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

Bain-owned cable STB company files for bankruptcy

August 31, 2012 12:16 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A cable box repair company owned by the private equity firm Bain Capital is filing for bankruptcy protection, citing weakened demand for its services in recent years. Contec Holdings said it will continue to operate as usual during its Chapter 11 reorganization.

TiVo's Q2 loss narrows on DVR subscriber gains

August 30, 2012 2:03 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

TiVo whittled its losses as more subscribers signed up for the digital video recorders that turned the company into a household name. The results were highlighted by a gain of 230,000 subscribers. That left TiVo with 2.7 million subscribers.

Country Cablevision going all-fiber

August 29, 2012 2:51 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Armed with a broadband stimulus award, the rural N.C. provider is installing equipment from Clearfield to pursue its FTTH build-out. Country Cablevision has begun deploying Clearfield’s FieldSmart Fiber Scalability Center (FSC) as part of its fiber-optic broadband network build.


FAA to study use of electronics on planes

August 28, 2012 2:38 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

It's going to be a while before airline passengers can use iPads and other electronic devices during the whole flight. The Federal Aviation Administration is starting a process to study the issue, with a timeline that means it will take at least until March 2013 for a recommendation – and maybe longer for action.

Appeals Court backs ActiveVideo’s win against Verizon

August 27, 2012 3:18 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The final judgment includes some minor quibbles with lower court decisions, essentially upholding ActiveVideo’s position – and the $260M in damages Verizon owes the vendor for patent infringement. ActiveVideo charged that Verizon’s FiOS VOD service infringed on four of its patents.

Summary of Apple's $1B verdict

August 27, 2012 2:52 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Apple claimed Samsung Electronics' smartphones and computer tablets "slavishly copied" the iPhones and iPads. Samsung countered with its own claims that Apple used its wireless technology without proper compensation. A nine-person jury unanimously agreed with Apple and ordered Samsung to pay $1 billion.

FCC clears ‘substantially modified' Verizon AWS deal

August 24, 2012 3:02 pm | by Maisie Ramsay, Wireless Week | News | Comments

The FCC has officially approved Verizon Wireless' AWS deal, sealing a transaction that gives the operator a substantial amount of spectrum for its LTE network. The Commission released its final order clearing the spectrum sale yesterday. The document formalizes a number of Verizon's voluntary commitments around divestitures, network construction and data roaming.

FTC: Dish Network broke telemarketing rules

August 24, 2012 2:53 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The Federal Trade Commission filed a suit against Dish Network, charging the satellite-television provider with breaking laws barring telemarketing calls. The FTC said telemarketers from Dish Network kept calling people in an attempt to sell the satellite television service, even after they had been asked to stop.


South Korean court rules Samsung didn't copy iPhone

August 24, 2012 2:41 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

South Korea's Samsung won a home court ruling in its global smartphone battle against Apple on Friday when judges in Seoul said the company didn't copy the look and feel of the U.S. company's iPhone, and that Apple infringed on Samsung's wireless technology.

FCC halts special access deregulation

August 23, 2012 3:46 pm | by Maisie Ramsay, Wireless Week | News | Comments

The FCC has put the brakes on its deregulation of the special access market, services that provide wireless operators with access to critical backhaul for their networks. The Commission voted 3-2 along party lines in favor of temporarily suspending rules that automatically granted requests to change prices on special access services.

Much of W.Va. lacks high-speed Internet access

August 23, 2012 3:25 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A Federal Communications Commission report shows West Virginia has the highest percentage of residents in the nation without high-speed Internet, but state and company officials say the report is based on old data. About 845,000 West Virginians, or 46 percent of the state's residents, don't have access to broadband Internet service.

AT&T launches Mobile Share plans amid net neutrality debate

August 23, 2012 3:23 pm | by Andrew Berg, Wireless Week | News | Comments

AT&T launched its new shared data plans today, capping off a week marked by controversy over its FaceTime policy. Along with the new plans, AT&T has completely overhauled its online account management page, which now offers a quick overview of a user's account.

FCC: 19M Americans lack broadband access

August 22, 2012 3:47 pm | by Maisie Ramsay, Wireless Week | News | Comments

The FCC reports that 19 million U.S. residents still lack access to high-speed Internet service, especially in rural and tribal areas. Even if broadband is available, about 100 million Americans - nearly one-third of the population - still don't subscribe to the service, the agency said in a report on broadband access and adoption.


AT&T: FaceTime policy within FCC net neutrality rules

August 22, 2012 3:45 pm | by Andrew Berg, Wireless Week | News | Comments

AT&T says its policy to reserve FaceTime use over a cellular connection for those customers who move to its new Mobile Share plans does not violate the FCC's net neutrality rules. An AT&T exec argued that it has not violated the FCC's rules on transparency or blocking by stopping customers who aren’t on a Mobile Share plan from using FaceTime on its cellular network.

AT&T’s FaceTime policy could violate FCC rules

August 21, 2012 12:44 pm | by Andrew Berg, Wireless Week | News | Comments

AT&T's recent announcement that FaceTime over cellular will be reserved exclusively for those customers who switch to the company's new Mobile Share plans is sure to ruffle a few feathers, and some say it might even be in violation of the FCC’s Open Internet rules.

LightSquared appoints new CEO

August 21, 2012 12:41 pm | by Andrew Berg, Wireless Week | News | Comments

LightSquared announced that it has appointed Doug Smith as its new chairman of the board of directors and CEO. Smith was previously serving as co-chief operating officer for the company. Smith said LightSquared remains committed to working with all stakeholders to find an equitable resolution to the regulatory challenges that the company has faced this past year.

Liberty boosts Sirius XM stake, aims for control

August 20, 2012 2:53 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Liberty Media said it has boosted its stake in Sirius XM Radio and intends to take control of the satellite radio broadcaster if federal authorities approve. It bought 94.3 million shares in Sirius XM starting in the past week for $234.3 million, raising its stake to 48 percent.

Reaction mixed on FCC, DOJ approval of Verizon AWS

August 17, 2012 3:23 pm | by Maisie Ramsay, Wireless Week | News | Comments

Depending on who you ask, the government's approval of Verizon Wireless' AWS purchase is either a good thing or the end of competition as we know it for certain segments of the telecommunications industry. The head of the FCC said he was prepared to approve Verizon's acquisition of AWS spectrum from Cox Communications, Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks and Comcast.

Dish: Partner needed for wireless rollout

August 17, 2012 3:17 pm | by Maisie Ramsay, Wireless Week | News | Comments

A top Dish Network executive says the company may need to partner with an existing wireless operator to construct its LTE network. Delays securing FCC clearance for its wireless plans may make it necessary to work with an incumbent provider, instead of constructing its own greenfield network.

Comcast closes in on HD DTA deployments

August 17, 2012 12:22 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Comcast is currently in a large field trial with HD digital transport adapters (DTAs), with plans to have them more broadly deployed in customers’ homes later this year. 

FCC, DOJ to clear Verizon AWS deal

August 16, 2012 3:40 pm | by Maisie Ramsay, Wireless Week | News | Comments

The FCC and Justice Department are set to clear Verizon Wireless' $3.9 billion purchase of AWS spectrum from a group of cable operators.

Cisco's Q4 earnings rise 56%; company raises dividend

August 16, 2012 3:35 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Cisco Systems, the world's largest maker of computer networking equipment, is seeing its ambitions cramped by the global economic turmoil, but results for its latest quarter were strong enough that it announced an increase to its dividend. Cisco's sales in the latest quarter rose just 4.4 percent from last year, as customers in Southern Europe were in the grips of a recession and government customers on both sides of the Atlantic held back.

In Perspective - Sprinkles and a cherry

August 16, 2012 2:18 am | by Brian Santo | Articles | Comments

I’ve got an idea on how to improve the regulatory environment for video and other communications services that no one else seems to be suggesting, though I’m sure it will work. I am equally sure it isn’t being suggested because it’s unthinkable.

Memory Lane - Switching signals

August 16, 2012 2:07 am | by Stewart Schley, media and technology writer | Articles | Comments

“Switching is easy, oh it’s essential. And you know, when you flick it, you can start a new episode.”

A year after launch, Comcast chalks up nearly 100K families for Internet Essentials

August 15, 2012 3:30 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Since the launch of Internet Essentials, Comcast has helped close the digital divide for nearly 100,000 families, or 400,000 low-income citizens, by connecting them to the Internet.

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