Broadband Briefs for 02/17/09

Tue, 02/17/2009 - 7:00am

EchoStar, TiVo resume patent battle
By Mike Robuck

TiVo and EchoStar are back in court today in an attempt to resolve their patent dispute over software technology that lets customers record one program while watching another.

The lawsuit, which returns to a Texas court today, started in 2004 when TiVo alleged that EchoStar had violated its patent for its Time Warp software. (For more on the legal dispute, click here).

The two companies will present their arguments today and tomorrow in the U.S. District Court in Texarkana, Texas, in front of Judge David Folsom, according to Reuters. Folsom is considering whether TiVo can prove that EchoStar’s DVR software infringed on its patent, and whether the satellite operator owes more damages than the $104 million that was awarded by the U.S. Supreme Court last year after EchoStar’s appeal was denied (story here).

Mediacom wraps up stock repurchase
By Traci Patterson

Mediacom Communications has completed its previously announced repurchase of all of its Class A common stock owned by Shivers Investments, an affiliate of Morris Communications Co., in a transaction structured as a tax-free split-off under Section 355 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Mediacom exchanged all of the shares of stock of a wholly owned subsidiary – which held approximately $110 million of cash and non-strategic cable TV systems serving approximately 25,000 basic subscribers – for 28.31 million shares of its Class A common stock held by Shivers Investments.

As of Dec. 31, after giving effect to the completion of this transaction, Mediacom’s total Class A and Class B outstanding shares were approximately 66.5 million.

RCN Metro provides Empire One with SONET-based network
By Traci Patterson

RCN Metro Optical Networks, a division of RCN Corp., is providing Empire One Telecommunications Inc. with a high-bandwidth, SONET-based network to support voice, data and video applications and customers.

"We chose RCN Metro because they were able to provide us with a comprehensive solution for our complex connectivity needs,” said Paul Butler, COO of Empire One.  “Through RCN Metro's SONET Service, Empire One is able to connect to multiple end locations over a dedicated, protected, high-speed network."

Empire One is a communications company that provides services through its licenses as a facilities-based competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC) and long-distance carrier, as well as a newly certified open video system (OVS) provider in New York City to provide cable TV service.

Exfo adds software suite to Ethernet, IP tester
By Traci Patterson

Exfo Electro-Optical Engineering Inc. has released a new software suite for its AXS-200/850 – a handheld Ethernet and IP tester – that will allow field technicians to perform one-step, multi-stream traffic generation and monitoring.

Exfo’s AXS-200/850 handheld tester allows any technician to immediately and accurately interpret real-time pass/fail thresholds. The graphical user interface (GUI) uses speedometer-like images to display real-time test results that eliminate errors in data interpretation. The tester boasts full-line rate throughput, packet jitter, real-time latency, frame loss, out-of-sequence statistics, and on-the-fly adjustment of throughput and frame size.

“Even as networks and component configurations continue to grow in complexity, the current economic climate is forcing service providers to drive more productivity out of their resources,” said Etienne Gagnon, Exfo’s vice president of product management and marketing. “The latest AXS-200/850 software suite supports our customers’ business initiatives, with focused functionality that expands their field-testing capabilities, while enabling them to meet stringent [service-level agreements].”

More Broadband Direct 02/17/09:
•  After muddled process, some stations get ready to cut analog
•  Comcast Media Center bows bandwidth-planning tool
•  Comcast executives take a pass on pay raises
•  Verizon considers $5 phone plan
•  NRTC, NTCA offer rural telcos more HD channels
•  A-L program to foster innovative apps
•  Trilithic offers free training
•  Liberty Media deal staves off Sirius bankruptcy, Ergen bid
•  Mobile World Congress: What's MWC without iPhone?
•  Recession could lengthen twilight of dial-up
•  Broadband Briefs for 02/17/09



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