Broadband Briefs for 5/6/08
• Industry group picks up Comcast’s P2P bill
By Brian Santo
Comcast and Pando appear to have attracted some help with their proposed “P2P Bill of Rights.”
The Distributed Computing Industry Association (DCIA) said its members will develop a document that has the same general aims as the P2P Bill of Rights, according to multiple press reports from the DCIA’s P2P Media Summit in Los Angeles yesterday. Comcast and Pando would contribute to the development of the document.
Pando is a member of the DCIA, as are AT&T, BitTorrent, Cisco, KPMG, Joost, Verizon, Telcordia, Verisign, and dozens upon dozens of small companies involved in distributed computing.
• Verizon wins video franchises in Mass., Va.
By Traci Patterson
Verizon has been granted a video franchise in Lakeville, Mass., allowing the telco to offer its FiOS TV service to 4,000 additional households in the area. The win makes 70 the total number of Massachusetts communities where Verizon's FiOS TV is, or will soon be, available.
Verizon has also been awarded a 15-year video franchise in Manassas, Va., covering about 12,000 households. Verizon currently offers FiOS TV to more than 1,100 city households, and the telco said that it will make the service available to all households in Manassas within three years.
Verizon currently offers FiOS TV in select locations in New York, New Jersey, California, Delaware, Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas and Virginia.
Additionally, Verizon is ramping up its all-fiber-optic network upgrade in the Hampton Roads, Va., area.
• Microsoft adds TV shows to Zune
By Mike Robuck
Microsoft announced today that it has added new software features and TV shows to its Zune portable media device. While the Zune devices have previously been able to play music videos, now customers can add shows from, among others, Comedy Central, NBC Universal, Nickelodeon, Turner Broadcasting and Starz Media.
Starting today, more than 800 TV episodes are available for download for $1.99 each through the Zune online store. While the Zune devices haven’t made a significant impact on Apple’s iPod sales ever since Microsoft rolled them out two years ago, Apple no longer has content from NBC Universal after the two parted ways last year.
And Microsoft said the new software makes it easier for customers to find the music that they want and to share it with friends.
• JDSU unveils CWDM channel checker
By Brian Santo
JDSU has announced the release of the OCC-55 Smart Optical Channel Checker for CWDM networks. The OCC-55 is a selective power meter for CWDM applications that provides the market with a low-cost alternative to optical spectrum analyzers (OSAs).
The OCC-55 – developed for CWDM network installation, maintenance and surveillance teams – is specifically designed for CWDM system installation, upgrades and troubleshooting.
CWDM systems are mainly being deployed in metropolitan areas where network operator customer groups are densely concentrated and can be reached within a reasonable system link span without the need for optical amplifiers. Because of this, JDSU said, field technicians can no longer afford to carry a sophisticated full-band OSA to every location in order to verify the presence and power level of an individual CWDM channel. The compact, inexpensive OCC-55 meets the market requirements for a CWDM analyzer and equips every technician with the ability to check for CWDM channels.
• SCTE names Shapp scholarship winner
By Traci Patterson
The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) announced that Sean Burris, a senior at Northwest Christian School in Phoenix, is the 2008 recipient of the $20,000 Milton Jerrold Shapp Memorial Scholarship.
The scholarship, awarded to a high school senior son or daughter of a telecommunications industry employee, honors the memory of Shapp, a cable telecommunications pioneer and a former governor of Pennsylvania.
Burris will be honored as part of the Annual Awards Luncheon at the SCTE Cable-Tec Expo 2008, set for June 24–27 in Philadelphia. He aspires to study engineering at Arizona State University.
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