Broadband Briefs for 09/09/09
• Cablevision plans $500M note offer
By The Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) – Cablevision Systems Corp. said Wednesday it will sell $500 million in senior notes to institutional investors to help pay down debt.
The Bethpage, N.Y.-based cable provider said it will use the proceeds to buy common stock of wholly owned subsidiary CSC Holdings Inc.
The subsidiary will use the cash to buy back $500 million of its own bonds – either its 7.625 percent notes due in 2011 or 6.75 percent notes due in 2012.
• AT&T to double wireless data speeds in 6 cities
By Peter Svensson, AP Technology Writer
Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami and Charlotte, N.C., will be the first cities to see the benefits of AT&T's plans to double the data download speeds on its wireless network. The six cities will be upgraded before the end of the year, the carrier said Wednesday.
The iPhone 3GS is the only phone on the market now that will be able to take advantage of the speed increase. But AT&T pointed to five other smartphones and some USB dongles, which let laptops go online, that will go on sale before the end of the year. Those devices also will be able to take advantage of the new technology, known as HSPA, or High-Speed Packet Access.
iPhone users have complained of slow data service that appears to be the result of congestion on the wireless network – something the network upgrade could alleviate. The upgrade provides for a theoretical top download speed of 7.2 Mbps, up from 3.6 Mbps, which in practice translated to speeds of about 1.4 Mbps.
With the upgrade, AT&T will overtake Verizon Wireless in download speeds, but not for long. Verizon Wireless is planning to go live next year with a new technology that it believes will give average speeds of 7 Mbps to 12 Mbps. Sprint Nextel's part-owned Clear service provides speeds of 4 Mbps in practice.