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

Imagine brings sales-billing tool to the cloud

April 2, 2014 12:59 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

LandmarkOSI 8.0 integrates sales, CRM, traffic, and billing. With this version, the tool is now powered by MediaCentral, the company’s IP-based framework for migrating and optimizing media and playout functionality to a virtualized cloud environment. MediaCentral uses Microsoft’s Azure cloud service.

Microsoft vows app-like update schedule for Windows 8

April 1, 2014 2:07 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The software company is following through on a promise to update its Windows 8 operating system on a regular basis to respond to consumers' complaints and other feedback. Just months after the release of Windows 8.1, Microsoft is preparing changes to make it easier for people to use Windows with traditional keyboard and mouse controls.

Viacom blacked out on Cable One

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

In the middle of a standoff on carriage fees, the cable operator has removed its Viacom lineup. Cable One is threatening to just let the Viacom channels go. The company noted that its customers have been requesting other channels, including BBC America, Sprout, The Blaze, Hallmark Channel, National Geographic, Investigation Discovery, TV One, Sundance and others.

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U.S. Supreme Court could limit software patents

March 31, 2014 2:12 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Is it too easy for high-tech companies to patent inventions that are not really new, but simply take an old idea and blend it with computer wizardry? The Supreme Court is wrestling with that question, and the outcome could send tremors through an industry that touches virtually every sector of the economy, from gadgets on smart phones to advances in anti-lock brakes.

AT&T plans fourth 300M share buyback in 4 years

March 31, 2014 2:04 pm | by Ben Munson, Wireless Week | News | Comments

AT&T today announced its plans to buy back 300 million shares, representing approximately six percent of the company’s outstanding shares. This is the fourth 300 million-share buyback AT&T has announced in the past four years—the previous three came December 2010, July 2012 and March 2013.

FCC bans broadcaster collusion in retrans negotiations

March 31, 2014 1:31 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The FCC issued two key decisions today, one that prohibits broadcast stations from joining together in retransmission consent negotiations, the other opening another 100 MHz of spectrum for Wi-Fi applications. Under the new regulations, two or more separately owned Top-4 broadcasters in the same market would be prohibited from banding to negotiate retrans deals.

Charter to TWC investors: reject Comcast takeover bid

March 28, 2014 2:11 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Charter Communications is recommending that investors in Time Warner Cable (TWC) reject Comcast’s takeover offer, which exceeded Charter’s offer by more than $25 a share. Charter demanded instead "that the TWC board engage in a full review of its strategic opportunities."

Microsoft brings Office to the iPad

March 28, 2014 1:55 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The app will allow reading and presenting of documents for free, but will require a subscription to Office365 to enable writing and editing. A subscription for up to five computers and five smartphones costs $100 a year, but a personal version for one computer and one tablet costs $70 a year. The subscription includes 20 gigabytes of storage space on OneDrive.

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Harrison promoted to CEO at IneoQuest

March 28, 2014 1:36 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

IneoQuest Technologies has promoted Calvin Harrison to president and CEO, effective immediately. Harrison had been chief operating officer (COO) of the company since 2010. Harrison joined IneoQuest in 2007, serving first as vice president of marketing and business development, and then as COO.

Viacom demanding 100% increases in carriage fees

March 28, 2014 1:16 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The programmer is playing hardball as it negotiates carriage fees with cable operators all across the country, in some cases demanding rate increases variously described as being more than 100 percent and as being 40 times the rate of inflation. By one estimate, there are nearly 700 small cable operators, representing roughly 5 million customers, in confrontations with Viacom.

AT&T, Cisco, GE, IBM, Intel ally to create "Industrial Internet"

March 27, 2014 1:21 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The five are founding members of the Industrial Internet Consortium, whose ultimate goal is to create products to create fully networked industrial installations, such as factories, power plants, and hospitals. The idea is to bring intelligence to machines used across every industry, including agriculture, mining, power, health care, and more. 

Comcast Business connects Atlanta auto dealerships

March 27, 2014 12:07 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Comcast Business has hooked up Atlanta-based Jim Ellis Automotive Group, which is the third largest online dealer in the nation based on sales volume, with its Ethernet services. With 14 dealerships spread across metro Atlanta, the dealership’s previous T1 lines from various providers were costly, slow and hard to manage.

Nagra/Kudelski buying Conax

March 26, 2014 12:50 pm | by CED | News | Comments

The Swiss group is buying Conax for roughly $256 million. Nagra/Kudelski said Conax will fit in with the company’s portfolio of products for service providers, including its OpenTV5 middleware, multiscreen/OTT solutions and SmarDTV’s advanced conditional access modules.

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Open Mic: The Value of Service Hardening

March 25, 2014 8:00 pm | by Patty Chen, Consulting Manager, IBB Consulting Group | Articles | Comments

With competition for subscribers fiercer than ever, retention is paramount for every operator. As MSOs offer services ranging from VOD and cloud user interfaces to Wi-Fi and DVR, delivering reliability via infrastructure improvements has become key to keeping customers happy.

Ciciora's Corner: Disruption

March 25, 2014 7:51 pm | by Walt S. Ciciora, Expert on cable and consumer electronics issues | Articles | Comments

Major innovation comes in prospering businesses only rarely and with great difficulty. Prosperity brings growth and a growing enterprise has scarce resources which are fully allocated to the present business. Current customers demand all available resources be applied for their needs, leaving little to none to promote new innovation. 

House Committee passes STELA version enabling broadcaster "collusion"

March 25, 2014 1:20 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Communications and Technology passed a version of the STELA act that explicitly allows broadcasters to band together in negotiations with MVPDs, a maneuver that the FCC is in the process of trying to bar, and which the ACA has explicitly called “collusion.”

Charter Media to cut ribbon on new production facility in Wis.

March 25, 2014 11:35 am | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

On Thursday Charter Media will open the doors on its new production facility in Madison, Wis. To mark the occasion, Charter will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony with the Madison Chamber of Commerce. Charter Media is the sales division of Charter Communications.

Sense and Copyrightability

March 24, 2014 6:42 pm | by Brian Santo | Blogs | Comments

The fact that OTA broadcast stations are also carried on cable systems is thoroughly and absolutely irrelevant to Aereo – Cablevision is absolutely irrelevant to Aereo, and even if five Supreme Court Justices disagree I still won’t buy the argument.

Apple-Comcast! Hurry! Everybody Over-React!

March 24, 2014 1:20 pm | by Brian Santo | Blogs | Comments

This ends up being less than The WSJ makes it out to be… at first. After paragraphs and paragraphs of speculation, the paper reports that Apple is asking for an arrangement Comcast has no doubt already laughed off, assuming the report has all the details.

Bright House Networks rebrands commercial services division

March 24, 2014 12:15 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Bright House Networks has re-branded its business services division as Bright House Networks Enterprise Solutions. The former name was Bright House Networks Business Solutions, but Bright House said in a press release that the premise for the new name was “we’re wired differently.”

Cisco to Invest $1 billion in new global cloud platform

March 24, 2014 12:04 pm | by Andrew Berg, Wireless Week | News | Comments

Cisco Monday announced plans to invest over $1 billion over the next two years in a global cloud for delivering applications and services. The "Intercloud," as Cisco is calling it, will be hosted across a global network of Cisco and partner data centers.

Midcontinent gets green light in Fargo

March 21, 2014 12:11 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Midcontinent Communications is now able to move forward with its plan of offering services in Fargo, N.D. now that a franchise agreement with the city commission has been reached. Earlier this week, the city commission voted in favor of the 15-year franchise agreement, which allowed Midcontinent to start on its $55 million expansion into Fargo

Column: Plenty to worry about in Comcast/TWC deal

March 21, 2014 12:03 pm | by Frazier Moore, AP Television Writer | News | Comments

The herky-jerkiness of my Netflix video stream is nothing compared with my jittery nerves. I've been fretting since news broke last month that Comcast, the nation's reigning cable colossus, plans to swallow titanic runner-up Time Warner Cable. 

Time Warner Cable execs rake in cash on Comcast deal

March 21, 2014 11:57 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Departing Time Warner Cable Inc. executives are in line to receive "golden parachute" compensation totaling around $135 million as part of Comcast Corp.'s $45 billion acquisition of the cable operator. Shareholders are being asked to vote on the packages in a non-binding advisory vote. The details were contained in a securities filing Comcast made Thursday.

Atlantic Broadband accelerates business broadband packages

March 20, 2014 12:52 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Atlantic Broadband is quietly increasing Internet transmission rates and expanding the number of service tiers for business customers. ABB has more than doubled its fastest tier, from 50 Mbps to 110 Mbps. The new set of tiers also includes options for service at 15-, 30-, and 75 Mbps.

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