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Broadband Direct

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

Standards catching up with 4K market

July 7, 2014 1:03 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

Several sets of DVB-related standards have been approved that will help accelerate the adoption of Ultra HD, and promote multi-screen video usage: 1) the DVB-UHDTV Phase 1 specification, which includes an HEVC Profile for DVB broadcasting, 2) a spec for delivery to second screens, and 3) a profile supporting the use of MPEG-DASH.

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Cablevision lights up Long Beach Boardwalk with Wi-Fi

July 7, 2014 12:28 pm | by Mike Robuck | Comments

Cablevision has installed nearly 60 new hotspots along the Long Beach Boardwalk in New York to provide free Wi-Fi access to its data subscribers. Optimum WiFI is available along the 2.2-mile oceanfront boardwalk that was rebuilt after Superstorm Sandy. 

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Caps off for two new Cogeco data tiers

July 7, 2014 12:22 pm | by Mike Robuck | Comments

Cogeco Cable has taken the bandwidth caps off of two new data tiers for its Quebec and Ontario subscribers. Cogeco’s Ultimate 55 Unlimited offering starts at $73.5 per month while Ultimate 120 Unlimited begins at $94.95 for residential customers.

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Microsoft adds weight to AllSeen Alliance

July 2, 2014 1:27 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

The group address a major challenge facing the Internet of Everything: there is no common way for ostensibly connected devices to autonomously discover and interact with nearby products. Alliance members are collaborating on a universal software framework which would enable that to happen.

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Comcast lights up Wi-Fi hotspots on Boston commuter platforms

July 2, 2014 1:12 pm | by Mike Robuck | Comments

Comcast has activated Wi-Fi hotspots on portions of a subway line in Boston. The cable operator’s Xfinity Wi-Fi service is now available to Comcast data subscribers on the MBTA's Green Line from North Station to Kenmore. With the new access points, Comcast laid claim to being the first provider to offer Wi-Fi in parts of the first subway line to open in the United States. 

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Shentel offers students reduced rate broadband

July 2, 2014 1:05 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

Following a major upgrade in its network in McDowell County, West Virginia, Shentel said it is supporting a program that is distributing laptops to local students with discounted broadband access. The company is providing an Internet package for $10 per month to 3,400 qualifying students in the county. 

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Time Warner Cable Media helps put ‘FunTV’ in amusement park wait lines

July 2, 2014 1:05 pm | by Mike Robuck | Comments

Time Warner Cable Media is working with Cedar Fair Entertainment Company to help provision a new video channel, which is called “FunTV,” that is shown near amusement park wait lines for rides and other attractions. The digital FunTV video content is broadcast on large outdoor HD screens with full audio in the queue area of more than 120 thrill and family attractions across Cedar Fair's amusement parks.

Regulators accuse T-Mobile of bogus billing

July 2, 2014 12:42 pm | by Associated Press | Comments

T-Mobile US knowingly made hundreds of millions of dollars off its customers in potentially bogus charges, federal regulators alleged Tuesday in the first lawsuit of its kind against a wireless provider. The lawsuit by the Federal Trade Commission demands that T-Mobile refund the money to consumers for subscriptions to premium text services such as $10-per-month horoscopes that were never authorized by the account holder. 

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Google adds more musical chops with Songza deal

July 2, 2014 12:23 pm | by Associated Press | Comments

Google is fine-tuning its digital music strategy with the acquisition of Songza, a service that creates soundtracks tailored for people's changing moods. Financial terms of the deal announced Tuesday were not disclosed. That means the price is considered to be too small to affect Google Inc., which ended March with $59 billion in cash.

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US board: NSA's Internet monitoring is legal

July 2, 2014 12:19 pm | by Associated Press | Comments

The National Security Agency programs that collect huge volumes of Internet data within the United States are constitutional and employ "reasonable" safeguards designed to protect the rights of Americans, an independent privacy and civil liberties board has found. In a report released Tuesday night, the bipartisan, five-member Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board largely endorsed a set of NSA surveillance programs.

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Hilda Donofrio, cable pioneer, passes away

July 1, 2014 1:50 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

Hilda Viveiros Donofrio, chairwoman of Full Channel, died early Saturday at the age of 87. Donofrio and her husband John Donofrio, Jr., incorporated Full Channel in 1965.  Full Channel has remained the only independent broadband provider in Rhode Island.

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Roberts, a best-dressed billionaire, signs 1-year deal with Comcast

July 1, 2014 1:27 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

Comcast chairman and CEO Brian Roberts landed himself on Vanity Fair's list of best-dressed billionaires, cited for his use of color "inside a pretty limited set of sartorial lines." Separately, Comcast has agreed to extend Roberts' employment contract by another year.

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EU cuts mobile data roaming fees by 55 percent

July 1, 2014 12:23 pm | by Associated Press | Comments

The European Union says the surcharges for surfing the Internet on mobile devices while traveling across the 28-nation bloc will be more than halved. The European Commission says the new cap on the so-called roaming fees will be effective starting Tuesday, just in time for the summer holiday travel season.

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Aereo CEO ask customers to appeal to lawmakers

July 1, 2014 12:13 pm | by Mike Robuck | Comments

After the Supreme Court ruled against its over-the-air video service last week, Aereo CEO Chet Kanojia is trying to kicks start a grass roots effort by asking the company’s subscribers to contact their lawmakers. Broadcasters had sued Aereo over its service that relied on cloud DVR and antennas to capture over-the-air video signals and deliver them to its customers. 

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CommScope scores two UK-based wireless businesses

July 1, 2014 12:08 pm | by Mike Robuck | Comments

CommScope increased its already large portfolio of telecommunications products and services by completing a deal with United Kingdom-based Alifabs Group. Without disclosing any of the financial details other than it paid cash, CommScope bought the Alifabs cabinets and ancillaries unit in Yorkshire, England and the Alifabs design and construction business in Guildford, England. 

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