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Broadband Briefs for 03/05/09

Thu, 03/05/2009 - 7:00am

NCTA’s McSlarrow offers broadband tips to Congress
By Traci Patterson

National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) President and CEO Kyle McSlarrow has penned a letter to members of Congress (available here) applauding the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act’s renewed focus on broadband and suggesting “a framework within which agencies, with appropriate oversight by Congress, can ensure accountability and most effectively meet the objectives of the Recovery Act with regard to broadband deployment and adoption.”

Despite the cable industry’s progress in upgrading and expanding broadband services, “there is clearly still a small percentage of the nation’s homes with no physical access to broadband,” McSlarrow wrote. “And even in areas where one or more providers offer broadband service, there can be other barriers to adoption.”

The NCTA, McSlarrow said, believes that the broadband grant and loan programs created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act should be structured around the following priorities: extending broadband facilities to unserved areas; supporting programs that enable underserved populationsto acquire and make effective use of broadband service where it is already available; and, if funds remain, extending broadband facilities to underserved areasdefined in terms of below-standard speed and other qualitative measures relative to today’s current generation broadband service.

Comcast names Dankenbrink SVP of taxation
By Mike Robuck

Comcast announced today that Kristine Dankenbrink has joined Comcast as senior vice president of taxation. 

In this role, Dankenbrink is responsible for all areas of taxation at Comcast, including the tax aspects of mergers and acquisitions, planning, policy, litigation, risk management, financial reporting and compliance. She reports to Comcast CFO Michael Angelakis.

Dankenbrink came to Comcast from Time Warner Cable, where she served as senior vice president of tax.  Prior to Time Warner Cable, she held roles of increasing responsibility within the tax department of Time Warner Inc., and managed various functions within their tax group, including mergers and acquisitions, compliance and financial reporting. 

Insight promotes Hall to SVP, deputy general counsel
By Mike Robuck

Insight Communications announced that it has promoted Keith Hall to the position of senior vice president and deputy general counsel, effective immediately. Hall previously held the title of senior vice president of government relations.

“For the last few years, [Hall’s] role in the company has steadily expanded into many areas beyond government relations,” said Insight Vice Chairman and CEO Michael Willner. “This promotion is reflective of his key leadership role in many areas of responsibility.”

Willner said Hall would continue to manage Insight’s relationships with more than 500 governmental bodies, as well as take on a variety of corporate affairs tasks, including “managing community perceptions about the company and assisting with the development of our comprehensive regulatory strategy.” According to Insight, Hall has been a top congressional and gubernatorial aide, as well as an associate for one of the largest law firms in Louisville, Ky.

Dish adds more local HD markets to tally
By Traci Patterson

Dish Network Corp. has added high-definition (HD) local channels in six new markets.

The new markets are Boise, Idaho; Colorado Springs, Colo.; Harlingen-Weslaco-Brownsville-McAllen, Texas; Las Vegas, Nev.; Peoria, Ill.; and Reno, Nev.

Dish Network customers with an HD receiver, and who subscribe to HD programming and HD locals, will now receive high-definition feeds of their broadcasts at no additional charge.

SCTE Foundation receives grant from Comcast Foundation
By Traci Patterson

The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) Foundation has received a $25,000 grant, which will be payable over the next few years, from the Comcast Foundation.

The SCTE Foundation helps members of the SCTE continue their education and development through grants and scholarships. All of the financial assistance that the Foundation provides is made possible through donations from individuals and organizations within the cable telecommunications industry.

The Foundation was established by the SCTE board of directors in 2005 and began issuing grants in 2006. To date, the Foundation has distributed nearly 60 grants, totaling approximately $95,000.

More Broadband Direct 03/05/09:

•  Cox's Rolls gets new duties in reorg; Bowick to retire
•  Comcast adds 3.0 speeds in Delaware
•  Obama appoints Kundra as nation's first CIO
•  Ciena posts loss; lays off 9%
•  Cisco adds to media-enabled home with new products
•  Tek enhances test for converged networks
•  TV converter box coupons start flowing again
•  CFO disputes Motorola's claims regarding termination
•  Nacchio ordered to report to prison March 23
•  LTE crushing WiMAX? Not so, report says
•  Broadband Briefs for 03/05/09

 

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