Broadband Briefs for 3/19/08
* FCC relents on 2nd net neutrality meeting
By Brian Santo
After saying it wouldn’t, it will. The Federal Communications Commission  (FCC) will hold another hearing on network neutrality issues, this one at Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif., on April 17.
This meeting follows one in Massachusetts last month that had its own sideshow, with net neutrality activists trying to pack the hearing room and Comcast  responding in kind.
The public may file comments or other documents with the Commission on the subject (file electronically here ; enter proceeding numbers 07-52 and 08-7).
* Dish vows HD expansion despite satellite mishap
By Brian Santo
Following news of a bollixed satellite launch (story here ), EchoStar  asserted that its plans to add channels to Dish Network’s high-definition (HD) lineup this spring remain on track.
Dish Network maintained that it will increase its local HD offering by more than 60 percent, with the addition of HD broadcast networks in 21 markets in a dozen states in the eastern half of the U.S.
CEO Charlie Ergen said, “We are fortunate to have two more satellites scheduled for launch later this year to continue our HD rollout and reach our year-end goal of 100 local HD markets and 100 national HD channels.”
* Cisco updates CCVP certification
By Mike Robuck
Cisco  announced yesterday that it has made enhancements to its CCVP professional-level certification.
According to Cisco, the enhanced CCVP training focuses on creating unified communications (UC) systems that are transparent, scaleable and manageable. Utilizing hands-on and scenario-based lab exercises to provide practical skills for real-world job situations, the updated CCVP curriculum includes content on Cisco’s Unified Communications Manager 6.0 and mobility features, including single-number reach and mobile voice access.
In addition, expanded coverage of operational tasks for single-site, centralized and multi-site network deployments are included, with topics such as PSTN, VoIP, signaling protocols, voice gateways, gatekeepers and the Cisco Unified Border Element (CUBE). The program is augmented with enhanced dial plans, H.323 and SIP gateways, Call Admission Control (CAC) through locations and gatekeepers, and connections to other sites with VoIP trunks.
* BroadSoft Xtended emphasizes voice-Web 2.0 integration
By Traci Patterson
BroadSoft Inc.  has announced BroadSoft Xtended, an initiative designed to emphasize the integration of voice and Web 2.0 technologies.
The initiative makes new applications available online – at the BroadSoft Xtended Marketplace  – to BroadWorks VoIP application platform service providers. At the site, customers can download and find information about new technologies that are available for integration with BroadWorks.
The BroadWorks VoIP platform is used by telecom providers – including Sprint , Verizon  and Cox Communications  – to deliver advanced voice and video calling services to their business and residential customers.
* Indian provider uses Harmonic’s products for MPEG-4 DTH service
By Mike Robuck
Harmonic Inc.  announced that Sun Direct TV Private Limited has deployed Harmonic's digital video products for India's first MPEG-4 AVC (H.264) direct-to-home (DTH) broadcast service.
Sun Direct is using Harmonic’s DiviCom Electra encoders, its DiviTrackIP statistical multiplexing, the ProStream 8000 digital mosaic product and the NMX Digital Service Manager to launch its new DTH service to 40 million homes in southern India. Sun Direct TV's new service was launched earlier this year with 120 standard-definition (SD) channels, and the operator plans to add high-definition (HD) video in the near future.
"Sun Direct TV's launch of India's first MPEG-4 DTH service reflects our commitment to bringing the best and most-advanced video service to our customers," said Tony D'Silvia, COO of Sun Direct TV. "The compression efficiency of the Electra encoders makes it possible for us to provide outstanding picture quality at lower bit-rates; but most importantly, Harmonic's quickly deployable, IP-based solution played a key role in enabling the rapid launch of our DTH service."
More Broadband Direct:
• Comcast tops 7B VOD views 
• Comcast promotes Knott, Waz, Khoury 
• FCC's 700MHz auction clears $19B 
• DVB-H named the official Mobile TV standard for EU 
• Cisco's Linksys rolls out new wireless iPhone 
• Report: HDTV service adoption increasing in 2008 
• Yahoo reaffirms Q1 and full-year 2008 outlook