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

DVR adoption, on-demand usage keep increasing

January 2, 2015 2:39 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

By the numbers: Three-quarters of U.S. households have a DVR, or subscribe to Netflix, or use on-demand (VOD) from a cable or Telco provider. A full quarter of households use some combination of two of the services, and one-tenth use all three.

Mediacom Business connects with telemedicine in Ill.

December 31, 2014 10:36 am | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

As part of its telemedicine service, Mediacom Business has interconnected three hospitals and 21 clinics across 16 Illinois-based counties to its fiber-optic network. Southern Illinois Healthcare (SIH) is a not-for-profit health care system that primarily serves the Carbondale area of the state.  

Mass. AG: Verizon pays $1.3M to resolve allegation

December 31, 2014 10:28 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley says Verizon has paid more than $1.3 million to resolve an allegation that the company overcharged the state for telecommunications services under a statewide procurement contract. Coakley says the settlement resolves a lawsuit pending in Hampshire Superior Court and also requires Verizon to make additional payment offers to towns, cities and others affected by the alleged overbilling.

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Review: IPhone user tries to switch back to BlackBerry

December 31, 2014 10:23 am | by Scott Mayerowitz, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

In this product review, a former Blackberry devotee takes the BlackBerry Classic for a spin, but finds it’s not enough to make him switch back from his iPhone. He lists apps and touch screens among the reasons for sticking with his iPhone. 

Liberty CEO Maffei garners job security

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

Liberty Media and Liberty Interactive announced that their respective board of directors had reached agreements to keep Greg Maffei as their president and CEO through 2019. Maffei’s prior contract was close to expiring before the new deal was announced on Monday. 

China cuts access to Gmail

December 30, 2014 11:19 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Chinese access to Google Inc.'s email service has been blocked amid government efforts to limit or possibly ban access to the U.S. company's services, which are popular among Chinese seeking to avoid government monitoring. Data from Google's Transparency Report show online traffic from China to Gmail fell precipitously on Friday and dropped to nearly zero on Saturday, although there was a tiny pickup on Monday.

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.

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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.

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?

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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. 

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.

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.

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