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

TWC rejects ‘grossly inadequate offer’ from Charter

January 14, 2014 11:36 am | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

The gloves are off in Charter Communications’ attempt to takeover Time Warner Cable. Charter has offered to buy the nation’s second largest cable operator for $132.50 a share, which was slightly higher than where Time Warner Cable’s shares closed on Monday. Monday night Time Warner Cable CEO Rob Marcus, who took over as CEO of the nation’s second-largest cable operator on Jan. 1, formally rejected Charter’s third offer.

AT&T, Beats Music team up for family offering

January 13, 2014 12:18 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

After rumors of a subscription streaming music service for some time, AT&T announced it has hooked up with Beats Music for a new family-orientated offering that will launch Jan. 21. The deal with Jimmy Iovine’s Beats Electronics will allow AT&T wireless customers to stream or download the service to five family members on up to 10 devices for $15 a month.

Cablevision hires Comstock as EVP of operations

January 10, 2014 12:19 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Cablevision has hired Robert Comstock to the newly created position of executive vice president, operations. Effective immediately, Cablevision said Comstock is responsible for all aspects of infrastructure that support the delivery of Cablevision’s customer experience, including network management, field operations, outside plant, Wi-Fi execution, and telecommunications network management.

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Lui heads up Time Warner Cable’s HR department

January 9, 2014 12:13 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Time Warner Cable announced this morning that Alan Lui was promoted to senior vice president of human resources. Effective today, Lui now leads all aspects of the cable operator’s human resources department. He continues to report to Peter Stern, Time Warner Cable’s executive vice president and chief strategy, people and corporate development officer.

Fairfax ups investment in troubled BlackBerry

January 9, 2014 12:08 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Fairfax Financial Holdings said Wednesday it is buying another $250 million of convertible debt in BlackBerry in what Fairfax says is a show of confidence in the troubled smartphone maker's new management. Fairfax, BlackBerry's largest shareholder, led an investment group that injected $1 billion into the company last fall.

Samsung, Apple CEOs to discuss lawsuit settlement

January 9, 2014 12:02 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

The chiefs of Samsung Electronics Co. and Apple Inc. will meet to discuss settling a bitter two year legal battle over designs and technologies of smartphones and tablets. A filing with the U.S. District court in San Jose showed Thursday that senior legal executives from Apple and Samsung agreed earlier this week that the CEOs will meet by or before Feb. 19.

Suddenlink wraps up Northland deal

January 3, 2014 12:31 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Suddenlink Communications announced it has completed its purchase of four Texas-based systems from Northland Communications. With the completion of the deal, which was first announced in October, Suddenlink added 12,000 residential and nearly 300 commercial customers.

BlackBerry posts 3Q loss of $4.4B

December 20, 2013 12:28 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

BlackBerry reported a massive $4.4 billion loss in the third quarter and 56 percent drop in revenue in its first results under new chairman and interim chief executive John Chen who hopes to make the company profitable again by 2016. BlackBerry also announced Friday it is entering into a five-year partnership with Foxconn, the Taiwanese company that assembles products in vast factories in China.

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Verizon to publish data on phone records requests

December 20, 2013 12:25 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Verizon Communications Inc. says it will publish information on the number of requests for customer records it received from law enforcement agencies this year. The announcement Thursday from the largest U.S. cellphone carrier comes as debate over data-gathering by the National Security Agency intensifies in Washington.

Advisory panel recommends more oversight for NSA 


December 19, 2013 12:53 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

If President Barack Obama follows even half of the recommendations urged by his advisory panel, the National Security Agency would significantly change the way it does business. The collection of U.S. phone records and the spying on other governments and their citizens would continue. But Americans' phone records would be held by phone companies, not the NSA.

TWC updates app, adds Kindle devices

December 18, 2013 1:04 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Just in time for the holidays, Time Warner Cable has added support for Kindle tablets on its TWC TV app, and updated some features across Roku, Xbox and Samsung devices. The TWC TV app now works with Kindle Fire HD and HDX tablets for Time Warner Cable customers that subscribe to its “standard” or “preferred” video tiers.

Suddenlink tabs Neustar for digital voice transition

December 16, 2013 12:40 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Neustar announced this morning that it was picked by Suddenlink Communications to support the cable operator’s digital voice transition. With the multi-year agreement, Neustar’s platform will be used to support Suddenlink’s order management as well as the provisioning of new and existing subscribers on its voice network.

AT&T’s GigaPower goes live in Austin

December 11, 2013 1:12 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Today AT&T officially launched its U-Verse GigaPower service in Austin, which came out of the starter’s blocks with symmetrical 300 Mbps speeds before ramping up to 1 Gbps next year. Customers who sign up for the 300 Mbps service will be upgraded to the 1 Gig speeds when they become available at no extra cost.

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Samsung signs on for RDK

December 11, 2013 1:05 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Samsung Electronics America has signed up to license the Reference Design Kit from RDK Management in order to accelerate the development of its next generation set-top boxes and gateways. With Samsung on board, more than 100 silicon vendors, hardware OEMs, integrators, application developers, and service providers have licensed the RDK.

Cable One’s McKenna to retire

December 11, 2013 12:55 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

After nearly 19 years with Cable One, Jerry McKenna will retire from his role as senior vice president-chief sales and marketing officer at the end of the month. McKenna joined Cable One in 1994 as vice president-strategic marketing before being named senior vice president-chief sales and marketing officer five years ago.

Time Warner Cable rings up two new phone features

December 10, 2013 12:33 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Time Warner Cable has added two new, free features to its phone service. The first, “Answer Anytime,” provisions home phone calls to mobile devices or office lines in order to not miss any calls while the second, “Selective Call Acceptance,” weeds out unwanted callers.

TWC’s Marcus balks at debt-fueled deals

December 10, 2013 12:23 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Incoming Time Warner Cable Inc. CEO Rob Marcus said Monday that the company's current debt level is "prudent," even as other cable TV companies are reportedly examining adding debt to acquire it. Marcus, the chief operating officer who will replace Glenn Britt as chief executive on Jan. 1, told an investor conference in New York that the company's target of having debt that is 3.25 times its cash flow is appropriate.

In the media: Comcast lines up JPMorgan to advise on possible TWC bid

December 9, 2013 12:39 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

The plot has thickened once again in the ongoing story of Time Warner Cable being bought out by another cable operator. Reuters reported that Comcast has turned to JPMorgan Chase & Co. for its expertise in case it decides to throw a bid on Time Warner Cable

Time Warner Cable promotes Lee to SVP, mergers and acquisitions

December 6, 2013 12:40 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Time Warner Cable announced this morning that Christian Lee had been promoted to senior vice president, mergers and acquisitions effective Dec. 31. Separately, Rob Marcus, who will take over the reins of the company on Jan. 1, said in a Bloomberg story that he was “the perfect guy to manage the M&A component out there.”

AT&T reduces fees for people who bring own devices

December 6, 2013 12:25 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

AT&T is joining T-Mobile in reducing monthly fees for people who pay for their own devices. It's the latest break from a longstanding practice of offering subsidies on devices to lock customers into two-year service agreements. 

Michigan senate votes to ease ability to drop land lines

December 6, 2013 12:21 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Phone companies would have an easier time discontinuing traditional land lines in Michigan under legislation approved Thursday that supporters say recognizes technological change but critics contend could leave customers with less reliable service.

TWC hires former Insight exec as new COO

December 5, 2013 12:56 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Despite swimming in a shark tank of potential suitors, Time Warner Cable announced this morning that former Insight Communications executive Dinni Jain would be joining the company on Jan. 13. Jain, who was chief operating officer and president of Insight prior to Time Warner Cable’s purchase of the company last year, will join Time Warner Cable as chief operating officer (COO.)

Shaw president postpones retirement

December 4, 2013 12:43 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Faced with increased competition from the likes of Netflix and Telus, as well as a mandated move to unbundling, Shaw Communications president Peter Bissonette has postponed his retirement. Bissonette will stay onboard until 2015 and has also assumed responsibility for Shaw’s regulatory and government affairs activities.

CSG picks up some Volubill assets

December 4, 2013 12:37 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Billing vendor CSG International announced this morning that it had purchased some of the assets of Volubill. According to media reports, Volubill was put into compulsory liquidation and receivership on Oct. 29 in France. Financial terms weren’t available.

Increasing the competitive edge for cable MSOs through investments in transformation

December 2, 2013 1:51 pm | by Bob Titus, vice president, global converged solutions, NetCracker Technology | Articles | Comments

Cable MSOs are ready for fierce competition. They are making significant investments in their network infrastructure to be positioned for a high-bandwidth, mobile-integrated, multi-screen world. In this world, digital distribution is as important a line of business as traditional linear broadcast, so. MSOs are increasing investment in on-demand, next-generation broadband services as well as improved customer experience.

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