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

FCC aims to improve completion rate of long-distance calls to rural areas

February 8, 2013 11:35 am | by Andrew Berg, Wireless Week | News | Comments

The FCC issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), which seeks comment on rules to help address problems in the completion of long-distance telephone calls to rural customers. The NPRM is specifcally aimed at intermediate carries that complete long-distance calls for long-distance providers.

Idaho panel: Let telecoms call existing customers

February 8, 2013 11:26 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A House committee agreed that Idaho should lift a 13-year-old restriction barring phone and cable TV companies from calling existing customers to market new products or services, rejecting an argument from the attorney general's office that the change would erode people's privacy protections.

Malone’s Liberty Global to fork out $23B for Virgin Media

February 6, 2013 3:27 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

The acquisition, which needs to pass regulatory approvals and is slated to close in the second quarter, would not only pit mega moguls John Malone and Rupert Murdoch against each other in the United Kingdom, but it would also give Malone’s Liberty Global the crown as the world’s largest cable operator.

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FCC Sandy field hearings emphasize modernizing infrastructure

February 6, 2013 3:19 pm | by Ben Munson, Wireless Week | News | Comments

At the Superstorm Sandy field hearings, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski made it clear the wireless communication outages experienced during the storm couldn't happen again. When Sandy hit the U.S. East Coast, approximately 25 percent of cell sites across 10 states were rendered inoperational.

Malone’s Liberty Global eyes Virgin Media

February 5, 2013 3:02 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

John Malone’s Liberty Global is in the process of cooking up a deal to buy Virgin Media. Virgin Media’s price tag could be in the range of $24 billion, while its market capitalization stands at $10.4 billion. Including debt, its enterprise value is around $19.4 billion.

FTC issues mobile privacy guidelines

February 4, 2013 3:19 pm | by Andrew Berg, Wireless Week | News | Comments

The Federal Trade Commission has issued a set of guidelines for mobile application developers. While not legally binding, the new rules were released on the same day as regulators announced a settlement with social networking provider Path.

Ciciora's Corner - Should you get a patent?

February 4, 2013 12:16 pm | by Walt S. Ciciora, expert on cable and consumer electronics issues | Articles | Comments

Have you ever considered getting a patent yourself? Should you? This is not an easy decision. It’s a lot of work, and it is expensive. Done right, it’s very expensive. And that’s just the beginning. A patent is the right to exclude someone from making, using or selling your invention.

Engineering-Wise - United and prepped for battle

February 4, 2013 11:41 am | by Mark Dzuban, president and CEO of the SCTE | Articles | Comments

I’ve always been impressed by the coordination required to keep our country safe. From our nation’s earliest skirmishes to the invasion of Normandy and Operation Desert Storm, teamwork across all branches of the armed services has been essential to the protection of our nation, and the world. It’s much the same in our industry.

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Capital Currents - Video quality assessment

February 4, 2013 11:26 am | by Jeffrey Krauss, president of Telecommunications and Technology Policy | Articles | Comments

The FCC has a proceeding underway to update its cable TV technical regulations. For the most part, there is agreement that the version of SCTE 40 adopted last year contains the appropriate technical specifications for digital cable systems. But the FCC also asked whether it should regulate the picture quality that is delivered to viewers.

Clearwire keeps deal talks open with Sprint, Dish

February 1, 2013 2:54 pm | by Ben Munson, Wireless Week | News | Comments

Clearwire said it is still considering acquisition offers from both Sprint Nextel and Dish Network. The WiMAX provider said the special committee reviewing the deal has not made any determination to change its current recommendation of the Sprint transaction.

Dish lays off Sprint-Softbank deal

January 30, 2013 2:16 pm | by Andrew Berg, Wireless Week | News | Comments

Dish Network told the FCC that it would not file to block Softbank's proposed $20 billion acquisition of Sprint Nextel. Dish had asked that the shot clock in the Sprint-Softbank proceeding be paused until Sprint's bid for Clearwire had been settled.

Verizon wants FCC's spectrum screen applied to Sprint-Clearwire deal

January 30, 2013 2:09 pm | by Ben Munson, Wireless Week | News | Comments

Verizon Wireless has joined the discussion on Sprint's potential acquisition of Clearwire. If the FCC applies a screen and finds the deal could pose spectrum aggregation concerns, it could result in a limit to how much of Clearwire's spectrum Sprint is allowed to use.

Canadian guidelines for wireless fees, unlocking phones proposed

January 29, 2013 2:49 pm | by Ben Munson, Wireless Week | News | Comments

After the Library of Congress made it illegal to unlock cell phones in the United States, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has drafted a "wireless code" that would set limits on early termination fees and require providers to unlock phones under "reasonable terms."

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U.N. group OKs new video format to save bandwidth

January 28, 2013 2:20 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The U.N. telecommunications agency says its members have agreed upon a new compression format that could dramatically cut the amount of Internet bandwidth currently used by video files. The ITU says the format, or codec, known as H.265 would require just half the amount of data needed by its predecessor, H.264.

FCC actions aim to accelerate broadband deployment

January 28, 2013 2:14 pm | by Andrew Berg, Wireless Week | News | Comments

The FCC announced a number of new actions that it hopes will help accelerate the deployment of wireless broadband by removing barriers from a number of areas in the build-out of new networks. New rules would make it easier to modify an existing wireless tower or base station.

Loudness correction in compressed streams

January 28, 2013 9:10 am | by RGB Networks | White Papers

The CALM Act requires video service providers (VSPs) to meet specific audio leveling standards. This paper reviews a best-of-breed solution that enables VSPs to solve loudness problems and avoid penalties, without compromising the audio experience.

Verizon, AT&T agree to spectrum deal

January 25, 2013 2:53 pm | by Andrew Berg, Wireless Week | News | Comments

Verizon Wireless said that it will sell 39 lower 700 MHz B-block licenses to AT&T in exchange for a payment of $1.9 billion and the transfer by AT&T to Verizon Wireless of AWS (10 MHz) licenses in certain western markets, including Los Angeles, Phoenix, Fresno, Calif., and Portland, Ore.

DTS, RGB collaborate on quality audio

January 24, 2013 1:53 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

DTS and RGB Networks said they will integrate the former’s audio solutions into the latter’s multi-screen IP video delivery products. The result is a product that video distributors can use to control program and advertising sound levels in conformance with the CALM Act.

AT&T agrees to buy Atlantic Tele-Network for $780M

January 22, 2013 1:49 pm | by Andrew Berg, Wireless Week | News | Comments

AT&T announced that it has signed an agreement to buy Atlantic Tele-Network (ATNI) to acquire the company’s U.S. retail wireless operations, operated under the Alltel brand, for $780 million in cash. AT&T will acquire wireless properties, including licenses, network assets, retail stores and approximately 585,000 subscribers.

Telefonica: 'No involvement' with Cuba cable

January 22, 2013 1:24 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Spanish telecom Telefonica denied that it has anything to do with an undersea fiber-optic cable between Cuba and Venezuela, even as an analyst who monitors global data traffic noted an additional uptick in data speed to and from the island – suggesting the cable is in full operation.

Telecoms to lawmakers: Lift cold-call restrictions

January 21, 2013 3:22 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Idaho landline phone companies contend a 13-year-old law forbidding them from cold-calling existing customers is crippling their ability to market high-speed Internet. The Idaho Cable Telecommunications Association, representing Cable One and Time Warner Cable, is meeting to discuss the phone companies' deregulation gambit.

China's Huawei criticizes U.S. security complaints

January 21, 2013 3:16 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Chinese tech giant Huawei criticized U.S. claims the company might be a security risk as trade protectionism that harms consumers. The comments came as Huawei disclosed details of its 2012 performance in an effort to show transparency and allay security concerns.

FCC launches website to keep broadcasters informed on auctions

January 18, 2013 3:19 pm | by Andrew Berg, Wireless Week | News | Comments

The FCC launched a website that aims to keep broadcasters informed and engaged in the upcoming incentive auctions. The new LEARN website provides access to a range of information and resources that the FCC hopes will help broadcasters and other stakeholders make more informed business decisions.

Public Knowledge suggests ULS is broken

January 18, 2013 3:13 pm | by Andrew Berg, Wireless Week | News | Comments

In comments submitted to the FCC, the consumer advocate wrote that while searching the ULS for data to support policy positions in several spectrum proceedings, “PK noticed how challenging it is to gather meaningful information on carriers’ spectrum licenses and affiliate control in order to understand the mobile wireless market.”

BCI buys Allegiance Communications

January 16, 2013 2:16 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

BCI, a new company formed by several former executives of Bresnan Communications, said it has purchased Allegiance Communications. No purchase price was provided. BCI and its venture partner said they expect this will be the first move in what they termed “an aggressive growth plan.”

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