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The Lead

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.

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...

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...

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...

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

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.

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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.

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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.

Comcast renews Internet Essentials commitment

August 4, 2014 1:19 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The MSO is offering up to 6 months of complimentary service for any family that has not yet applied for Internet Essentials. Comcast also said it intends to forgive the debt of some families that have subscribed in the past to the Internet Essentials program and still have unpaid balances.

NY judge: US warrant can reach email in Ireland

July 31, 2014 3:00 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

U.S. law enforcement can force Microsoft Corp. to turn over emails it stores in Ireland, a judge ruled in a case that technology companies have rallied around as they pursue billions of dollars in data storage business abroad. U.S. District Judge Loretta A. Preska ruled from the bench Thursday after hearing oral arguments in Manhattan.

Comcast cancels event at senator’s home

July 28, 2014 11:47 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Comcast has canceled a promotional event at the home of a Kansas state senator. The cable company announced the open house in a recent news release that paired Republican Sen. Julia Lynn of Olathe and promotional language about its home security service.

House authorizes death of CableCard

July 23, 2014 4:52 pm | by Brian Santo | Blogs | Comments

The U.S. House of Representatives has reauthorized STELA. The cable industry had hoped to tack on provisions to reform retransmission consent rules, but the House declined. But the House did include language to end separable security requirements. In other words, the House has agreed to let the loathed CableCard die.

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Internet companies lobby FCC for open Internet

July 14, 2014 12:21 pm | by Andrew Berg, Wireless Week | News | Comments

A group of over two dozen of the largest Internet companies, including eBay, Netflix and Facebook, are urging the FCC to refrain from Net Neutrality policies that would create so-called slow lanes and fast lanes. The companies also argued that the Commission treat fixed and wireless broadband providers in the same manner.

Barnhart joins Charter's D.C. policy team

July 14, 2014 12:03 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Charter Communications has beefed up its policy presence in Washington D.C. with the recent addition of Christianna Lewis Barnhart, who joined the company as vice president, regulatory affairs. Barnhart, who started her new job today, now reports to Alex Hoehn-Saric, senior vice president, government affairs.

Amazon asks FAA for permission to fly drones

July 14, 2014 11:55 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Amazon is asking the Federal Aviation Administration permission to use drones as part of its plan to deliver packages to customers in 30 minutes or less. The online retailer created a media frenzy in December when it outlined a plan on CBS' "60 Minutes" to deliver packages with self-guided aircrafts that seemed straight out of science fiction.

Aereo: We're a cable company

July 11, 2014 12:04 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Aereo, the television-over-the-Internet service that suspended operations after the Supreme Court ruled against it, is refusing to disband for good. The company is now using the Supreme Court's own language to force broadcasters to treat it just like a cable TV company. In Aereo's view, that means broadcasters must license their signals to Aereo under a 1976 copyright law.

FCC picks review teams for megamergers

July 8, 2014 1:29 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler announced the members of the panel that will review two proposed mega-mergers: Comcast / Time Warner Cable / Charter, and AT&T / DirecTV. Those who watch such things infer from the choice of panelists that the FCC is not going to simply rubber-stamp either deal.

Shentel offers students reduced rate broadband

July 2, 2014 1:05 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Following a major upgrade in its network in McDowell County, West Virginia, Shentel said it is supporting a program that is distributing laptops to local students with discounted broadband access. The company is providing an Internet package for $10 per month to 3,400 qualifying students in the county. 

US board: NSA's Internet monitoring is legal

July 2, 2014 12:19 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

The National Security Agency programs that collect huge volumes of Internet data within the United States are constitutional and employ "reasonable" safeguards designed to protect the rights of Americans, an independent privacy and civil liberties board has found. In a report released Tuesday night, the bipartisan, five-member Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board largely endorsed a set of NSA surveillance programs.

Aereo CEO ask customers to appeal to lawmakers

July 1, 2014 12:13 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

After the Supreme Court ruled against its over-the-air video service last week, Aereo CEO Chet Kanojia is trying to kicks start a grass roots effort by asking the company’s subscribers to contact their lawmakers. Broadcasters had sued Aereo over its service that relied on cloud DVR and antennas to capture over-the-air video signals and deliver them to its customers. 

Charter teams with Recruit Military to hire more veterans

June 30, 2014 12:18 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Charter Communications has broadened its outreach to the nation’s military veterans through a new partnership with Recruit Military. Recruit Military is a full-service military-to-civilian recruiting firm for all branches and ranks of the armed forces. Its services are provided for free to veterans.

High court rejects Google appeal in snooping case

June 30, 2014 11:50 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

The Supreme Court has declined to hear Google's appeal of a ruling that it pried into people's online lives through their Wi-Fi systems as part of its drive to collect information for its Street View mapping project. The justices did not comment Monday in leaving in place a ruling that Google employees violated the federal wiretap law when they rolled through residential streets with car cameras to shoot photos for Street View.

Aereo loss is a very big deal

June 26, 2014 1:34 pm | by Brian Santo | Blogs | Comments

Another thing the average viewer doesn’t get is that Aereo and its approach was a hedge against rising cable costs. Retrans fees are going to keep going up. Cable fees are going to keep going up. That’s a win for broadcasters, but for no one else. It’s a clear loss for viewers, larger than most realize.

What's next for Aereo after Supreme Court ruling?

June 26, 2014 1:10 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Although the Supreme Court expressed its thinking on the law, it's the lower court that must issue a preliminary injunction stopping the service, as requested by broadcasters. That could take a few weeks. It's not guaranteed that the lower court will halt Aereo's operations, but it's very likely.

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