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Broadband Briefs for 4/21/08

Mon, 04/21/2008 - 8:00am

• AT&T launches U-verse triple play in W. Mich.
By Traci Patterson

AT&T has launched all three U-verse services – U-verse TV, U-verse-enabled high-speed Internet and U-verse Voice – in western Michigan. AT&T U-verse brings together TV, broadband, wireline and wireless services, all on one bill for consumers.

"West Michigan is the first market where the full triple-play of AT&T U-verse TV, Internet and Voice services is available to consumers on the very first day of our launch," said Robert Nixon, AT&T’s GM for Michigan. "AT&T U-verse is going to be a game-changer for West Michigan. Not only are customers getting a new choice to break away from cable, they're getting more from their services."

Customers can currently order AT&T U-verse services in parts of more than 40 local Michigan communities, including Battle Creek, Grand Rapids, Holland and Kalamazoo. The telco said that it will make U-verse services available to more homes throughout the area on an ongoing basis.

• Finisar’s patent win over DirecTV sent back to lower court
By Mike Robuck

On Friday, a federal appeals court sent Finisar Corp.’s patent infringement suit against DirecTV back to a lower court while vacating a previous decision that would have required DirecTV to pay more than $100 million for patent infringement.

The Associated Press reported that the patent in question is related to transmitting and broadcasting digital information.

The appeals court said that the district court that heard the 2006 case “incorrectly construed a vital term featured prominently in each asserted claim" and made other errors. The appeals court said the errors would affect the validity of the rest of the claims so that a new trial was necessary.

• Dish adds HD versions of CNN, Sci-Fi, USA
By Brian Santo

The Dish Network continued the expansion of its high-definition (HD) channel lineup with the addition of CNN HD, Sci-Fi HD and USA HD.

The new channels are available to Dish Network customers who subscribe to the company's AT100 or Essentials HD packages or higher, the company said.

The company is running a promotion for qualified new Dish Network customers who sign up with a 24-month commitment; those customers will receive three months of free programming, a free dishDVR and free installation.

• Navic names ad vet Gerster as CMO
By Traci Patterson

Navic Networks has named advertising veteran Alec Gerster to the newly created position of CMO. He will be responsible for broadening industry awareness and usage of Navic's digital targeting and optimized TV advertising technologies.

Most recently, Gerster was the worldwide CEO for Initiative, a media service company. Prior to Initiative, Gerster had a 30-year career at Grey Global group, where he served as CEO of Grey’s media service arm – MediaCom Worldwide.

Navic's advanced TV advertising solutions address the fragmented media landscape by finding target audiences and placing relevant ads across multiple programs, platforms and markets, the company said.

• Sigma System’s Cappellani joins TM Forum’s board
By Traci Patterson

Sigma Systems’ CTO Brian Cappellani has been appointed as an advisory director to the TM Forum’s board of directors. At Sigma Systems, Cappellani is responsible for the architectural and technological vision and deliverables for the company’s Service Management Platform and Solutions Suites.

The TM Forum is a trade association that provides leadership and guidance, technical and business innovation, and education and training to improve the way telecoms, media and information services are created, delivered, assured and charged.

“Brian brings a wealth of experience, as well as deep expertise in advanced IP service fulfillment, to the TM Forum Advisory Board,” said Keith Willetts, chairman of the TM Forum. “He will play a key role as we continue working to educate our cable and telco members on the application of TM Forum standards and principles to solve similar challenges for fulfillment of voice, data, video, content and multi-media services.”

• Blue Coat to buy Packeteer for $268M
By Brian Santo

Blue Coat Systems intends to buy Packeteer for $7.10 per share in cash, or approximately $268 million.

Both companies specialize in WAN technology. Blue Coat said it plans to incorporate certain Packeteer technologies into its ProxySG family of WAN network systems. These products optimize Wide Area Network (WAN) efficiency through application understanding and traffic prioritization capabilities.

More Broadband Direct:

 Mobile video coalition upbeat about tech trials 

 Concurrent bows SCTE-130 compliant advertising products 

 Digeo, Gemstar settle spat; Digeo might deploy Gemstar IPG 

 tru2way to rock CableNET demo at Cable Show '08 

 Charter, Wilen Media announce direct marketing agreement 

 Cable One picks Time Warner Telecom for service in Boise 

 AT&T rolls out Cisco's Telepresence 

 Openwave names interim CEO; expects Q3 loss 

 Broadband Briefs for 4/21/08 

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