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

Net Neut fight: Bill to limit FCC's Title II powers introduced

May 29, 2014 1:00 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has threatened Title II should communications service providers fail to accede to whatever the new network neutrality rules are. Rep. Bob Latta (R-Ohio) introduced legislation that would explicitly bar the FCC from applying Title II of the Communications Act to broadband.

Adtran powering Rock Hill's gigabit strategy

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

The town of Rock Hill, S.C., is working with Comporium to upgrade the area’s communications network to support data rates up to 1 Gbps. Comporium will deploy networking equipment from Adtran to create the service. The parties involved hope to attract businesses spur economic growth by becoming one of the only Gigabit communities in the region.

Court rejects challenge to FCC broadband plan

May 27, 2014 2:34 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A federal appeals court is rejecting challenges to the FCC's plan to expand broadband Internet service to rural areas. The expansion is funded partly by fees paid by telecommunications companies. Many of those companies contended the FCC did not have the authority to use the money for Internet service.

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Workers in tech case likely to get average of $4K 


May 27, 2014 12:17 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Nearly 60,000 high-tech workers are likely to receive an average of $4,000 apiece in a settlement of a class-action lawsuit alleging Apple and Google conspired in an illegal cartel of Silicon Valley employers that secretly refused to recruit each other's engineers. The estimate is based upon an analysis of court documents in the case, including the terms of a $324.5 million settlement.

House passes curbs on NSA phone surveillance

May 23, 2014 12:46 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

The House has moved the U.S. closer to ending the National Security Agency's bulk collection of Americans' phone records, the most significant demonstration to date of leaker Edward Snowden's impact on the debate over privacy versus security. But the final version of the legislation, "watered down" in the words of one supporter, also showed the limits of that impact. 

Lincoln, Neb., fires up free municipal Wi-Fi network

May 22, 2014 1:11 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The city has switched on an outdoor public Wi-Fi access service built with equipment from Ruckus Wireless. NebraskaLink is providing a 1-gigabit network connection to support the project. Commonwealth Electric, the City's fiber optic contractor, donated the installation of the fiber optic network.

Antitrust experts: 2 big deals better than 1

May 21, 2014 12:20 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Antitrust experts say AT&T's bid for DirecTV could reap immediate regulatory rewards. Coming so quickly on the heels of a rival cable company merger —the pairing of Comcast and Time Warner Cable— makes it easier for regulators to approve both transactions because they create two counterbalanced giants in pay TV. 

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.

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FCC: Cable rates are rising

May 19, 2014 1:39 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Competition in a video market has a minimal effect on cable prices, and cable prices keep going up. In other words, no surprises in the latest FCC report on the industry. According to this report, which includes data from 2012, basic cable rates were up 6.5 percent, expanded cable was up by 5.1 percent.

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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Wheeler's rules: open Internet, competition, and don’t test him

April 30, 2014 4:43 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

If anyone thought the former head of the NCTA was going to come to the Cable Show and act all cuddly, they were very, very wrong. Wheeler warned, slapped, threatened and cajoled, though even his targets might not have noticed at first, given his measured tone and erudite phraseology.

Cable Show: Liberty’s Fries says cooperation key to closing functionality gap

April 29, 2014 5:42 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Liberty Global CEO and president Mike Fries didn’t pull any punches in regards to questions on a general session panel about why TV Everywhere services haven’t entirely blossomed for cable operators and their content partners. Fries also said the entire net neutrality debate was about video.

Cable Show: Powell keynote; Cable builds communities

April 29, 2014 4:06 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

NCTA president and CEO Michael Powell kicked off The Cable Show Tuesday morning by saying that the cable industry helps build communities through its broadband pipes, but needs to stay free of policymakers in order to continue that success story going forward. Powell contrasted the open Internet with public utilities, highway systems and water supplies that are foundering under the weight of regulatory control.

Charter, Comcast strike a multi-pronged deal

April 28, 2014 1:09 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

The Comcast, Charter Communications and Time Warner Cable triangle has come full circle with today’s news that Comcast and Charter have reached an agreement that included selling off 1.4 million Time Warner Cable subscribers to Charter, swapping 1.6 million subscribers between Comcast and Charter and spinning off 2.5 subs to form a new company.

FCC proposes pay-for-priority Internet standards 


April 25, 2014 12:35 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

The nation's top telecoms regulator is proposing to allow a pay-for-priority fast lane on the Internet for movies, music and other services to get to people's homes. The proposed rules come after a federal appeals court struck down previous "net neutrality" rules designed to prevent Internet access providers such as Comcast from discriminating against certain traffic flowing to their customers. 

FCC to propose pay-for-priority Internet standards

April 24, 2014 12:20 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

The Federal Communications Commission is set to propose new open Internet rules that would allow content companies to pay for faster delivery over the so-called "last mile" connection to people's homes, but enhance scrutiny of such deals so they don't harm competition or limit free speech. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler is to present the proposed rules to the other commissioners on Thursday.

Russia's Putin calls the Internet a 'CIA project'

April 24, 2014 12:17 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

President Vladimir Putin has mocked the Internet as a CIA project and pledged to protect Russia's interests online. The Kremlin has been anxious to exert greater control over the Internet, which opposition activists — barred from national television — have used to promote their ideas and organize protests.

The Aereo arguments, from inside the Supreme Court chambers

April 22, 2014 1:46 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Supreme Court justices debated Tuesday whether they can side with broadcasters in a copyright challenge to an Internet startup company without threatening the burgeoning world of cloud computing. Several justices expressed concern that a ruling for the broadcasters could hamper the continuing development of cloud computing, which gives users access to a vast online computer network that stores and processes information.

Service providers prime targets for hackers

April 22, 2014 1:46 am | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The world’s networks are under constant, relentless attack, including – perhaps especially – the networks of service providers. Service providers are not only targets themselves, but since they provide the network infrastructure for so many other companies, they are doubly at peril, according to Verizon’s 2014 Data Breach Investigations Report.

Aereo CEO speaks on future of company, industry

April 18, 2014 1:25 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The future of Aereo hinges on a case that goes before the U.S. Supreme Court next week. Aereo founder and CEO Chet Kanojia discusses how the Internet and IP networking are affecting the fundamentals of the TV business, and how the Supreme Court decision is important because for Aereo there is no "Plan B." 

Comcast funds Internet security center at UConn

April 11, 2014 12:23 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The new center will specialize in Internet systems security to develop robust detection systems and analytical tools to ensure that the computer chips and other hardware components vital to Internet broadband systems are shielded from malicious attacks, unauthorized access, and faulty or counterfeit products.

Comcast tops 1 million Wi-Fi mark; increases data speeds in NE

April 9, 2014 1:07 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Comcast announced this morning that it had topped the 1 million threshold for hot spots deployed across the nation and that it was increasing some data speeds in its Northeast footprint. The two announcements were choreographed to coincide with Comcast and Time Warner Cable executives appearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee today in regards to the deal between the two companies. 

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