Google Fiber Makes Another Connection

Welcome to the broadband and cable news roundup, Hump Day edition.
  • Google Fiber is getting ready to spread, after the city council of Olathe, Kan., approved a deal Tuesday to work with the budding broadband and TV service provider. Google, which leads off its service slate with an uncapped 1Gbit/s broadband service, has not announced a construction plan for the new deployment, but noted in this blog post that the addition of Olathe will not affect its published construction schedule for eligible homes in Kansas City, Kan.; and Kansas City, Mo. Time Warner Cable Inc., AT&T Inc. and, to a smaller degree, Comcast Corp. are among the incumbent providers that are tangling with Google Fiber. (See Google Fiber Starts to Hook Up Customers and How Long Will Google Keep the Fiber Flowing? )
  • Comcast Corp. closed its $16.7 billion deal to snap up General Electric's 49 percent stake in NBCUniversal LLC on Tuesday. Comcast is also picking up NBCU's headquarters building at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City and CNBC's headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., as part of a $1.4 billion real estate package. Comcast, which already owned the other 51 percent of NBCU, is buying the rest of media giant about a year-and-a-half ahead of schedule. Comcast struck its original deal for NBCU on Dec. 3, 2009. (See Comcast to Take Control of NBC Universal .)
  • CableLabs confirmed a Multichannel News report that it has hired Christian Pape as VP of innovation, a move that will reunite the former Hewlett-Packard Co. exec with Phil McKinney, who joined CableLabs as president and CEO last June. Pape will run the new CableLabs innovation group, which is expected to move into a Silicon Valley facility later this year. (See Ex-HP CTO Names CableLabs CEO and CableLabs Sets Its Sights on Silicon Valley.)
  • This just in: DVRs are popular. Almost a third (29 percent) of weekly TV viewing is of recorded content, though almost a third of content that is recorded to a DVR is also never watched, Motorola Mobility LLC found in its latest Media Engagement Barometer , which studied the video consumption habits of 9,500 consumers in 17 countries. Overall, consumers view an average of 25 hours of TV programming and films per week. Broken down further, film viewing in 2012 rose to six hours, from five in 2011, while TV viewing jumped to 19 hours in 2012 from 10 hours in 2011. On a geographic basis, U.S. consumers watched the most video per week (23 hours of TV and six hours of movies), while Sweden and Japan tied for the lowest (15 hours of TV and two hours of movies). And consumers want to have access to video on the go, as 76 percent of those surveyed said they'd be interested in a service that automatically loaded content they liked to a mobile phone or tablet.
  • Comcast has promoted Michelle Pluskota to vice president of business services for the operator's Heartland Region, which covers Michigan, Indiana, Arkansas and Kentucky. Pluskota most recently served as director of enterprise sales for Comcast Business Services as well as interim VP of business services for the MSO's Greater Chicago Region. Comcast raked in $2.4 billion in business services revenues in 2012, up 34.2 percent from the year earlier. — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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