February 8, 2013
Welcome to the broadband and cable news roundup, T.G.I.F. edition.
Allegiance Communications is shutting down operations in several Kansas towns, including Conway Springs, after the cable operator determined that it could no longer afford to provide services and perform the necessary upgrades in some of its smaller franchise areas, local TV station KSN reports. "The costs of doing business in Conway Springs can no longer be profitable," the company told customers in a letter explaining the decision. The town's mayor is working up a plan to help affected residents get hooked up with a satellite TV service, and the city clerk is checking with a local phone company to see if they want to pick up the slack. In addition to more than 20 towns in Kansas, Allegiance also operates in parts of Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas. The American Cable Association (ACA), a group that represents hundreds of Tier 2/3 cable operators, has long said that retransmission consent and the rising price of programming are making it increasingly more difficult for smaller operators to make ends meet. The ACA, along with the National Cable Television Cooperative Inc. (NCTC), will be addressing these issues later this month at the Winter Education Conference in Las Vegas. (See ACA: Little Cable Faces Some Big Issues.) For more about Allegiance's situation, check the video below.
Suddenlink Communications is introducing the TiVo Inc. Mini ahead of its retail release, reports ZatzNotFunny, noting that the Mini, an IP client that links up with one of TiVo's quad-tuner DVR models to complete a whole-home, is now appearing in the MSO's TiVo promotion materials. Suddenlink says more details about the pricing and availability of the Mini could come next week, but ZatzNotFunny notes that the operator intends to rent out the new device for $6 to $11 per month. Other TiVo partners, including Mediacom Communications Corp., also have the Mini in their plans. Suddenlink has already launched the TiVo Stream , a transcoding device that shares live and recorded programming on tablets and PCs connected to the user's home network. Suddenlink leases those for $10 per month. (See Mediacom Goes With TiVo and Suddenlink Activates TiVo Stream.)
Comcast Corp. says it's the first ISP to offer an app that protects users of smartphones and tablets from phishing attempts, identify theft and prevents them from visiting fraudulent websites. The operator is offering the Constant Guard Mobile app to cable modem subs for free initially on iOS devices, with plans to introduce an Android version in the coming months. Comcast is also working on a version that will include virus protection, and more closely mirror the capabilities it offers on the PC version of Constant Guard, which also includes the Norton Security Suite and Identity Guard service. — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable
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