Welcome to today's broadband and cable news roundup.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is close to creating new rules that will let Dish Network LLC (Nasdaq: DISH) offer a terrestrial-only wireless service, but they are expected to include a provision that will require Dish to shed some holdings to avoid interference with an adjacent PCS H Block that Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) has been eyeing for Long Term Evolution (LTE), reports The Wall Street Journal. That provision "would be a game changer for us" and make Dish's proposed wireless buildout plan "increasingly risky," Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen told the paper. Ergen has outlined a wide range of scenarios for Dish's spectrum, including partnerships with other carriers or an outright sale of those holdings. The purported FCC decision essentially places "a higher priority on ensuring Sprint has sufficient LTE spectrum" and moving ahead with an auction of the H block than the Commission has on "trusting Dish to become a new entrant in the wireless market," TMF Associates analyst Tim Farrar stated on his blog.
(See Google & Dish Mull Mobile Connection and Dish May Seek Spectrum Sale .)
Vdio has launched a private beta test in the U.K. and U.S., and instead of bringing forth a subscription-based Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) rival, the service appears to be taking on iTunes and Vudu with a transactional model for videos and TV shows, reports NewTeeVee. Vdio, a startup helmed by Skype Ltd. co-founder Janus Friis, describes itself as: "A better way to watch. Rent or buy movies and TV shows worth tuning in to." The landing page touts a mix of new titles such as Prometheus and older catalog fare such as Pulp Fiction and Monsters Inc..
Viggle Inc. has put up US$25 million in cash and 48.3 million shares to acquire GetGlue in a deal that combines two New York-based startups that are focused on social TV apps delivered via tablets and other secondary screens. The combined company will have nearly 4.5 million registered users and clearly hopes that the combo will bring enough scale to the category to attract more advertising dollars and programming partners. Viggle, which counts DirecTV Group Inc. (NYSE: DTV) as a customer and was launched in January, will also take on GetGlue's 34 employees. But the deal is not all rainbows and unicorns, as it's contingent on Viggle raising an additional $60 million in funding, says TechCrunch.
The FCC is in a tricky position with regard to Dish & the use of its satellite spectrum for terrestrial use. The commission doesn't want to be accused of not recognizing potential interference problems, as it was when it granted LightSquared a temporary waiver. But if it doesn't let Dish use all of its spectrum, Dish may decide to sell the spectrum to one of the major carriers (quite probably AT&T). If that occurs, the FCC could be accused of furthering a Verizon/ AT&T wireless duopoly & not doing enough to ensure wireless competition.
This ruling would give Dish an out if it does indeed choose to sell off its spectrum. Ergen's been saying they could do this, that or the other with its spectrum, but it seems that the notion that Dish had any true interest in building something completely on is a huge bluff, or at least wishful thinking. JB
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.