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Broadband Direct

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

FCC: Gemstar VBI not mandated for TWC

December 6, 2001 7:00 pm | by Anne Kerven | Comments

In a blow for Gemstar International, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission ruled that Time Warner Cable's analog must-carry obligations don't include the program guide company's vertical blanking interval (VBI) technology. "Must carry obligations do not require the company to carry material inserted in the (VBI) of over-the-air broadcast stations at the behest of Gemstar International," th...

TWC taps Concurrent 2000 servers for Fla. unit

December 5, 2001 7:00 pm | by Anne Kerven | Comments

Time Warner Cable's central Florida unit bought 73 MediaHawk Model 2000 video servers from Concurrent Computer Corp. to support its VOD rollout. The cableco also will use back-office products from CCC. A CCC spokeswoman would not disclose financial terms. The central Florida division is TWC's third largest, with more than 1 million homes passed and nearly 700,000 basic subscribers, CCC says.

Broadband Outlook touts sponsor, speakers

December 5, 2001 7:00 pm | by Anne Kerven | Comments

Broadband Outlook 2002 hosts landed a second sponsor and announced speakers for the January event. The Consumers Electronics Association, a trade group representing more than 650 U.S. consumer technology companies, will sponsor the event. The National Cable & Telecommunications Association also will support the event.

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Cable modem newbie lands NCTC preferred status

December 5, 2001 7:00 pm | by Anne Kerven | Comments

National Cable Television Cooperative gave U.S. Robotics preferred vendor status in a move that gives the cable modem newcomer a leg up in a tough industry, a spokesman says. The company's DOCSIS cable modem landed an A+ rating — one of two companies to score that high in NCTC's testing, says Christopher Browne, product manager for U.

BSPA forms to focus on open access … at first

December 5, 2001 7:00 pm | by Anne Kerven | Comments

Together, they say, they'd be one of the county's top 10 cable operators. Thirteen broadband network providers pooled their $5 billion, 29,000 miles of fiber and 1 million customer clout, and formed the Broadband Service Providers Association to promote open access. The facilities-based providers are targeting three issues in the competitive broadband industry, a spokesman says.

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BSPA forms to focus on open access … at first(2)

December 5, 2001 7:00 pm | by Anne Kerven | Comments

Together, they say, they'd be one of the county's top 10 cable operators. Thirteen broadband network providers pooled their $5 billion, 29,000 miles of fiber and 1 million customer clout, and formed the Broadband Service Providers Association to promote open access. The facilities-based providers are targeting three issues in the competitive broadband industry, a spokesman says.

TOPICS:

Irdeto/Canal+ settle patent infringement suit

December 4, 2001 7:00 pm | by Anne Kerven | Comments

Neither side is peeved, they say, but Irdeto Access Inc. and Canal+ Technologies settled a patent-infringement lawsuit under undisclosed terms. The lawsuit concerned Canal+'s digital MEDIAGUARD conditional access system, which is used in pay TV to ensure that only authorized subscribers can get access to programming content.

AtHome confirms closure

December 4, 2001 7:00 pm | by Anne Kerven | Comments

ExciteAtHome confirmed AT&T's withdrawal of its $307 million bid for AtHome assets, it says. As reported yesterday by CEDaily, AtHome also will cease operations after its three-month contracts with cablecos expire, and seek a Chapter 11 liquidation. In a brief announcement, released late yesterday, AtHome said it had been notified by AT&T of its withdrawal, a move that prompted AtHome t...

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Economists stump for free-market telecom action

December 4, 2001 7:00 pm | by Anne Kerven | Comments

Whether or not the U.S. House of Representatives votes on HR1542, The Internet Freedom and Broadband Deployment Act of 2001 (Tauzin-Dingell bill) this month is up in the air, but a group of top economists are weighing in on its impact. The group of free-market economists signed a letter to the Bush administration calling for it to "do everything possible to accelerate the process of deregulatin...

Application moves Hughes merger closer

December 3, 2001 7:00 pm | by Anne Kerven | Comments

Taking their controversial merger a step closer to completion, General Motors, EchoStar Communications and Hughes Electronics applied to transfer certain licensing control to the proposed company. The application asks the U.S. Federal Communications Commission to allow the trio to transfer control of the satellite, earth station and "other related authorizations" to the new entity.

SCTE launches two programs, lines up CLC sessions

December 3, 2001 7:00 pm | by Anne Kerven | Comments

The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers launched an e-mail trainer discussion forum and a new speakers bureau, and lined up sessions for its Chapter Leadership Conference in March. The trainers discussion forum is an e-mail discussion group, where broadband trainers and training managers can post questions, solve problems and discuss experiences with industry experts, including SCTE's...

Optical Cable fires president/CEO/chair

December 2, 2001 7:00 pm | by Anne Kerven | Comments

Optical Cable Corp. says time-consuming litigation and disputes with brokerage firms distracted its president, CEO and chair too much from his work, and removed him per a board recommendation. The board says Robert Kopstein had pledged substantially all of his personally held unregistered shares in the company toward substantial personal margin loans from several brokerage firms.

DSL zeros in on displaced cable subscribers

December 2, 2001 7:00 pm | by Anne Kerven | Comments

Even as AtHome and cablecos teeter on renegotiations, others are jumping in with deals for displaced subscribers. DirecTV Broadband Inc. offered two free months of its DSL service at no charge to cable users who need immediate service. But customers must sign up for one year of DSL service, although the company says it will waive its $49.

Cablecos weigh in on AtHome ruling, most still talking

December 2, 2001 7:00 pm | by Anne Kerven | Comments

On the heels of Friday's ruling allowing ExciteAtHome to renegotiate cableco contracts, the company says it is doing just that — save for AT&T Broadband. Meantime, other cable companies say they're switching customers over to semi-complete networks, and are negotiating to keep the others up and running on AtHome's systems.

GM hands off DirecTV to EchoStar

November 30, 2001 7:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

Following months of negotiations, EchoStar Communications Corp. finally emerged as the winner of the DirecTV Inc. sweepstakes. In another deal in which Charlie Ergen appeared to have gotten the best of News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch, EchoStar is set to merge with General Motors Corp.'s Hughes Electronics Corp.

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