Broadband Briefs for 05/28/09

Thu, 05/28/2009 - 9:00am

Mediacom partners with online news site
By Traci Patterson

Mediacom Communications, the nation’s eighth-largest cable operator, and, an online video news site, are partnering up with the goal of delivering new forms of news content to Mediacom’s customers.

The companies will develop and test several different methods of news content and distribution using Mediacom’s cable and broadband services and’s digital news services, the companies said. 

“Mediacom is pleased to offer this exclusive programming to our customers in Columbia and Jefferson City,” said Bryan Gann, Mediacom’s director of area operations. “We’re always looking to work with local businesses, such as This partnership is particularly exciting because of the opportunity it affords to further strengthen our commitment to education through’s alliance with the University of Missouri. We believe that our customers will see real benefit in the unique way in which presents the news of the day.”

Ericsson buys Turkish company Bizitek 
By The Associated Press

STOCKHOLM (AP) – Ericsson said it has bought all of the shares in the Turkish systems integration company Bizitek for an undisclosed sum. Ericsson said it will take on Bizitek's 116 employees as part of the acquisition.

Bizitek is specialized in the field of business support systems, and Ericsson said this will give it an additional competence to provide solutions in business support systems for charging, provisioning, billing and customer relations management.

The integration of the company into Ericsson is expected to be completed within a year.

Ciena adds Gallagher to board
By Traci Patterson

Ciena has appointed Patrick T. Gallagher – currently the chairman of Ubiquisys, a developer and supplier of femtocells – to the company’s board of directors. Gallagher also serves on the board of directors at Harmonic.

Gallagher has previously worked for Macro 4, Golden Telecom, Flag Telecom Group, British Telecom and Racal Electronics.

"Despite volatile market realities, Ciena continues to enhance its strategic capabilities and competitive positioning, and I look forward to contributing to the company's business objectives as it maintains an agile operating model, while positioning itself to emerge even stronger when the environment improves," Gallagher said.

Report: TV sales staying strong in recession
By Peter Svensson, AP Technology Writer

NEW YORK (AP) – Never mind the lousy economy: Flat-panel TVs are still flying off the shelves in the U.S. and Canada. Sales of new flat-panel TVs totaled 7.8 million in the first three months of the year, an increase of 17 percent from the same period in 2008, research firm iSuppli Corp. said Wednesday.

Sales had declined in the fourth quarter from the year before, and the industry was expecting to see that trend continue into this year. Sales are still declining overseas, but North American consumers seem to have a special love for big sets and are going against the flow. And iSuppli's vice president of displays, Joe Abelson, attributed the increase to "cocooning." People who have cut back on travel and other spending still find the money to improve their home entertainment setup, he said.

Consumers are looking for cheaper sets, and they're more likely to go to cheaper stores. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. nearly matched Best Buy Co.'s sales volume, iSuppli said. Samsung Electronics Co. remained the largest seller of flat panels in the U.S. market. Value brand Vizio Inc. overtook Sony Corp. in the No. 2 slot.

Class action by ex-AT&T Wireless customers allowed 
By Peter Svensson, AP Technology Writer

NEW YORK (AP) – AT&T Wireless subscribers who felt mistreated when the company was bought by Cingular can go ahead with a class-action lawsuit, a federal court has ruled. Cingular is now part of Dallas-based AT&T after buying AT&T Wireless in 2004. Some customers complained that service deteriorated as Cingular started dismantling the AT&T Wireless network, and that they were forced to pay to get new Cingular phones.

The lawsuit asks the company to pay back extra charges, plus damages. The company sought to quash the class action on the grounds that its service agreements mandated that customers submit their complaints to arbitration. A U.S. District Court in Seattle on Tuesday denied the company's request, saying that arbitration would be too expensive for individual customers to pursue.

"We respectfully disagree with the court's conclusions," said AT&T spokesman Fletcher Cook. "Our arbitration clause is among the most consumer-friendly in the nation and has been shown to be very consumer-friendly in other cases. We're studying this ruling and considering our options."

More Broadband Direct 05/28/09:
•  CED now free to SCTE members
•  Comcast set to launch TiVo service in Chi-Town
•  FCC adjusts focus on U.S. broadband policy
•  Home networking standard advances, gains BT's backing
•  This Tech, Sigma Systems ally on ad system
•  Verizon intros Service Commitment in Fla.
•  Level 3 backs FCC report
•  From giant to dwarf: Nortel preps for divestures, liquidations
•  AT&T upgrades network, claims readiness all along
•  Time Warner to spin off AOL, ending ill-fated deal
•  Yahoo open to Microsoft deal under right terms
•  Broadband Briefs for 05/28/09



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