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

RCN launches online backup service

November 1, 2013 12:25 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

RCN is now offering a new online backup and file sharing service for $4.99 a month. In order to access the service, which is called RCNBackup, users need to subscribe to at least one of RCN’s video, data or voice offerings. 

Sprint debuts 50 Mbps wireless network

October 31, 2013 1:34 pm | by Ben Munson, Wireless Week | News | Comments

Sprint Spark currently hits peak speeds of 50-60 megabits per second but the carrier promises those transfer rates will go up and that it’s “technically feasible” to hit 2 Gbps over-the-air in the future. Spark uses a combination of carrier aggregation, 8T8R, MIMO antenna technology and TDD to crank up speed, capacity and coverage.

CableLabs publishes DOCSIS spec

October 31, 2013 1:28 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The organization just posted its DOCSIS 3.1 PHY (physical layer) and MULPI (MAC and upper layer protocol) specifications. DOCSIS 3.1 is the technological underpinning of the cable industry’s roadmap for providing competitive IP-based services for the next 10 to 20 years. It provides for an expansion of capabilities and features in the IP portion of cable operators’ networks.

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CBS dustup puts black eye on TWC’s Q3

October 31, 2013 1:07 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

The month-long blackout of CBS programming put a damper on Time Warner Cable’s third quarter results, which included the loss of 306,000 residential TV subscribers in the quarter. While the amount of video subscribers lost in the third quarter exceeded analysts’ expectations of 183,000, Time Warner Cable also bled 24,000 data subscribers and 128,000 voice customers on the residential side.

Last call for Britt

October 31, 2013 12:59 pm | by Mike Robuck | Blogs | Comments

After 41 years in the cable industry, Time Warner Cable CEO and Chairman Glenn Britt took part in his last quarterly earnings conference call this morning. Britt spent about the first 20 minutes of the call with analysts speaking about the state of the cable industry in general while providing his own views and experiences.

In the media: Intel to bag OTT dreams

October 30, 2013 1:53 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Intel was known to be interested in developing a web-based television service, but the move put the company in an awkward position. One division sells semiconductors used in to make cable modems and set-tops for the cable industry, while another division, Intel Media, was trying to become a direct competitor to MSOs.

Senate confirms Wheeler, O’Rielly to FCC

October 30, 2013 1:25 pm | by Ben Munson, Wireless Week | News | Comments

Wheeler, appointed by President Obama in May, comes to the Commission from his work with venture capital firm Core Capital. Wheeler was also president of the National Cable Television Association (NCTA) from 1979 to 1984 and was CEO of CTIA until 2004, when Steve Largent took over the post.

Comcast cable revenue up; X1 a big success

October 30, 2013 1:21 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The company reported that the accelerated rollout of the X1 interface has led to a significant increase in VOD viewing, and a meaningful reduction in churn. The company was mum on Netflix, but CEO Brian Roberts said the first fruits of its deal with Twitter should arrive sometime within the next few weeks.

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Report: Ciena tops in optical equipment survey

October 30, 2013 1:07 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Ciena took the top honors in various categories in a recent survey of packet-optical equipment vendors. Infonetics Research’s “Optical equipment vendor leadership: global service provider survey” looked at service providers’ perceptions of optical equipment suppliers and the criteria used for choosing vendors.

Time Warner Cable’s Britt undergoing cancer treatment

October 30, 2013 12:59 pm | News | Comments

Time Warner Cable Chairman and CEO Glenn Britt is undergoing treatment for a recurrence of cancer. Britt acknowledged in a company-wide memo yesterday that a few weeks ago he had been diagnosed with cancer after having issues with his voice since this summer.

Atlantic Broadband first MSO to deploy TiVo’s Roamio

October 30, 2013 12:53 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

This morning Atlantic Broadband laid claim to being the first cable operator to offer TiVo’s Roamio DVR platform. The six-tuner Roamio boxes launched today in Cumberland, M.D. with additional deployments slated this year in Miami and Aiken S.C.

Technology is the impetus for a Comcast-Netflix deal

October 30, 2013 12:04 pm | by Brian Santo | Blogs | Comments

There is no shortage of speculation about whether Comcast doing a deal with Netflix makes business sense – some say yes, some say no – but there are few evaluations of whether a Comcast-Netflix deal makes technological sense, which is key to why a Comcast-Netflix agreement is far more likely than not.

Redbox Instant debuts on PlayStation3

October 29, 2013 1:24 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Redbox Instant will come with a new recommendation feature that Verizon and Sony built specifically for the PlayStation. Called The Playlist, it will be featured on the PS3’s main dashboard. The two companies describe it as a curated, rotating collection of movies that highlights titles from the service’s library.

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Google expands sales of Internet-connected glasses

October 29, 2013 1:06 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The roughly 10,000 Glass owners who began testing the device earlier this year will each be allowed to invite up to three people to buy the device. The early Glass users are primarily computer programmers and winners of an online contest conducted earlier this year.

TWC rolls 100 Mbps into LA

October 29, 2013 12:44 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Time Warner Cable announced it was upgrading its Ultimate 50 subscribers to a 100 Mbps service for free in Los Angeles, with New York City and Hawaii to follow. Time Warner Cable said the 100 Mbps tier would be available to all of its customers in those three markets by early 2014 and will launch in additional markets next year. 

Comcast Ventures among investors for Nextdoor

October 29, 2013 12:40 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Comcast Ventures chipped in on a $60 million funding round for Nextdoor, which bills itself as a private social network for neighborhoods. Nextdoor, which launched two years ago, has more  than 22,500 neighborhoods across the country actively using its social networking platform.

Comcast bows new disability support offerings

October 28, 2013 12:26 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Comcast has thrown its support behind viewers with disabilities by creating a dedicated accessibility customer team support as well as opening an accessibility product and development lab. As part of October’s National Disability Awareness Month, Comcast is also offering a special collection of disability-themed programming on its VOD platform.

Synacor debuts white-label auto authentication for TVE

October 28, 2013 12:19 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

This morning Synacor laid claim to being the first vendor in the industry to launch an in-home white label auto authentication platform for TV Everywhere services. Auto authentication would reduce one of the chokepoints of deploying multi-screen services, and Synacor’s offering recognizes a user’s broadband network-based pay-TV account for at-home mobile access or connects via a user’s social media login.

Arista, Fox demo transfer of uncompressed HD

October 25, 2013 1:42 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Arista Networks has demonstrated the ability to deliver uncompressed HD-SDI video over an IP network at wire rate. Fox and Arista said they expect all video production and distribution companies will eventually choose to not compress video during file transfers. The capability could be useful for sharing HD files with cable networks and other MVPDs.

CommScope bags half a $billion in IPO

October 25, 2013 1:07 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The company and key investor Carlyle Group together sold approximately 38.5 million shares priced at $15 each, netting $576.9 million. CommScope had expected its IPO to price at $18 to $21 a share. The company said it will use its share of the proceeds to redeem $399 million in senior notes due in 2019.

SCTE says Expo attendance up 6 percent

October 25, 2013 11:50 am | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Attendance at this week’s SCTE Cable-Tec Expo in Atlanta was somewhere in the neighborhood of 9,8000, which was a 6 percent increase over last year’s event that was held in Orlando. Attendance at the flagship event by the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers was boosted by the “DOCSIS 3.1 engineering” and “Creating the cable generalist” pre-conference symposiums.

Twitter sets $17 to $20 per share range for IPO

October 25, 2013 11:45 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Twitter has set a price range of $17 to $20 per share for its initial public offering and says it could raise as much as $1.6 billion in the process. The pricing is relatively conservative considering that Twitter is poised to pull off the year's hottest IPO.

AT&T posts higher 3Q profit as revenue grows

October 24, 2013 10:39 am | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

AT&T reported its U-verse TV and Internet service reached 10 million subscribers during the third quarter, with one of the biggest gains in TV viewers in the history of the service. AT&T's third-quarter profit and revenue increased as the nation's largest telecommunications company added more smartphone and broadband subscribers.

Building a better customer experience

October 24, 2013 10:08 am | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

TV apps and recommendation engines are two ways that cable operators can keep subscribers from wandering away into the arms of another service provider. Wednesday’s Cable-Tec Expo session “The evolving customer experience” provided an overview of TV apps, personalized recommendation engines, and cloud-based services.

Shaw Business checks in with Canad Inns

October 24, 2013 8:27 am | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Shaw Business signed a multi-year agreement with Canad Inns to deliver its video, voice and data services. Shaw will serve 16 Canad Inns locations across Manitoba and in Grand Forks, North Dakota, including hotels, restaurants and various other attractions.

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