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Policy + charging

Charter Presses Usage-Based Broadband

Charter Communications Inc. 's controversial thoughts on trying out usage-based broadband leads today's cable news roundup.

  • Bold (dangerous?) move by Charter to say it's considering usage-based billing experiments for its high-speed Internet service, considering the heat Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) and the Canadians took for broaching the subject. In Charter's case, the operator thinks there might be an opportunity to test it out on lower-end cable modem service tiers and attract DSL subs. (See O, Canada! Netflix Streaming Gets a Reprieve and Congressman Mad About TWC's Internet Meter .)

  • On the same call, Charter noted that it expects to complete the bulk of its switched digital video (SDV) and Docsis 3.0 deployments by mid-year, and to introduce an iPad app later in 2011. (See Charter Posts Q4.)

  • ivi Inc. asked a judge to let it resume the Web video transmission of local broadcast station feeds as it appeals a recent decision that shut down its service. (See Court Cuts Ivi's Web TV Signal.)

  • Don't look for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to make major changes in the retransmission consent process in place for cable operators and broadcasters after its meeting tomorrow, says Commissioner Robert McDowell.

  • Clearleap has hooked up with Pace plc to help kick off its pursuit of cable's new breed of hybrid IP/QAM gateways and set-tops. Pace is integrating Clearleap's Stream On Demand software so boxes can support IP-delivered video on demand (using MPEG-4) alongside traditional QAM-based linear TV programming delivered over MPEG-2. Clearleap intends to notch similar deals with other box makers, company CEO Braxton Jarratt tells Light Reading Cable. Clearleap is also targeting its system to all-IP devices such as connected TVs, Blu-ray players and Roku Inc. boxes. (See Clearleap, Roku Shop Web Video Combo to Cable.)

  • While Dish Network LLC (Nasdaq: DISH) tries to snag spectrum for a possible wireless broadband tilt, DirecTV Group Inc. (NYSE: DTV) doesn't see the value in pursuing a facilities-based broadband play for its over-the-top content, and is instead content to obtain it from telco partners and other service providers. (See Charlie Ergen's Spectrum Grab .)

  • Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) will soon launch a version of its Android Market for the Google TV platform. (See Google TV Guns for Cable Deals and Dish's Google TV Exclusive Will Be Brief .)

    — Steve Donohue, Special to Light Reading Cable

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