Comcast: We Had AWS Plans, Honest!

Welcome to the cable news roundup, Hump Day edition.

  • Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) bought its Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) spectrum licenses "with every intention to use that spectrum to put SpectrumCo in a position to provide our customers with a wireless service, although the scale, type, and business case for that service was undetermined at the time of our purchase in 2006," Comcast EVP David Cohen noted Tuesday in a blog post. Cohen's comments come after questions were raised about the MSO's intentions for those licenses: Suspicions were raised when Comcast CFO and Vice Chairman Michael Angelakis told a Citigroup conference earlier this month that the operator "never really intended to build that spectrum," remarks made as several MSOs try to sell their AWS licenses to Verizon Wireless .

    In an attempt to put Angelakis's comments into the "proper context," Cohen added that the SpectrumCo MSOs were clear from the start that they did not intend to become "the nation's fifth wireless voice provider," but rather "to obtain greater flexibility in developing options for more advanced wireless services." Cohen added that SpectrumCo has also completed significant work and testing toward developing a wireless services using AWS spectrum, including the outlay of more than $20 million to clear incumbent microwave links (more than 500 so far) in the AWS spectrum service areas. (See MSOs Sell AWS Spectrum to Verizon for $3.6B .)

  • U.S. cable operators provided the fastest average download speeds in 2011, Multichannel News reports, citing new data from testing firm Ookla. Comcast and Charter Communications Inc. were tops, with averages of 17.19 Mbit/s, followed by Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC) (16.40 Mbit/s), Cox Communications Inc. (15.76 Mbit/s); Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) (14.41 Mbit/s) and Insight Communications Co. Inc. (14.22 Mbit/s). Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) came in at 12.94 Mbit/s, an average that factored in its FiOS Internet and DSL services.

  • Hulu LLC , taking a page from the new Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) playbook, is starting to produce original programming for the Web video hub. The first of three originals is Battleground, a 13-episode series about political campaigners that's set to debut on Feb. 14. Hulu has earmarked $500 million for content in 2012. (See Netflix Tees Up First Original Series.)

  • Procera Networks says it's netted a third follow-on order worth $2 million from a Tier 1 North American MSO for its PacketLogic policy enforcement platform. The tack-on comes three months after the same unnamed MSO put in an original follow-on order of $6 million.

    — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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