• Comcast adds all 7 seasons of Fox’s “24” to on-demand
By Mike Robuck
If you’re late to the thrill-seeking exploits of Jack Bauer on Fox’s “24” drama series, Comcast has all seven seasons in its on-demand tier for its digital subscribers.
The “catch up” offering started yesterday and gives subscribers the ability to go through all of the episodes prior to this year’s season finale. The programming is available through April 7.
The “24” catch-up offering is part of Comcast’s Project Infinity that was first announced at the Consumer Electronics Show in 2008.
• RCN taps Synygy for sales performance management
By Mike Robuck
Synygy announced today that it has inked a five-year deal with RCN for the use of its sales compensation management software and implementation services.
"Synygy's software provides the best capabilities and the greatest value to RCN of all the products we considered," said Edie Ashton, RCN's vice president of IT. "Synygy's product was the only software that was truly business-configurable, which will give us the ability to quickly adapt to our ever-changing marketplace. We're also excited about increasing the motivation and productivity of our sales force by automating dispute management."
While the deal was announced today, Synygy said it closed last quarter.
• In-Stat: U.S. residential broadband speeds up
By CED staff
U.S. residential broadband speeds continue to increase, albeit at a slower rate than in 2008. Between year-end 2008 and year-end 2009, downstream bandwidth rose by 28 percent, according to recent research by In-Stat.
“Today’s broadband service subscriber is becoming increasingly aware of the capabilities – and the limitations – of their broadband connection,” said Mike Paxton, an In-Stat analyst. “More and more broadband subscribers know the speed of their broadband connections – or at least they know the speed claims made by their broadband service provider.”
Recent research by In-Stat found the following:
- The average downstream speed of a U.S. broadband connection is 7.12 Mbps.
- Broadband speed increases were most dramatic among cable modem and fixed wireless subscribers. The broadband speed increase among cable modem subscribers was about double that of fiber-to-the-home subscribers.
- More than one-quarter of survey respondents also had a mobile wireless broadband connection in addition to their wired broadband connection.
• Windstream completes NuVox deal
By CED staff
Windstream has completed its acquisition of NuVox – a privately held competitive local exchange carrier based in Greenville, S.C. – in a transaction valued at approximately $647 million.
Windstream issued approximately 18.7 million shares of its common stock valued at approximately $187 million, based on Windstream's closing stock price on Feb. 5, and paid approximately $280 million in cash as part of the transaction. Windstream also repaid approximately $180 million of NuVox's total outstanding net debt. Windstream financed the acquisition through proceeds from a debt offering in December.
Windstream acquired approximately 90,000 business customers in complementary markets in 16 states across the Southeast and Midwest, providing the company expanded reach to focus on small- and medium-size business growth opportunities, the company said.
• Exfo updates Ethernet testing
By Brian Santo
Exfo Electro-Optical Engineering has expanded its Ethernet testing capabilities with the implementation of EtherSAM, a new Ethernet service testing methodology based on the ITU-T Y.156sam standard.
Exfo explained that widely used standards such as RFC 2544 are no longer adequate to fully validate service-level agreements (SLAs). To address the limitations of current test methods, the ITU has introduced a new draft test standard, the ITU-T Y.156sam.
EtherSAM supports new multi-service offerings. It can simulate all types of services that will run on the network and simultaneously qualify all key SLA parameters for each of these services in a single test. It can validate the QoS mechanisms provisioned in the network to prioritize the different service types, resulting in more accurate validation and eight times faster deployment and troubleshooting. Exfo’s EtherSAM approach proves even more powerful as it executes the complete ITU-T Y.156sam test with bidirectional measurements.
• Armstrong Communications gets bought out
By CED staff
Armstrong Communications, a supplier of call center telecom solutions, has been the subject of a management buyout.
The buyout team was led by customer services director Sally Stothard, who takes over as managing director. The founder and former managing director, Steve Donovan, takes over as managing director of software development company Xarios.
Donovan will retain a financial interest in Armstrong. And the cash deal sees Paul Tobin take an equity stake in the business.