, the company announced a $117.5 million bid from Teligent Acquisition Corp.

Sources: Cadant could tap Alcatel for int'l sales

October 11, 2001 8:00 pm | by Jeff Baumgartner | Comments

Cable modem termination system vendor Cadant Inc. is in international distribution talks with a number of potential partners, including Alcatel SA, according to sources. While Cadant is discussing the idea with a variety of parties, Alcatel, which has a strong market base in Europe, appears to be the leading candidate, sources say.

ExciteAtHome: 'No new customers'

October 10, 2001 8:00 pm | by Anne Kerven | Comments

ExciteAtHome stopped taking new customers onto its networks at noon yesterday, a decision prompted by Tuesday meetings with the creditor committee of its bankruptcy court. The move directly affects subscriber growth of cable companies who use Excite's service. The move was made to preserve cash and ensure core operations of the company, which is maintaining service to existing companies, says E...

CEA calls NCTA retail initiative 'disappointing'

October 10, 2001 8:00 pm | by Anne Kerven | Comments

The Consumer Electronics Association weighed in on NCTA's retail set-top initiative by expressing "disappointment." "The announcement doesn't come close to meeting the intent of Congress," CEA VP of Technology Policy Michael Petricone said in a statement. "Neither the spirit nor the letter of the law have been met.

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Deals and other industry doings

October 10, 2001 8:00 pm | by Anne Kerven | Comments

SCTE lowered its annual membership dues for members outside of North America, it says. The dues, lowered to $48 a year from $72, were switched because, "The past cost structure created undue hardships for members from other countries wishing to join," says membership chair Bob Foote, in a statement. SCTE also says it won't raise dues in 2002.

EarthLink rolls out on two more TWC systems

October 10, 2001 8:00 pm | by Anne Kerven | Comments

EarthLink Inc. rolled out its high-speed service in two more of Time Warner Cable's areas. The ISP has launched in four other TWC markets in the past month, as part of AOL Time Warner's efforts to comply with open access rules connected with its merger. EarthLink says its service is available now to about 527,535 homes in TWC's Greensboro, N.

AP Engines refocuses, cuts jobs, ousts CEO

October 10, 2001 8:00 pm | by Anne Kerven | Comments

AP Engines refocused its operations, cut an undisclosed number of jobs, and replaced its CEO. The changes began last week and are continuing, and stem partly from spending cutbacks by cable operators, specifically Time Warner. "We put ourselves in a position to last until mid-2003," says board member and new CEO Karl May.

CTAM study: Cable holds edge over DSL, dialup

October 9, 2001 8:00 pm | by Anne Kerven | Comments

More cable modem customers say they're satisfied with their service than do DSL or dial-up subscribers, according to a survey by Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing. Rating Cable Modem, DSL, Dial-up: What Consumers Are Saying, shows a solid 80 percent of cable customers were satisfied or completely satisfied, compared with 65 percent for DSL and 52 percent for dial-up.

Motorola weighs in on Q3 with a $1.4 B loss

October 9, 2001 8:00 pm | by Anne Kerven | Comments

Sales and orders dropped 31 percent in Motorola Inc.'s Broadband Communications Segment during the third quarter, and Motorola overall saw net losses of $1.4 billion on sales of $7.4 billion, with a $2 billion charge. Sales for the broadband unit fell to $637 million while orders fell to $647 million.

Vidéotron gets interactive in Quebec

October 9, 2001 8:00 pm | by Jeff Baumgartner | Comments

Canadian MSO Vidéotron has launched "iLLICO" — an iTV product powered by Scientific-Atlanta Inc.'s digital platform and PowerTV Inc. software — to about 100,000 digital customers in Quebec. That figure could rise, as Vidéotron serves about 1.5 million cable subscribers there. As part of the "walled garden" iTV package, Vidéotron is offering PowerTV-based e-mail, Web b...

NCTA aims to spur retail set-top sales

October 9, 2001 8:00 pm | by Anne Kerven | Comments

NCTA devised a four-point initiative to prompt retail sales of digital set-top boxes. Provisions, detailed in an open letter from the NCTA to U.S. Federal Communications Commission Chair Michael K. Powell, include a buy-back program requiring operators to buy set-tops from consumers who move from one location to another.

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