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FCC signals review if OTT companies qualify as MVPDs

September 30, 2014 | by Brian Santo | Comments

The FCC has revived an obscure complaint by Sky Angel against Discovery. If the FCC changes policy in favor of Sky Angel, online providers would have the same ability to negotiate for carriage of local broadcast TV stations that cable and satellite TV providers have.

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Broadband Direct

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

Viacom channels go dark for Suddenlink subs

October 1, 2014 12:16 pm | by Mike Robuck | Comments

The plug has been pulled on the 24 Viacom channels that Suddenlink Communications was carrying after the two sides failed to reach a new retransmission agreement. As to who is to blame for a new carriage agreement not being reached yesterday, both sides pointed fingers at each other. 

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Feds say hackers targeted Microsoft, game makers

October 1, 2014 12:09 pm | by Associated Press | Comments

Two members of an international hacking ring that gained access to a U.S. Army computer network while targeting computer giant Microsoft and several video game developers pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges Tuesday. David Pokora, 22, of Mississauga, Ontario, and Sanadodeh Nesheiwat, 28, of Washington, New Jersey, each pleaded guilty to a single count of conspiracy to commit computer fraud and copyright infringement. 

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EBay to split off lucrative PayPal business

September 30, 2014 12:21 pm | by Associated Press | Comments

EBay is splitting off its fastest growing segment, mobile payment service PayPal, the e-commerce company said Tuesday. The move comes after months of pressure from activist investor and billionaire Carl Icahn, who has a 2.5 percent state in eBay, according to FactSet.

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Belgacom to integrate Netflix

September 29, 2014 1:54 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

The Belgian operator, which renamed its service Proximus, said it would make Netflix available to its customers before the end of the year. There will be two tiers of service, one for 7.99 Euros for access on a single device and one for 8.99 Euros allowing access to HD content on two different devices.

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GVTC begins marketing gigabit connectivity

September 29, 2014 1:29 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

The company has strung 2,200 miles of fiber across a 2,000 square mile area that includes parts of Far North San Antonio, the Texas Hill Country and the Gonzales, area. More than 40,000 rooftops are connected to GVTC's network, with another 2,600 to be connected soon.

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Comcast ups Herrin to focus on customer experience

September 29, 2014 1:13 pm | by Mike Robuck | Comments

The cable industry’s dismal customer satisfaction ratings have become a stereotype for the industry, but Comcast is vowing, again, to improve customer service with the promotion of Charlie Herrin to senior vice president, customer experience. On Friday Comcast Cable CEO and president Neil Smit took to company’s blog page to tout Herrin’s new role. 

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Suddenlink, Viacom reach impasse on retransmission agreement

September 29, 2014 1:04 pm | by Mike Robuck | Comments

The clock is ticking on a new retransmission agreement between Suddenlink Communications and Viacom, with the nation’s seventh-largest cable operator saying it will no longer carry Viacom networks starting Wednesday if a new deal isn’t reached. Suddenlink said that Viacom was demanding a 50 percent increase in payments despite viewership declining by almost 30 percent on some of Viacom’s networks over the past few years.

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Net Neutrality: Government takes on the Internet

September 29, 2014 1:01 pm | by Associated Press | Comments

Should the company that supplies your Internet access be allowed to cut deals with online services such as Netflix, Amazon or YouTube to move their content faster? The FCC is tackling that question this fall after the public submitted a record 3.7 million comments on the subject.

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Huawei vows $4B in fixed broadband R&D

September 26, 2014 1:40 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

Huawei Technologies plans to invest more than $4 billion in fixed broadband technology R&D in the next three years, citing the areas of photonics and software-defined networking (SDN). Separately, the company earlier this week demonstrated a virtual CCAP at SCTE Cable-Tec Expo.

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Midcontinent, aioTV partner on blended video service

September 26, 2014 12:33 pm | by Mike Robuck | Comments

On the heels of receiving a patent for its technology, aioTV announced Thursday it was engaged in a “strategic partnership” with Midcontinent Communications that will blend QAM-based video services with over-the-top IP content and services. The service will use aioTV’s PassBox user interface, which will connect to Midco’s set-top boxes with an HDMI cable. 

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TDS satiates subscribers’ appetite for devices with personal cloud service

September 26, 2014 12:29 pm | by Mike Robuck | Comments

In order to better serve the increasing number of personal digital devices used by customers, including PCs, Macs, tablets and iPhones, TDS Telecom is now offering a new personal cloud service. The new service, which is called “younited,” uses F-Secure’s technology to allow TDS customers to back up info, and store photos and videos in the cloud.

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BlackBerry posts $207 million loss

September 26, 2014 12:22 pm | by Associated Press | Comments

BlackBerry posted a loss of $207 million in the second quarter on Friday just days after the embattled company launched a new phone. The Canadian company said it lost two cents per share on an adjusted basis on revenue of $916 million.

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DirecTV shareholders approve $48.5B sale to AT&T

September 26, 2014 12:18 pm | by Associated Press | Comments

AT&T's proposed $48.5 billion acquisition of DirecTV is moving forward as shareholders of the country's largest satellite TV broadcaster approved the deal. But it still needs regulatory approval. Public-interest groups say the deal would lead to less competition, since AT&T and DirecTV provide pay-TV services to about 25 percent of the country.

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Demanding video consumers pushing for modern user interfaces

September 25, 2014 12:29 pm | by Craig Kuhl, contributing editor | Comments

The increasing demands for modernizing user interfaces, and soaring consumer expectations are putting pressure on service providers to improve their user interfaces, and that means blending consumer behavior data with advancing technologies.

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Leveraging a network’s data a near game-changer

September 25, 2014 12:08 pm | by Craig Kuhl, contributing editor | Comments

Improving the customer experience by leveraging a network’s infrastructure data can be complicated and costly, but by not effectively accessing and using that data to better a customer’s experience and a network’s integrity could be fatal.

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