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News summary for 10/02/07

Tue, 10/02/2007 - 9:40am
CED staff

Broadband policy debated in Congress
By Brian Santo

Congress held hearings on “special access” services – voice and data services for the enterprise market.

Companies like Sprint can get access to enterprise customers only by using the networks of companies like Verizon and AT&T, who dominate the market. Sprint desires regulations that dictate lower pricing from Verizon and AT&T so that Sprint and others can provide more effective competition.

Verizon and AT&T do not want those regulations. Tom Tauke, Verizon executive vice president for public affairs, policy and communications, was on hand to argue that outdated regulations – including the ones that give Sprint and other companies special-access opportunities – should be scrapped, and all should be left to the market.

Other committees in Congress are turning their attention to a variety of different aspects of broadband policy, and Tauke took the opportunity of testifying before the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet yesterday to address some of those issues, too. He recommended the government reform the Universal Service Fund, and adopt measures to encourage broadband adoption.

To the latter end, Congress ought to “target programs to support infrastructure investment through a combination of loans, tax credits, or grants,” Tauke said. He referred to ConnectedNation as an example of that approach. ConnectedNation is an organization that pursues public-private partnerships to increase deployment in rural states.

Outdoor Channel inks distribution deal with NCTC
By Mike Robuck

Outdoor Channel Holdings said today that it has renewed its carriage agreement with the National Cable Television Cooperative (NCTC). The new five-year distribution deal offers continued carriage for the current subscribers and also contains incentives for broader carriage of the Outdoor Channel.

The NCTC’s roster of independent cable operators numbers 1,100, and they serve approximately 12 millions subscribers nationwide.

"We are pleased to have concluded the renewal and restructuring of our affiliation agreement with one of our biggest and best customers, the NCTC," said Roger L. Werner, president and chief executive officer of Outdoor Channel Holdings, in a statement. "While we expect the NCTC renewal will initially reduce our subscriber fee revenues, the subscriber fee rates under the agreement increase over time. In addition, we believe the incentives in the agreement will promote greater penetration throughout the membership and lead to an overall expansion in the number of cable subscribers through the organization."

Comcast rolling out TBS baseball, CNN news in HD
By Mike Robuck

Baseball fans and news junkies in Massachusetts and most of New Hampshire will now be able to watch TBS and CNN in HD from Comcast.

With the Major League Baseball playoffs slated to start on Wednesday, TBS will carry 27 potential games in both the American and National leagues in HD, along with TBS’ regular lineup, with the new launches by Comcast. CNN’s news and political coverage of the presidential primaries will also be served up in HD mode by Comcast.

"We are committed to providing the best HD programming on the market," said Randy Waddell, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Comcast's North Central Division, in a statement. "The addition of TBS HD and CNN HD, combined with our already extensive HD lineup and more than 150 hours of HD On Demand content, delivers our customers the ultimate viewing experience."

The number of HD channels an operator carries has been a bragging point between cable, satellite and telco video providers. Comcast is also facing a stiff challenge from Verizon in Massachusetts as the telco rolls out its video FiOS service.

Acme Packet’s SBCs deployed by Bandwidth.com
By Traci Patterson

Acme Packet’s Net-Net session border controllers (SBCs) have been deployed by Bandwidth.com to support the provider’s VoIP services for small- and medium-size businesses.

The SBCs secure the network while maximizing service reach and assuring quality of service (QoS). And Acme Packet’s Net-Safe security architecture protects the service delivery infrastructure and the customer networks with denial of service (DoS) protection, session authorization and topology hiding.

Bandwidth.com – a nationwide enterprise voice and data service provider with more than 3,500 customers – has also deployed Sylantro’s Synergy multiplay application feature server. More than 30 service providers worldwide, including Bandwidth.com, have deployed Acme Packet’s and Sylantro’s solutions in conjunction.

Tulix debuts new broadband suite for cable, telco 
By Mike Robuck

Tulix Systems, an applications service provider of broadband solutions, announced today that it has released its Broadband Online Solutions Suite, which it calls The B.O.S.S.

The suite of 20 online applications and services was designed to help cable and telephone companies increase their revenue, maximize productivity and increase their competitive edge.

Tulix’s middleware centers on a cable operator’s or a telco’s existing Web site and adds key elements to encourage return traffic by their subscriber bases. Some of the  B.O.S.S elements include streaming video that previews pay-per-view or VOD offerings, paid commercials, an interactive bundle calculator that lets customers see the cost savings of bundled services, online classified services, and Intranet services for companies.

"In looking over our inventory of our work, I decided that we should join our best work together and offer our industry a complete suite of services and applications that would allow them to take full advantage of their Internet presence," said Dr. George Bokuchava, CEO of Tulix Systems, in a prepared statement. "Our staff came together and, from those strategy sessions, The B.O.S.S. was born."

The B.O.S.S. v1.0 is available to customers as a whole package or as individual modules.

Broadband Briefs for 10/02/07

* Tullahoma Utilities rides Wave7 to FTTP
By Brian Santo

The Tullahoma (Tennessee) Utilities Board (TUB) has selected Wave7 Optics’ Trident7 Universal Access Platform for a municipal FTTP network that will begin service to homes, businesses and schools in late Q3, 2008. TUB will begin construction of the $16.9 million network migration  project later this year and expects to complete the project in 2010.

The network will offer a voice, high-speed data (20+ Mbps) and a 200-channel IPTV service with VOD (video-on-demand). Tullahoma is a city of approximately 20,000 located between Chattanooga and Nashville.

* OpVista appoints SVP for field operations
By CED staff

OpVista announced that Pirjo Tuomi will be its senior vice president of worldwide cable and field operations. Tuomi joins the company from BigBand Networks, where she had been senior vice president of sales, and before that, held various positions with ADC, Bay Networks, and Nortel.

Tuomi said, “In response to the rapidly increasing customer interest in OpVista’s optical network solutions, the company is growing its field operations to continue to provide a highly responsive world-class customer service experience in the Americas, Caribbean, and Europe. I welcome the opportunity to scale the organization to meet our rapidly growing demand.”

* Bend Broadband chooses Alloptic system
By CED staff

Alloptic has added Bend Broadband to its client list. Bend Broadband will use Alloptic's MicroNode products for an FTTP rollout.

"We have been very pleased with the performance of the MicroNode," said Frank Miller, CTO and VP of Engineering, Bend Broadband. "With Alloptic's MicroNode products, we are delivering more services to more customers with our existing headend equipment. Alloptic's solution lets us move towards a full fiber-to-the-customer network as we grow. Alloptic has greatly simplified our transition to an access network that delivers all the services wanted by all our customers - residential and business - for years to come."

* Ciena to upgrade AboveNet’s network
By CED staff

Ciena said that AboveNet has deployed its CN 4200 FlexSelect Advanced Services Platform throughout its metro networks to support a variety of private networks transporting Ethernet, IP and other managed services.

* SCTE adds Suddenlink’s Cordova to board
By Traci Patterson

The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) board of directors has added Terry Cordova to the board as a director-at-large. He replaces Walter Ciciora, who recently resigned his board seat in preparation for his upcoming retirement.

Cordova - CTO of Suddenlink Communications and an SCTE member since 1999 - served on the board, also as a director-at-large, from 2003 to 2005. Ciciora was in the second year of his third consecutive two-year term, and Cordova will complete that term, which will conclude at the SCTE Cable-Tec Expo in June.

* Juniper hires new CMO
By Traci Patterson

Juniper Networks Inc. has appointed Penny Wilson to CMO. Wilson previously served as SVP and CMO at Macromedia Inc. (acquired by Adobe Systems Inc. in 2005).

Wilson will be responsible for leading Juniper's global marketing programs and resources. She will direct the company's global marketing initiatives, which are designed to align and support the company's corporate strategy and growth plans, the company said.

* Zayo to acquire Indiana Fiber Works
By Traci Patterson

Zayo Bandwidth, a regional provider of fiber-based network services, has acquired Indiana Fiber Works (IFW). Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

IFW’s fiber network connects 21 of Indiana’s largest cities, including Indianapolis, Ft. Wayne and South Bend. Louisville, Colo.-based Zayo will use the network to provide transport services to enterprise, government and wholesale entities. Zayo recently purchased Minneapolis-based Onvoy Inc. 

* Streaming21 opens doors on Singapore research center
By Mike Robuck

Streaming21 launched a new research and development center today in Singapore that the company said will focus on IPTV, Mobile TV and digital home solutions. The company said the new center received support from the Singapore Economic Development Board.

“The EDB welcomes Streaming21's decision to base its Asia Pacific R&D Center for its IPTV and Mobile TV technology development in Singapore,” said Jacqueline Tan, Deputy Director, Infocomms and Media Division of the Economic Development Board, in a statement. “Streaming21's presence here reinforces the steps which Singapore is taking in media technology-related R&D as part of a larger National effort in the Interactive and Digital Media (IDM) industry."

With the addition of Singapore, Streaming21's global presence now spans the United States, Taiwan, Japan, and China.

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