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

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.

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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.

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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.]

Media: Comcast close to streaming EA games

May 5, 2014 12:25 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Comcast is close to completing a deal with Electronic Arts (EA) that would allow its XI subscribers to buy and stream games, such as “Madden,” through their TVs, according to a story by Reuters. Citing five unnamed sources, Reuters reported that Comcast and EA have worked on testing the service for the past two years. Instead of a game console, the service would allow gamers to use their tablets as the controllers for the games.

Report: AT&T Looking to Buy DirecTV

May 2, 2014 1:42 pm | by Ben Munson, Wireless Week | News | Comments

AT&T is said to have approached DirecTV about the acquisition. As the report points out, combining DirecTV’s 20 million customers with AT&T’s 5.7 million TV subscribers would get them nearer to the 30 million customers Comcast will have if its Time Warner Cable acquisition is approved.

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Envivio powers MSO's multi-screen effort

May 2, 2014 1:34 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The company said a Tier 1 U.S. operator is using its Muse encoding software to power more than 10,000 live linear cable TV channels in a fully virtualized software environment, outputting nearly 33,000 live adaptive bitrate (ABR) streams delivered to millions of subscribers for multi-screen video services.

Netgear creates tablet for iControl homes

May 2, 2014 1:25 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The company has created a 7” Android tablet that service providers can give to customers of iControl-based home automation and security services. The Security Touch Screen is designed to be an inexpensive option that allows homeowners to manage and interact with their home systems, in addition to getting basic tablet functionality.

TDS plunks down $261 million to buy BendBroadband

May 2, 2014 12:29 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Another one bites the dust. Telephone and Data Systems (TDS) is buying cable operator BendBroadband for $261 million. BendBroadband will strengthen TDS’ hand in the cable operator sector. Last year TDS Telecom bought Baja Broadband.

Bright House Networks, iControl hook up on home security

May 2, 2014 12:22 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Bright House Networks is the latest announced customer for home automation and home security vendor iControl. The nation’s sixth-largest cable operator is using the iControl Converge software platform for its home security and control service that was first offered two years ago in Florida. 

Cable Show: Business services will blossom with Time Warner Cable/Comcast deal

May 1, 2014 12:04 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

During Thursday’s business services session at The Cable Show moderator Gemma Toner addressed the elephant in the room right off the bat. Toner asked the Time Warner Cable and Comcast panelists about the impact of Comcast’s $45 billion deal to buy Time Warner Cable. 

Rutledge, Roberts say subscriber deal good for industry

April 30, 2014 6:39 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

What a difference a few million customers thrown your way makes. Jon Fortt of CNBC opened the "Great Expectations: A Macro View of Consumers, Content and Communications" panel with a lunging question for Charter Communications CED Tom Rutledge. Charter had said Comcast’s purchase of Time Warner Cable was bad for consumers, he noted: “What changed your mind?” 

Bright House Networks inks channel partnership with Intelisys

April 30, 2014 5:43 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Bright House Networks has signed a strategic channel partnership agreement with technology services distributor Intelisys. As part of the agreement, Intelisys’ network of more than 1,200 downstream partners, consisting of sub agents, solution providers and cloud-focused partners, will be able to offer Bright House Networks’ voice, Internet, and advanced managed services.

Juniper, Gainspeed propose "virtual" CCAP

April 30, 2014 12:34 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Virtual CCAP would enable MSOs to leave all the equipment they now have in place, but as they grow, shift to remote PHY (shifting QAM PHY into nodes). MSOs could also stop deploying redundant routing resources in the form of CMTSs, in favor of enabling the edge routers that operators already have installed. 

Pace debuts RDK-based Elements middleware platform

April 30, 2014 11:45 am | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Pace announced today that its Elements middleware platform was now available with full Reference Design Kit (RDK) compatibility. Pace also said it had expanded its relationship with RDK Management by signing up for the RDK Advanced Support Program (ASP) and Media Sponsorship Program (MSP).  

Time Warner Cable’s Meeks a Vanguard Award winner

April 30, 2014 11:17 am | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Time Warner Cable’s Phil Meeks has made the most of his six and half years in the cable operator industry and was recently rewarded by being named as one of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association’s Vanguard Award winners. Meeks took over the commercial services division of Time Warner Cable a little over a year ago when he was named executive vice president and chief operating officer, business services.

Cable Show: MSOs vs. Programmers spat erupts anew

April 29, 2014 6:36 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

During the “Faster, Better, More Entertaining Future" panel during the Cable Show's opening day general session, the conflict between cable operators and programmers over escalating programming costs that normally seethes beneath the surface was brought into daylight.

Cable Show: Liberty’s Fries says cooperation key to closing functionality gap

April 29, 2014 5:42 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Liberty Global CEO and president Mike Fries didn’t pull any punches in regards to questions on a general session panel about why TV Everywhere services haven’t entirely blossomed for cable operators and their content partners. Fries also said the entire net neutrality debate was about video.

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