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Broadband Direct

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

Vivendi lands USA Networks for $10.3 B

December 16, 2001 7:00 pm | by Anne Kerven | Comments

On the heels of its deal to supply EchoStar with iTV content and Canal+ Technologies middleware, Vivendi Universal announced it will acquire the entertainment assets of USA Networks for $10.3 billion. Under the stock-and-cash deal, Vivendi Universal, parent of Canal+ Technologies, will own 93 percent of the resulting new company, dubbed Vivendi Universal Entertainment, comprised of Universal St...

FCC seeks comments on ILEC restrictions

December 13, 2001 7:00 pm | by Anne Kerven | Comments

Talk about waving a red flag at a bull — the U.S. Federal Communications Commission is asking if ILECs should be held to certain broadband services restrictions. FCC says it is taking comments on current regulations and restrictions on ILECs' broadband services. The FCC's move comes as the U.S.

Tauzin-Dingell stalwarts vow to stay with bill

December 13, 2001 7:00 pm | by Anne Kerven | Comments

Eager to head home for the holidays and noting new information it would need to peruse, the U.S. House of Representatives yesterday postponed its decision on the controversial Tauzin-Dingell bill. As CEDaily reported yesterday, the decision came after House leaders received new information and opted to scrutinize it more closely.


EchoStar sweetens merger pot with Vivendi deal

December 13, 2001 7:00 pm | by Anne Kerven | Comments

EchoStar Communications Corp. is sweetening the pot for its pending merger with Hughes Electronics Corp. in a programming and middleware deal with Vivendi Universal. The sweetening extends to EchoStar, as well, with a $1.5 billion investment from Vivendi that will help fund EchoStar's merger plans. The deal also contains a non-exclusive agreement for EchoStar to use MediaHighway middleware from...

Startup tackles Ethernet optical networks

December 12, 2001 7:00 pm | by Anne Kerven | Comments

Metro network newbie Internet Photonics Inc. has raised $31 million so far in its effort to develop optical Ethernet transport platforms, and lined up its management roster. "The company is 13 months old and has been in stealth mode until today," says spokesman Mike Granieri. A spinoff of Lucent Technologies' recently sold optical networking group, the company first drew $12 million in funding ...

Covad judge OKs bankruptcy plan; XO kisses NASDAQ goodbye

December 12, 2001 7:00 pm | by Anne Kerven | Comments

A U.S. Bankruptcy Court of Delaware judge OK'd Covad Communications Group's restructuring plan this morning, allowing the company to emerge from its bankruptcy around Dec. 20, says spokesman Pavel Radda. The pre-negotiated plan will eliminate about $1.4 billion in bondholder debt and pre-existing shareholders will keep nearly 80 percent of the company.

House puts off Tauzin-Dingell vote until March

December 12, 2001 7:00 pm | by Anne Kerven | Comments

The U.S. House of Representatives put off until March a vote on the Tauzin-Dingell bill, CEDaily has learned. The decision comes after lengthy speculation that the House would vote favorably as early as tomorrow. Covad President and CEO Charles Hoffman says the delay comes after House members received more details on the bill, including a suggestion that cable companies allow open access, and d...

Deals and other doings

December 11, 2001 7:00 pm | by Anne Kerven | Comments

Cox Business Services Hospitality Network is gambling on SeaChange International Inc.'s VOD platform for 23,000 casino and resort hotel rooms in the United States. The platform will deliver on-demand movies and interactive services to Cox's 17 hotel customers in Las Vegas, Reno, Tahoe, Atlantic City and other locations.


SonicBlue to hit TiVo with infringement suit

December 11, 2001 7:00 pm | by Anne Kerven | Comments

Glutton-for-litigation SonicBlue fired a shot over TiVo's bow yesterday by launching another highly public battle over intellectual property. SonicBlue's desire to discuss licensing with TiVo yesterday brought a flat no from TiVo, prompting SonicBlue to threaten a patent infringement lawsuit this morning.

DirecTV 'commandos' raid 11 businesses in six states

December 11, 2001 7:00 pm | by Anne Kerven | Comments

Talk about revenge of the … well, nerds. DirecTV's official-sounding signal-integrity and legal commandos raided 11 businesses in six states. Not intimidating enough? The DirecTV special forces squad also included law enforcement — and engineers. Watch out. DirecTV says the raids stem from a continued investigation after it executed a few civil seizures in May against three Orange C...

Winstar could face Chapter 7, bidders get one week

December 10, 2001 7:00 pm | by Anne Kerven | Comments

Bidders for Winstar Communications' assets, unable to muster up the necessary financing, were given one more week to raise the funds or the company will switch its bankruptcy to a Chapter 7 liquidation. A court clerk said that, as of late yesterday, no motion had been filed to change to a Chapter 7. The hearing, set for the U.

Motorola/Rogers team on video compression

December 10, 2001 7:00 pm | by Anne Kerven | Comments

Motorola announced an encoding systems sale to Rogers Cable for the cableco's Ontario system. Financial terms were undisclosed. Motorola's Broadband Communications Sector will provide 50 channels of PurePixel-equipped, MPEG-2 video compression encoders to distribute analog programming services. PurePixel helps maintain video quality during the encoding and decoding sequence.


Pace touts customer program, management

December 10, 2001 7:00 pm | by Anne Kerven | Comments

Pace Micro Technology Americas says it has restructured its sales operations, and set up network support and customer service functions for the U.S. cable market. The company's Pace Custom Care program includes a customer front office with a toll-free number staffed 24 hours a day, every day of the year, the company says.

Another news roundup

December 10, 2001 7:00 pm | by Anne Kerven | Comments

ExciteAtHome faces another hearing in bankruptcy court this morning at 9:30 PT, a spokeswoman says. Friday, a bankruptcy court postponed a decision on the company's $355 million in contracts with cablecos until this morning. … Microsoft Corp. VP of Windows digital media unit Will Poole previewed the 3G streaming platform technologies slated to be included in Microsoft's next version of Wi...

AtHome judge puts off cable contract ruling

December 9, 2001 7:00 pm | by Anne Kerven | Comments

A bankruptcy court judge Friday delayed a decision on $355 million in transition service contracts ExciteAtHome had developed last week with a group of cablecos. After a judge ruled Nov. 30 that the cable companies would have to renegotiate contracts with bankrupt AtHome, a group of them negotiated $355 million in transition contracts.


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