Comcast has hired former Cisco executive Ken Klaer to the position of senior vice president, premises technology where he will lead the cable operator’s customer premise equipment team. Klaer’s hiring filled the gap from Steve Reynolds’ departure from the same role last year to become CTO of what later became Imagine Communications.
Cable, pursuing a Wi-Fi based wireless strategy, is enthusiastic about having the FCC open up more unlicensed spectrum in the 600 MHz Band. FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel said the Commission needs to be creative about finding room for unlicensed spectrum in that band, while protecting incumbent services.
Bright House Networks will be offering a Wi-Fi service in Tampa Bay’s downtown area and riverfront public parks. The service is available for free for anyone to use for up to 2 hours or 1 GB a month. Once users go over the cap, they can purchase additional time.
Shaw Communications has inked a five-year deal with the British Columbia city of Pentiction to provide its residents with its Wi-Fi service. Pentiction’s council agreed to a non-exclusive deal with Shaw, which will see the Shaw Go WiFi service made publicly available in key city locations, including several city parks and other high-traffic locations.
KPN became the first network operator in the Netherlands to conduct live tests with LTE Broadcast. The test over the weekend was done with Ericsson, Qualcomm Technologies, Samsung and IBM. The trial took place in the Amsterdam Arena stadium during the soccer game of Ajax against NEC.
Last week’s Cable Show in Los Angeles was rife with Wi-Fi announcements, but even bigger days may be ahead with the rapid adoption of Hotspot 2.0. According to a recent survey by Infonetics Research, Hotspot 2.0 is the next big item on the Wi-Fi checklist, along with the monetization of Wi-Fi services.
AT&T is said to have approached DirecTV about the acquisition. As the report points out, combining DirecTV’s 20 million customers with AT&T’s 5.7 million TV subscribers would get them nearer to the 30 million customers Comcast will have if its Time Warner Cable acquisition is approved.
In the two years since five of the top six cable operators announced their CableWiFi Alliance, the Wi-Fi hot spots now total more than 250,000 access points across the nation. Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications, Cablevision, and Bright House Networks first announced the roaming agreement two years ago at The Cable Show in Boston.
Verizon alerted customers it’s “enhancing” it Relevant Mobile Advertising program to incorporate information gathered from desktop and laptop Internet habits. The company will assign registered users an “anonymous, unique identifier” that will gather information about what websites the user visits on their desktop or laptop.
Supreme Court justices debated Tuesday whether they can side with broadcasters in a copyright challenge to an Internet startup company without threatening the burgeoning world of cloud computing. Several justices expressed concern that a ruling for the broadcasters could hamper the continuing development of cloud computing, which gives users access to a vast online computer network that stores and processes information.
The FCC plans to auction several bands of AWS-3 spectrum, which will be used on a shared basis for commercial wireless and incumbent government operations for a transition period following the auction. T-Mobile said more work needed to be done to ensure potential bidders understand the possible impact of federal incumbency, relocation timelines, and the potential for temporary or indefinite sharing of the spectrum.
Time Warner Cable has upped its Wi-Fi game by adding Hotspot 2.0 abilities to most of its 33,000 access points across the nation. Hotspot 2.0, which is also known as Wi-Fi Certified Passpoint, allows mobile devices to automatically join a Wi-Fi network based upon preferences and network optimization whenever the user enters a Hotspot 2.0-enabled area.
AT&T is threatening to sit out the FCC’s upcoming 600 MHz incentive auctions if the Commission puts in place rules reserving portions of the spectrum for smaller carriers only. The FCC is planning to set aside up to 30 MHz in each market for smaller carriers to bid on once bidding for those markets hits a set threshold.
Finnish mobile and fixed broadband service provider Elisa has contracted with Alcatel-Lucent to upgrade its IP/MPLS network for greater broadband capacity. A-L said it will also supply a full set of services: installation and commissioning, lifecycle program management, operations support and consulting, migration of network elements and services.
Charter Communications’ residential customers will see blazing Wi-Fi speeds in their homes when the company debuts a new Netgear router starting May 16. The dual-band router is fueled by latest wireless specification, 802.11ac, which was ratified by the IEEE in January. Charter said the new router was capable of delivering more than the maximum 100 Mbps downstream speed from its Internet Ultra tier throughout subscribers’ homes.
Burger King is upgrading to a more robust Wi-Fi platform with the help of AT&T. Diners at the fast food chain will soon be able to log in to “Whopper Wi-Fi” on their smartphones and tablet devices. AT&T said Burger King was the first large-scale customer of its Wi-Fi Ready Zone.
Google announced its acquisition of Titan Aerospace, a high-altitude drone company, which it plans to integrate with its on-going Project Loon initiative. Through Project Loon, Google is deploying large balloons in order to relay wireless signals.
Those in the cable industry who favor the consumption model for billing have always pointed to the success of that model in the wireless space. T-Mobile is complicating the issue with the announcement it is doing away with all talk, text and data overage charges for its customers, and its challenge to AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint to follow suit.
The Field Museum in Chicago recently upgraded its data services to a 1Gbps Ethernet connection from Comcast Business. The additional bandwidth allows museum goers to interact with collections, content and exhibits while giving the museum’s staff a faster connection for file transfers and other business uses.
Comcast announced this morning that it had topped the 1 million threshold for hot spots deployed across the nation and that it was increasing some data speeds in its Northeast footprint. The two announcements were choreographed to coincide with Comcast and Time Warner Cable executives appearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee today in regards to the deal between the two companies.
Today Charter Communications launched its Charter TV App, which provisions 130 live TV channels inside of subscribers’ homes. The app is now available for free downloading from Apple iTunes App Store, Amazon App store and Android Apps on Google Play.
This morning Time Warner Cable and Comcast filed their applications and public interest statement with the Federal Communications Commission. Today’s FCC filing isn’t the first salvo in Comcast’s $45 billion bid to take over Time Warner Cable—last week both companies filed a Hart-Scott-Rodino notification with the Department of Justice, but it provides a game plan for answering critics’ concerns over the deal.
NetGear has introduced a DOCSIS 3.0 voice and data gateway for the service provider market that features DOCSIS transmission rates up to 1 GHz, and aggregate Wi-Fi throughput of 1.9 GHz. The product incorporates a 24 x 8 DOCSIS 3.0 modem, and has IPv6 support.
The FCC issued two key decisions today, one that prohibits broadcast stations from joining together in retransmission consent negotiations, the other opening another 100 MHz of spectrum for Wi-Fi applications. Under the new regulations, two or more separately owned Top-4 broadcasters in the same market would be prohibited from banding to negotiate retrans deals.
Comcast Business has hooked up Atlanta-based Jim Ellis Automotive Group, which is the third largest online dealer in the nation based on sales volume, with its Ethernet services. With 14 dealerships spread across metro Atlanta, the dealership’s previous T1 lines from various providers were costly, slow and hard to manage.