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Lawmakers probing NSA face German secrecy hurdles

October 17, 2014 2:03 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Officials have refused to hand over dozens of German intelligence documents detailing the extent to which the country's spy agencies cooperated with their U.S. counterparts. Experts say the government's reluctance to fully inform Parliament stems from a fear that leaks could imperil the flow of intelligence from the U.S.

Nobel winner: cable could have been cheaper in the U.S., but...

October 14, 2014 1:55 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

U.S. consumers might be paying less than they are for cable and...

Comcast names James as director of government affairs for North Bay

October 9, 2014 12:55 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Comcast has hired Judy James as its new director of government affairs for the North Bay area of...

Dish family set to bid on AWS-3 auction

October 2, 2014 1:47 pm | by Ben Munson, Wireless Week | News | Comments

Dish has signed agreements with Northstar Wireless and SNR Wireless, two companies in which it...

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

SCTE at Cable-Tec Expo 2014

October 1, 2014 6:22 pm | by CED | Videos | Comments

Live From The Show: SCTE CEO Mark Dzuban on the organization’s Corporate Alliance Program, and its Energy 2020 program (which concentrates on developing best practices and technologies that will help the cable industry manage its energy consumption), and other issues.

FCC signals review if OTT companies qualify as MVPDs

September 30, 2014 1:32 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The FCC has revived an obscure complaint by Sky Angel against Discovery. If the FCC changes policy in favor of Sky Angel, online providers would have the same ability to negotiate for carriage of local broadcast TV stations that cable and satellite TV providers have.

FCC scraps sports blackout rule

September 30, 2014 12:45 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The blackout rule was put in place at a time when attendance was still the major source of revenue for most professional teams. In the decades since, ticket sales have been reduced to a minority percentage of proceeds. In the NFL especially, teams’ revenue from the sale of TV rights has far exceeded income at the gate.

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Net Neutrality: Government takes on the Internet

September 29, 2014 1:01 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Should the company that supplies your Internet access be allowed to cut deals with online services such as Netflix, Amazon or YouTube to move their content faster? The FCC is tackling that question this fall after the public submitted a record 3.7 million comments on the subject.

War of the Words

September 18, 2014 7:26 pm | by Brian Santo | Articles | Comments

In Perspective: Defining a problem is common engineering practice, but the approach is hardly limited to engineering. In the communications business, definitions have become weapons. Worse is when companies deliberately obfuscate definitions for competitive advantage.

Network neutrality nonsense

September 18, 2014 7:04 pm | by Jeffrey Krauss, President of Telecommunications and Technology Policy | Articles | Comments

Capital Currents: Sometimes the Internet becomes “sluggish,” but it’s impossible to know whether it’s due to congestion in the local access network, in a transit network, or at the server that stores the content. Traffic management procedures can be instituted by the content providers, by the transit network operators, and/or by the retail Internet access providers.

News Corp opposes Google in EU antitrust case

September 18, 2014 12:36 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

The media conglomerate controlled by Rupert Murdoch is joining the fray in Google's protracted European antitrust case, saying the technology company unfairly distorts competition. Robert Thomson, CEO of New York-based News Corp., says in a letter to the EU's antitrust authority that Google is "willing to exploit its dominant market position to stifle competition." 

Senate Commerce Committee passes satellite bill

September 17, 2014 6:48 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The Senate Commerce Committee has passed STAVRA, reauthorizing satellite TV broadcast of distant signals. One of the few non-satellite provision retained prevents local TV stations from colluding when negotiating retransmission consent contracts with cable operators.

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Vendors unite against broadband reclassification threat

September 9, 2014 1:54 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

A set of technology vendors have come out firmly against reclassification of broadband as a Title II service. The suppliers delivered a letter to U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker insisting that classifying the Internet as a public utility would have harmful implications for the Internet and the economy.

Google settles with FTC over in-app charges

September 5, 2014 11:59 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Google has agreed to pay full refunds totaling at least $19 million to consumers who were charged for purchases that children made via apps without parental consent from the Google Play app store. The settlement is part of the third case by the Federal Trade Commission about unauthorized in-app purchases made by children. It settled with Apple for $32.5 million in January.

FCC chair makes firmest case yet that broadband competition is lacking

September 4, 2014 2:11 pm | by Brian Santo | Blogs | Comments

FCC chairman Tom Wheeler yesterday stated flatly that in too much of the U.S., there is no meaningful broadband competition, and that competitors are lagging behind public need. If enough people accept his propositions, Wheeler would then be able to justify reclassifying broadband as a communications service.

Photo hacking rekindles digital privacy worries

September 3, 2014 11:28 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

As the celebrity photo-hacking scandal has made clear, privacy isn't what it used to be. Whether famous or seemingly anonymous, people from all walks of life put all sorts of things online or into cloud-based storage systems, from vital financial information to the occasional nude photo. Periodic cases of hacking fuel outrage, but there's no retreat from digital engagement or any imminent promise of guaranteed privacy.

Energy-efficient set-tops have saved $168M in electric bills

August 28, 2014 1:31 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The movement to make cable CPE more energy-efficient has paid off, saving U.S. cable customers as much as $168 million in total on their energy bills. New set-top boxes use approximately 14 percent less energy than those previously used by service providers.

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FCC names network neutrality expert as CTO

August 26, 2014 1:11 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

UC Irvine professor Scott Jordan was named the new CTO of the FCC. For those who try to read tea leaves, Jordan’s appointment might be a signal that FCC chairman Tom Wheeler is serious about exploring the possibility of reclassifying broadband as a telecommunications service.

Senate video promotes broadcaster a la carte

August 26, 2014 12:34 pm | by Brian Santo | Blogs | Comments

VIDEO: Senate Republicans are promoting the notion of making local stations a la carte on cable networks with a new YouTube video. The idea has the potential for gaining bipartisan support, even in this bitterly divided Congress, as a consumer-friendly and nearly pure free-market solution.

Fitbit to stop selling data without consent

August 22, 2014 11:58 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Fitbit, a company that makes wearable devices that monitor fitness activity, says it's changing its practice of selling users' personal data to advertisers after concerns were raised about consumer privacy. The San Francisco-based company's move comes after U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer of New York asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate what he called a troubling policy.

Aereo loses in court again; still not necessarily dead

August 22, 2014 11:56 am | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The saga continues. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals has declined to hear Aereo’s argument that if it is, as the Supreme Court deemed, essentially a cable company, it must be treated like one. But Aereo still has the option to argue its case.

FCC approves MSOs' shift to new Wi-Fi spectrum

August 20, 2014 7:11 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Cox have received approval from the FCC to switch the frequency at which their outdoor Wi-Fi access points operate from a portion of the unlicensed band now in common use to another nearby frequency at 5.1 GHz.

Assange talks of leaving embassy, sowing confusion

August 18, 2014 12:00 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange sowed confusion Monday with an announcement that appeared to indicate he was leaving his embassy bolt hole, but his spokesman later clarified that that would not happen unless the impasse over his extradition were resolved. Assange made the comments during a press conference at the Ecuadorean Embassy in London.

Life After CableCard: It’s so Bright I Gotta Wear Shades

August 12, 2014 11:16 pm | by John Carlucci, CTO, Alticast U.S. operations | Articles | Comments

Open Mic: The FCC has recommended striking the “integration ban” portion of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Given the success that Cablevision and Charter have had getting the necessary waivers to sidestep the ban, it’s not unrealistic to hope for a change.

Senators propose a la carte for broadcast stations

August 11, 2014 1:18 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Two Senators have floated an idea for fixing the retransmission consent mess; they are proposing a la carte for broadcast stations. The idea would be that broadcasters who charge too much might find themselves losing viewers and therefore money.   

Google using its clout to widen use of encryption

August 8, 2014 12:15 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Google is wielding the power of its dominant Internet search engine to push more websites into protecting the people using their services. The move involves a change in Google's closely guarded formula for determining the rankings of its search results. Websites that automatically encrypt their services will now be boosted higher in Google Inc.'s recommendation system. 

Verizon to FCC: throttling unlimited users “widely acepted”

August 5, 2014 1:44 pm | by Ben Munson, Wireless Week | News | Comments

Following consumer consternation over reports that Verizon is occasionally restricting the access of some of its heaviest users, and after FCC Chairman cautioned the company, Verizon responds that its actions are necessary network management practices to handle network congestion.

TWC joins green fleet program

August 5, 2014 1:38 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

TWC is joining a program administered by the DOE to reduce petroleum use within its fleet of more than 20,000 service trucks and vehicles. Participation in the DOE’s Clean Cities’ National Clean Fleet Partnership is part of the company’s “Go Green” initiative.

NCTC inks multi-screen deal with Disney

August 4, 2014 2:04 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The NCTC announced a comprehensive multi-year distribution agreement to deliver The Walt Disney Company’s lineup of sports, news and entertainment content to participating NCTC members’ customers across TVs, computers, smartphones, tablets, gaming consoles and connected devices.

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