Broadband Briefs for 3/11/10
• Feds pledge tough review of Comcast-NBC deal
By The Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) – Federal regulators are pledging a rigorous review of the proposed combination of Comcast Corp. and NBC Universal.
Christine Varney, head of the Justice Department's antitrust division, and Julius Genachowski, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, said their agencies will examine the transaction closely to ensure the deal does not stifle competition or harm consumers. Varney and Genachowski made their comments at a Senate Commerce Committee hearing Thursday.
Comcast, the nation's largest cable company, is seeking approval to acquire a 51 percent stake in NBC Universal from General Electric Co. The Justice Department and the FCC are expected to approve the combination with conditions attached. But the review could last at least all year.
• Latens forges partnership with STB vendor Coship
By Mike Robuck
Latens has signed an agreement with a Chinese vendor that will merge its conditional access software and middleware with Coship’s set-top boxes.
“The partnership between the two companies will bring technologically advanced and cost-effective solutions for IPTV and cable operators and those looking for hybrid options,” said Jean-Paul Heron, Latens’ director of set-top box partner strategy.
Coship was founded in 1994 and has deployed its set-top boxes in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Australia, North America, South America and Africa. Coship said it was the top set-top box exporter in China over the past six years.
• Madison, Milwaukee among cities wooing Google
By The Associated Press
MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Madison and Milwaukee are among cities around the country hoping Google will chose to test its new fiber-optic network in their towns. The network is expected to be more than 100 times faster than current Internet connections.
Madison officials say the Google Fiber network could bring more than 1,000 jobs and $97 million in infrastructure investment to the city. Milwaukee officials say they received e-mails from residents encouraging them to apply. Officials in Appleton and Marshfield are also applying for the project.
Google says it's looking for wide community support. The company says it doesn't want to spend time dealing with right-of-way issues or objections as it tears up streets to install its network.
In Duluth, Minn., Mayor Don Ness jumped into the frigid Lake Superior last month to try to bring attention to his city's attempt to lure Google.