Light Reading: CableLabs Project Targets SIP Trunking.
Monthly Archives: April 2010
Cisco sees a $20 billion opportunity in the smart grid, and wants to deliver products and services that span the grid, from home and business energy management to a secure, IP-based network to control substations and distributed energy resources, says Earth2Tech.
Cisco is working with big utilities like Duke Energy, Florida Power & Light, Germany’s Yellostrom, and Canada’s Enmax, and its vendor partners include General Electric, Accenture, Oracle, Arcadian Networks, Itron, Landis+Gyr, Siemens, Schneider Electric and Verizon. It also has its EnergyWise platform for controlling building and data center energy use, which could tie into smart grid networks in the future.
Cox Communications has won a court victory over Verizon as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled that the Atlanta-based cable MSO did not violate the RBOC’s telephone network patents.
The Appeals court upheld an earlier U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia ruling that a number of Verizon’s claims over six patents were invalid. Verizon filed a lawsuit in January 2008 arguing that Cox infringed on six VoIP-related packet technology patents. The court additionally found that Cox did not violate two other patents as Verizon alleged in its suit.
Although Verizon’s Verizon Deputy General Counsel John Thorne said in an email statement that it would continue to promote its “innovations through patent licensing as well as monitor for unlawful infringement,” the service hasn’t announced whether it would appeal the ruling.
Bluetooth 4.0, however, belies that assumption by having a potentially very strong impact on cable and other broadband providers.
The latest Bluetooth specification being introduced today is specifically designed to provide wireless connectivity for low energy technology like button-type batteries. This means, correspondingly, that it will provide the necessary link between low energy devices and the wider broadband network.
“You’ll use Bluetooth 4.0 for a lot of peripheral sensor devices around the home that connect to your broadband router or the PC that goes through that router to the outside world,” said Michael Foley executive director of the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG). Foley envisions devices like heart and glucose monitors and pedometers attached via Bluetooth to the home broadband network sending out data over the ether to healthcare facilities to monitor in-home patients.
“The key is you don’t want these small 4.0 devices to run on the broadband connection as part of the home network; you want them highly optimized just reporting their information at the appropriate time intervals,” he said.
Sourch: Bluetooth SIG.
Congress has been able to get an initial look at the FCC’s broadband plan, the House Subcommittee on Communications this week is going to examine how it addresses the “broadband availability gap.”
This Thursday’s “The National Broadband Plan: Deploying Quality Broadband Services to the Last Mile” hearing is one of many the subcommittee will hold to review specific elements of the plan. This week the focus will center on chapters 4, 6 and 8 that relate to the broadband plan’s availability provisions.
The subcommittee will talk with the FCC about how the broadband plan addresses what effect universal service, pole attachments and rights of way, municipal networks, speed and price and competition policy issues have on expanding broadband services to “underserved” and “unserved” communities.
Broadcasting & Cable: House To Drill Down Into Broadband Plan.
I am very curious to see if the mistake of 3G Auctions between European operators and regulators/governments will come true again. According to a Dow Jones Newswires report, the auction is the first of its kind in Europe and is likely to set a benchmark for similar auctions throughout the continent.
he Netherlands, Denmark, Austria, Sweden and France are expected to hold auctions this year, with the U.K. expected to auction frequencies next year, says Business Week. Spain, Italy and Portugal have yet to say when their auctions will take place.
“Many European countries will follow our auction closely,” said Matthias Kurth, president of Bundesnetzagentur, the German telecoms regulator. Analysts expect the auction to generate between 3 billion and 7 billion euros, a far cry from the 50 billion raised in 2000.
Spectrum is being auctioned on four different bands: 800MHz, 1.8GHz, 2GHz and 2.6GHz and includes the ‘digital dividend’ spectrum freed up from the switch from analogue to digital TV.
T-Mobile, Vodafone, KPN (E-Plus) and Telefonica’s O2 will bid on the frequencies. E-Plus and O2 – the two smaller players – took legal action against the regulator last year, arguing that the auction rules favour T-Mobile and Vodafone as they already own significant spectrum below 1GHz. While this action was rejected by the courts, Dow Jones Newswires notes that further legal steps are possible.
The 800 MHz frequencies come with specific terms attached. The winners commit to building a network to cover at least 90 percent of the population in rural towns and districts, starting with areas with fewer than 5,000 inhabitants, before they can use these frequencies in more densely populated areas.
Federal Network Agency: Four companies admitted to frequency auction.
The stock exchange has now done with a little help from the Consumer Electronics Association a Smartphone Market Data Index. They’ve teamed up for the NASDAQ OMX CEA Smartphone Index, which consists of 84 companies that are involved in one way or another with the “building, design and distribution of handsets, hardware, software, and mobile networks associated with the development, sale and usage of smartphones.” We’re having a bit of trouble tracking down the complete list of companies included in the index, but it does apparently have the usual suspects like Apple, Google and RIM, and it has started out with a valuation 250.00.
Court Says FCC Doesn’t Have the Power to Enforce Net Neutrality!
A federal appeals court just ruled on Comcast’s lawsuit to get the FCC’s p2p blocking ban overturned—that the FCC doesn’t have the power to tell Comcast, or any ISP, to be net neutral.
The National Cable and Telecommunications Association is shitting themselves with glee, meantime:
“The Court correctly ruled that a specific order by the previous FCC was wrong. We cannot state strongly enough that this decision will change nothing about the cable industry’s longstanding commitment to provide consumers the best possible broadband experience. Nor does the ruling alter the government’s current ability to protect consumers. We continue to embrace a free and open Internet as the right policy and will continue to work with the Commission and other policymakers and stakeholders to find a sound way of preserving that goal.”
Court rules FCC can’t tell Comcast how to manageWeb traffic
Feb. 8: Then-FCC Chairman Michael Powell introduces a set of consumer protections—dubbed the ‘Four Freedoms’—that Internet providers should follow.
Oct: Reports surface that Comcast is interfering with consumers’ ability to download files from file-sharing services like BitTorrent.
Jan: FCC opens investigation.
March: Comcast says it will change its network-management practices and stop slowing peer-to-peer Internet traffic.
Aug: FCC says Comcast violated its Internet principles. It orders the company to change its policies but doesn’t fine Comcast.
Sept: Comcast appeals, saying the FCC’s net-neutrality principles aren’t enforceable.
Sept: FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski proposes formal net neutrality rules, which would also apply to wireless Internet providers.
April: U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit strikes down FCC’s Comcast order, saying that the agency exceeded its authority.
Source: Wall Street Journal.
According to SeekingAlpha, Comcast has a little telco under its skin with one-fifth of its value owed to its VoIP business. Comcast has long been offering digital voice bundles with its services as a way for consumers to replace their regular old landline service while helping the company compete with telco’s that have been infringing on its broadband and TV offerings.
SeekingAlpha’s column, written by analysts who run a stock analyzing web firm Trefis, claims that Comcast’s Digital Voice division is the company’s third most important business behind the Cable and Broadband segments. According to Trefis’ system, Comcast’s VoIP business represents about 19 percent of Comcast’s stock value or about $10 billion. The report also claimed that Comcast has one of the largest VoIP market shares in the U.S. coming in at about 31 percent in 2009.
Seeking Alpha: Comcast Owes One-Fifth of Its Value to VoIP.