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Broadband Direct

Daily news and top headlines for broadband communications engineering and design professionals

Cablevision hires Samsung exec to handle products

May 20, 2014 12:28 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

Cablevision Systems has hired Kevin Packingham as executive vice president, product management. He arrives at Cablevision from Samsung Telecommunications America, where he was chief product officer, managing Samsung’s portfolio of handsets, tablets and wearable devices in the U.S.

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Iowa vows to reconsider defeated broadband bill

May 19, 2014 1:51 pm | by The Associated Press | Comments

Despite the surprising defeat of a broadband expansion bill as the Legislature neared adjournment, Gov. Terry Branstad and lawmakers said the effort is important to rural Iowa and should be pursued next year. Supporters of the measure responded that without incentives, companies have little motivation to extend broadband into rural areas.

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If DirecTV loses NFL deal, AT&T can walk

May 19, 2014 1:46 pm | by Ben Munson, Wireless Week | Comments

AT&T has reserved the right to back out of its planned $48.5 billion deal for DirecTV if the satellite-TV provider can’t or doesn’t renew its “NFL Sunday Ticket” agreement. DirecTV is facing a steep price hike for the 2015 NFL season, which will jump 40 percent to $1.4 billion.

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FCC: Cable rates are rising

May 19, 2014 1:39 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

Competition in a video market has a minimal effect on cable prices, and cable prices keep going up. In other words, no surprises in the latest FCC report on the industry. According to this report, which includes data from 2012, basic cable rates were up 6.5 percent, expanded cable was up by 5.1 percent.

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Six more markets brought to Digital Life

May 19, 2014 1:06 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

AT&T said it will be launching six new Digital Life markets this Friday. At the same time, the company added a garage door opener app. With Digital Life’s arrival in Beaumont, Tex., Omaha, Neb., Toledo, Ohio, Greenville, S.C., Cape Coral, Fla., and Oxnard, Calif., AT&T will have made the service available in 81 markets.

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AT&T locks up DirecTV for $48.5 billion

May 19, 2014 12:03 pm | by Mike Robuck | Comments

AT&T announced on Sunday that it would by DirecTV for $48.5 billion in cash and stock, which figures out to be $95 per share. The deal would give AT&T 26 million video subscriber and make it the second-largest pay TV provider behind the combined Comcast/Time Warner Cable entity that would service 30 million subscribers under the $45 billion merger that was announced in February. 

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The response to FCC’s spectrum screen, incentive auction rules

May 16, 2014 1:52 pm | by Ben Munson, Wireless Week | Comments

Following a busy day at the FCC that saw the Commission drafting rules for upcoming spectrum auctions and revising its spectrum screen, carriers weighed in with varying degrees of praise or scorn for the new policies. The FCC’s move to set aside a reserve of 30 MHz in the 600 MHz Incentive Auctions for bidders holding less than one-third of available low-band spectrum licenses per area drew a lukewarm response from T-Mobile.

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TWC Media refines audience segments for advertisers

May 16, 2014 12:53 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

The company's new Audience Select is a cross-screen targeting tool. TWCM is using specific household demographics, markets, networks, day-parts and custom data to segment audiences based on how and what they watch. The company said it has identified 28 distinct " tribes."

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Shipments of 4K TVs rise sharply in March

May 16, 2014 12:37 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

Shipments were accelerated to China in advance of that country’s Labor Day holiday at the beginning of May, which is somewhat akin to the holiday season in the U.S. China has been the most enthusiastic market for UHD so far, IHS reports. Some shipments were in anticipation of the FIFA World Cup in June

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Arris appoints Kim to its board

May 16, 2014 11:57 am | by Brian Santo | Comments

Jeong Kim was president of Bell Labs and chief strategy officer of Alcatel-Lucent.  His appointment to Arris' board of directors could be read as indication of the increasing importance of IP in the service provider segment, positioning Arris in the overall information technology market.

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Vudu subs can share free access to their libraries

May 15, 2014 1:45 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

Users visit Vudu.com and enter up to five e-mails of family members or friends with whom they’d like to share their UltraViolet movies and TV shows. Each invited person will receive an email with a link to create a Vudu account that connects to the subscriber’s UltraViolet Library.

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New requirements for smart home gateways approved

May 15, 2014 1:36 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

The new approach adds several requirements, including support for USB-based hardware extendibility for smart home services, details for usage for OSGi technology and system clock management, and a new Java Virtual Machine (JVM) profile. Thus far, Sumitomo, Lantiq, and Eflow Inc. have developed products that have met the HGI test criteria.

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US Senate: Companies must protect against hacked ads

May 15, 2014 12:33 pm | by The Associated Press | Comments

Hackers have learned how to use software or programming commands hidden inside online advertisements to steal personal data. The Senate suggested tougher U.S. regulations or new laws that could punish the ad networks in addition to prosecuting the hackers.

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Willner to take the wheel at SpinCo

May 15, 2014 12:26 pm | by Mike Robuck | Comments

Charter Communications and Comcast have picked former Insight Communications co-founder and CEO Michael Willner to take the helm at SpinCo once the deal between Time Warner Cable and Comcast is completed. Willner will oversee the operations of SpinCo in some of the former systems that Insight served prior to its acquisition by Time Warner Cable in 2012. 

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Cisco checks slide in service provider segment

May 15, 2014 12:17 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

The company’s financials in the service provider market have been slipping, but it seemed to be slowing the downward slide. Its third quarter decline in orders was 5 percent year over year, an improvement compared to its Q2 decline of 12 percent.

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