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Dish May Seek Spectrum Sale

Welcome, friends, to today's collection of broadband and cable news snacks -- they're yummy!

  • Dish Network LLC (Nasdaq: DISH) still prefers to build its own Long Term Evolution (LTE) network, but the possibility that it will have to sell off its spectrum appears to be increasing as smaller mobile players consolidate and Dish continues to wait for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to loosen up spectrum-usage rules that would let Dish move forward with its plan. "We really hoped when we started this project that we would actually build a network from scratch, but the timing doesn't make a lot of sense anymore," Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen said Wednesday in Orlando at the PCIA Wireless Infrastructure Show, according to Broadcasting & Cable. Dish has also considered partnerships with other mobile players, but the likelihood of that option will be reduced should the proposed merger between T-Mobile US Inc. and MetroPCS Inc. (NYSE: PCS) go ahead. "We may end up selling the spectrum. I am not saying that is an impossibility," Ergen said. (See Dish Stashing Cash for Its 4G Run and Dish Chairman Ready to Back Up Wireless Bet .)

  • Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC) has chosen Long Island for the initial deployment of its cloud-based user interface, a platform that's been four years in the making and dubbed "Onyx" internally. The new Optimum Program Guide, which makes suggestions based on customer preferences, will be available to all customers in that system by the end of the month, according to Cablevision-owned Newsday. The MSO, which tangles with Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) FiOS in eastern U.S. markets, has not revealed when it will introduce the guide in its other systems in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, or in the Midwest systems it acquired from Bresnan Communications. The new guide -- here's the user's guide (PDF) -- is similar to the look and feel of user interfaces Cablevision has developed for PCs and mobile devices. Here's a sample of the new set-top UI:

  • Bright House Networks is charging customers a $2-per month cable modem fee, a move that follows Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC)'s recent decision to apply a rental fee of $3.95, says Broadband Reports. Bright House customers can avoid the fee by buying a modem at outlets listed as operator-approved. (See TW Cable Could Reap $300M From Modem Fee.)

  • BlackArrow Inc. has introduced a new dynamic ad insertion and targeted advertising platform that extends the capability from set-tops to tablets, phones and other IP-connected screens. It showed off the handiwork -- a set of interfaces called Linear Extensions for Dynamic Ad Insertion -- at last month's CableLabs Linear and IP Ad Interop in Louisville, Colo. The demo matched up BlackArrow's platform with a new CableLabs specification called Event Signaling and Messaging (ESAM).

    — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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