U-verse ordered to get cable franchise in Conn.
By Brian Santo
The Connecticut Department of Public Utility (DPUC) decided that AT&T must file for a cable franchise license, reversing its own ruling in July that AT&T’s U-verse television is not a cable service.
AT&T has been arguing all along – and the DPUC originally agreed – that because U-verse is delivered via DSL, it is an Internet service, and not a cable service, and therefore it should be categorized under Connecticut law as a competitive video operator, a category exempt from having to file for a cable franchise.
Some consumer groups argued otherwise, and the state’s attorney general agreed, forcing the DPUC to review its original decision.
AT&T has been gradually rolling out U-verse in Connecticut for almost a year. It has about 7,000 subscribers spread among 40 communities in the state.
The Connecticut regulators said the company can continue to support existing customers. AT&T said the ruling means it must disconnect those customers.
The company must file for a franchise by the end of the year. Until then, it is barred not only from signing up new customers, but also from building any new plant to support U-verse.
AT&T said it will sue the state to reverse this latest decision.
Rogers completes second phase of wireless rollout
By Mike Robuck
Rogers said it has completed the second phase of the rollout of its 3G high-speed wireless network and services that are now available in 22 Canadian markets.
The suite of services, called Rogers Vision, was introduced earlier this year in Ontario. The Vision suite of services runs on Roger’s new high-speed packet access (HSPA) network, which Rogers claims is the fastest wireless network in Canada.
HSPA is the latest evolution of GSM, the worldwide standard for mobile wireless communications. The 3G protocol significantly increases download speeds on wireless devices, providing a user experience similar to broadband high-speed services.
With Rogers Vision, customers can communicate with mobile multimedia and visual services. It features more than 25 channels of mobile television and video programs, and radio-on-demand with XM Satellite radio and the Rogers MusicStore.
The Rogers HSPA network allows business customers to save time by taking their high-speed broadband office setting on the road. Just as Rogers customers can roam with GSM, they can roam when traveling to countries where HSPA networks have been deployed. There are currently 117 commercially-launched HSPA networks in 58 countries.
“Rogers Vision is a quantum leap forward in wireless communications and has revolutionized the way customers access information and entertainment on-the-go both at home and abroad," said John Boynton, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, Rogers Wireless, in a statement.
The expansion announced today includes services for customers in Greater Vancouver, Kelowna, Victoria, Whistler, Calgary, Edmonton, Fort McMurray, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Regina, Ottawa/Gatineau, Kingston, Sudbury, Barrie, London, Kitchener/Waterloo, Guelph, Windsor, Greater Montreal, Quebec City, Chicoutimi and Trois-Rivieres. Rogers Vision is already available in the Greater Toronto Area, Hamilton/St. Catharines, and Burlington/Oakville. Overall, the services are available to 60 percent of the Canadian population.
Level 3 buys BellSouth fiber from AT&T
By Traci Patterson
The acquired assets include indefeasible rights of use (IRUs) for dark fiber connections to 27 buildings, as well as more than 450 metro fiber route miles in the nine markets where AT&T was required to divest assets - Atlanta; Birmingham, Ala.; Charlotte, N.C.; Nashville, Chattanooga and Knoxville, Tenn.; and Jacksonville, Orlando and South Florida.
Level 3 retains intermediate splice rights, which will enable it to add new buildings to the acquired assets.
"The ability to add new buildings and offer the full portfolio of Level 3 services in each of these markets provides additional growth opportunities and reinforces our commitment to providing customers with facilities-based access to a comprehensive range of network solutions,” said Raouf Abdel, president of Level 3's Business Markets Group.
InfoVista rolls out software to support services over Carrier Ethernet
By Mike Robuck
InfoVista said yesterday that it has released an updated version of the company’s performance-monitoring software for fixed, mobile and cable service providers.
InfoVista’s VistaInsight for Networks 3.0 was designed to help service providers meet their customers’ demand for the delivery of business-class services over Carrier Ethernet and IP networks.
The release of VistaInsight for Networks 3.0 comes at a time when traditional service providers and MSOs are under constant pressure to deliver the most reliable Carrier Ethernet services to corporate customers and mobile operators alike.
Corporate users are increasingly adopting Ethernet-based services to power their corporate networks and new revenue-generating applications, while mobile operators are demanding lower-cost Carrier Ethernet-based backhaul.
VistaInsight for Networks 3.0 features support for service level agreements (SLAs) over the Carrier Ethernet infrastructure and enhanced support for next-generation mobile backhaul.
“We’ve kept a laser-focus on the service provider market since our inception nearly 12 years ago and have consistently provided our customers with an industry leading service-centric performance management solution,” said Manuel Stopnicki, chief technology officer, InfoVista, in a statement. “We specifically engineered VistaInsight for Networks 3.0 to help our service provider customers realize the tremendous revenue opportunities available to them via Ethernet-based business services, and we look forward to continuing to push the envelope with new services that guarantee the highest possible service quality to the end user.”
InfoVista also announced the release of its VistaFoundation Kit 4.0, a next-generation version of the company’s underlying technology platform that powers the VistaInsight suite of products. VistaFoundation is a set of software components that provide many of the core underlying capabilities in InfoVista’s suite of performance management products for next-generation services and infrastructure.
APTS, PBS plan DTV transition campaign; NCTA debuts ads
By Brian Santo
The Association of Public Television Stations (APTS) and PBS said they will start a campaign aimed at educating households that receive television only through over-the-air signals about the upcoming DTV transition.
The spots will be distributed to cable networks and operators for airing in markets nationwide. The announcements are part of the $200 million public service advertising campaign the NCTA announced in early September.
A major component of the APTS/PBS campaign includes the commitment by local public television stations to air multiple DTV Action Spots throughout the DTV transition. Over the next 16 months, that could amount to 3 billion broadcast impressions – “a significant percentage of our available time,” said APTS President and CEO John Lawson.
The campaign will also include information in stations’ printed program guides and Web sites, and mailings.
The burden of promoting awareness of the DTV transition has been purposefully shifted to the broadcast industry.
Lawson said, “When Congress created Medicare Part D, the Department of Health and Human Services obligated almost $109 million to advertise, educate and inform beneficiaries. In comparison, Congress only set aside $5 million to educate the American public about the transition to digital.”
Broadband Briefs for 10/16/07
* Registration open for SCTE’s ET 2008
By Brian Santo
The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) has opened registration for its Conference on Emerging Technologies (ET) 2008, which will be held Jan. 14–16 at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel and Suites in Los Angeles.
The theme of this year’s edition of ET is “Integrator or Pipeline? Transcending Transport in a Hyperconnected World.” Technical sessions include:
* Advanced Advertising Technology: Driving the Next Growth Engine
* Cable’s Evolution to the Hyperconnected Network
* Cable 3.0: Personalizing Services Beyond Web 2.0
* Rapid Application Delivery and Service Quality Management.
The pre-registration deadline for ET 2008 is Friday, Dec. 21. The best conference rate is available to individuals who are (or who become) SCTE members and who meet the pre-registration deadline. The housing deadline is Friday, Dec. 14.
Register at the organization’s Web site.
* HealthiNation delivers VOD content on FiOS TV
By Brian Santo
HealthiNation has launched its programming to Verizon FiOS TV households across the country. Verizon FiOS TV is now available to nearly 3.9 million households in 12 states. HealthiNation’s programs cover a variety of topics, ranging from medical conditions to everyday wellness topics such as parenting and treating a common cold
* RCN launches ESPN360.com, ABC News Now
By Traci Patterson
ESPN360.com - a live, multi-sport broadband network - features thousands of hours of online coverage from a wide array of global games and events. ABC News Now features a live, 24/7 broadcast stream of the ABC News Now channel and includes full episode archives of ABC News shows.
* Hawaiian Telcom chooses Telcordia for MPLS network
By Traci Patterson
Hawaiian Telcom has deployed Telcordia’s Granite Inventory to automate the provisioning of high-speed DSL services over its MultiProtocol Label Switching (MPLS) network, which allows the operator to offer DSL services at speeds up to 11 Mbps.
Nine weeks ago, Hawaiian Telcom selected Telcordia’s Fulfillment Suite to support its new MPLS-based IP services, including the provisioning of IP VLANs, DSL over IP and other future IP-based services.