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

FCC bans broadcaster collusion in retrans negotiations

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

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 connects Atlanta auto dealerships

March 27, 2014 12:07 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

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.

Mobile backhaul a pillar in TWCBC’s commercial services

March 26, 2014 5:39 pm | by Mike Robuck | Articles | Comments

One of the pistons driving the business services growth at Time Warner Cable Business Class is mobile backhaul. In this Q&A with CED, TWCBC's Thane Storck, group vice president, carrier services, spoke about the history of cellular backhaul, the state of the current market and more opportunities down the road.

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Disney to buy YouTube video producer Maker Studios

March 25, 2014 11:19 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Disney said Monday that it is buying YouTube channel operator Maker Studios for $500 million as the family entertainment giant seeks to stay in front of younger viewers who are increasingly watching short videos online. It's the latest and largest acquisition of a YouTube channel network by a major Hollywood studio and represents another vote of confidence in the video service as an incubator of talent.

Sense and Copyrightability

March 24, 2014 6:42 pm | by Brian Santo | Blogs | Comments

The fact that OTA broadcast stations are also carried on cable systems is thoroughly and absolutely irrelevant to Aereo – Cablevision is absolutely irrelevant to Aereo, and even if five Supreme Court Justices disagree I still won’t buy the argument.

BlackBerry selling most Canadian real estate

March 21, 2014 11:52 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

BlackBerry is selling most of its real estate holdings in Canada as the struggling smartphone company continues to look for ways to improve its business. BlackBerry Ltd. did not disclose the buyer or purchase price, but said Friday that it will sell more than 3 million square feet of space and vacant lands.

Mobile devices add allure to March Madness at work

March 20, 2014 12:35 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Every year, the NCAA college basketball tournament gives employees a reason to goof off at their desks and root for their alma maters. But there's a growing source of potential headaches for bosses. Media companies like hosts CBS Corp. and Time Warner Inc.'s Turner are doing all they can to promote so-called TV Everywhere services.

Aviat intros microwave link/router for SMB backhaul

March 18, 2014 1:33 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Cell backhaul sites typically use fiber connections, but as cell networks get more crowded, wireless operators are looking to install small cell networks – the wireless analog to a node split in cable. Running fiber can be prohibitive in many dense urban environments, however, and that’s when a microwave link will come in handy.

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DSA urges FCC to move on opening more unlicensed spectrum

March 17, 2014 2:00 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The Dynamic Spectrum Alliance, among whose members are Google, Microsoft, and Facebook, has filed with the FCC advocating that the Commission move ahead with a plan to open more unlicensed spectrum in the U.S. – spectrum that could end up being used for new wireless services in the 600 MHz, 3.5 GHz, and 5 GHz bands.

Liberty Media drops bid to buy rest of Sirius

March 14, 2014 12:48 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

In January, Liberty announced a complex proposal that would have allowed it to obtain full ownership of Sirius. The deal would've valued Sirius at nearly $23 billion. Liberty Media President and CEO Greg Maffei said in a statement that the company may hold further discussions with Sirius depending on market conditions.

Report: Starbucks to test mobile ordering

March 13, 2014 1:49 pm | by Andrew Berg, Wireless Week | News | Comments

Starbucks is reportedly set to test a service this year that will customers to order their coffee right from their smartphone. The new feature is part of the company's push to promote its mobile application, according to a report from Bloomberg.

Bright House Networks fuels 1-Gig service to homes in Tampa

March 13, 2014 1:11 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Bright House Networks has jumped into the residential 1 Gigabit arena with an EPON-based fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) service that will launch this summer in three Tampa Bay housing developments. Bright House Networks partnered with Florida developer Metro Development Group (MDG) and The Broadband Group for a greenfield deployment of a symmetrical 1 Gbps service to the homeowners.

Report: There's money in them thar small cell networks

March 12, 2014 12:50 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

MNO adoption of small cell technology will create a substantial new revenue opportunity available to cable MSOs and satellite providers to provide even more cellular backhaul support.  According to a survey sponsored by Amdocs, 70 percent of MNOs globally are prepared to also use small cell networks rolled out by or owned by a third-party.

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Verizon offers up $20 discount for wireless + FiOS

March 7, 2014 1:21 pm | by Ben Munson, Wireless Week | News | Comments

The limited time deal, running March 7 through April 19, grants $10 per month off each bill and promises two-year contract savings of up to $480. The deal extends to the $90 per month FiOS plan offering 50-25 Mbps broadband, TV and phone.

US judge rules for Samsung in dustup with Apple

March 7, 2014 12:11 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

A U.S. judge on Thursday denied Apple's request to permanently ban Samsung from selling 23 older-model smartphones and tablets that a jury found infringed on patents held by the maker of iPhones and iPads. Judge Lucy Koh said Apple Inc. failed to prove that the South Korean company's patent infringement caused irreparable harm to Apple sales.

GCI qualifies for wireless broadband grant

March 6, 2014 12:50 pm | by Ben Munson, Wireless Week | News | Comments

The money, coming as part of the FCC’s Tribal Mobility Fund Phase I, will go toward serving 37,000 people across 48 communities in Alaska. GCI expects to deploy the mobile broadband service within two or three years depending on “construction schedules and the type of technology deployed.”

Cable One serves up Wi-Fi to small businesses

March 6, 2014 12:45 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Cable One has launched an on-site Wi-Fi service for small businesses in its footprint. The Wi-Fi service cost an additional $9.95 a month for small businesses that are subscribers to Cable One’s data service. On the gear side, Cable One is using SMC Networks to provision the service.

Roku gets into streaming-stick fight with Google

March 5, 2014 1:14 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Roku is getting into an Internet video-streaming stick fight with Google's Chromecast. Like the similarly shaped Chromecast, Roku's thumb-sized device plugs into a TV's HDMI port and feeds Internet video through a Wi-Fi connection. The Roku device, announced Tuesday, sells for $50 compared with $35 for the Chromecast. 

American Airlines Center upgrades Wi-Fi network

March 4, 2014 1:16 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The American Airlines Center in Dallas is the latest arena to get wired for the vast amounts of gameday traffic generated by people in the stands using social media and watching replays on their smartphones. The arena contracted with AT&T for the network.

Push for Web addresses in era of search, apps

March 3, 2014 12:30 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

The organization in charge of Internet addresses is pushing a major expansion in domain name suffixes. At least 160 suffixes have been added since October to join the ranks of ".com," ''.org" and scores of country-specific ones such as ".uk" for the United Kingdom. Hundreds of other proposals are being reviewed.

Alticast enables KT's satellite-based on-demand

February 26, 2014 1:51 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

At the heart of SkyLife's SOD service is the Alticast Media Cloud Platform, which is comprised of four major components:  a Cloud content ingest/delivery system, a Cloud service system, a Cloud media storage system and a Cloud streaming system. 

MWC: Incentives coming for payments by phones

February 26, 2014 12:53 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

A variety of mobile wallet systems store credit or debit card information on phones in encrypted form, offering more security than standard plastic cards with magnetic stripes. To make a purchase, simply tap the phone on a card reader or wave a bar code over a scanner. Yet most people still prefer plastic.

Firefox, Spreadtrum chipset partnership promises $25 smartphones

February 24, 2014 1:25 pm | by Ben Munson, Wireless Week | News | Comments

The chipset (SC6821) combines a “low memory configuration and high level of integration” to drive down costs. More specifically, Spreadtrum says the chipset could support smartphones with 3.5-inch HVGA touchscreens, integrated Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and camera functions.

Time Warner Cable to boost speeds in Austin

February 21, 2014 12:27 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Despite its possible acquisition by Comcast, Time Warner Cable isn’t waving the white flag in Austin. Time Warner Cable announced it would boost its “Ultimate” 50 Mbps tier to 300 Mbps on the downstream by the this fall, as well bowing faster speeds across additional data tiers.

Aereo suffers first major legal setback

February 20, 2014 1:32 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A District Judge  argued that Aereo's retransmission of video signals is "indistinguishable from a cable company," and said that if Aereo continued to do business, it would damage broadcasters' ability to negotiate with legitimate licensees, siphon viewers away from their websites and subject them to potential piracy.

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