Broadband Briefs for 12/14/09
• Cablevision adds HP notebooks to Optimumstore.com
By Mike Robuck
Cablevision said today that it has Hewlett-Packard’s Mini netbooks for sale through its OptimumStore.com . The HP notebooks are Wi-Fi-ready, which means Cablevision subscribers can tap into the company’s Optimum Wi-Fi service  right away.
“Our mission for OptimumStore.com is to provide a destination for our customers to get their hands on the hottest products that deliver the best Optimum experience, at great prices, and show how easy it is to set up and use these devices with their Optimum services,” said Gemma Toner, senior vice president of marketing and business development for Cablevision. “We are thrilled to be able to offer an expanded product selection just in time for the holidays.”
In addition to the notebooks, Cablevision is also offering desktop computers and printers from HP, with Wi-Fi gear to follow. The store also offers consumer electronics equipment from Panasonic, Fuji and VTech.
• Ciena dips ahead of removal from S&P 500
By The Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) – Shares of Ciena Corp. took a hit Monday after Standard & Poor's announced the telecommunications equipment maker would be replaced by Visa Inc. on the S&P 500 index. S&P said Friday that Visa would take Ciena's place on the index Dec. 18 because Ciena is one of several companies in the index no longer representative of the market indicator. Dynegy Inc., KB Home Inc. and Convergys Corp. are being dropped from the S&P 500, too.
Ciena, based in Linthicum, Md., provides communications networking equipment, software and services. Last week, it posted a wider-than-expected loss  for its fiscal fourth quarter and full year as costs more than offset strong revenue.
The company is also in the process of acquiring assets from Nortel Networks  for $530 million, which has some analysts worried in part because of the size of the business that Ciena is poised to buy. In a deal slated to close sometime in the first quarter, Ciena would take over Nortel's global optical networking and carrier Ethernet businesses. It would get all products, contracts and intellectual property, including technology that boosts the speed and capacity of fiber optic networks.
Ciena's shares fell 44 cents, or 3.8 percent, to $11.06 in morning trading. In the past 52 weeks, the stock has traded between $4.98 and $16.64.
• Broadcom chip powers Roku’s HD video player
By Mike Robuck
Roku is using Broadcom’s chipset to power its new HD-XR digital video player, Broadcom announced today.
Broadcom’s Intensi-fi XLR single-chip 802.11n USB offering is shipping in the new Roku HD-XR player. Broadcom said its BCM4323 system-on-a-chip (SoC) platform, which features its Accelerange technology, provides the wireless performance and range required to stream high-definition video content between devices while significantly improving the Roku HD-XR connection to the home network.
The new Roku HD-XR digital video player has the same HD video and audio outputs as its Roku HD player, but it also integrates 802.11n technology from Broadcom.
• Starent shareholders endorse Cisco merger
By The Associated Press
TEWKSBURY, Mass. (AP) – Starent Networks Corp. has cleared a key hurdle toward its pending acquisition by the world's largest maker of computer networking equipment. Starent said Friday its shareholders have endorsed the $2.9 billion sale to Cisco Systems. Cisco is paying $35 per share in cash. Starent spokeswoman Jennifer Buchhalter says the sale requires regulatory approval.
Starent, which is based in Tewksbury, Mass., makes equipment that allows cell phone carriers to tie their wireless networks to the Internet. It will become Cisco's new Mobile Internet Technology Group, headed by Starent CEO Ashraf Dahod. Cisco is based in San Jose, Calif.
Starent has an estimated market share of about 85 percent in its niche, which includes selling technology to carriers such as Verizon Wireless and Sprint Nextel Corp.