Welcome to the cable news roundup, T.G.I.F. edition.
Google Fiber says residents in the Dub's Dread "fiberhood" in Kansas City, Kan., can begin to select service plans for the company's broadband and pay-TV packages ahead of the anticipated service launch in December. Residents have until Nov. 15 to make their choice. Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) has also added about 400 homes in the area that were not originally included in the pre-registration fiber "rally." Dub's Dread will be the second fiberhood (areas with 250 to 1,500 homes) to drink from the Google Fiber spigot. The Hanover Heights region of Kansas City, Kan., is first in line, with services expected to begin there later this month, according to Google Fiber's construction schedule. (See KC Gets Google Fiber for Real in October and 89% of Google Fiberhoods Make the Cut .)
Docsis 3.1's anticipated specs-to-product timeline is aggressive compared with the time it took the industry to jump from Docsis 2.0 to Docsis 3.0. CableLabs unveiled its plan for Docsis 3.0 in March 2005 at a media event in New York City, and it wasn't until February 2008, roughly three years later, that North American MSOs began to launch services based on pre-certified Docsis 3.0 equipment capable of bonding channels. CableLabs execs said Thursday at Cable-Tec Expo that the plan is to finish the 3.1 specifications in 2013, with expectations that the first wave of products based on the new specs will emerge sometime in 2014. It's expected that hybrid Docsis 3.0/3.1 modems will be the first products to emerge, as they will help cable operators seed the market before they upgrade the network. (See Videotron Hits the Gas and Comcast Enters the Wideband Era .)
Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) is ramping up its plan to help customers control its streaming app on TVs and other connected devices using their smartphones and tablets. Netflix has already rolled out a second-screen app (for Android and iOS devices) for the PS3 that lets users browse, search and rate titles, and expects to roll it out for other devices "in the coming months," NewTeeVee reports.