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News summary for 6/19/07

Tue, 06/19/2007 - 9:00am

AT&T, Cablevision tussling over rights to sports
By Brian Santo

AT&T filed a complaint with the FCC, charging that Cablevision Systems is improperly withholding broadcast rights to "must have" sports programming that AT&T wants to be able to offer on its U-verse service in Connecticut.

Cablevision and its Rainbow Media Holdings subsidiary, own the Fox Sports Network New York, Madison Square Garden Network and Fox Sports Network New England. The content in dispute includes games played by the New York Knicks, Boston Celtics, New York Rangers, New York Islanders and New Jersey Devils.

AT&T is complaining that Cablevision is withholding the programming for competitive reasons.

Cablevision's official response is "We have reached programming agreements with a broad range of distributors including DirecTV, Echostar, Verizon, RCN and even AT&T itself, but have outstanding questions regarding AT&T's violation of prior distribution agreements and about certain aspects of AT&T's technology and the protection of our programming."


Alcatel, Moto, Ericsson add to GPON landslide
By Brian Santo

Alcatel-Lucent announced improvements to both its fiber to the premise (FTTP) and fiber to the node (FTTN) gigabit passive optical network (GPON) product lines, Motorola announced the next generation of its optical access platform's support of GPON, and Ericsson announced an upgrade to its GPON system to be able to switch bandwidth up to 320 Gbps.

The announcements come on the heels of similar PON announcements from Hitachi Telecom, Scientific Atlanta,Wave7 Optics, and Zhone Technologies (story here).

Alcatel-Lucent's 7342 ISAM FTTP product is now on Release 4.4. New features include quad port line cards, which double system capacity, and a compact optical network terminal (ONT) for multiple dwelling units (MDUs).

The new GPON line card has four GPON ports, each of which can support up to 64 subscribers with 2.5 Gbps downstream and 1.25 Gbps upstream line rates. The compact GPON MDU ONT is capable of serving up to 12 living units with traditional phone line services and either VDSL or Ethernet.

Alcatel-Lucent is also now on Release 3.4 of its 7330 ISAM FTTN platform for the North American market. Among the major enhancements are a 48-port VDSL2 line card with bonding and a POTS line termination card.

Motorola's new support for GPON is based on a 200 gigabit advanced switching architecture with onboard high-capacity single, 10 gigabit WAN interfaces, and support of 10 gigabits to each application unit, which Motorola said results in full GPON line-rate throughput to the access network.

Additionally, Motorola is introducing an intelligent and fully featured line of small business, high-density multi-dwelling units and both indoor and outdoor single family home GPON optical network terminals (ONTs).

Ericsson meanwhile announced an upgrade to its EDA 1500, which can now switch bandwidth up to 320 Gbps for commercial and residential next-generation multimedia services. It also provides two 10 Gigabit Ethernet interfaces and eight 1 Gigabit Ethernet interfaces on one card. New software also provides 1:64 split ratio on the fiber and dynamic bandwidth allocation (DBA) along with a suite of IP features including quality of service (QoS), security and other upgrades designed to enable carriers to deliver new services.

Ericsson and Alcatel-Lucent were publicly identified as suppliers of GPON equipment to AT&T U-verse (story here).


Arris TeleWire to distribute wireless HFC extension
By Brian Santo

Arris TeleWire Supply has agreed to provide the Wireless Bypass line of DOCSIS-over-wireless plant extension products to cable MSOs. Wireless Plant Extension (WPE) technology is used to traverse areas where physical barriers prevent service providers from reaching potential customers, typically commercial customers.

Wireless Bypass products are designed to operate within an approximate two-mile range point-to-multipoint, and up to 20 miles point-to-point.  The DL-5800WD Hub, a simple add-on to the existing HFC network, is equipped with hardware to attach to the strand, and is connected using a tap or coupler. The DL-5800D CPE device can be mounted on a rooftop, tower, pole, or wall, and connected by a jumper into the building's coaxial network. The CPE device can be configured to serve as many modems as the DOCSIS channel is provisioned to support.

Using unlicensed spectrum, the standard Wireless Bypass configuration operates in the 5.8 GHz U-NII band, and is frequency agile from 88 to 860 MHz.  The line is DOCSIS compatible, and supports full 265 QAM, SNMP management, local HTML diagnostics, and uses existing back office billing and provisioning systems. High-gain products for the licensed spectrum are also available.

John Servaes, CEO of Wireless Bypass, said Arris "has the resources and relationships to better expose the industry to our products."


Everstream releases CAPi for HSD
By Traci Patterson

Everstream has unveiled its Capacity Intelligence for High-Speed Data (CAPi for HSD), an enterprise-level solution for measuring and reporting bandwidth utilization for data and voice packets on DOCSIS-based networks.

CAPi for HSD offers enterprise-capacity analysis across an operator's entire data network, with segmentation by subscriber group, service class name and CMTS. The solution can show how much bandwidth a "gold level" subscriber is using versus a "silver level" one, so operators can see the accuracy of their price points.

Operators can also zoom down to the CMTS port and see the details of any red flags, as opposed to similar systems that simply take snapshots or do thin time slices every 15 minutes or so. "It's a little like exploratory drilling for oil wells," said Barry Hardek, VP of marketing and business development at Everstream. "Our system can show the whole oil field."

The software-based solution is built on Everstream's Data Suite platform, which has been deployed by 11 broadband network operators for collecting, measuring and monetizing information on interactive digital services such as VOD.

Everstream currently analyzes video server platform data for the entire Rogers, Charter, Cox and Comcast footprints, and for parts of Time Warner Cable's and Mediacom's footprints. Hardek estimates that the company currently collects this data from about 22 million STBs, which constitutes about 70 percent of the U.S. VOD footprint.

The solution will be demonstrated at Concurrent's booth at Cable-Tec Expo in Orlando this week.


Electroline releases three new product designs
By CED staff

Electroline Equipment Inc. has launched a new design for fiber node transponders, has designed a temperature-hardened cable modem module and has released the SuperCAT, the company's newest line of compact addressable splitters.

The new transponder, which implements SNMP and HMS standard MIBs, can monitor and communicate critical operating parameters of the node. Electroline shrunk the physical size of the transponder and minimized the power consumption, allowing the advantages of DOCSIS- and HMS-based solutions to be applied.

The cable modem module, with a footprint of less than 1.5 x 3 inches, was designed to comply with the DOCSIS standard.

The SuperCAT controls multiple RF video tiers in MDUs, hospitals and universities. The all-weather-capable SuperCAT, which features a smaller footprint, will replace the company's current CAT-AGL line of splitters.

For up to one million subscribers, the splitter enables system operators to instantly and remotely connect or disconnect subs, and allows them to manage premium tier services via the company's control unit and the operator's existing billing system.


Broadband Briefs for 6/19/07

• IneoQuest shows off SDV monitoring solution
IneoQuest Technologies Inc. is showcasing its IQPinPoint solution - which supports the end-to-end testing, monitoring and troubleshooting of switched digital video (SDV) networks - at Cable-Tec Expo in Orlando this week.

The IQPinPoint, which comprises the Singulus Lite Cricket family of IP network probes and the IP Video Management System (iVMS), provides continues monitoring and reporting from the test lab to the last mile, the company said.

• ECI Telecom upgrades XDM platform
ECI Telecom has enhanced its XDM Multi-Service Transport Platform (MSTP) by combining the flexibility of metro and regional systems with the reach and capacity offered by long-haul DWDM systems. Even though the product won't launch until the end of the year, ECI already has trials in place and commitments from current customers.

• Ericsson and Redback go spanning the globe
Ericsson and its wholly-owned subsidiary Redback Networks announced a series of international deals, all signed in the past 90 days, with providers in Brazil, China, Hungary, Lebanon, Romania, Spain, Turkey and a mobile operator in the U.K. Among the new deals are contracts to deliver triple-play services for Jiangsu Telecom, a unit of China Telecom; and providing broadband services for enterprise and end users for Lebanese carrier Sodetel.

• Actelis enables SC provider's Ethernet services
Actelis Networks announced that Horry Telephone Cooperative (HTC), the nation's largest telephone cooperative, is using Actelis' Ethernet equipment as the basis for its Metro Ethernet services, which provide advanced broadband data services over existing copper infrastructure. HTC Communications offers local telephone service in South Carolina.

• Embarq unit to distribute Ruckus for IPTV services 
Embarq Logistics will distribute Ruckus Wireless' MediaFlex and MetroFlex product lines to independent operating companies. IOCs will then bundle the Ruckus MediaFlex and MetroFlex Wi-Fi solutions with their IPTV/triple play (video, Internet and voice) and broadband wireless services to uniquely support in- home distribution requirements.

• CommScope claims deployments for deep-fiber system
CommScope said it has deployed its BrightPath system with three major broadband cable operators, and has installations pending with three additional cable customers, all of which it declined to identify. BrightPath is a deep-fiber distribution system designed to work with existing hybrid-fiber/coax (HFC) networks. BrightPath can be deployed selectively in new build applications with lower upfront cost and maintenance relative to a traditional passive optical network (PON), according to CommScope.

• Widevine selected by Bell Aliant
Bell Aliant has chosen Widevine Technologies to protect its broadcast service, Aliant TV. Widevine's content protection systems are also used by SaskTel, Telus and MTS Allstream. Aliant TV offers 300 channels of digital IPTV programming including broadcast TV, pay-per-view movies and events, over 90 regional radio stations and 40 commercial-free all-music channels.  Its Interactive Program Guide lets users conveniently watch TV, channel surf and select programs.

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