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Google's Fiber Engineers Descend on Kansas City

Here’s what’s turning cable’s crank today.

  • Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) isn't pulling fiber in Kansas City, Kan., yet, but its engineers are on the ground scoping things out (counting telephone and utility poles, for instance) as it moves into the next phase of its 1Gbit/s high-speed network buildout. "The detail engineering phase will help us gather the geographical information we need to build the Google Fiber network later this year," Kevin Lo, GM of Google Access, revealed on the company's fiber blog. Google expects to launch it in "early 2012." (See Google to Plant More Kansas City Fiber, Will Google Start a 1-Gig Fiber Renaissance? and Google's 1-Gig Fiber Winner: Kansas City, KS.)

  • Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) and NBCUniversal LLC are using BlackArrow Inc. 's dynamic ad-insertion platform to insert pre-roll, mid-roll and post-roll ads in TV series from USA Network, E!, SyFy, Bravo Media and Oxygen Media. (See BlackArrow Upgrades Target VoD Advertising .)

  • Fox Broadcasting Co. plans to take aim at cord-cutting by making new TV episodes available online exclusively to authenticated pay-TV subscribers for eight days after their premiere on linear TV.

  • Citigroup expects Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) to report that it lost 120,000 subscribers during the second quarter.

  • Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) has inked a two-year deal that gives it rights to stream some CBS Corp. (NYSE: CBS)–owned shows, including some Showtime Networks Inc. originals, into Canada and its next international market, Latin America. It's also making plans to invade Europe. (See Netflix Sets Sights on Europe .)

  • HDNet founder Mark Cuban says he finds more value in advertising on a cable interactive programming guide than running spots in Internet video. "The digital side of cable offers more opportunity than the Internet does," Cuban told attendees at The Independent Show Tuesday in San Francisco, according to B&C.

  • Hulu LLC may be a good fit for Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), but regulators would probably block a merger between the search giant and popular Internet video site. (See Hulu Offers Programming Perks With Sale.)

  • Starz Entertainment LLC licensed its 3-D video-on-demand programming package to AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T)'s U-verse TV and Blue Ridge Communications.

  • Prairie dogs chewed through fiber optic cable Charter Communications Inc. buried in western Nebraska, sparking an Internet and phone outage.

  • British broadcaster ITV plc (London: ITV) says it'll launch an online micropayment system for video-on-demand programming in an attempt to reduce its reliance on ad revenue.

    — Steve Donohue, Special to Light Reading Cable, and Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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