Light Reading

Google Fiber Sizes Up More Territory

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner

Here's a look at what's pushing broadband and cable's buttons this Monday.

  • Google Fiber is looking to extend its reach beyond Kansas City, Kan., and Kansas City, Mo. Kevin Lo, GM of Google Access, announced that Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) has reached a tentative agreement to bring its 1Gbit/s platform to the cities of Westwood, Westwood Hills and Mission Woods, Kan., pending the OK from the three city councils. Once that's done, Google says it will add those communities to a second Google Fiber "rally," in which residents will again be urged to pre-register (for $10) and qualify for the company's new high-speed Internet and bundled TV services. Google's first rally is scheduled to end on Sept. 9. "Fiberhoods" (areas serving between 250 to 1,500 homes) in Hanover Heights (Kansas/24 percent pre-registered) and Greenway Fields (Missouri/30 percent pre-registered) would be the first in line to get Google Fiber if the first rally ended today. (See Google Fiber Promises Phase II Rollout )

  • The Consumers Union of U.S. Inc. has joined Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) in asking the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to prohibit Verizon Wireless and its new cable partners from offering bundled services in areas where the MSOs and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ)'s wireline networks overlap. That's a condition that the FCC and the U.S. Department of Justice are reportedly considering as they weigh Verizon Wireless's proposed acquisition of Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) spectrum from Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC), Cox Communications Inc. and Bright House Networks . The Consumers Union also suggested that Verizon Wireless should divest AWS spectrum in Eastern markets where it's already capable of launching a 20x20 MHz LTE network using its existing AWS and upper 700MHz C-block licenses. (See Regulators Aim to Restrict Verizon/Cable Spectrum Sale and Sprint Tries to Hamstring Verizon/Cable Deals .)

  • The Washington Post notes that some city residents were polled recently about several possible mayoral candidates, and one that came up was current National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) President and CEO and former FCC Chairman Michael Powell. Powell, also the son of ex-Secretary of State Colin Powell, quickly shot down the idea in a tweet: "No one more surprised to hear I am running for mayor than me! Great city, but I am content with my current job."

  • There are more changes afoot at SeaChange International Inc. (Nasdaq: SEAC). The video software specialist revealed in an 8-K filing that EVP of Worldwide Sales and Services Ira Goldfarb has left the company on Aug. 3, and that former Comcast engineering exec Steve Craddock has been elected to the board of directors, and will also serve on the company's audit committee. New SeaChange CEO Raghu Rau said Goldfarb left to "pursue other interests and I supported the decision," adding that the company is eliminating the position of worldwide sales leader as SeaChange migrates to a regional structure. (See Is the Worst Over at SeaChange? )

  • The Comcast Media Center (CMC) is handling channel origination and transmission services for ASPiRE, a cable channel launched in June and headed by Magic Johnson that's aimed at African-American viewers. ASPiRE's in 7 million homes thanks in part to carriage on several Comcast and TW Cable systems.

    — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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