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Broadband Direct

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

CenturyLink: 4,500 calls failed during 911 outage

April 15, 2014 12:36 pm | by Associated Press | Comments

About 4,500 calls failed to get through during a six-hour Washington state 911 outage last week, CenturyLink said Monday. The telecommunications company said the outage was caused by a technical error in a third-party vendor's call router, which prevented the system from properly processing calls.

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Netflix's Comcast deal improves quality of video

April 14, 2014 1:46 pm | by The Associated Press | Comments

Data released Monday by Netflix Inc. showed Comcast delivered its video at an average rate of 2.5 megabits per second during March. That was a 66 percent increase from a recent low of 1.51 megabits per second in January.

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T-Mobile challenges AT&T, Verizon, Sprint to end overage charges

April 14, 2014 1:38 pm | by Ben Munson, Wireless Week | Comments

Those in the cable industry who favor the consumption model for billing have always pointed to the success of that model in the wireless space. T-Mobile is complicating the issue with the announcement it is doing away with all talk, text and data overage charges for its customers, and its challenge to AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint to follow suit.

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SCTE establishes corporate membership program

April 14, 2014 1:24 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

The SCTE has launched a Corporate Alliance Program  designed to significantly increase the SCTE’s ability to create and deliver training and educational opportunities for engineering and operations professionals. Memberships will remain individual, but employees of companies that participate in CAP will be eligible for discounts in both membership dues and training course fees.

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DECE okays Nagra's DRM for UltraViolet devices

April 14, 2014 12:53 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

The Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem has approved Nagra’s digital rights management system to protect the streaming of premium SD and HD content to open devices for its UltraViolet streaming service. DECE had previously approved Nagra’s DRM, Nagra MediaAccess Persistent Rights Management, for streaming to closed devices.

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CTAM jumpstarts ‘tv everywhere’ campaign

April 14, 2014 12:35 pm | by Mike Robuck | Comments

In an effort to increase subscribers’ use and awareness of multi-screen services, CTAM announced this morning that it had kicked off its “tv everywhere” campaign. After research by a committee of 20 cable operators and marketers, CTAM’s board approved the action plan, which included a new logo and the use of the “tv everywhere” (tve) brand.

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Field Museum in Chicago upgrades speed with Comcast Business

April 14, 2014 12:25 pm | by Mike Robuck | Comments

The Field Museum in Chicago recently upgraded its data services to a 1Gbps Ethernet connection from Comcast Business. The additional bandwidth allows museum goers to interact with collections, content and exhibits while giving the museum’s staff a faster connection for file transfers and other business uses. 

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Investor sentiment on tech goes from giddy to glum

April 14, 2014 12:22 pm | by Associated Press | Comments

Stung by the abrupt change in sentiment, the stocks of recent stars such as Netflix, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are 20 percent to 45 percent below their recent peaks. The steep downfall is raising questions about whether this is just a fleeting fit of fickleness or the foreshadowing of another market bubble about to burst.

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Google to sell Glass to bigger pool of consumers

April 11, 2014 1:17 pm | by The Associated Press | Comments

This version of Glass, though, still isn't the polished product that Google hopes to release in stores later this year. Although it hasn't provided specifics, Google has indicated that the mass-market version of Glass will sell for less than $1,500. Google is expected to provide more details about its Glass plans at its annual developers' conference in late June.

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4K goes live in South Korea

April 11, 2014 1:07 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

All MSOs in South Korea are now providing a channel of Ultra High Definition (UHD) content. The service went live April 10. Ateme is providing the encoders for Homechoice, the programmer providing the channel, called UMAX. Homechoice is offering 4K content at 60p each day.

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Comcast funds Internet security center at UConn

April 11, 2014 12:23 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

The new center will specialize in Internet systems security to develop robust detection systems and analytical tools to ensure that the computer chips and other hardware components vital to Internet broadband systems are shielded from malicious attacks, unauthorized access, and faulty or counterfeit products.

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Long slide in PC sales tails off

April 10, 2014 2:51 pm | by The Associated Press | Comments

Worldwide shipments of PCs fell during the first three months of the year, but the latest numbers show that the global slump in PC demand may be easing. Although the numbers released Wednesday by market research firms Gartner and IDC mark the industry's eighth straight quarter of declines, they also show a considerable slowdown from the drops in the fourth quarter of 2013.

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AT&T in talks to bring 1 Gbps to N.C.

April 10, 2014 1:02 pm | by Mike Robuck | Comments

AT&T said this morning that it was in advanced talks with the North Carolina Next Generation Network (NCNGN) to light up its 1gigabit per second service in six cities in the state. AT&T will cross swords in North Carolina with Google’s expansion plans that were announced in February while Time Warner Cable has a large presence in the state.

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Alaska chapter hoists SCTE Chapter of the Year award

April 10, 2014 12:49 pm | by Mike Robuck | Comments

The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) announced this morning that the chapter in Alaska was the winner of its Chapter of the Year award. Over the course of last year, the Anchorage-based Alaska Chapter distinguished itself by implementing a virtual training program throughout the state and by boosting its attendance by 260 percent, both of which helped it win the award.

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NCAA semis on TNT draws millions of viewers

April 10, 2014 12:40 pm | by Associated Press | Comments

The Final Four broadcasts on TNT on Saturday drew millions of viewers, even though the main coverage was on TBS. Were the new "TeamCasts" that popular? Or did some viewers never realize — or not care — that they weren't watching the regular telecast? Turner Sports executive Christina Miller suspects it's all of the above.

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