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Cogeco Invades US Via $1.36B Atlantic Buy

Welcome to today's broadband and cable news snapshot.

  • Canada's Cogeco Communications (Toronto: CCA) marked its entry into the U.S. cable market Wednesday by putting up US$1.36 billion for Atlantic Broadband, an operator that serves about 252,000 homes in pockets of Delaware, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Florida and Maryland. Atlantic was founded in 2003 via the purchase of cable systems from Charter Communications Inc. Once Atlantic Broadband is in the fold, Cogeco will serve more than 1.1 million basic video subs. The acquisition of Atlantic from Abry Partners and Oak Hill Capital Partners comes about four months after Cogeco bugged out of the European cable market by selling off its Portuguese cable subsidiary, Cabovisao-Televisao por Cabo SA, for cents on the dollar. Investors weren't crazy about the latest deal, as Cogeco shares closed down 15 percent on Wednesday. (See Cogeco Sells Portuguese Subsidiary.)

  • Cable modem revenues in the first quarter of 2012 jumped 10 percent thanks in large part to accelerating deployments of Docsis 3.0 equipment by North American cable operators, notes Infonetics Research Inc. , adding that Docsis 3.0 cable modem shipments have risen by more than 50 percent versus the first quarter of 2011. With all types of access networks factored in, Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. ended the first quarter as the world's top broadband consumer premises equipment (CPE) vendor, followed by ZTE Corp. (Shenzhen: 000063; Hong Kong: 0763), Motorola Mobility LLC , Technicolor (Euronext Paris: TCH; NYSE: TCH) and Arris Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ARRS).

  • Clearleap is encroaching on Synacor Inc. 's turf after launching a TV Everywhere authentication service under the ClearPlay banner. Clearleap says its new system is already integrated with HBO GO and MAX GO, as well as Adobe Pass, an authentication platform from Adobe Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: ADBE) that lets pay-TV subscribers stay logged in as they access content from portals run by cable programmers, including NBCUniversal LLC , TNT and Cartoon Network. The National Cable Television Cooperative Inc. (NCTC) , meanwhile, has selected Clearleap as an approved provider for authentication services for the organization's membership, which is mostly made up of independent cable operators. (See Cable Co-Op Boots Up TV Everywhere Project.)

  • Entone Inc. and partners Minerva Networks Inc. and Confluent Technology Group are pitching cable operators on a hybrid platform that combines traditional cable TV with over-the-top broadband apps services, including VUDU and Pandora. West Alabama TV Cable is among the first takers of the integrated system, which Entone will demo at next week's The Independent Show in Florida.

  • WideOpenWest Holdings LLC (WOW) has closed its $1.5 billion acquisition of Knology Inc. (Nasdaq: KNOL). (See Whoa! WOW Buys Knology for $1.5B .)

    — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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