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

Internet of Things to thrive on business applications

December 29, 2014 7:47 pm | by Brian Santo | Articles | Comments

IoT Special Report: The first experience many communications service providers have with the Internet of Things (IoT) is in home monitoring and automation services, but it’s the business market, not the residential market, that represents some of the biggest opportunities.

The State of the IoT Union

December 29, 2014 6:15 pm | by Mike Robuck | Articles | Comments

IoT Special Report: The IoT worldwide market could be worth as much as $19 trillion over the next decade. If cable operators want a slice, they are going to have to prepared to process vast amounts of data in real time, and they'll have to help consumers comprehend the value of having everything connected.

PlayStation, Xbox Live both back online

December 29, 2014 2:15 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Sony vice president Catherine Jensen added that "PlayStation Network and some other gaming services were attacked over the holidays with artificially high levels of traffic to disrupt connectivity and online gameplay." The Lizard Squad — or someone claiming to speak for it — took credit for the Sony  disruptions.

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FCC again stops the clock on the Comcast-TWC merger

December 23, 2014 5:32 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

TWC told the FCC that it had withheld the documents on an incorrect claim of attorney-client privilege, according to the agency. TWC should have turned over those documents in September, but did not until earlier this month (December). Furthermore, there are another 30,000 documents that were misplaced due to some unspecified vendor error.

Kentucky begins $250M project to improve "dismal" broadband availability

December 23, 2014 3:37 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The state is getting most of the money from Macquarie Capital. Macquarie has assemble a team including First Solutions, Fujitsu Network Communications, Black & Veatch, and Bowlin Group, to design, develop and operate the private/public network over the next 30 years.

SeaChange snags TimeLine Labs for $22M

December 23, 2014 2:48 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Timeline Labs has built a content management platform that enables its customers to discover, curate and display geographically targeted news stories that are trending across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. SeaChange said it intends to expand the target audience to include multiscreen television service providers.

Regulating online video distributors: Capital Currents

December 22, 2014 4:47 pm | by Jeffrey Krauss, President of Telecommunications and Technology Policy | Articles | Comments

Now that the NPRM has been published, we can see the legal and policy problems that it will face. There are many. If OVDs are determined by the FCC to qualify as MVPDs, then it might give them certain program access rights. But MVPDs also face certain obligations. Will these same obligations apply to OVDs?

FCC proposes OTT companies get MVPD status

December 22, 2014 4:37 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The question is coming up with increasing frequency, and cannot be ignored. Sky Angel continues to press its case. More recently, the Supreme Court confused the issue immensely by likening Aereo to an MVPD, even though absolutely nobody else agrees, a conundrum that helped drive Aereo into bankruptcy. 

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Title II means $15B in consumer fees? "Baloney"!

December 19, 2014 1:37 pm | by Brian Santo | Blogs | Comments

Communications companies claim that applying Title II regulation to broadband would inevitably lead to up to $15 billion in regulatory fees being passed on to consumers. U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, who wrote the Internet Tax Freedom Act, says the claim is "baloney."

AT&T offering ‘Business Fiber’ in ATL

December 19, 2014 11:40 am | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

AT&T is now offering Atlanta area businesses a symmetrical 300 Mbps tier ahead of future plans to ramp the speeds up to 1 gigabit. The AT&T Business Fiber deployment followed on the heels of AT&T’s October announcement that it would launch its residential GigaPower service to the Atlanta area it serves.

Submit those SCTE Cable-Tec Expo abstracts now

December 19, 2014 11:33 am | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) is actively recruiting abstracts for next year’s Cable-Tec Expo in New Orleans. The deadline for abstract submissions, which will be reviewed by the SCTE Cable-Tec Expo2015 Program Committee that’s chaired by Liberty Global CTO and EVP Balan Nair, is Feb. 17.

Review: Connecting the Home for the Holidays

December 18, 2014 1:53 pm | by The Associated Press | Articles | Comments

To give you a feel for what that connectivity brings, here's a closer look at a few "smart" products for the home. There are plenty more if you look around. As I tried these out, I kept thinking to myself whether these products really needed that connectivity. You'll need to decide whether the benefits are worth the higher prices.

No more hanging on the line for Comcast customer service

December 18, 2014 1:19 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Comcast is attempting a few new twists on customer service, including giving customers several options for not just requesting but actually scheduling a call back, rather than hanging on the line waiting for a service rep to pick up the phone.

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Survey: GigaDuh?

December 18, 2014 1:01 pm | by Mike Robuck | Blogs | Comments

While the service provider industry is rife with almost daily announcements on gigabit service rollouts, a large chunk of consumers are tuned out when it comes to understanding, letting alone wanting, the faster speeds. According to a survey by Pivot Group and Telecompetitor, 87 percent of its 800 respondents across the nation had never heard of “gigabit” before the survey. 

Dish welcomes Netflix in

December 17, 2014 12:43 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Dish said it is integrating Netflix into its service, available as an app to customers who have a second-generation Hopper DVR. The company plans to also roll out the app out on its Joey, Super Joey and Wireless Joey clients. Dish is still considering integrating Netflix content directly into its search functionality.

CableLabs conducts D3.1 interop

December 16, 2014 5:34 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

CableLabs said six vendors participated in an interoperability test of some DOCSIS 3.1 equipment. CableLabs declined to identify any of the vendors present. A spokesperson for the organization said that the types of devices present included at least one CMTS, one cable modem, and some test equipment.

T-Mobile announces data stash rollover program

December 16, 2014 1:39 pm | by Ben Munson, Wireless Week | News | Comments

T-Mobile is going commercial with an idea that undermines one of the fundamental tenets of the broadband industry: data is not a use-it-or-lose-it proposition. From now on, if a T-Mobile customer pays for X amount of a data a month, they get to keep the allotment and roll it over into the next pay period.

Research: Most smart home device owners willing to pay for tech support

December 16, 2014 12:24 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

The Internet of Things and connected consumer electronics devices are morphing the technical needs of consumers, according to a recent report. Park Associates' research found that more than 56 percent of smart home device owners were willing to pay extra for monthly tech support services.

Cox close to wrapping up Homelife roll out

December 15, 2014 1:39 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

With Baton Rouge, La. going live last week, Cox Communications is close to having its home automation and security service launched across its entire footprint. The Cox Homelife service, which was first trialed in Phoenix three years ago, will be completely launched once Cox deploys it in Florida and Georgia in early February.

Orange, Ericsson hit 300 Mbps on LTE

December 15, 2014 1:28 pm | by Andrew Berg, Wireless Week | News | Comments

In a lab test, Orange and Ericsson achieved up to 300 Mbps using FDD technology, a version of LTE that aggregates bandwidth in two different frequency bands. The test confirms the potential of using 3.5 GHz FDD technology to increase mobile broadband capacity.   

FCC approves fee to connect schools, libraries

December 12, 2014 1:23 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The Federal Communications Commission agreed Thursday to dramatically boost spending to bring high-speed Internet access to schools and libraries in poor or rural areas, a move that would likely increase Americans' phone bills by about $2 a year.

Report: SoftBank downsizing U.S. operations, giving up on T-Mobile bid

December 12, 2014 1:13 pm | by Ben Munson, Wireless Week | News | Comments

SoftBank is scaling down its Silicon Valley operations. Sources say SoftBank is now considering renting out one of two buildings it leased to accommodate a “T-Mobile driven expansion.” Most of SoftBank’s workforce on the west coast will be moved back to Tokyo or to Sprint’s headquarters near Kansas City.

FCC ups broadband speed for Connect America

December 12, 2014 1:00 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The FCC has decreed that broadband service providers receiving money from the Connect America Fund must deliver a minimum of 10 Mbps on the downstream, and 1 Mbps on the upstream, up from 4Mbps/1Mpbs. Up to $1.8 billion of funding is currently available each year in the Connect America Fund.

Windstream appoints Thomas as new CEO

December 12, 2014 12:53 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Windstream Holdings announced on Thursday that Tony Thomas was replacing Jeff Gardner as the company’s new president and CEO. In order to smooth over the transition, Gardner will stay on board as a senior adviser to Thomas and as a member of the company’s board through Feb. 1 of next year. Thomas was also named a director.

Broadband coverage numbers post-Comcast/TWC released

December 11, 2014 2:00 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

If Comcast is allowed to purchase Time Warner Cable, it will have at least one fixed-line broadband competitor with a roughly comparable 25 Mbps tier in only about a third of its footprint, according to information filed with the FCC. The issue is whether the broadband market is competitive.

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