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Broadband Direct

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

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.

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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.

Vidéotron gets interactive in Quebec(2)

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...

Three join Philips' CompanionTV program

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

Three companies have joined Philips Digital Networks' CompanionTV partnership program, the company reports. The program, announced in September and operated via Philips' SoftWorks business group, sets up partnerships with iTV applications developers and infrastructure solution providers to make solutions for the multimedia home platform, a spokeswoman says.

Canal+ teams with Orbit on Mideast project

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

Canal+ Technologies and Orbit Satellite Television and Radio Network rolled out interactive services in the Middle East, the two announced today. The launch is proceeding despite fighting in Afghanistan. "The fighting does not affect the launch or the plans for the rollout, since the (service) counts six new channels that are very much watched at this time," says Canal+ spokeswoman Sara Payne.

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CableLabs touts interactivity at CableNet

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

CableLabs is gearing up for CableNet 2001 and its companion display, CableNet Interactive. The 10,000-square-foot exhibit within the Western Show in Anaheim in November will feature a broadband evolution theme. The exhibit, sponsored by CableLabs and the California Cable Television Association, is intended to demonstrate the potential of cable's broadband network and the products and services i...

AM finishes $6.9 M SRS-EDJ acquisition

October 7, 2001 8:00 pm | by Anne Kerven | Comments

AM Communications Inc. completed the acquisition of SRS Communications and EDJ Communications for $6.9 million in cash and stock. The company said last month it would hire several hundred people in the next few months to fill expected orders. The deal, via AM subsidiary AM Broadband Services Inc., calls for AM to acquire all of SRS-EDJ's outstanding stock for about $6.

WorldGate launches redesigned iTV interface

October 7, 2001 8:00 pm | by Anne Kerven | Comments

WorldGate redesigned a channel-based user interface for its iTV service, providing six new channels in categories arranged like a typical newspaper, the company says. New channels include those with general news, focusing on local to international coverage. A sports category lists game scores, team stats, player updates and business deals, WorldGate says.

Charter joins CableLabs' Go2Broadband

October 7, 2001 8:00 pm | by Anne Kerven | Comments

Charter Communications Inc. added its customer information database to CableLabs' Go2Broadband service, which helps cable- modems-or-equipment retailers find out if a customer's address has broadband access, and from whom. Go2Broadband, sponsored by CableLabs, is a real-time service that accepts a customer address query from retailers and refers the appropriate cable company to contact with the...

HFC gets three new standards via SCTE's HMS unit

October 4, 2001 8:00 pm | by Anne Kerven | Comments

SCTE's Hybrid Management Sub-Layer subcommittee adopted three new standards that support interoperable management systems for evolving HFC cable networks. The three standards — HMS 005, Hybrid Fiber/Coax Outside Plant Monitoring-Physical Layer Specification; HMS 004, Hybrid Fiber Coax Outside Plant Monitoring-MAC Layer Specification; and HMS 022, Hybrid Fiber/Coax Outside Plant Monitoring...

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AOLTW seeks FCC OK for Fla. ISP

October 4, 2001 8:00 pm | by Anne Kerven | Comments

AOL Time Warner Inc. applied for U.S. Federal Trade Commission approval to allow Dunedin, Fla.-based Internet Junction Corp. on its Tampa and Central Florida systems. AOLTW has been adding affiliate ISPs to its systems, per FTC requirements from the AOLTW merger. Within the last month, the cable company has opened its systems in Columbus, Ohio; Syracuse, N.

Agere repays $1 B in Lucent debt, modifies credit

October 4, 2001 8:00 pm | by Anne Kerven | Comments

Under an amended agreement with its banks, Agere Systems repaid $1 billion of the $2.5 billion debt it inherited from Lucent Technologies when Lucent sent the unit public in March. Agere's deadline on the remaining $1.5 billion was extended from Feb. 21 to Sept. 30, 2002. The maturity date for undisclosed parts of it were extended to Sept.

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