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Cable Catchup

5:30 PM -- Staying in tune with some of other cable news as the weekend rapidly approaches...

  • Checking in on Charter: A judge has allowed Charter Communications Inc. to extend its bankruptcy "exclusivity period" through Nov. 22 amid opposition from lenders about the MSO's reorganization plan.

    Those lenders have raised questions as to whether Charter's plan violates its original loan agreements. Charter, which is looking to trim about $8 billion in debt through plan, has high hopes to emerge from bankruptcy this summer. (See Charter Bankruptcy Update , Charter Tweaks Reorg Plan, and Charter Turns to Chapter 11.)

  • D3 plays small ball: Massillon Cable TV Inc. is the latest MSO to show that Docsis 3.0 isn't just for cable's big guns. No new speed tiers or a launch date yet, but the MSO said it will power a wideband platform in Wooster, Ohio, using Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT)'s flagship cable modem termination system (CMTS), the BSR 64000, and a new high-density blade that packs in 32 downstream ports. (See Moto CMTS Powers Massillon's Docsis 3.0 Rollout.)

    Floyd Wagoner, Motorola's director of marketing and communications for the company's access networks unit, reminds us that older CMTS cards are put on just two downstream ports, and that the denser approach chops downstream port costs by 60 percent. (See CMTS Downstream Prices Plummet.)

    More wideband updates from Tier 2 and Tier 3 operators may surface next week as some fine industry folk converge on Grapevine, Texas, to attend The Independent Show.

  • The waiver wire: James Cable LLC and Allegiance Communications are the latest operators to come away with Federal Communications Commission (FCC) waivers that allow them to sidestep the ban on integrated set-top security that went into effect way back in July 2007. (See Countdown to 'Seven-Oh-Seven'.)

    The FCC granted James Cable an extension to continue using Motorola-made set-tops with integrated security through July 1, 2010, citing that the privately held operator "still remains in poor financial condition." James wanted the waiver so it could continue to deploy set-tops with integrated security, which are much less expensive than CableCARD-based boxes. James had been operating under a waiver that expired on June 23, 2009.

    Allegiance also got an extension through July 1, 2010 under similar financial hardship conditions, providing proof to the FCC that it had "suffered accelerating losses over the past three years." Its extended waiver covers several Moto models with on-board security, including the DCT1000, DCT2000, DCT6208, DTC6412, DCT6416, and DSR470.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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