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

Genachowski resigns as FCC chairman

March 22, 2013 1:17 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The outgoing chairman’s tenure coincided with continued adoption of broadband and ever higher Internet connection speeds, especially on the wireless side. He approved Comcast's acquisition of NBC Universal, while blocking AT&T’s proposed acquisition of T-Mobile.

FCC Commissioner McDowell resigns

March 21, 2013 12:32 pm | by Andrew Berg, Wireless Week | News | Comments

McDowell was first appointed to a seat on the Commission by President George W. Bush. When he was reappointed to the Commission in 2009, Commissioner McDowell became the first Republican to be appointed to an independent agency by President Barack Obama.

San Jose fires up free Wi-Fi network

March 15, 2013 2:23 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The city that considers itself the capital of Silicon Valley is offering free connectivity via a network built by SmartWAVE Technologies using 802.11n Wi-Fi products from Ruckus Wireless. San Jose also has one of the best acronyms ever for its metro area network exchange (see story).

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Monroe supports Canada's alert system

March 14, 2013 1:35 pm | by Brian Santo | Product Releases | Comments

Monroe’s DASDEC emergency messaging platform and R189 One-Net Emergency Alert Systems (EAS) encoder/decoder systems provide comprehensive support for Canada's National Alert Aggregation and Dissemination (NAAD) system requirements. The former is designed for TV and radio broadcasters, the latter for cable, IPTV, and satellite providers.

Comcast co-hosts IETF meeting

March 12, 2013 12:14 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

For the second straight year, Comcast is a co-sponsor of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) 86 meeting, which is taking place this week in Orlando, Fla. Comcast also announced that it had renewed its membership to the Internet Society as a platinum organization supporter for the sixth consecutive year.  

Bang the DRM slowly

March 7, 2013 6:10 pm | by Brian Santo | Articles | Comments

There isn’t a single legal concept that has inspired more heartburn in more facets of content distribution than digital rights management (DRM).  Consumers have a pretty good idea what DRM is, and plenty vociferously despise it with the same loathing they have for banks, airlines and their communications service providers.

Capital Currents: FCC broadcast spectrum incentive auctions

March 6, 2013 5:42 pm | by Jeffrey Krauss, President of Telecommunications and Technology Policy | Articles | Comments

The big picture on FCC incentive auctions of broadcast spectrum, includes two key elements: 1) The transfer of at least 120 MHz of spectrum for mobile broadband use; and 2) The generation of enough revenues to pay broadcaster relocation costs, the funding of a national broadband public safety network, as well as support for deficit reduction.

Schools shift from textbooks to tablets

March 6, 2013 2:46 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Schools are increasingly looking to the hand-held tablets as a way to sustain students' interest, reward their achievements and, in some cases, actually keep per-student costs down. News Corp. just introduced its $299 Amplify tablet designed for the education market; some 2,000 schools use Google's $199 Chromebooks.

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Comcast achieves goal of hiring 1,000 veterans

March 6, 2013 12:14 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Comcast announced today that it and NBCUniversal reached their three-year goal of hiring 1,000 veterans two years ahead of schedule. Comcast will double down on its pledge, which was made through U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s "Hiring Our Heroes,” by hiring an additional 1,000 armed services veterans by 2015.

Google Builds White-Space Spectrum Database

March 5, 2013 2:16 pm | by Ben Munsen, Wireless Week | News | Comments

 Google has unveiled a searchable map of the available white-space spectrum in the U.S. The company said this new effort is in order to help promote dynamic spectrum sharing. The FCC is in the process of evaluating the map for accuracy.

Comcast expands access to Internet Essentials

March 5, 2013 2:10 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Comcast said it has connected more than 150,000 families thus far through its program to provide Internet access to low-income students and their families. Eligibility criteria for the program will soon be expanded to include parochial, private and homeschool students, bringing the estimated total number of eligible families to nearly 2.6 million.

Omnitel extends fiber to the home

March 4, 2013 1:52 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Using Broadband Stimulus financing, OmniTel Communications has deployed Adtran’s Total Access broadband platform in parts of Iowa. Omnitel is a RUS grant winner; its network expansion is in accordance with efforts by the Iowa Broadband Deployment Governance board to make high-speed broadband service more widely available in rural areas of the state.

Videotron's streaming service challenged

March 1, 2013 1:50 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Canadian Broadcaster Astral Media is attempting to force Videotron to drop or severely modify a streaming video service the latter recently announced. Astral filed a complaint with Canadian regulatory agencies claiming Videotron’s new illico Club Unlimited service violates a number of statutes. Videotron considers the complaint to be without legal merit.

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Comcast announces legal, policy hires in D.C

February 27, 2013 1:37 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Comcast announced that it has hired Ryan Wallach as senior deputy general counsel and Madura Wijewardena as senior director, public policy. Wallach’s responsibilities include legal analysis and advocacy regarding regulatory and litigation matters while Wijewardena is tasked with identifying emerging public policy issues of significance to the company.

FCC moves to open more unlicensed spectrum

February 21, 2013 12:46 pm | by Andrew Berg, Wireless Week | News | Comments

The FCC issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to make more unlicensed spectrum available for robust public Wi-Fi networks. The Commission proposed to make up to 195 MHz of additional spectrum in the 5 GHz band available to unlicensed wireless devices.

Ergen: Dish has time to mull many options for wireless

February 21, 2013 12:43 pm | by Andrew Berg, Wireless Week | News | Comments

Dish Network Chairman Charlie Ergen said his company has seven years to use its spectrum, which was recently approved by the Federal Communications Commission for use in deploying an LTE-Advanced wireless network. Clearwire is still mulling its options.

FCC adopts new guidelines for signal boosters

February 21, 2013 12:40 pm | by Ben Munson, Wireless Week | News | Comments

The FCC issued a Report and Order concerning cellular signal booster use and preventing them from interfering with wireless networks. Under the new rules, consumers are required to obtain permission from and register their signal booster with their wireless carriers in order to continue using it.

Dish video subscribership flat in 2012

February 20, 2013 3:03 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Dish Network added about 14,000 net new video subscribers in the fourth quarter of 2012, ending the year with 14.05 million, compared to 13.96 million at the end of the prior year. Dish also added about 78,000 net broadband subscribers in 2012.

Hesse: Sprint looking for more spectrum

February 20, 2013 3:00 pm | by Ben Munson, Wireless Week | News | Comments

Sprint CEO Dan Hesse said his company is seeking to acquire more wireless spectrum in order to stay competitive with AT&T and Verizon. Sprint hopes to scoop up more of the precious commodity by either buying it from other companies or from the government.

Rogers nets $455M in Q4 on $3.26B in revenue

February 19, 2013 1:18 pm | by The Canadian Press | News | Comments

A record quarter for smartphone sales helped Rogers Communications exceed analysts’ expectations in the fourth quarter. The company reports a 3 percent gain in quarterly revenue to $3.26 billion and 88 cents in earnings per share – beating estimates of $3.19 billion and 72 cents per share.

Kansas House approves telecom deregulation bill

February 19, 2013 12:58 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Kansas would lessen its regulation of telecommunications but begin to phase out consumer-financed subsidies for universal landline service under a bill approved by the state House. The House's 118-1 vote sends the measure to the Senate, where it also is expected to have bipartisan support.

Dish: Without wireless partner, selling spectrum an option

February 12, 2013 2:58 pm | by Andrew Berg, Wireless Week | News | Comments

Dish Network Chairman Charlie Ergen reiterated that his company will sell its AWS spectrum if it can’t find a suitable partner to help it deploy an LTE Advanced wireless network. Ergen made the comments at The Wall Street Journal’s All Things D conference.

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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