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Also: Charter's set-top plan gets more static; Cablevision's Lightpath drops 'Optimum'; Netflix says Disney deal won't jack up prices

Dish's Wireless Fate to Be Sealed Next Week

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner
12/6/2012
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Welcome to the broadband and cable news roundup.

  • The fate of Dish Network LLC (Nasdaq: DISH)'s wireless plan could be sealed on Wednesday, Dec. 12, when the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) votes on proposed rules for the Advanced Wireless Services H block and service rules for AWS in the 2000-2020 MHz and 2180-2200MHz bands. A draft that's been circulating at the Commission would allow Dish to use 40MHz of AWS-4 spectrum in the 2GHz band without having to support its satellite-based access requirements, but Dish has complained that the proposed H-block order would would disable a sizable chunk of its spectrum to accommodate adjacent, and still-unused H-block spectrum that Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) wants for its Long Term Evolution (LTE) network. Dish is lobbying hard for some concessions, arguing that the rules, as proposed, would "cripple our ability to enter the [wireless] business." Although Dish claims it aims to build its own network, the company has talked about other options, including a sale of the spectrum and/or partnerships with other mobile carriers. (See Dish's Wireless Plans Could Get 'Crippled' and Google & Dish Mull Mobile Connection .)

    Update: Among Dish's lobbying efforts is a voluntary release of 5MHz for use as a guard band with the H-block. Dish's proposal, detailed in this Dec. 3 filing with the FCC, explains that the company would be willing to part with that slice of spectrum (Dish designated 2000MHz to 2005MHz as the guard band) if the FCC provides and adopts "safeguards" that enable Dish to use the remaining 15MHz of its uplink spectrum (2005MHz to 2020MHz) as soon as possible for mobile broadband.

  • Public Knowledge has joined the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) in opposing Charter Communications Inc. 's request for an FCC waiver that will let the MSO continue to use set-tops with integrated security so it can have ample time to develop and deploy a downloadable video security platform. PK, like the CEA, is urging the FCC to instead pursue a broader AllVid security rule that could be applied not just to cable, but satellite and telco TV service providers. "By contrast, a downloadable security system would be similar to the system we have today," the organization said, arguing that AllVid would do a better job of opening up a retail market for video devices. (See CEA Tries to Kill Charter's Video Plan .)

  • Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC)'s Ethernet services arm has a new name and a new logo. The unit, formerly known as Optimum Lightpath, has been rebranded as just Ligthpath. Cablevision said the change is to help differentiate Lightpath's Ethernet-based services for mid-market and large customers from Cablevision's more consumer-oriented Optimum brand, which focuses on residential and small business customers.

  • Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos called his company's new deal with Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) a "game changer" at the UBS AG conference in New York on Wednesday, but stressed Netflix is "not contemplating" having to raise its $8-per-month subscription fee. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed, but analysts believe Netflix agreed to pay more than $350 million to secure the Disney deal and outbid The Mouse's current premium TV distribution partner, Starz Entertainment LLC . (See Netflix Swipes Disney Deal From Starz.)

  • HomeGrid Forum says Marvell Technology Group Ltd. (Nasdaq: MRVL)'s 88LX3142 processor and 88LX2718 baseband analog frontend chipset are the first to achieve certification for G.hn, a wired/wireless high-speed home networking platform. The org said two other chip vendors are in the final stages of preparing silicon for certification testing. The next step is to conduct broader system testing with certified silicon, with the first plugfest set for Dec. 17-21 at the U.K. headquarters of TRaC Global Ltd. , which serves as the G.hn test house. (See G.hn Crashes the IEEE Home Networking Party.)

  • Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC)'s getting more involved with the Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA) . After serving as a contributor-level member in recent years, it's now risen to the promoter member level, with with Intel CTO of Gateway Solutions Jim Crammond representing Intel on the MoCA board.

    — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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    Jeff Baumgartner
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    Jeff Baumgartner,
    User Rank: Light Beer
    1/10/2013 | 4:00:17 AM
    re: Dish's Wireless Fate to Be Sealed Next Week


    Just added an update to the story noting that Dish is indeed conceeding 5MHz of its spectrum as a guard band in exchange for the FCC okaying that Dish can start using the remaining spectrum posthaste. JB

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