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Broadband Briefs for 9/26/08

Fri, 09/26/2008 - 8:00am

House approves $20M provision for digital transition
By Brian Santo

The House yesterday approved another $20 million to spend on administrative expenses associated with the digital transition. The provision was included in a larger appropriations bill.

The U.S. had allocated $1.5 billion toward the coupon program, with a maximum of $160 million to be used toward administrative expenses, and there’s already an overrun. So far, the NTIA has spent $40 million more to support the converter coupon program than originally anticipated, according to the Associated Press.

The NTI sought approval for the increase to ensure coupons will continue to be distributed throughout the transition.

Verizon wins video franchise in Mansfield, Mass.
By Traci Patterson

Residents of Mansfield, Mass, will soon have access to Verizon’s FiOS TV service, thanks to a newly approved agreement authorizing the telco to offer its FiOS TV service in the community.

The vote makes 81 the total number of Massachusetts communities where Verizon's FiOS TV is, or will soon be, available.

Verizon is currently in negotiations with several other communities in Massachusetts to obtain additional FiOS TV franchises. FiOS TV offers all-digital programming, 85 high-definition (HD) channels, thousands of video-on-demand (VOD) titles and more.

Azulstar picks Alvarion’s tech for MetraMAX
By Traci Patterson

Azulstar has selected Alvarion’s 802.16e BreezeMAX equipment for its 3.65 GHz networks. And using Alvarion’s solution, Azulstar is launching MetraMAX, a wireless broadband offering that will provide service to various western Michigan and New Mexico communities, the company said.

MetrMAX is powered by a high-performance Gigabit backbone. Alvarion’s commercially available BreezeMAX 3650 base station and customer premises equipment (CPE) were the first in the U.S. to receive FCC authorization earlier this year, the company said.

“The arrival of mobile WiMAX represents the dawn of a new era for municipal wireless projects across the country,” said Tyler van Houwelingen, Azulstar founder and CEO. “WiMAX is the best technology for delivering superior coverage, performance and reliability while dramatically reducing the investment and time for deployment. Alvarion’s BreezeMAX 3650, which includes second-order diversity capabilities, has proven to be the ideal solution for offering the double-play service in geographically challenging and urban environments, and we look forward to additional deployments using Alvarion in the future.”

More Broadband Direct:

• Wave 7's Farmer: Fiber providers shouldn't fret about DOCSIS 3.0

• ISPs testify before Congress regarding online, targeted advertising

• Verizon audit finds grounding issues in New York

• ACA cites retransmission complaints as proof of broadcaster abuse

• Senate to FCC: Lay off cable

• FCC enacts new D-block plan

• Gartner: IPTV subs to total 19.6M in 2008

• Broadband Briefs for 9/26/08

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