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

CableLabs working on information models for industry

May 15, 2014 12:15 pm | by Mike Robuck | Blogs | Comments

Over the past few years, CableLabs has been cooking up information models for the cable operator industry that are designed to provide commonality across the various technologies and systems. CableLabs chief technology officer Ralph Brown said the data information architecture seeks to integrate the different networks and systems into a common platform that will improve the rate of innovation and provide a seamless experience.

Comcast Business pushes fiber into Rutland County, Vt.

May 15, 2014 12:03 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Thanks to a recent fiber deployment, Comcast Business’ portfolio of Ethernet services is now available in 17 communities in Rutland County, Vt. Rutland County, which boasts of several well-known ski areas, was an extension of last year’s fiber build across Chittenden County.

TWCBC debuts benefit program for SMBs

May 14, 2014 12:48 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Time Warner Cable Business Class (TWCBC) is now offering its small business customers access to a complimentary benefit program. The program, which is called “PerkZone,” is a two-part platform that offers discounts from companies, such as OfficeMax, Lenovo, and ZipCar, as well as an information forum geared towards small business owners.

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Smart home survey: ‘Internet of Things’ will take flight in five years

May 14, 2014 12:41 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

According to a recent survey by home automation and security vendor iControl Networks, the “Internet of Things” will become a reality over the next five years. Among survey respondents, 56 percent said the Internet of Things, whereby home appliances such as refrigerators equipped with broadband, cameras or sensors, would reach fruition in five years.

Bright House Networks Enterprise Solutions inks deal with crisis center

May 14, 2014 12:36 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Bright House Networks Enterprise Solutions has signed an agreement to provide business services to the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay. The non-profit crisis center will use Bright House Networks Enterprise Solutions’ dedicated Internet access (DIA), enterprise trunking and metro Ethernet services to better serve its patients.

Netflix's share of peak Internet traffic rises

May 14, 2014 12:30 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Netflix increased its share of fixed-line Internet traffic in North America in the first half of 2014, accounting for 34 percent of data flowing to consumers during peak times, up from 32 percent in the latter half of 2013. That's according to a new report from Sandvine Inc., a Canadian networking services company.

Harmonic announces first CMTS and distributed CCAP system

May 13, 2014 12:26 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The NSG Exo complements the company’s QAM products; working in tandem they are the two key elements in a distributed access architecture implementation of a converged cable access platform (CCAP). Initially this approach is apt to be used largely to serve MDUs (multiple dwelling units) and the hospitality market.

Wheeler revising Internet rules after public backlash

May 13, 2014 12:19 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler is broadening the scope of his proposed open Internet rules and suggesting tougher standards for Internet providers who wish to create paid priority fast lanes on their networks. According to an FCC official, Wheeler made revisions after the commission received 35,000 public comments —many of them expressing outrage. The FCC first briefed reporters on the proposed rules last month.

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Dish, nTelos to launch fixed LTE network in July

May 12, 2014 1:16 pm | by Ben Munson, Wireless Week | News | Comments

Dish and nTelos last year announced the fixed mobile broadband partnership. The companies activated two wireless tower test sites in the Blue Ridge Mountains using Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson equipment. The broadband antenna used by Dish can be installed directly next to Dish’s TV satellite.

Buckeye, Trilithic enter product test pact

May 12, 2014 1:02 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Trilithic and Buckeye CableSystem have entered a research and design collaboration to develop and commercialize new products used to improve service delivery and customer experience in the cable market. Buckeye will gain access to the latest Trilithic products during the term of the strategic partnership and provide Trilithic with feedback on next-generation technologies.

Colorado updates rural broadband fund

May 12, 2014 12:45 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The legislation reroutes part of a $54 million annual ratepayer subsidy to telecom companies into a broadband fund to provide service in rural areas. The plan is to phase out the ratepayer subsidy — known as the "Colorado High Cost Support Mechanism" — in 10 years.

Comcast hires former Cisco exec Klaer

May 12, 2014 12:39 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Comcast has hired former Cisco executive Ken Klaer to the position of senior vice president, premises technology where he will lead the cable operator’s customer premise equipment team. Klaer’s hiring filled the gap from Steve Reynolds’ departure from the same role last year to become CTO of what later became Imagine Communications. 

Clearleap hires Oesterling as COO

May 9, 2014 1:20 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Oesterling will further develop and scale Clearleap’s engineering and operational processes and systems, while assisting in managing the company’s global expansion. He will also lead recruiting efforts for technology professionals. Clearleap last November raised $20 million. The company said it plans to add 150 new employees this year.

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Liberty Media spinning off cable holdings

May 9, 2014 1:06 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Liberty Media said it is spinning off its cable and broadband properties into a new publicly traded company that will be called Liberty Broadband. At the same time, the company also said it bought 897,000 shares of Charter for $124.5 million, giving it a 26.4 percent beneficial ownership of Charter’s equity.

Cogent CEO blames Comcast for prior Netflix slowdown

May 9, 2014 11:53 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

The chief executive of one of the nation's largest providers of the Internet's backbone on Thursday blamed cable giant Comcast for a slowdown in Netflix streaming traffic over the last two years. Cogent Communications Group Inc. CEO Dave Schaeffer made the comments at a congressional hearing about Comcast's proposed $45 billion takeover of Time Warner Cable Inc. on Thursday.

Netflix raises prices by a $1 for new subscribers

May 9, 2014 11:49 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Netflix is raising its Internet video prices by $1 per month for new customers and giving its current U.S. subscribers a two-year break from the higher rates. The changes mean anyone signing up for Netflix's video subscription service beginning Friday will pay $9 per month for in the U.S.

Bright House Networks launches Web page for disabled customers

May 9, 2014 11:46 am | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Bright House Networks recently launched a centralized Web page that was designed to better serve its subscribers with disabilities. The “accessibility” Web page provides information on the cable operator’s products and services for disabled customers and their families including hearing/speech, mobility, vision, and assistive offerings.

C Spire kicks off 1 Gbps in Mississippi

May 8, 2014 12:49 pm | by Ben Munson, Wireless Week | News | Comments

The first phase of C Spire’s fiber initiative will see the rapid home broadband deployed in nine Mississippi cities: Batesville, Clinton, Corinth, Hattiesburg, Horn Lake, McComb, Quitman, Ridgeland and Starkville. C Spire anticipates laying 4,600 miles of fiber optic infrastructure and spending millions to finish the first steps of the project.

FCC Commish backs push for more Wi-Fi spectrum

May 7, 2014 1:12 pm | by Ben Munson, Wireless Week | News | Comments

Cable, pursuing a Wi-Fi based wireless strategy, is enthusiastic about having the FCC open up more unlicensed spectrum in the 600 MHz Band. FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel said the Commission needs to be creative about finding room for unlicensed spectrum in that band, while protecting incumbent services.

Suddenlink to provide Netflix direct through its set-tops

May 6, 2014 5:15 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The operator follows a trio of other TiVo customers who recently announced they’d be doing the same. Suddenlink was the first cable operator to begin offering TiVo digital video recorders (DVRs) integrated with Suddenlink’s on-demand library and using TiVo’s user interface, search and discovery functions.

KPN, Ericsson, test broadcast video over LTE

May 6, 2014 1:36 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

KPN became the first network operator in the Netherlands to conduct live tests with LTE Broadcast. The test over the weekend was done with Ericsson, Qualcomm Technologies, Samsung and IBM. The trial took place in the Amsterdam Arena stadium during the soccer game of Ajax against NEC.

Mediacom boost revenues in 1Q; video subs decline

May 6, 2014 12:21 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

This morning privately-held Mediacom Communications released unaudited financial results for the first quarter, which included increased revenues amid a continued decline in video subscribers. The nation’s eighth-largest cable operator, which reports its subscriber and revenue numbers under two subsidiaries, lost a total of 8,000 video subscribers in the quarter that ended March 31.

DirecTV 1Q profit falls on Venezuela charges

May 6, 2014 12:10 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

DirecTV, stung by a volatile currency situation in Venezuela, reported that its first-quarter profit fell 19 percent. Removing those one-time charges, however, the company beat Wall Street expectations and shares rose before the opening bell.

Comcast expanding customer service in NH

May 6, 2014 12:04 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Comcast is expected to employ about 200 people at a new customer service center by the end of the year in Hudson, New Hampshire. The center, located at the former home of Presstek, a printing equipment company, can employ up to 600 agents.

Elemental sets live 4K stream of opera from Vienna

May 5, 2014 12:58 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Elemental Technologies has arranged to stream a live production from the Vienna State Opera in 4K HEVC delivered via MPEG-DASH over the Internet. The production is of Verdi’s “Nabucco,” and will feature Plácido Domingo. [Included here is an invitation from Domingo to watch.]

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