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

Iowa vows to reconsider defeated broadband bill

May 19, 2014 1:51 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Despite the surprising defeat of a broadband expansion bill as the Legislature neared adjournment, Gov. Terry Branstad and lawmakers said the effort is important to rural Iowa and should be pursued next year. Supporters of the measure responded that without incentives, companies have little motivation to extend broadband into rural areas.

If DirecTV loses NFL deal, AT&T can walk

May 19, 2014 1:46 pm | by Ben Munson, Wireless Week | News | Comments

AT&T has reserved the right to back out of its planned $48.5 billion deal for DirecTV if the satellite-TV provider can’t or doesn’t renew its “NFL Sunday Ticket” agreement. DirecTV is facing a steep price hike for the 2015 NFL season, which will jump 40 percent to $1.4 billion.

Six more markets brought to Digital Life

May 19, 2014 1:06 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

AT&T said it will be launching six new Digital Life markets this Friday. At the same time, the company added a garage door opener app. With Digital Life’s arrival in Beaumont, Tex., Omaha, Neb., Toledo, Ohio, Greenville, S.C., Cape Coral, Fla., and Oxnard, Calif., AT&T will have made the service available in 81 markets.

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AT&T locks up DirecTV for $48.5 billion

May 19, 2014 12:03 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

AT&T announced on Sunday that it would by DirecTV for $48.5 billion in cash and stock, which figures out to be $95 per share. The deal would give AT&T 26 million video subscriber and make it the second-largest pay TV provider behind the combined Comcast/Time Warner Cable entity that would service 30 million subscribers under the $45 billion merger that was announced in February. 

The response to FCC’s spectrum screen, incentive auction rules

May 16, 2014 1:52 pm | by Ben Munson, Wireless Week | News | Comments

Following a busy day at the FCC that saw the Commission drafting rules for upcoming spectrum auctions and revising its spectrum screen, carriers weighed in with varying degrees of praise or scorn for the new policies. The FCC’s move to set aside a reserve of 30 MHz in the 600 MHz Incentive Auctions for bidders holding less than one-third of available low-band spectrum licenses per area drew a lukewarm response from T-Mobile.

FCC: Four more months of bickering about net-neut

May 16, 2014 1:47 pm | by Brian Santo | Blogs | Comments

Network neutrality advocates insist the Internet has already been destroyed by the opening of so-called fast lanes. Meanwhile the industry is behaving as if FCC Chair Tom Wheeler’s willingness to consider reclassifying broadband as a Title II service is a done deal. 

Vudu subs can share free access to their libraries

May 15, 2014 1:45 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Users visit Vudu.com and enter up to five e-mails of family members or friends with whom they’d like to share their UltraViolet movies and TV shows. Each invited person will receive an email with a link to create a Vudu account that connects to the subscriber’s UltraViolet Library.

US Senate: Companies must protect against hacked ads

May 15, 2014 12:33 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Hackers have learned how to use software or programming commands hidden inside online advertisements to steal personal data. The Senate suggested tougher U.S. regulations or new laws that could punish the ad networks in addition to prosecuting the hackers.

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Willner to take the wheel at SpinCo

May 15, 2014 12:26 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Charter Communications and Comcast have picked former Insight Communications co-founder and CEO Michael Willner to take the helm at SpinCo once the deal between Time Warner Cable and Comcast is completed. Willner will oversee the operations of SpinCo in some of the former systems that Insight served prior to its acquisition by Time Warner Cable in 2012. 

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.

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.

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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.

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.

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.

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