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Broadband Direct

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

News we could have used from the holidays …(2)

January 1, 2002 7:00 pm | by Anne Kerven | Comments

If no news is good news, then the winter holidays were mostly kind to the industry. A look at some highlights: AOL Time Warner applied to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission for approval of Web One Inc. as a non-affiliated ISP, FTC says. FTC will take comments on the issue, as well as an application for approval of an alternative cable broadband ISP service agreement between TWC and Web One to pr...

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Ruling gives Time Warner OK to strip Gemstar's VBI

December 31, 2001 7:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

Putting to bed a drawn out, bitter debate, the Federal Communications Commission has ruled that Time Warner Cable's analog must-carry obligations don't include the carriage of Gemstar-TV Guide International'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 behe...

HITS tackles 'unwired' markets

December 31, 2001 7:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

Giving rural operators a new weapon for a war with DBS, WSNet and AT&T Broadband's Headend In The Sky (HITS) have teamed to enable cable operators to offer digital programming via satellite to "hard-to-serve" markets not passed by traditional cable systems. Of 77.1 million U.S. homes, about 7.

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Microtune, nCUBE have answer for 'bulky' VOD upconverters

December 31, 2001 7:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

Aiming to slash space, cost and power requirements for on-demand cable services and network-based personal video recording systems, Microtune Inc. and nCUBE Corp. have introduced a new set of silicon designed to replace today's "bulky" upconverters. While a typical upconverter is roughly the size of a VCR unit, the Microtune/nCUBE offering reduces all of those components into three "Video...

CableLabs to meld Europe's MHP with OCAP

December 31, 2001 7:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

Making the inevitable official, CableLabs said its North American MSO members have agreed to marry parts of Europe's Multimedia Home Platform middleware into the OpenCable Application Platform (OCAP), the middleware specification for OpenCable-based digital set-tops. CableLabs said OCAP will incorporate the "bulk" of the MHP 1.

Advent nets first 'Ultraband' customer

December 31, 2001 7:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

Advent Networks Inc. said Kansas City-based overbuilder Everest Connections marks the first operator to deploy the start-up's proprietary "Ultraband" platform. Everest, which competes in the market with incumbent MSO Time Warner Cable, has three commercial customers signed on so far, and expects to market Ultraband in full during 1Q 2002, said Advent CEO and President Geoff Tudor.

Bandwidth management and monitoring importance to grow

December 31, 2001 7:00 pm | by Jeff Baumgartner | Comments

As consumers e-mail larger and larger files, peer-to-peer applications become more and more prevalent and new broadband services such as VOD continue to enter the fold, the need for proper bandwidth management and monitoring methods will certainly rise to unprecedented levels in 2002. Proper management and monitoring techniques will grow in importance, especially since MSOs aren't about t...

Overbuilders join hands, form lobbying group

December 31, 2001 7:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

Together, they say, they'd be one of the country'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: nondiscriminatory access ...

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Predictive pairs with Microsoft TV

December 31, 2001 7:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

Predictive Networks has inked a memorandum of understanding to provide targeted advertising and other content designed for the Microsoft TV set-top box software platform. Predictive said its "Digital Silhouette" technology provides "viewer behavioral profiling" comprising more than 180 demographic and content categories.

iVast, Sigma Designs plot plans for MPEG-4-capable set-tops

December 31, 2001 7:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

Hoping to take media streaming far beyond the levels of MPEG-2, iVAST and Sigma Designs have formed a strategic partnership to co-develop an MPEG-4 design for digital set-tops, DVD players and other consumer electronics devices. Under terms of the agreement, the design will meld iVast's MPEG-4 player with Sigma's EM8475 decoder chip.

Time Warner picks BroadJump for multi-ISPs

December 31, 2001 7:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

In an effort to automate access to multiple Internet service providers, Time Warner Cable said it has struck a deal to deploy BroadJump's "Virtual Truck Installer." The deal expands a 1999 partnership between the companies, when the MSO selected BroadJump's software to provision Road Runner customers.

Bell Canada taps Exent for on-demand games

December 31, 2001 7:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

Bell Canada struck a deal with Exent Technologies to offer Gamesmania, a games-on-demand service aimed at PC owners with DSL connections. Accessed via the Web, Exent's "pay-as-you-play" model incorporates the company's secure "EXEtender" software-on-demand platform, which streams PC titles directly to customers with high-speed Internet access.

Ericsson unloads cable modem business

December 31, 2001 7:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

Marking the latest vendor to bug out of the sector, Ericsson said it inked a deal to sell its Lynchburg, Va.- based cable modem business to Canadian firm Aastra Technologies for an undisclosed amount of money. Ericsson, whose primary cable modem efforts had centered around its PipeRider brand, sold its first unit in mid-2000.

Comcast to grade Cedar Point in the lab

December 31, 2001 7:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

Start-up IP-telephony firm Cedar Point Communications said Comcast Corp. will test its Cable Media Switching Systems in the lab. Conducting those tests at its Philadelphia headquarters, the MSO marks the first third-party evaluation of Cedar Point's equipment, which is based on PacketCable specifications and aims to simplify IP telephony by collapsing call management servers, media gatewa...

Broadband users reaching lofty levels

December 31, 2001 7:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

The base of home-based broadband users flew past the 21 million mark in November, setting an all-time high, reported Nielsen//NetRatings. More specifically, one out of every five "surfers" accessed the Internet via broadband, equating to about 20 percent of the Internet's universe of 106 million active users.

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