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News summary for 10/19/07

Fri, 10/19/2007 - 8:42am
CED staff

BigBand’s CFO steps down
By Mike Robuck

BigBand Networks announced yesterday that Fred Ball, the company’s chief financial officer, will resign to pursue personal interests. The company has begun a CFO search with a retained executive search firm and intends to complete the search in the near future.

Ball will remain CFO through a transition period of an undetermined length and will aid BigBand in the future through an advisory role.

“We are most grateful to Fred for the expertise and leadership he has provided since he joined the company in 2004,” said Amir Bassan-Eskenazi, president and CEO of BigBand Networks, in a statement. “He made a significant contribution in fostering the company’s growth and in preparing us for our IPO and Sarbanes Oxley requirements. I am personally grateful for the support he has provided and wish him every success in the future.”

BigBand had its initial public offering (IPO) in March of this year. The stock opened at $15.25 a share but was trading in the $5.60 a share range by mid-morning today. The company was an earlier pioneer in switched digital video technology and its customers include Time Warner CableCox CommunicationsCablevision and Verizon.

"I am grateful to Amir and the team at BigBand for the opportunity to be part of a great company at an exciting stage in its growth,” Ball said in a statement. “I am happy to have contributed to BigBand’s accomplishments and wish the team continued success with customers and with building a leading video technology company.”

BigBand also announced that it will report financial results for the third quarter ended Sept. 30, immediately following the close of the market on Tuesday, Oct. 30.  

iN Demand squeezes 3 HD channels into 1
By Traci Patterson

iN Demand Networks has launched two new HD sports package channels - GameHD and TeamHD - that are compressed, along with iN Demand’s existing HD PPV channel, into the bandwidth of one HD channel.

iN Demand’s compression technology, which is free to cable operators, is automated on a national basis so that operators can implement it at their individual headends.

The channels can be found in the sports package area of the cable system’s lineup. TeamHD will air the scheduled HD NBA games through the NBA League Pass package. GameHD will be airing HD NHL games on NHL Center Ice, as well as HD MLB games through next year’s MLB Extra Innings package.

And when an NHL Center Ice HD broadcast is airing on GameHD, a slate will appear on both the TeamHD and HD PPV channels with upcoming schedule information. Similarly, when a boxing or UFC HD event is airing on HD PPV, slates will appear on the new channels.

NPG Cable uses MetaSwitch for digital phone services
By Mike Robuck

NPG Cable, a triple-play communications provider serving 100,000 subscribers, recently started a deployment of digital phone services for business customers based on technology from MetaSwitch.

The staged rollout will eventually cover three states and grow to include new features that use MetaSphere, the MetaSwitch service delivery platform and applications suite.

"Out of all the suppliers I've worked with in the past, MetaSwitch has absolutely been the most attentive to our needs," said Liam Catherall, information systems director at NPG Cable, in a prepared statement. "We gave them an extremely tight deadline and their response was remarkable."

Catherall said that MetaSwitch was particularly well suited to NPG Cable's phased deployment of business digital phone service. Gradually phasing in the new service in Missouri, California and Arizona where it operates cable systems, NPG Cable first deployed business digital phone services in August using a network-based call signaling (NCS) offering targeted at enterprises with less than six lines.

"We wanted the flexibility of starting with NCS so we didn't have to do a lot of training of our installers, allowing us to more quickly get into the marketplace, and then later grow to a more feature-rich offering," Catherall said. "Our initial deployment went really well and we're looking at the rest of it going equally well."

Mass. governor files broadband access bill
Copyright 2007 MediaNews Group, Inc. and New England Newspaper Group Inc.
By Matt Murphy, The Berkshire Eagle (Pittsfield, Massachusetts)

Gov. Deval L. Patrick filed a $25 million bond bill yesterday in hopes of expanding high-speed Internet access to unserved cities and towns.

The borrowed money would be used to invest in publicly owned broadband infrastructure and to partner with private firms to fully wire the 32 communities without high-speed access by 2010.

Almost all of those unserved cities and towns are in Western Massachusetts, in Berkshire, Hampshire, Franklin and Hampden counties. The lack of high-speed access can hamper small businesses' ability to compete, as well as limiting schools' opportunity to use the Internet as a teaching tool, experts say.

"This is a great opportunity for the state to empower and cultivate existing talent. Particularly for areas like Western Massachusetts, this initiative begins to level the playing field for local students, residents and businesses by opening the door to an enormous amount of information and resources," said state Rep. Daniel E. Bosley, D-North Adams.

The governor's bill would create the Massachusetts Broadband Institute, a division of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, that would administer a new incentive fund for infrastructure expansion.

"Today's global economy requires that every corner of our commonwealth be wired for the 21st century," Patrick said.

Broadband Briefs for 10/19/07

* Tek updates VoIP test for better IMS coverage
By Brian Santo

The latest version of Tektronix’s VoIP and IMS test platform is now available. Tek says the Spectra2 XL offers an increase in load generation capacity for SIP testing of up to 800 percent, as well as increased capacity for the testing of other VoIP and IMS protocols.

“With Spectra2 XL, Tektronix raises the bar by providing customers increased performance and productivity with improved processing and faster response times to accommodate testing of next generation VoIP and IMS networks,” said Richard Kenedi, General Manager, Network Diagnostics, Tektronix.

* Dish brings HD lineup to 75 channels
By Traci Patterson

Dish Network has launched its latest HD channel, NHL Network HD, bringing the operator’s national HD programming lineup to 75 channels - the most offered by any U.S. pay-TV provider, the company said. Dish Network also offers its subscribers an HD DVR.

“For the past two years, Dish Network has pioneered the HD revolution by offering consumers the most HD channels - a fact that still holds true today,” said Eric Sahl, SVP of programming for Dish Network.

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