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

Obama pitching more access to fast Internet

January 14, 2015 12:33 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

President Barack Obama is once again challenging major cable and telephone companies by encouraging the Federal Communications Commission to pre-empt state laws that stifle competition for high-speed Internet service. Obama wants to expand access to broadband communications services, siding with local communities that want either to expand competition or provide municipal services themselves. 

The resurrection of the dead cable business

January 13, 2015 1:49 pm | by Editor | Blogs | Comments

The numbers still suggest that cord-cutting is still very limited in practice, but more and more people are beginning to insist it is inevitable that the phenomenon will spread. It doesn’t bode well if MVPDs lose their grip on all premium content. 

TWC Maxx all-digital train heads to K.C

January 13, 2015 1:12 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Starting next week, Time Warner Cable will start informing its Kansas City-based subscribers that the company’s all-digital “TWC Maxx” project will begin its first phase. After upgrading networks in Los Angeles, New York City and Austin last year via TWC Maxx initiatives, Kansas City was one of the cities on the shortlist for this year, along with Charlotte, Dallas, Hawaii, Raleigh, San Antonio and San Diego. 

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WOW! Business unleashes 110 Mbps tier in Detroit, Evansville

January 13, 2015 1:07 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

WOW! Business announced the availability of its 110 Mbps downstream/15 Mbps upstream broadband tier in Detroit and Evansville, Ind. The 110/15 business offering, which uses Arris' cable modems, was previously deployed in Chicago, Cleveland and Columbus. 

Obama: With tech advances come privacy risks

January 13, 2015 12:59 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

President Barack Obama proposed strengthening laws against identity theft by requiring notification when consumer information is hacked and protecting students' private data. Obama wants Congress to pass legislation called the Personal Data Notification and Protection Act, which would require companies to inform customers within 30 days if their data has been hacked.

RCN drops 110 Mbps tier into Lehigh Valley

January 12, 2015 12:43 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

RCN had rolled its 110 Mbps down, 15 Mbps up data tier across its Lehigh Valley, Pa. footprint. Prior to Lehigh Valley, RCN had launched its 110/15 Mbps Internet speeds in Chicago, Boston, New York City, Washington DC, and Philadelphia.

Obama wants laws on data hacking, student privacy

January 12, 2015 12:33 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

President Barack Obama wants Congress to pass legislation requiring companies to inform customers within 30 days if their data has been hacked, a move that follows high-profile breaches at retailers including Target, Home Depot and Neiman Marcus. A White House official said Obama will announce the proposed legislation Monday, along with a measure aimed at preventing companies from selling student data to third parties.

NYC libraries pioneer free hot spot lending program

January 12, 2015 12:30 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

The New York Public Library is launching the nation's largest Internet lending program, handing out 10,000 free high-speed hot spots to some of the city's poorest residents. The program — which offers the devices for up to a year, about a $1,000 value — seeks to bridge a digital divide in the nation's largest city, where studies have found nearly 3 million of the 8 million people lack broadband access.

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Over the top wins as Tech Emmys are awarded

January 9, 2015 1:29 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The vast majority of the Emmys for Technical / Engineering Achievement went to companies that in one way or another were involved in broadband video, with an unprecedented emphasis on technologies frequently associated with over the top (OTT) video.

Proximus allies with Cisco on cloud video, smart cities, and more

January 9, 2015 1:00 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Proximus is preparing to tie its fortunes more closely with the vendor, not only continuing to deliver video services based on Cisco products, but to explore expanding the relationship into smart/connected cities, service orchestration for business customers, SDN, and more.

AT&T tees up LTE broadcast trial at championship game

January 9, 2015 12:48 pm | by Ben Munson, Wireless Week | News | Comments

AT&T announced it will trial LTE Broadcast at the College Football Championship at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas on Monday. The carrier will use the technology to give customers with compatible devices access to additional feeds, alternate camera angles or bonus footage. 

CES: A few gems in smart home sector

January 9, 2015 12:39 pm | by Anick Jesdanun, Associated Press | News | Comments

Technology forecasters are calling 2015 the year of the Internet of Things — that idea that everyday objects will use sensors and Internet connectivity to start thinking and acting for themselves. Here's a review of the connected and smart home devices that were on display at CES this week. 

Sony CEO: 'No playbook' for hack

January 9, 2015 12:34 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Days before Thanksgiving, Sony Pictures employees had logged onto computers that flashed a message from a hacker group calling itself Guardians of Peace. Soon personal information for tens of thousands of current and former workers was dumped online, including Social Security numbers and the purported salaries of top executives. More than six weeks later, the studio's network is still down as techs work to get it back online.

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Report: IoT morphing Internet

January 8, 2015 1:44 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

While the full fruition of the Internet of Things may be a several years away, smart home and connected devices are already having an impact on the Internet. Cloud-vendor Akamai Technologies released its third quarter 2014 State of the Internet report this morning, which said, in part, that the Internet of Things (IoT) was starting to change the Internet.

CES: Wheeler hints at utility-style rules for Internet

January 8, 2015 1:32 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler appears poised to propose new rules that would classify Internet service providers as public utilities in a move designed to ensure everyone has the same access to free content online.Wheeler strongly indicated Wednesday that he favors the shift to tougher regulations, describing it as "just and reasonable" during an appearance in Las Vegas at CES.

C Spire extends rollover data to shared plans

January 8, 2015 1:23 pm | by Ben Munson, Wireless Week | News | Comments

The consumption model of charging for broadband continues to morph, as wireless broadband carriers try to match or exceed each other's offers to let consumers rollover unused portions of their monthly data allocations. AT&T yesterday adopted the approach; C Spire today modified it's plan.

Frontier names SVP of video

January 8, 2015 12:57 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Frontier Communications has promoted Stephen D. LeVan to senior vice president, video content and delivery, a move that signals the company’s intent to unify the company’s disparate video operations. Frontier operates both FiOS and U-verse platforms, as well as reselling Dish Network.

DSL-accelerating G.fast technology demonstrated at CES

January 7, 2015 2:00 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Two companies involved in G.fast said they have conducted the first public demonstrations of the technology that promises to accelerate ordinary DSL networks up to rates fast enough to support the delivery of 4K ultra high definition (UHD) video, and possibly on even to a gigabit per second.

Ateme demo's LiveSphere on a set-top

January 7, 2015 1:28 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The company showed the LiveSphere application running on an Android set-top box reference design based on the STMicroelectronics Cannes chipset, which supports 4K video. The dynamic selection of the field of view relies on a remote by 4MOD Technology.

Broadcom teams up with Comcast on RDK-B

January 7, 2015 1:00 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

A collaboration between Broadcom and Comcast is providing a key building block to the Reference Design Kit for broadband devices. At CES, Broadcom announced that its DOCSIS 3.0 and 3.1 silicon now supports RDK-B, which will allow cable operators to speed up the deployment cycles for next-generation broadband gateway devices.

Charter shows new hybrid "Worldbox"

January 7, 2015 12:25 pm | by Steven Hawley, special to CED | News | Comments

Cisco was directly involved in the design and software integration of the Broadcom-based hybrid set-top box. Charter is using ActiveVideo’s Cloud TV platform, which renders the entire user experience server-side, including the EPG video thumbnails, and delivers it as an MPEG stream.

Samsung will Connect Everything It Makes Within Five Years

January 6, 2015 2:02 pm | by Ben Munson, Wireless Week | News | Comments

SmartThings, a connected home startup that Samsung bought in 2014, at CES Monday pushed out the next generation of its products and deepened third-party product integration. The company also introduced a new premium subscription service.

MoCA 2.0 hits 400 Mbps in field tests

January 6, 2015 1:44 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

The Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA) announced at CES this morning that it had reached 400 Mbps net throughputs during its ongoing MoCA 2.0 field tests. The 400 Mbps net throughputs (MAC rate) were reached in 90 percent of all coaxial cabling outlets or paths, while net throughputs were greater than 350 Mbps for 95 percent of the paths.

Microsoft adds Harmonic's ProMedia to Playready DRM

January 6, 2015 1:42 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The combination of ProMedia Origin solutions with Microsoft PlayReady, can enable video content and service providers to distribute secure content to a wide range of devices via a single DRM technology. That can significantly reduce the time to market for while minimizing workflow complexity and points of failure.

Broadcom takes wraps off of DOCSIS 3.1 chipset

January 6, 2015 1:17 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Broadcom announced this morning at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas that it was the first vendor to debut a DOCSIS 3.1-based system-on-a-chip (SoC) for cable operators. Cable operators have been frothing at the mouth for DOCSIS 3.1 gear and today’s announcement from Broadcom included executive quotes from the two largest cable operators in the world, Comcast and Liberty Global. 

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