The federal government shutdown continues, the possibility of the U.S. going into default is getting closer. AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson issued a strongly worded statement for any elected official who’s considering letting that happen.
A consortium of nonprofit groups has been trying to bridge the digital divide by building what, for Kansas City, is a new kind of Internet service using microwave dishes and Wi-Fi systems. One that for now is absolutely free to the 1,000 people who already can get it in Kansas City and Kansas City, Kan.
Cable One has just removed several Turner Network channels, and Media General blacked out programming from Dish Network subscribers in 18 markets. With two months to go in the year, TV consumers have already been subjected to 101 blackouts in 2013, versus 91 in 2012 and 51 in 2011.
Charter Communications has hired Alexander Hoehn-Saric as its senior vice president, government affairs. Hoehn-Saric most recently served as policy director in the office of Federal Communications Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel.
Dish Network is petitioning the FCC for waiver of certain technical rules governing a terrestrial deployment on its 20 MHz of AWS-4 spectrum as well as a one-year extension for that deployment. In return for the FCC granting the waiver and time extension, Dish has promised to bid in the upcoming H Block auction for the paired 1915-1920 MHz and 1995-2000 MHz bands.
As the industry is dismantling its video, voice and data silos, it is creating new opportunities for cable professionals to increase their value to their employers, their industry and themselves. By mastering the entire landscape of the network, service offerings and customers, the next-generation professional is able to drive deployment of high-quality, highly reliable services that are helping cable maintain its competitive edge.
To create the AutoHop functionality, Dish technicians in Cheyenne, Wyoming manually view Fox’s primetime programming each night and technologically mark the beginning and end of each commercial. The program content is not altered in any way. The electronically marked files are then uplinked in Wyo., and eventually transmitted to subscribers.
If the U.S. cable industry was looking for the largest MSO to help push for reform of retransmission consent, it can forget it. Comcast’s programming arm is far behind its direct competitors when it comes to collecting retrans fees, but it is about to get aggressive on that front.
Rep. Greg Walden is trying to revive legislation to reform the FCC that he’s failed to get passed before and is a good bet to fail again. He describes it as a bill that would make the FCC more transparent, though what it will mostly do is make the FCC even less effective than it is now.
The FCC regulates the 5725-5850 MHz “WiFi” band under Section 15.247 of the FCC Rules. But much of the current interest deals with the bands known as U-NII. An important part of the FCC proceeding deals with two bands in the 5 GHz range that are not currently allocated for either WiFi or U-NII use. The big dispute is over interference.
Comcast has named Mary Stutts to the to the newly-created position of regional vice president of external affairs for Comcast California. In her new job, Stutts will report to Hank Fore, regional senior vice president for Comcast California. She will oversee all aspects of Comcast’s communications, government affairs, community investment and telecommunications policy matters throughout the state.
The companies were in dispute over how much Time Warner Cable Inc. would pay for CBS Corp. programming. Terms of the deal haven't been disclosed. The agreement includes retransmission fees the cable operator pays to CBS per subscriber, which had been a sticking point.
Government agents in 74 countries demanded information on about 38,000 Facebook users in the first half of this year, with about half the orders coming from authorities in the United States, the company said Tuesday. The social-networking giant is the latest technology company to release figures on how often governments seek information about its customers. Microsoft and Google have done the same.
The FCC has decided to apply to IPTV companies some of the same regulatory fees that have long applied to cable operators. The Commission made no determination, however, on whether direct broadcast satellite (DBS) providers should be similarly subject to the same regulatory fees.
CableLabs has taken over Euro Cable Labs, with nine European cable operators becoming members of the consortium; a smaller handful of companies from both Asia and Latin America have also become members. All members have agreed to standardize on a common version of the still-developing DOCSIS 3.1.
AMC Networks saw net income more than triple during the second quarter thanks to a $132.9 million payment from a dispute with Dish Network. Removing one-time items like that, however, the company fell short of Wall Street profit and revenue expectations and its stock slid 5 percent Thursday.
CBS chief executive Les Moonves rejected an offer from Time Warner Cable to end a blackout over fees that lingered into its fifth day Tuesday, calling it a clever public relations ploy. In a letter released Tuesday, Moonves rebuffed Time Warner Cable CEO Glenn Britt's offer to allow CBS to sell its programming to consumers "a la carte" instead of bundled with other channels.
Dish Network Chairman Charlie Ergen says pay TV distributors may have to merge to even the playing field if the government doesn't curb the power of TV networks in fee disputes. His comments came amid the backdrop of a fee dispute that has cut off CBS programming to some 3 million Time Warner Cable and Bright House Network subscribers for more than five days.
Mediacom, a company whose executives are not known for mincing words, threw its support behind Time Warner Cable, which is fighting CBS over the programmer’s demands for higher retransmission fees. Mediacom said, “...millions of consumers in over 50 markets stretching from New York City to Honolulu have been blacked out by broadcast station owners attempting to pilfer billions of dollars from the pockets of hardworking American families."
Three million Time Warner Cable customers in New York, Los Angeles, Dallas and other cities remained without access to CBS for a fourth day, after the MSO dropped the network in an argument over the escalation of fees CBS is demanding for TWC to retransmit its signals. Bright House Networks, long allied with TWC, has also dropped CBS stations in central Florida markets.
President Obama last week nominated congressional aide Mike O’Rielly for the FCC commissioner spot left vacant by the departing Republican Robert McDowell. O’Rielly currently serves as a policy adviser to the Senate Republican Whip, Senator John Cornyn, a Texas Republican. Obama already nominated wireless industry lobbyist Tom Wheeler as the next FCC Chairman, taking over for Julius Genachowski.
CED caught up with American Cable Association president Matt Polka at the recent Cable Show, who in a free-wheeling conversation talked about what to expect at the Independent Show including; how broadband and over-the-top might be the future for smaller operators, and whether Congress and the FCC are ever going to provide smaller ops with some relief from the pressures they’re experiencing.
Paid for by U.S. tax dollars, but with little public scrutiny, surveillance fees charged in secret by technology and phone companies can vary wildly. AT&T, for example, imposes a $325 "activation fee" for each wiretap and $10 a day to maintain it. Cricket and U.S. Cellular charge only about $250 per wiretap. Verizon charges the government $775 for the first month and $500 each month after that.
The Lifeline program, administered by the FCC, grants eligible individuals per household a monthly credit on their residential home phone bill. Eligible customers can now apply for the home phone discount. TWC’s Lifeline program for Home Phone customers is now available as a pilot program throughout its footprint in New York State.
The FCC has given its blessing to SoftBank’s $21.6 billion merger bid for Sprint and Sprint’s $5 per share buyout bid for Clearwire. In the order, the Commission concluded that the proposed transaction will likely result in public interest benefits.