Comcast Ventures has joined a $15 million "C" round for RAMP, a provider of search optimization technologies for Web-sourced video, audio, text and images. The startup's now raised about $40 million in all. Fox News, ABC News and NBC are among the programmers that use RAMP's platform.
Count Chicago among the cities that are gunning for 1-Gig. The Windy City has issued "The Broadband Challenge," a request for information seeking help from private companies, universities and other orgs to hit three goals: provide gigabit speeds with fiber; provide affordable broadband services to underserved and "disadvantaged" areas; and offer free Wi-Fi in parks and public spaces. Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), RCN Corp. and AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) are among the area's incumbent wireline broadband providers.
Cable video and access supplier Vecima Networks Inc. (Toronto: VCM) posted fourth-quarter net income of C$1.7 million (7 cents per share) on revenues of $28.7 million, up from 21.1 million in the year-ago period and driven in part by sales of QAM modules, edge QAMs and a "Terrace" QAM device that lets cable operators deliver secure HD video to hotels without the need for individual set-top boxes. But sales of its IP-to-QAM Concierge product remains slow. Vecima's been exploring a range of "strategic alternatives" that could include new partnerships or a sale of assets. (See Vecima May Seek a Sale .)
AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) has launched Easy Remote, a U-verse app for iPhones and iPads tailored for customers with vision or hearing impairments that uses large icons and gesture- and voice-based controls. Here's the app, developed at AT&T Labs, in action: