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

Report: Sprint / T-Mobile merger in the works

January 20, 2014 12:30 pm | by Ben Munson, Wireless Week | News | Comments

SoftBank and Deutsche Telekom (DT) have moved to direct talks on a deal for the German carrier’s 67-percent stake in T-Mobile. The two companies are said to be ironing out obstacles to the deal and said the process could take months. The deal could have a profound effect on wireless broadband and broadband pricing trends.

NFL Network to stream live on Xbox One

January 17, 2014 1:20 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Microsoft is working with NeuLion to enable the delivery of the channel at 60 fps. Doubling the typical frame rate of live video is especially pertinent with sports broadcasts. Sports networks, including ESPN, consistently say that if forced to choose between one or the other, a faster frame rate is preferable to higher resolution.

Former Cox exec Schultz joins Charter

January 17, 2014 12:38 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Charter Communications has hired Richard Schultz for the position of senior vice president of inbound sales and retention, customer operations. Schultz has more than 25 years of experience leading sales in the telecommunications industry, most recently at Cox Communications.

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Comcast’s new research center reaches for the skies

January 16, 2014 12:20 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Not content with already having the tallest skyscraper in its hometown of Philadelphia, Comcast announced yesterday that its new research center will be even taller when its finished in 2017. The glass and stainless steel Comcast Innovation and Technology Center will over shadow the neighboring Comcast Center, which is the cable operator’s headquarters that opened in 2008.

Charging Netflix at issue in open-Internet case

January 16, 2014 12:08 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Will broadband providers start charging Internet services such as Netflix to deliver the massive amounts of data that streaming video and other content require? A court ruling this week gives providers such as Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Verizon more flexibility to do that, even though immediate changes are unlikely.

Carlson Wireless okayed to market white spaces system

January 15, 2014 1:20 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Designed using software-defined architecture and dynamic spectrum sharing, RuralConnect transmits in unused frequencies in the UHF TV band (470-698 MHz). The system uses the Spectrum Bridge database to determine what frequencies are unused in any given broadcast area.

Dimetis and Ateme announce strategic partnership

January 15, 2014 1:07 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The integration of the Dimetis BOSS Link Manager with the Ateme high-fidelity encoding/decoding platform creates a low-latency, high definition solution for broadcast content. The two companies believe the combined solution will be of special interest to companies transmitting live content, for example sports broadcasters.

Suddenlink picks NetCracker for customer management

January 15, 2014 12:50 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

NetCracker Technology announced this morning that Suddenlink Communications has signed on to use its Customer Management and CRM platform. NetCracker was already the primary hosted billing platform provider for Suddenlink, but NetCracker has expanded that relationship by installing its web-based Customer Management and CRM offering.

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Harris Broadcast wraps up deal to buy Imagine Communications

January 15, 2014 12:43 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Harris Broadcast announced this morning that it had completed its purchase of Imagine Communications. The deal brought Imagine’s adaptive bit rate (ABR) technology into Harris’ product portfolio. Financial terms of the deal weren’t released.

Huawei rejects reports of security weakness

January 15, 2014 12:38 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Chinese tech giant Huawei on Wednesday rejected suggestions its telecoms equipment is vulnerable to hacking and forecast a rise in 2013 profit of nearly 50 percent. Chief financial officer Cathy Meng rejected as "groundless" reports that Huawei equipment might be more vulnerable to security threats than telecoms infrastructure made by other companies.

Charter calls Time Warner Cable a 'turnaround project'

January 15, 2014 12:35 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Charter Communications executives labeled Time Warner Cable a "turnaround project" suffering from a failed strategy as they urged Time Warner Cable shareholders to prod management to begin talks with Charter on its buyout offer. The criticism was leveled Tuesday after Charter revealed details of its proposed bid for Time Warner Cable. The offer would create the third-largest pay TV provider in the country.

SCTE promotes Schankel to VP

January 14, 2014 1:38 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The SCTE announced that Bill Schankel has been promoted to Vice President, Marketing, with responsibility for driving an expanded agenda of marketing, communications and business development activities for the industry’s leading provider of technology training, certification and information.

Gun shy

January 14, 2014 1:24 pm | by Brian Santo | Blogs | Comments

If there’s anybody who knows how to get screwed in a merger, it’s Time Warner Cable. TWC was a pawn in AOL’s acquisition of Time Warner, among the most disastrous mergers in history. Time Warner subsequently used TWC as a piggy bank it could bust open, emptying TWC of cash when it spun off the MSO.

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Appeals Court knocks down net neutrality rules

January 14, 2014 1:15 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

A federal appeals court ruled that the FCC lacks the authority to impose many of the network neutrality rules it set down to guide the behavior of broadband providers, thereby invalidating those rules. The Federal Communications Commission can, however, go back and devise a better argument for its authority to restore the negated rules.

Google to buy Nest Labs for $3.2B

January 14, 2014 12:32 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The search engine operator was an early investor in Nest Labs. It says the company's Nest Learning Thermostat has been a "consistent best-seller." The thermostat, which retails for $249, is designed to learn how inhabitants like their homes to be heated and cooled. Once it learns the consumers' preferences, it automatically adjusts the temperature on its own.

TWC rejects ‘grossly inadequate offer’ from Charter

January 14, 2014 11:36 am | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

The gloves are off in Charter Communications’ attempt to takeover Time Warner Cable. Charter has offered to buy the nation’s second largest cable operator for $132.50 a share, which was slightly higher than where Time Warner Cable’s shares closed on Monday. Monday night Time Warner Cable CEO Rob Marcus, who took over as CEO of the nation’s second-largest cable operator on Jan. 1, formally rejected Charter’s third offer.

The hottest gadgets of CES: 3-D printers to 4K TVs

January 13, 2014 1:08 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

TV makers were heartened by the support they received for their new ultra-high-definition TV sets. The 3-D printing section bustled with activity, and it was clear that even though most people won't be buying a printer any time soon, they may be enjoying 3-D printed products, such as jewelry, wedding cakes and dental braces, in the near future.

NH completes $63M project to grow broadband access

January 13, 2014 12:04 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The $63 million Network New Hampshire Now project, led by the University of New Hampshire, was funded with $44.5 million in federal stimulus money and $18.3 million in private support. The new cable network exceeded project goals by more than 300 miles.

Cablevision hires Comstock as EVP of operations

January 10, 2014 12:19 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Cablevision has hired Robert Comstock to the newly created position of executive vice president, operations. Effective immediately, Cablevision said Comstock is responsible for all aspects of infrastructure that support the delivery of Cablevision’s customer experience, including network management, field operations, outside plant, Wi-Fi execution, and telecommunications network management.

Report: Dish dropping $2.2B LightSquared bid

January 9, 2014 1:09 pm | by Ben Munson, Wireless Week | News | Comments

Dish Network appears to be abandoning its $2.2 billion bid for LightSquared. LightSquared lenders are viewing Dish’s change of plans as a breach of contract. One of the possible restructuring plans for LightSquared is based on Dish’s bid and the ad hoc group directing the effort is lead by Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen’s L-Band Acquisition Corp.

WWE to become streaming network

January 9, 2014 12:31 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The WWE joins the NFL, NHL, NBA and MLB as the latest sports-based organization that has its own broadband-based network. The WWE Network launches Feb. 24 as a streaming service for $9.99 per month with a six-month commitment and will include all 12 pay-per-view events.

Lui heads up Time Warner Cable’s HR department

January 9, 2014 12:13 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Time Warner Cable announced this morning that Alan Lui was promoted to senior vice president of human resources. Effective today, Lui now leads all aspects of the cable operator’s human resources department. He continues to report to Peter Stern, Time Warner Cable’s executive vice president and chief strategy, people and corporate development officer.

Sony announces streaming TV and game services

January 8, 2014 1:19 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Among the many things Sony announced at CES, two could be momentous for established MVPDs: the company plans to introduce a competitive web-based video service, and it plans to switch delivery of Playstation games from selling physical disks to a streaming model.

Entropic bursts out with set-top, networking products

January 7, 2014 1:42 pm | News | Comments

The company flooded CES with a spate of new products, including a series of chips for satellite set-top boxes; an Android-based IP STB with partner TVStorm; and another IP “set-top” in the form of an HDMI stick, developed with Novabase. Entropic also announced a MoCA 2.0 USB bus-powered adapter reference design.

Charter to increase data speeds

January 7, 2014 12:54 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

With its all digital conversion project slated to be finished in all of its systems this year, Charter Communications announced it was boosting some of the data speeds for its business and residential subscribers. For residential subscribers, Charter said it would double its flagship tier speeds from 30 Mbps to 60 Mbps at no additional cost. 

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