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Also: Comcast targets hotels; ex-SeaChange exec resurfaces at Envivio; Elemental knows its HEVCs; Comcast invests in fantasy sports startup

Cox Turns Up Wi-Fi Heat in the East

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner
1/30/2013
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Welcome to today's broadband and cable news roundup.

  • Cox Communications Inc. has lit up Wi-Fi networks in Northern Virginia and parts of Connecticut that provide free access to Cox subs who take the company's Preferred, Premier and Ultimate high-speed Internet tiers. Cox said qualifying customers in those areas now have access to more than 1,400 hotspots that support speeds of up to 15Mbit/s down and 4Mbit/s upstream. Cox is also part of a cable Wi-Fi roaming consortium that includes Bright House Networks, Cablevision Systems Corp., Comcast Corp., and Time Warner Cable Inc. Those MSOs are in the process of updating their Wi-Fi networks to support the new "CableWiFi" SSID, but that element has not been activated yet on Cox's wireless networks in Northern Virginia and Connecticut. For now, Cox is supporting just its own SSID: "CoxWiFi." (See Cable Goes Big With Wi-Fi Roaming.)
  • Comcast's business services arm is breaking into the hotel services market. Comcast Business Hospitality is pitching a service suite comprising Ethernet data, video (up to 60 HD channels) and voice services across the MSO's service area. Comcast will use the offer to drive more revenue in a commercial services category that could bring in about US$3 billion in revenues this year. The MSO enters this market as one of the sector's competitors, LodgeNet Interactive Corp., is trying to emerge from Chapter 11. (See Cable's Cut of the Biz Services Pie to Eclipse $7B and LodgeNet Eyes Speedy Chapter 11 Exit.)
  • Ex-SeaChange International Inc. exec Ira Goldfarb has resurfaced at Envivio Inc. as SVP of global sales and service. Goldfarb, who spent about 18 years at SeaChange, joins Envivio as the newly public video processing specialist goes through some growing pains. (See Rough Times Continue at Envivio and RGB CEO: Envivio IPO Jumped the Gun.)
  • Elemental Technologies Inc. (ETI) has added High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC)/H.264 to its multi-screen video processing platform. Elemental's addition comes soon after the International Telecommunication Union, Standardization Sector (ITU-T) granted first-stage consent approval on HEVC, a codec that is 50 percent more efficient than H.264 (but requires 10 times the processing power), and will play a role in UltraHD and mobile video services. (See ITU Blesses Bandwidth-Saving Video Codec and Elemental Eases Into Comcast OTT Role.)
  • Comcast Ventures has joined an $11 million "C" round in FanDuel Inc., a fantasy sports game operator launched in 2009 that claims to have paid out $50 million in league winnings in 2012, up from $10 million in 2011. FanDuel, which employs 40 staff, has raised about $16.2 million so far. — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable
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    Jeff Baumgartner
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    Jeff Baumgartner,
    User Rank: Light Beer
    1/31/2013 | 3:33:38 PM
    re: Cox Turns Up Wi-Fi Heat in the East
    For those keeping track, NCTA estimates that US cable ops have now deployed "well over" 100,000 Wi-Fi hot spots. http://www.cabletechtalk.com/b...
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