Ethernet services

Charter Connects With CENX & Equinix

Happy Monday, cable gang. The week kicks off with Charter Communications Inc. getting more serious about business services, while Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ)'s beefs up its 3DTV game and John Malone ups the ante for Germany's third-largest MSO.

  • Charter Business is raising its wholesale commercial services game with the launch of carrier interconnections in five initial markets: Los Angeles (two sites), Atlanta, St. Louis and Worcester, Mass. Charter, which has signed Carrier Ethernet Exchange deals with CENX Inc. and Equinix Inc. (Nasdaq: EQIX), said it will offer MEF-certified Ethernet services from its new locations ranging from 10 Mbit/s to 10 Gbit/s and intends to launch more sites with identical capabilities later this year. (See Charter Makes Ethernet Interconnection.)

  • After sweetening its bid, John Malone's Liberty Global Inc. (Nasdaq: LBTY) appears to be in the driver's seat for Germany's No. 3 MSO Kabel BW GmbH & Co. , with Liberty's offer of more than €3 billion (US$4.3 billion), topping bids from CVC Capital Partners and Hellman & Friedman LLC . Liberty bought Germany's second-largest German MSO, Unitymedia GmbH , last year. (See Liberty Global Completes Unitymedia Buy and Liberty Splashes $5.2B on German Operator.)

  • ESPN 3D landed a carriage deal with Verizon's FiOS TV ahead of The Masters golf tournament, but only a small fraction of the 62.5 million homes that get the new net from Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), DirecTV Group Inc. (NYSE: DTV), Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC), AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and Verizon subs own 3-D-capable sets. Verizon blogs that the channel will be offered as part of its Ultimate HD package or provided as a stand-alone for $9.99 per month.

  • Some Russian pay-TV providers are launching more advanced products than their U.S. counterparts. SmartLabs LLC says that Uralsvyazinform JSC (Utelä), the largest telco in the Urals region of Russia, launched its IPTV platform, which also allows it to deliver over-the-top Internet video to subscribers.

  • SMC Networks Inc. is the latest vendor to chime in with Docsis 3.0 numbers, announcing Monday that it has shipped more than 1 million D3 gateways in North America. Earlier this month, Ubee Interactive announced it had shipped more than 2 million D3 modems worldwide while Arris Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ARRS) confirmed that it has shipped more than 2.3 million D3 devices.

  • More changes are afoot at Advanced Digital Broadcast (ADB) . Following the resignation of CEO Francois Pagodolla and layoffs at the U.S. division of its Vidiom Systems Inc. unit, the company announced further restructurings that will see Krysztof Bilinski head up a new Broadcast Division, and Francesco Schiavinato take the helm of a new Broadband Division. (See Vidiom Cuts US Staff.)

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

  • SteveDonohue 12/5/2012 | 5:09:56 PM
    re: Charter Connects With CENX & Equinix

    Golf looks great in 3D, as would most live sports, but it's not clear how many viewers will watch The Masters this year in 3D. In order to see The Masters in 3D, viewers not only have to own a 3DTV - they also have to have a 3D programming package from DirecTV, Comcast, Verizon, Time Warner Cable, or another ESPN 3D affiliate. Nielsen doesn't yet measure ESPN 3D. 

    It's also worth noting that cable affiliates don't appear to be using The Masters to promote 3D programming, as Comcast and other affilates did last year through local media events.  I checked in with ESPN today, and the network said it isn't holding local viewing events for The Masters in 3D for consumers or affilates, and it isn't aware of plans from affiliates to hold local events. 




    Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 5:09:53 PM
    re: Charter Connects With CENX & Equinix

    Last year a big deal was made out of The Masters because the 3D coverage was so new, giving it that novelty feel.  I had a chance to watch some of the live coverage in 3D and agree that it looked pretty good. But it wasn't enough to make me go out and buy a 3D set in the year that's past since.  JB



    SteveDonohue 12/5/2012 | 5:09:52 PM
    re: Charter Connects With CENX & Equinix

    There's definitely a lot less buzz about 3D this year, even with the recent launch of 3net from Discovery, Sony, and IMAX. Some of the big cable MSOs and programmers seem more focused on making a business out of distrributing content on the Web and mobile devices like the iPad. That makes sense in terms of reaching the most viewers. Consumers are probably more likely to shell out for an iPad or a new smart phone before spending a few thousand dollars on a 3DTV that can deliver a limited amount of programming in 3D. 


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