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

Pandora listening up in face of iTunes Radio

November 5, 2013 1:21 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

People listened to Pandora's Internet radio service for a collective 1.47 billion hours in October, up 18 percent from a year ago, in the face of the launch iTunes Radio.  About a month after its mid-September launch, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that 20 million people had used iTunes Radio to listen to more than a billion songs.

AT&T reveals Austin areas to get gigabit broadband

November 5, 2013 12:54 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

 The company has not yet announced pricing for the service. AT&T did say that the initial maximum speed for the network would be 300 Mbps, and that subscribers to the 300 Mbps tier would automatically get a free boost to 1 Gbps when AT&T accelerates the network to those speeds, sometime in 2014.

Comcast spends to defeat Seattle mayor

November 4, 2013 1:22 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Hoping to help defeat the mayor of Seattle who is running for reelection, Comcast is making donations to political action committees supporting his rival. Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn is pursuing a public-private partnership to bring fiber-based broadband to one of his city’s neighborhoods.

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Microsoft in 20-year wind power deal for data center

November 4, 2013 12:38 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Construction on RES Americas' $200 million, 55-turbine wind power project, called Keechi, will begin in December and is expected to be operational by June 2015. Microsoft is buying all 430,000 megawatt hours of energy it produces — or enough to power up to 45,000 homes. That is about 5 percent to 10 percent of the company's total electricity consumption.

AT&T’s Digital Life service drops into six more markets

November 4, 2013 12:01 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

AT&T’s home automation and security service, which is called “Digital Life,” will soon be available in six new markets. Starting Friday, Digital Life, which made its debut earlier this year, will launch in Bridgeport, Conn., Colorado Springs, Colo., Memphis, Mobile, Ala., New Haven, Conn., and Pensacola, Fla.

BlackBerry abandons sale process, CEO out

November 4, 2013 11:54 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

BlackBerry abandoned its sale process on Monday, and announced it will replace its chief executive. Fairfax, BlackBerry's largest shareholder with a 10 percent stake, said it won't buy the struggling smartphone company and take it private but said it and other investors will inject $1 billion as part of a revised investment proposal.

Former Moto execs to exit Arris’ executive team

November 1, 2013 3:33 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Arris announced Friday afternoon that former Motorola Home executives Rob McLaughlin and John Burke were leaving the company at the end of the month to “pursue other opportunities.” McLaughlin is the leader of Arris’ North America sales and global marketing and communications team while  Burke is in charge of the company’s cloud solutions team and its corporate strategy and development team.

FAA eases electronics restrictions as on-board broadband expands

November 1, 2013 1:33 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Passengers traveling on U.S.-based airline carriers will be able to use most electronic devices throughout their flights. The new rules do not apply to cell phones, whose use will continue to be prohibited on takeoff and landing, though airlines are gradually adding cellular service as a broadband connectivity option.

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Cable One begins whole-home service

November 1, 2013 12:57 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

With this new Whole Home DVR service, Cable One customers can start watching a recorded show in one room, hit pause, and finish in another; record four HD shows at once with up to 650 hours of recording time; and search for content by title, actor, category or keyword using the Advanced TiVo Guide.

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.

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.

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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.

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.

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.

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