Virgin Gives 1.5-Gig Wideband a Whirl

Here's what's making the cable world go 'round today:

  • Virgin Media Inc. (Nasdaq: VMED) is the latest MSO to stretch the legs of Docsis 3.0 by testing 1.5Gbit/s downstream and 250Mbit/s upstream Internet links in east London. (See Virgin Bonds With 200 Mbit/s Trial and Get Tests 1.4-Gig Speeds.)

  • AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) added 218,000 U-verse TV and 175,000 U-verse Internet subs during the first quarter. (See AT&T's iPhone Growth Continues.)

  • We're eager to see how many DirecTV Group Inc. (NYSE: DTV) HD DVR subs will shell out $30 to watch Just Go With It and other 60-day-old movies that debut on its Home Premiere VoD service Thursday.

  • Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) has shipped more than 2 million Apple TV boxes since late last year. (See Apple TV: A 'Hobby' No More? )

  • That plan by Virgin Media to let pay-TV subs in the UK watch video outside the home through public Wi-Fi networks shows what U.S. MSOs like Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC) and Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) could do if they strike similar deals with programmers. (See Comcast Whips Up More WiFi .)

  • Comcast wasn't re-crowned as The Consumerist's "Worst Company in America" this week, but it was near the bottom of the Tempkin Group's customer loyalty survey, which ranked 143 companies based on "customer experiences." Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) was tops.

  • Vecima Networks Inc. (Toronto: VCM) cut 142 employees, or 17 percent of its total staff, trimming costs at the Canadian edge QAM and wireless gear maker by $6 million.

  • The Slowskys -- that family of turtles with a DSL subscription –- has a new bundle of joy, Bill Jr., giving Comcast reason to bring them back after a two-year hiatus. So get ready for more spots like this one:

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

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