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Also: Supreme Court to hear Comcast system-clustering case; Charter and Cox tee up new corporate digs; new Slingboxes spotted

TWC Wants Piece of Google Fiber's Sweet Deal

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner
10/2/2012
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Here's what's pushing the cable and broadband buttons this morning.

  • Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) is trying to get some of the same concessions that Kansas City, Kan., gave to Google Fiber, reports The Wall Street Journal, noting that the MSO has already inked such a deal with Kansas City, Mo. Google has free access to the cities' assets and infrastructure and even gets some government employees "dedicated to the project," the paper adds, noting that AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) is also eager to rework its franchise agreements with the cities. Google Fiber's KC-area deals, which let it build its network and deploy services in areas based on demand, also has an out clause that would enable the company to terminate its agreements with the cities two years after network builds got underway. "We're happy to compete with Google, but we'd just like an even playing field," a TWC spokesman told the paper. (See How Long Will Google Keep the Fiber Flowing? , TW Cable Sizes Up Google Fiber Threat and KC Gets Google Fiber for Real in October.)

  • The Supreme Court has set a Nov. 5 date to hear a class action case alleging that Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK)'s clustering of systems in the Philadelphia area through swaps with other operators created a monopoly that resulted in higher cable prices and a scenario that made it difficult for competitors to enter the market, reports The Wrap. The case was originally filed in 2003.

  • Charter Communications Inc. 's new New York-area corporate office will be based in Stamford, Conn., reports Multichannel News. The slated move into the 70,000-square-foot building is coming about 11 months after the St. Louis-based operator named Tom Rutledge, the former COO of Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC), as its new CEO, and the recent hiring of several other ex-Cablevision execs. (See Another Ex-Cablevision Exec Lands at Charter and Ex-Cablevision COO Becomes Charter CEO.)

  • In other MSO-moving news, Atlanta-based Cox Enterprises is to build a new 19-storey building at its Sandy Springs campus, and will use the 578,000-square-foot space as the headquarters for its Cox Communications Inc. division, reports The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Construction is to start early next year, and the building will open in 2015, the paper added.

  • ZatzNotFunny blogger Dave Zatz has spotted a couple of unannounced and redesigned Slingbox models (the 350 and 500) at Best Buy that support 1080p streaming (versus 720p in the PRO-HD). The Slingbox 500 also appears to be the first model to build-in Wi-Fi.

    — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable



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