Cable Catchup

4:40 PM -- Friday's finally here, so it's time to round up some other news making the cable round this week...

  • New rules? Monday could shape up to be a big one in net neutrality circles. That's when newly installed Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Julius Genachowski is expected to propose new rules that would ban Internet providers from blocking some forms of Internet traffic, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal

    The paper said Genachowski will offer his rationale for rules that would expand on the Commission's 2005 "Policy Statement" on net neutrality. Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) will be among those giving Genachowski's speech a close listen, considering that the MSO is trying to overturn an FCC order handed last year calling on the MSO to halt what the Commission called "discriminatory network management practices" stemming from Comcast's earlier treatment of some upstream peer-to-peer traffic. The MSO appeal centers on an argument that the FCC overstepped its authority with the order because, in Comcast's view, there wasn't any "law" to violate in the first place. (See Comcast Fights FCC Net Neutrality Order .)
  • Cutting cable? Paul Allen reportedly may lose control of Charter Communications Inc. as the debt-laden MSO tries to get out of bankruptcy. Allen is trying to maintain voting control of the company and free himself from any future Charter-related lawsuits as the company looks to melt off $8 billion from its $22 billion debt load. But some of the MSO's senior lenders apparently aren't buying into the plan.

    The bankruptcy court is expected to rule on the reorg Sept. 30. Charter filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in late March. (See Charter Turns to Chapter 11.)
  • Wirelesscable. So, should Canada's Rogers Communications Inc. (Toronto: RCI) be thought of as a cable or a wireless company? The answer is more clearly than ever "both," based on reorg announced earlier this week that aims to tighten the relationship between those businesses. The new, streamlined org, which aims to reduce costs and "further drive innovation," comes along with expanded duties for newly named deputy chairman Edward S. Rogers, who will "play a greater role with the Board in major strategic decisions and matters of board oversight." He'll also oversee other major strategic initiatives, including mergers and acquisitions as EVP of a new Emerging Business and Corporate Development division. As part of all this, Rogers has also created a Network organization, led by CTO Bob Berner. (See Rogers Reorganizes.)

  • Interactive cash. Interactive TV systems and software specialist Ensequence Inc. got a $20 million funding infusion while elevating Peter Low, its former COO and an MTV and BET Networks vet, to president and CEO.

    Dalen Harrison, the former CEO, is staying on the board to "continue to develop new business opportunities." (See Ensequence Gets Funding, New CEO.)

    Clay Mathile, CEO of CYMI Technologies and former CEO and owner of the Iams Company, led the latest round. Ensequence counts MTV, DirecTV Group Inc. (NYSE: DTV), Comcast, Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ), and Dish Network LLC (Nasdaq: DISH) among its stable of clients.

    — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

    Interested in learning more on this topic? Then come to TelcoTV 2009, the telecom industry’s premier event for the exploration of a comprehensive entertainment convergence strategy, to be staged in Orlando, Fla., November 10-12. For more information, or to register, click here.

  • Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 3:56:03 PM
    re: Cable Catchup We'll have more on this soon, but FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski just outlined two new Internet principles G non-discrimination and service provider transparency.
    He'll be circulating these for a notice of proposed rulemaking as part of a larger rulemaking process. Also, FCC just launched a new site G www.openinternet.gov G in support of the effort.
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