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Broadband Direct

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

Liberty CEO Maffei garners job security

December 30, 2014 11:30 am | by Mike Robuck | Comments

Liberty Media and Liberty Interactive announced that their respective board of directors had reached agreements to keep Greg Maffei as their president and CEO through 2019. Maffei’s prior contract was close to expiring before the new deal was announced on Monday. 

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RCN adds Watch Disney, ABC apps to digital roster

December 30, 2014 11:26 am | by Mike Robuck | Comments

RCN is now offering its digital video customers live access to Disney and ABC networks at home or on-the-go via Watch Disney Channel, Watch Disney XD, Watch Disney Junior, Watch ABC Family and Watch ABC. The deal allows RCN’s authenticated subscribers to access the Disney Channel and ABC networks on their iOS and Android devices, as well as online by downloading the respective apps.

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China cuts access to Gmail

December 30, 2014 11:19 am | by Associated Press | Comments

Chinese access to Google Inc.'s email service has been blocked amid government efforts to limit or possibly ban access to the U.S. company's services, which are popular among Chinese seeking to avoid government monitoring. Data from Google's Transparency Report show online traffic from China to Gmail fell precipitously on Friday and dropped to nearly zero on Saturday, although there was a tiny pickup on Monday.

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PlayStation, Xbox Live both back online

December 29, 2014 2:15 pm | by The Associated Press | Comments

Sony vice president Catherine Jensen added that "PlayStation Network and some other gaming services were attacked over the holidays with artificially high levels of traffic to disrupt connectivity and online gameplay." The Lizard Squad — or someone claiming to speak for it — took credit for the Sony  disruptions.

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Defiant Sony will release "The Interview" after all

December 23, 2014 5:38 pm | by The Associated Press | Comments

"The Interview" was put back into theaters Thursday when Sony Pictures Entertainment announced a limited theatrical release for the comedy that provoked an international incident with North Korea and outrage over its cancelled release. Sony also is continuing its efforts to release the film on more platforms and in more theaters.

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FCC again stops the clock on the Comcast-TWC merger

December 23, 2014 5:32 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

TWC told the FCC that it had withheld the documents on an incorrect claim of attorney-client privilege, according to the agency. TWC should have turned over those documents in September, but did not until earlier this month (December). Furthermore, there are another 30,000 documents that were misplaced due to some unspecified vendor error.

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Kentucky begins $250M project to improve "dismal" broadband availability

December 23, 2014 3:37 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

The state is getting most of the money from Macquarie Capital. Macquarie has assemble a team including First Solutions, Fujitsu Network Communications, Black & Veatch, and Bowlin Group, to design, develop and operate the private/public network over the next 30 years.

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SeaChange snags TimeLine Labs for $22M

December 23, 2014 2:48 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

Timeline Labs has built a content management platform that enables its customers to discover, curate and display geographically targeted news stories that are trending across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. SeaChange said it intends to expand the target audience to include multiscreen television service providers.

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FCC proposes OTT companies get MVPD status

December 22, 2014 4:37 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

The question is coming up with increasing frequency, and cannot be ignored. Sky Angel continues to press its case. More recently, the Supreme Court confused the issue immensely by likening Aereo to an MVPD, even though absolutely nobody else agrees, a conundrum that helped drive Aereo into bankruptcy. 

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Telstra, Sky invest in Elemental Technologies

December 22, 2014 3:23 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

Telstra has invested directly in Elemental Technologies, leading a $14.5 million Series D round of funding joined by Sky, another Elemental customer that had previously invested in the vendor. Elemental said it will use the funds to accelerate worldwide growth and expand its suite of SDV solutions to support the whole of the IP video delivery chain.

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Cox lights up more hotspots in Vegas, Phoenix

December 19, 2014 11:58 am | by Mike Robuck | Comments

This month Cox Communications has added 1,700 Wi-Fi hotspots for its subscribers to log into in Phoenix and Las Vegas. Cox has launched its Wi-Fi service, CoxWiFi, in six markets to date with more planned for next year, including hundreds of new access points in San Diego after the first of the year.

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AT&T offering ‘Business Fiber’ in ATL

December 19, 2014 11:40 am | by Mike Robuck | Comments

AT&T is now offering Atlanta area businesses a symmetrical 300 Mbps tier ahead of future plans to ramp the speeds up to 1 gigabit. The AT&T Business Fiber deployment followed on the heels of AT&T’s October announcement that it would launch its residential GigaPower service to the Atlanta area it serves.

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Submit those SCTE Cable-Tec Expo abstracts now

December 19, 2014 11:33 am | by Mike Robuck | Comments

The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) is actively recruiting abstracts for next year’s Cable-Tec Expo in New Orleans. The deadline for abstract submissions, which will be reviewed by the SCTE Cable-Tec Expo2015 Program Committee that’s chaired by Liberty Global CTO and EVP Balan Nair, is Feb. 17.

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Sony hack adds to security pressure on companies

December 19, 2014 11:26 am | by Associated Press | Comments

Faced with rising cybercrime like the attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment, companies worldwide are under pressure to tighten security but are hampered by cost and, for some, reluctance to believe they are in danger. The Sony attack was unusual because it included threats of violence if the Hollywood studio released its movie "The Interview," a comedy that depicts the assassination of the North's leader. 

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No more hanging on the line for Comcast customer service

December 18, 2014 1:19 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

Comcast is attempting a few new twists on customer service, including giving customers several options for not just requesting but actually scheduling a call back, rather than hanging on the line waiting for a service rep to pick up the phone.

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