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

TWC shareholders OK deal with Comcast; FCC proposes review compromise

October 9, 2014 1:20 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Time Warner Cable shareholders have approved the company’s takeover by Comcast. Meanwhile, the FCC suggested a compromise with the companies that would encourage them to hand over documents the Commission wants for its review of the acquisition.

Latest iPads, Mac system expected at Oct. 16 event

October 8, 2014 4:34 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Apple is expected to step up its efforts to boost recently slumping iPad sales with the unveiling of its latest tablet computer at an Oct. 16 event. The showcase also is expected to feature an update to the operating system for its Mac computers and the possible release of a new digital payment service called Apple Pay. 

Comcast shareholders approve TWC acquisition

October 8, 2014 1:39 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

More than 99 percent of Comcast shareholders voting supported Comcast’s proposal to issue 2.875 shares of Comcast Class A common stock for every share of TWC common stock. Meanwhile, Comcast and TWC are fighting the FCC's request to see the contracts they've signed with various programmers.

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Cisco reorganizing switcher/router operations

October 8, 2014 1:15 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Pursuant to a round of layoffs announced in August, Cisco is reorganizing, reportedly removing a layer of executives, mostly product managers who were each responsible for specific product families within the company’s switching and routing business.

ESPN’s Berman, Comcast's Werner among Cable Center’s 2015 Hall of Fame class

October 8, 2014 12:22 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

ESPN sportscaster Chris Berman, along with five other inductees, is rumbling, bumbling, stumbling into the Cable Center’s Hall of Fame next year. The six newly elected industry leaders will be inducted during the 18th annual Cable Hall of Fame Celebration, held in conjunction with the National Cable & Telecommunications Association’s newly minted Internet and Television Expo (INTX) next year in Chicago.

Samsung expects lowest profit in over 3 years

October 8, 2014 12:16 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

The world's biggest smartphone maker is suffering a financial decline in the face of intense competition from Apple Inc. and upstart Chinese brands. In a preview to earnings due out this month, Samsung Electronics Co. said Tuesday that its quarterly profit is estimated to have fallen to its lowest level in more than three years, dragged down by weak sales of its flagship Galaxy phones.

Sprint shutting down WiMax network

October 7, 2014 1:44 pm | by Ben Munson, Wireless Week | News | Comments

News of the shutdown originally surfaced when Android Central published a Sprint internal email. The memo states that starting Oct. 6 letters are being sent to corporate-liable customers and that individual-liable and prepaid customers will be notified 180 days before the scheduled shutdown.

Cox Business connects Navy sites in San Diego

October 7, 2014 12:59 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

On the heels of a new five-year contract, Cox Business recently completed the build-out of 40 miles of its broadband network to 165 Navy sites in San Diego County. Cox’s network now reaches into barracks, hotels, fire stations, residential housing, recreation centers, and ships in the harbor in order to offer its triple play services to approximately 50,000 sailors stationed in San Diego.

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Suddenlink, Discovery reach long-term carriage deal

October 7, 2014 12:50 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

While Suddenlink Communications’ standoff with Viacom festers into its second week, the nation’s seventh-largest cable operator announced it has reached a long-term distribution agreement with Discovery Communications. Suddenlink viewers are currently blacked out from Viacom’s 24 networks, both online and on their TVS, but Suddenlink will continue to carry Discovery’s 13 nets.

Turner Broadcasting cutting 1,475 jobs

October 7, 2014 12:37 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Turner Broadcasting, the parent of the CNN, TBS and TNT networks, is eliminating about 1,475 jobs, or about 10 percent of its total employees. Monday's announcement follows an offer of voluntary buyouts to 600 veteran employees in August, part of an overall cost-cutting effort at the Atlanta-based broadcasting company founded by Ted Turner.

ESPN steps toward a la carte NBA games

October 6, 2014 12:59 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The NBA has extended its television deals with ESPN and TNT for nine years. The contract with ESPN may have a provision that will allow the channel to distribute out-of-market games on the web, outside its typical cable-channel basketball package, and in competition with the NBA’s own League Pass.

thePlatform hires SaaS specialist as sales VP

October 6, 2014 12:28 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

thePlatform has appointed Michael Kurtzman as vice president of sales for the Americas, where he will be responsible for leading the company’s sales in North, South and Central America. Jouari Santiago, formerly with Shaw Communications, has joined the company as director of sales for Latin America.

Windstream to take on Time Warner Cable in Lincoln

October 3, 2014 1:21 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Windstream plans to begin providing residential TV service in Lincoln starting next year. It will be delivered using Ericsson’s Mediaroom platform, and it will be available bundled with Internet and phone service. The company said the service will be available to about 50,000 homes.

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Verizon, Viacom ink new retransmission deal

October 2, 2014 12:49 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

While Suddenlink Communications’ subscribers remain in the dark, both on their TVs and online, Verizon Communications and Viacom reached a new agreement yesterday that allows Verizon to continue to carry 25 Viacom networks. The deal was also notable because it granted Verizon the national rights to deliver Viacom programming to Verizon Wireless customers when a new service goes live early next year.

SCTE at Cable-Tec Expo 2014

October 1, 2014 6:22 pm | by CED | Videos | Comments

Live From The Show: SCTE CEO Mark Dzuban on the organization’s Corporate Alliance Program, and its Energy 2020 program (which concentrates on developing best practices and technologies that will help the cable industry manage its energy consumption), and other issues.

VeEX at Cable-Tec Expo 2014

September 30, 2014 5:41 pm | by CED | Videos | Comments

Live From The Show: VeEX CEO Cyrille Morelle on how VeEX is adding vision to the network, from forward return, Internet technologies, and now optical. It costs money to dispatch a technician, so you want to send them to the right place -- that's what vision gets you, he explained.

All Systems Broadband at Cable-Tec Expo 2014

September 30, 2014 5:14 pm | by CED | Videos | Comments

Live From The Show: All Systems Broadband CEO Jason Skeoch on drivers for his company's product development, including the increasing use of fiber connectivity among business customers. One issue, Skeoch explains, is helping businesses build on the assets they already have in place. 

FCC scraps sports blackout rule

September 30, 2014 12:45 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The blackout rule was put in place at a time when attendance was still the major source of revenue for most professional teams. In the decades since, ticket sales have been reduced to a minority percentage of proceeds. In the NFL especially, teams’ revenue from the sale of TV rights has far exceeded income at the gate.

GCI’s 1-Gig service to land in Juneau

September 30, 2014 12:25 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

GCI Communications, which is Alaska’s biggest telecommunications company, said it would launch its 1-Gig “fiber re:D” service in Juneau before the end of 2016 after previously announcing the fiber service would be available in Anchorage next year. Like Google Fiber and AT&T, GCI is asking its customers to go to its website to express their interest in the 1 Gigabit offering, which will determine the neighborhoods that will get it first.

EBay to split off lucrative PayPal business

September 30, 2014 12:21 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

EBay is splitting off its fastest growing segment, mobile payment service PayPal, the e-commerce company said Tuesday. The move comes after months of pressure from activist investor and billionaire Carl Icahn, who has a 2.5 percent state in eBay, according to FactSet.

Expo musings on the death of the Cable Show

September 29, 2014 1:24 pm | by Mike Robuck | Blogs | Comments

The National Cable & Telecommunications Association’s decision to rebrand The Cable Show as INTX, which stands for the Internet and Television Expo, was good fodder for informal conversations at last week’s SCTE Cable-Tec Expo in Denver. The NCTA announced that it was rebranding the show as INTX a week prior to Expo.

Comcast ups Herrin to focus on customer experience

September 29, 2014 1:13 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

The cable industry’s dismal customer satisfaction ratings have become a stereotype for the industry, but Comcast is vowing, again, to improve customer service with the promotion of Charlie Herrin to senior vice president, customer experience. On Friday Comcast Cable CEO and president Neil Smit took to company’s blog page to tout Herrin’s new role. 

Suddenlink, Viacom reach impasse on retransmission agreement

September 29, 2014 1:04 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

The clock is ticking on a new retransmission agreement between Suddenlink Communications and Viacom, with the nation’s seventh-largest cable operator saying it will no longer carry Viacom networks starting Wednesday if a new deal isn’t reached. Suddenlink said that Viacom was demanding a 50 percent increase in payments despite viewership declining by almost 30 percent on some of Viacom’s networks over the past few years.

DirecTV shareholders approve $48.5B sale to AT&T

September 26, 2014 12:18 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

AT&T's proposed $48.5 billion acquisition of DirecTV is moving forward as shareholders of the country's largest satellite TV broadcaster approved the deal. But it still needs regulatory approval. Public-interest groups say the deal would lead to less competition, since AT&T and DirecTV provide pay-TV services to about 25 percent of the country.

Leveraging a network’s data a near game-changer

September 25, 2014 12:08 pm | by Craig Kuhl, contributing editor | News | Comments

Improving the customer experience by leveraging a network’s infrastructure data can be complicated and costly, but by not effectively accessing and using that data to better a customer’s experience and a network’s integrity could be fatal.

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