Welcome to the broadband and cable news roundup, T.G.I.F. edition.
Responding to Time Warner Cable Inc.'s criticism of Netflix Inc.'s Open Connect program, the streaming giant said its proposed peering arrangement with ISPs isn't about asking for special treatment, but about cutting down delivery costs and reducing network congestion. "Open Connect provides Netflix data at no cost to the location the ISP desires and doesn't seek preferential treatment," the streaming giant said, in a statement. Time Warner Cable is in discussions to join Open Connect, which Netflix requires before it will allow subscribers to access its library of "Super HD" content, but complained that the policy actually closes off access to some of Netflix's content "while seeking unprecedented preferential treatment from ISPs." Netflix, which already counts Cablevision Systems Corp. as an OpenConnect member, added that it hopes TW Cable "will join the many major ISPs around the world who are participating in Open Connect to reduce costs, better minimize congestion and improve data delivery to enhance the consumer experience." (See TW Cable Slams Netflix's 'Super HD' Policy and Netflix Connects with Cablevision.)
Netflix has been a big critic of data caps and usage-based pricing, viewing them as weapons to keep over-the-top video competitors in check. The topic of such policies came up Thursday during a panel at a Minority Media and Telecommunications Association event that featured National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) President and CEO Michael Powell. He said cable's interest in usage-based pricing models have less to do with bandwidth management, and more to do with operators getting a handle on the costs of providing broadband services, reports Multichannel News. "Our principal purpose is how to fairly monetize a high fixed cost," Powell said with respect to emerging usage-based broadband policies.
The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) has cancelled this year's Canadian Summit and the board is reviewing plans for the event "for 2014 and beyond," the Society announced in an email to members on Thursday and via its website, citing general changes in the cable industry's landscape and "continued economic uncertainties." In the place of this year's event, the SCTE is working on a new, travel-free format to provide Canadian members with technical and educational content tailored for the region. SCTE said it will announce details about that "in the very near future," noting that it will be offered for free to all Society members.
The Philadelphia Inquirer took Comcast Corp.'s X1 service for a test run and remarked that the MSO's next-generation video platform's redesigned, simplified remote control cuts down the number of buttons to 29, compared with 53 on the older remote. Comcast formally introduced X1 to the Philadelphia area this month, marking the sixth market so far to get the IP-capable service, which features a cloud-based user interface and access to a slate of interactive applications. (See Comcast's X1 Flies Into Philly.)
— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable
Light Reading is spending much of this year digging into the details of how automation technology will impact the comms market, but let's take a moment to also look at how automation is set to overturn the current world order by the middle of the century.
Understanding the full experience of women in technology requires starting at the collegiate level (or sooner) and studying the technologies women are involved with, company cultures they're part of and personal experiences of individuals.
During this WiC radio show, we will talk with Nicole Engelbert, the director of Research & Analysis for Ovum Technology and a 23-year telecom industry veteran, about her experiences and perspectives on women in tech. Engelbert covers infrastructure, applications and industries for Ovum, but she is also involved in the research firm's higher education team and has helped colleges and universities globally leverage technology as a strategy for improving recruitment, retention and graduation performance.
She will share her unique insight into the collegiate level, where women pursuing engineering and STEM-related degrees is dwindling. Engelbert will also reveal new, original Ovum research on the topics of artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, security and augmented reality, as well as discuss what each of those technologies might mean for women in our field. As always, we'll also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air and chat board.