Broadband Briefs for 1/02/08

Wed, 01/02/2008 - 8:05am
CED staff

* EchoStar starts spinoff of business unit 
By Mike Robuck

EchoStar Communications Corp. completed the spinoff of its equipment business from the Dish Network on Tuesday. EchoStar, the nation’s second-largest satellite TV provider, announced that it was exploring a split in September.

For each share held as of Dec. 27, EchoStar investors received 0.2 shares of EchoStar Holding Corp., the new publicly traded company that will include the broadcast satellite receiver, antennae and commercial satellite businesses. The remaining business, focused on satellite TV, will change its name to Dish Network Corp. after the separation is completed and will continue to trade under the "DISH" symbol.

* Cox promotes 3 execs
By Traci Patterson

Cox Communications has promoted three executives: Jack Polish has been named executive director of financial reporting and compliance, Rachel Hubscher is now the director of creative services and Courtney Wood will serve as the director of acquisition marketing campaigns.

* Qwest, Katz Technology settle lawsuit
By Mike Robuck

Last week, Qwest Communications and Ronald A. Katz Technology Licensing announced the settlement of patent litigation between the parties. As part of the settlement, Qwest has agreed to pay an undisclosed sum for a nonexclusive license under a comprehensive portfolio of patents that Katz owns related to interactive voice applications.

The patents held by Ronald A. Katz Technology Licensing cover a range of interactive technologies, including automated forms of customer service, prescription refill services, securities trading, merchandising, prepaid services, telephone conferences, registration and home shopping, as well as functions involved in securing information from databases by telephone, interactive cable transactions, and various other uses of toll free and local numbers.

* RCN extends CEO’s agreement; Mooney retires from board
By Traci Patterson

RCN Corp.’s board of directors has extended President and CEO Peter Aquino’s reign with a new three-year agreement.

Additionally, James Mooney, who has served as executive chairman of RCN since 2005, will retire from RCN’s board. And Michael Katzenstein, an independent member of the board, has been named non-executive chairman of the board. Katzenstein has served as a director of RCN since 2005.

* Verizon’s FiOS TV wins votes in N.Y.
By Traci Patterson

Verizon’s FiOS TV service has been approved by 14 villages and one town in New York State.

Twelve of the 15 villages in the Great Neck/North Shore Consortium voted for the services: Great Neck Estates, Great Neck Plaza, Kensington, Lake Success, Munsey Park, North Hills, Plandome, Plandome Heights, Plandome Manor, Russell Gardens, Saddle Rock and Thomaston. And the villages of Sleepy

Hollow and Briarcliff Manor, along with the town of Ossining, have approved the TV service.

* DirecTV launches Tennis Channel HD
By Traci Patterson

On Monday, DirecTV launched Tennis Channel HD. This is the first HD launch for the sports channel, but it said more are expected to follow.

* Marvell 450 Mbps Wi-Fi chip
By Brian Santo

Marvell said it has a Wi-Fi chip that operates at 450 Mbps. The 802.11n-compliant chip, called Top Dog, is a 3x3 WLAN solution with three spatial streams. Marvell expanded on the proposed Wi-Fi standard with several techniques, including Special Time Block Coding (STBC), which the company explained helps maintain higher throughput over longer distances.

The chip is backward-compatible with previous 802.11a, b, g and n versions, according to the company, which expects to begin shipping in volume next quarter.

* Vonage, AT&T settle patent dispute
By Brian Santo

Vonage and AT&T completed an agreement to settle their patent dispute. The two had forged an agreement in principle in November.

* CommScope, Andrew finalize merger consideration
By Traci Patterson

CommScope Inc. and Andrew Corp. have completed the final merger consideration for CommScope's acquisition of Andrew. The consideration for each outstanding share of Andrew common stock is $13.50 in cash and $1.50 in CommScope common stock.

Today's headlines:

* FCC encourages the acceleration of the digital transition 

* Comcast, Insight complete division of partnership 

* Concurrent receives NASDAQ deficiency notice 

* Comcast moves PEG channels to digital; Dingell objects 

* Former Time Warner exec Dressler dies 

* Comcast heirs to get Roberts’ pay for 5 years after his death 

* Intel’s Sodhani resigns from Clearwire board 

* Broadband Briefs for 1/02/08 



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