Welcome to today's broadband and cable news roundup.
Cable operators and some of the telcos spent part of Friday (Feb. 15) patting themselves on the back after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued its latest broadband quality report, which measured several key metrics, including how well service providers are doing when it comes to delivering advertised speeds -- a topic that Cablevision Systems Corp. and Verizon Communications Inc. squabbled over but recently settled.
Overall, U.S. ISPs are performing better, so the FCC reports appear to be shaming them into making improvements. The ISPs measured in the latest report delivered 97 percent of advertised speeds during peak periods, up from just 80 percent in August 2011, when the FCC issued its first broadband measurement report.
Among individual ISPs, satellite broadband provider ViaSat Inc. , which tops out at just 12Mbit/s downstream, beat the field in this category, with sustained downstreams near 140 percent and upstreams just north of 160 percent of what's advertised. ViaSat, by the way, also happens to be an ISP with some of the strictest usage policies/broadband caps.
AT&T Inc., Windstream Communications Inc., Verizon (for DSL) and Qwest (now part of CenturyLink Inc.) were down in the rankings for advertised speeds. Time Warner Cable Inc. appeared to be the relative laggard among cable MSOs.
In the broader category, satellite and fiber were above the 100 percent mark in both directions, cable didn't quite make it on downstream connections, while DSL trailed them all. Here's a glance at how the individual ISPs and access technology flavors stacked up:
The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) is saying no to NOLA as it swaps the dates and venue for this year's Cable-Tec Expo to avoid a conflict with the IBC conference in Amsterdam, set for Sept. 12-17. The revised plan will see Cable-Tec Expo run Oct. 21-24 in Atlanta, versus the original plan to have it run Sept. 18-20 in New Orleans. The new plan also puts the event in the corporate backyard of Cox Communications Inc. and its EVP and CTO, Kevin Hart, who is serving as program committee chairman for the 2013 Cable-Tec Expo.
Former CableLabs Chief Strategy Officer David Reed has resurfaced at the University of Colorado in Boulder as a scholar in residence in the school's interdisciplinary telecom program. Reed left CableLabs last fall after an 18-year career with the Louisville, Colo.-based, MSO-backed R&D group. His departure came soon after CableLabs underwent a leadership change and shifted more resources to Silicon Valley. Reed, who will head up a new research center focused on broadband, told Light Reading Cable via email that he started the new post at the start of 2013 and is teaching a class in the current semester. (See CableLabs Sets its Sights on Silicon Valley and Ex-HP CTO Named CableLabs CEO.)
— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable