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Broadband Briefs for 10/09/08

Thu, 10/09/2008 - 8:00am

DirecTV adds 100th local HD market
By Mike Robuck

DirecTV said it has rolled out local high-definition (HD) channels in two more markets, for a total of 100 markets nationwide.

The two newest markets to offer local HD programming are Columbia/Jefferson City, Mo., and Evansville, Ind. DirecTV said it is now offering local HD channels in more than 83 percent of the nation’s households.

DirecTV said it will provide local HD broadcast channels in more than 121 cities in 88 percent of the nation’s households by the end of the year.

Verizon expands services in N.Y., N.J.; intros Expert Care plans
By Traci Patterson

Residents of two Long Island villages – Cove Neck in Nassau County and Brightwaters in Suffolk County – will soon have access to Verizon’s FiOS TV service, thanks to newly approved agreements authorizing the telco to offer its video service in the areas. The latest approvals make 133 the total number of New York municipalities that have granted video franchises to Verizon. 

And consumers in six more New Jersey cities and towns now have access to FiOS TV.

As of today, residents in Vineland in Cumberland County, Hawthorne and Prospect Park in Bergen County, Eastampton in Burlington County, Long Branch in Monmouth County and South Plainfield in Middlesex County have access to the video service. With these latest additions, FiOS TV is now available in 310 New Jersey communities.

Additionally, Verizon is now providing its customers with new Expert Care service plans that offer 24/7, in-depth technical support for computer software and hardware problems, as well as repair or replacement coverage for computers, TVs and telephone equipment. Expert Care offers three types of service plans: Device Protection, Premium Technical Support and Premium Onsite Support.

Qwest bridges home phone, Internet services for Colo. subs
By Traci Patterson

Qwest Communications has introduced qHome to its Colorado customers. The new Web tool, which was developed in collaboration with Microsoft, gives customers online access to their Qwest Choice Home phone service by integrating it with their Qwest High-Speed Internet service via Microsoft’s Windows Live. This allows Qwest’s subscribers to manage all of their messages – voicemail, e-mail, call logs – from a personal computer.

With the qHome online portal, customers can see who's calling their home phone, listen to voicemails, forward messages, manage their contacts and place a phone call. When qHome customers are away from home, they can log into the qHome portal from most computers, remotely view and manage their home phone activity, and receive instant message pop-ups of incoming home phone calls with Windows Live Messenger, Qwest said.

“qHome brings Qwest home phone and Qwest High-Speed Internet services together in ways that allow people to simplify their lives,” said Qwest Product Director Ken Rambo. “qHome is another example of Qwest’s commitment to deliver solutions for customers that enable multiple services to work together at home and on the go.”

Dish Network boots up local HD in five markets
By Mike Robuck

Dish Network said today that it has added local high-definition (HD) channels in five markets, which brings its total to 70 markets nationwide.

The five new markets for local HD channels are: Florence/Myrtle Beach, S.C.; Fort Myers/Naples, Fla.; Greenville/New Bern/Washington, N.C.; Madison, Wis.; and Wilkes Barre/Scranton, Pa.

With the 70 markets, Dish said it is now reaching 71 percent of the nation’s households with local HD channels.

Convergys’ IRB version 3.0 selected by Portuguese op
By Traci Patterson

Convergys Corp. announced that ZON TV Cabo, a Portuguese cable operator, will upgrade its legacy system with Convergys’ Infinys Rating and Billing (IRB) version 3.0 to support its countrywide cable and satellite network and triple-play service offerings, as well as to help it introduce new services planned for later this year.

"From the time we began working with Convergys, we found that its Infinys rating and billing engine helped us support our drive to become more customer-focused, while improving the evolution of our product line,” said João Aroeira Gonçalves, ZON TV Cabo’s billing director. “Upgrading to the latest version of Infinys Rating and Billing will enable us to introduce new services, such as mobile telephony and high-definition TV, more rapidly."

The Infinys Series 3 solution, Convergys’ customer care and business support system (BSS), delivers support of convergent services – regardless of service channel or payment method. It is built on a component-based architecture that provides flexibility, investment protection and support.

More Broadband Direct:

• Retrans spat may have led to converter coupon requests

• FCC vote will muddy must-carry situation

• SureWest intros EBIF applications in K.C.

• Promised SlingCatcher now available

• TWC hires Saksena as deputy chief strategy officer

• Wireless Week: Sprint execs hit most overpaid list

• Verizon Business bows new collaboration platform

• SBS taps Tandberg for digital terrestrial network

• Study: Large audience watching, engaging in online video, ads

• Broadband Briefs for 10/09/08

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