Wednesday, September 30, 2009

CTIA TO FCC: More Spectrum Please

Asks Commission to Open Proceedings to Secure 800 MHz Over Next Six Years 09/30/09
The lead lobbying association representing the American wireless service provider sector yesterday filed with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) an ex parte petition (GN Docket No. 09-51), requesting that the Commission open proceedings to secure upwards of 800 MHz of radio spectrum for wireless services over the next six years.

The filing was made by CTIA-The Wireless Association.® CTIA President and CEO Steve Largent, a former Member of Congress (R-OK), issued the following statement on Monday, September 28, in response to the Association's filing:

“As the Chairman and other FCC Commissioners understand, spectrum is our industry’s backbone and is what encourages innovation and competition. “In order to facilitate the ‘virtuous cycle’ of the industry, more spectrum must be made available. As spectrum is brought to market, the virtuous cycle begins, as networks are upgraded to add capacity and greater capabilities, handsets are then developed to take advantage of next generation networks, application and content developers then create new content to take advantage of new handset capabilities, and ultimately, consumers demand more. It’s a cycle that never ends as long as spectrum is available."

“The U.S. is the most efficient users of commercial spectrum in the world. But as the Chairman has recognized, the industry needs access to more spectrum so we can continue to meet the growing consumer demand – whether it’s for personal reasons such as mHealth or for environmental reasons such as smart grids. Other countries around the world have recognized the need to facilitate this virtuous cycle and have identified hundreds of megahertz of spectrum to reallocate for licensed commercial use."

“In this filing, we are asking the FCC to work with the Federal government to immediately begin to identify and allocate up to 800 MHz of additional spectrum over the next six years. We also have requested policymakers to meet short-term spectrum needs by pairing and allocating readily-available spectrum."

“We are proud that the mobile wireless industry is providing broadband access where you want it, when you want it, but we are facing a perfect storm where demand may outpace supply. By allocating and assigning more spectrum, the federal government will encourage continued innovation and competition within the industry and ensure our continued economic investment and impact."

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Stimulating Broadband Tech: Akamai Rolls Out HD Network 09/29/09 Akamai Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: AKAM), the content distribution network (CDN) headquartered in Cambridge, MA today announced the launch of the Akamai HD Network, its next generation video delivery offering.

The firm states it is rolling out the first platform to deliver high definition (HD) video online to viewers using the most popular runtime environments, including Adobe Flash technology, Microsoft Silverlight, and to the iPhone, at broadcast-level audience scale.

Why Is This Important?
Content Distribution Networks are specifically designed to support the high bandwidth requirements of the most popular content providers on the Internet. Television networks, sports leagues, and online film distributors all rely on CDNs to provide their programming to thousands, and at times millions, of simultaneous viewers.

While a variety of providers have jumped into the CDN business, we believe that Akamai operates the most advanced CDN on the planet. It maintains upwards of 50,000 severs in academic computing centers, collocation facilities, and other data centers globally. Content of Akamai customers is provided to Internet viewers on a distributed basis, i.e. on thousands of servers arrayed across the global Internet at the same time. The distributed nature of the CDN's delivery of programming makes the overall Internet more efficient.

Want to watch a game on FOX Sports Web, or check-out the latest slick commercial for your favorite German car while in a hotel in Kuala Lampur? Akamai carries that programming on its servers in Southeast Asia, reducing the load on trans Pacific fiber links, and reducing the latency a viewer experiences.

As more and more programming is delivered via IP (Internet Protocol) networks, CDNs become critical parts of the worldwide Internet infrastructure, like optical fiber networks, data centers, and broadband enabled consumer electronics (CE). CDN's are part of the the entire burgeoning broadband ecosystem.

4 Primary Functions
Akamai will be leveraging its globally-distributed EdgePlatform of more than 48,000 servers distributed across 70 countries, delivering increased throughputs to almost 1,000 networks, to enable content providers to deliver more HD content than previously possible. The CDN has designed its HD Network as a streaming platform that delivers four (4) primary functions:
  • Adaptive Bitrate Streaming - Unique network and player streaming process that is designed to enable uninterrupted playback at HD bitrates that seamlessly adjusts to fluctuations in available bandwidth to provide the best quality possible for each user.
  • Instant Response - Immediate response to viewer interactions with the video player, including sub-second time-shifting (such as pause, rewind, seek and play commands) video startup times, and seamless stream switching.
  • HD Video Player - Open, standards-based video player for faster time to market.
  • HD Player Authentication - Authenticates player for all three environments ensuring only authorized players access content
"Seeing is believing," said Paul Sagan, President and CEO, Akamai. "With the Akamai HD Network, we are revolutionizing the way content traverses the Internet with a new approach to bringing an HDTV-like experience online."

"We're entering a different online world, where many content owners and publishers need to deliver HD-quality video to a much wider online audience, with a higher level of interactivity for consumers. Delivering 'web-quality' content to 'web-sized' audiences is one thing, but delivering HD-quality content to broadcast-scale audiences is another," concluded Sagan.

CDN Sees "Two Key Trends"
Akamai sees two key trends have made it necessary to now evolve how streaming media is delivered on the Internet.

First, online audiences have grown to broadcast scale.

Second, those viewers are demanding higher quality content. Studies show that when higher quality video content is offered, viewer engagement time increases. Supporting this level of traffic requires a global network that can manage millions of simultaneous users streaming very high bitrate content. The Akamai HD Network was designed for large-scale broadcasters and film distributors looking to increase audience engagement and to expand revenues by complementing traditional mediums, such as TV and DVD, with the Internet.

The Runtime Platforms Speak
"We are excited to see Akamai's commitment to HTTP adaptive streaming as the future of online video delivery, as we have worked closely over the past year to build a robust end-to-end media delivery platform with IIS Smooth Streaming and Silverlight," said Steve Sklepowich, director for Silverlight at Microsoft Corp, in Akamai's press release of today.

"Adobe works closely with Akamai to optimize Flash Media delivery on Akamai's network for the benefit of our mutual customers," said Jim Guerard, Vice-President and General Manager, Dynamic Media at Adobe. "We're pleased that customers who already leverage the Flash Platform as the number one video format online will now enjoy increased scalability and quality gains as a result of utilizing Akamai's vast edge infrastructure via HTTP video streaming."

Archived Press Conference
Akamai® held an online (of course) press conference today as part of its announcement of the new HD offering. An archived version of the press conference, and an online demo of the HD product is here.

Our Take: We'd like Akamai even if they weren't based in Massachusetts, even if they didn't publish such wicked cool quarterly reports about global Internet usage, and even if they didn't use fiber we put in the ground.

As more and more programming moves onto the Internet for distribution in IP formats, the large global CDN's, like Akamai, gain increasing importance in terms of overall market share of content delivered, and the basic efficiency of the Internet itself.

Especially as the United States moves to finally deploy an effective National Broadband Plan, with the resulting increase in the deployed capacities of bigger and bigger broadband pipes, greater adoption rates across demographic and geographic areas of the nation, and a continuing upsurge in mobile broadband usage, high capacity CDNs become invaluable assets of the new American broadband ecosystem.

Made In America: Aurora Networks Receives RUS Certification

Cable Operators Applying for RUS Funding Can Utilize Aurora Networks' Traditional HFC, Fiber Deep and RFoG Technologies for Extending networks

Aurora Networks via 09/29/09 Santa Clara, Calif. - Traditional HFC, Fiber Deep and RFoG solutions by Aurora Networks, Inc., have won "product acceptance" from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Utilities Service (RUS) and its Rural Development Telecommunications Program for use by cable operators that receive RUS grants and loans.

The solutions from Aurora Networks, the only optical transport solution provider focused on delivering a cost-effective, environmentally-conscious optimized platform for next-generation cable services, are now part of the agency's "List of Acceptable Materials" detailing products and technologies that can be utilized by companies seeking financing for the development or expansion of broadband infrastructure. The effort administered by RUS and its Rural Development Telecommunications Program provides loans that cover the cost of construction, expansion or acquisition of facilities that deliver broadband services to eligible rural communities.

Mid-sized cable operators, which are using Aurora Networks' solutions to evolve their networks for the delivery of next-generation services, are expected to be key participants in the RUS program. A large number of these operators conduct business in underserved rural areas that are a target of the program's funds.

"Our HFC, Fiber Deep and RFoG technologies have already generated lots of interest among mid-sized cable operators looking for cost-effective and environmentally-sound solutions to evolve their networks," said John Dahlquist, vice president of marketing, Aurora Networks. "With the acceptance of Aurora Networks' products into the RUS program, we can help these cable operators take the next big steps in their evolution by providing cost-effective, energy efficient and optimized platforms that deliver next-generation cable services."

Specifically, the Aurora Networks' technologies winning product acceptance for use within the RUS program are:

* Traditional HFC Solution — With its advanced line of optical transport products, Aurora Networks is the ideal partner for cable operators and their HFC deployments. Aurora Networks has the leading-edge technology to enable operators to cost-effectively meet their network and bandwidth needs.

* Aurora Networks' "Green" Fiber Deep Solution — By driving fiber deep into the network, cable companies can meet their bandwidth needs while reducing the number of actives and power supplies within their operations. Fiber Deep enables cable operators to go green by achieving significant reductions in cost and energy consumption, while at the same time delivering new services and high bandwidth capabilities to subscribers.

* RFoG — Aurora Networks' RFoG solutions enable cable operators to take advantage of FTTP architectures, incorporating unique components to overcome the deployment limitations associated with more traditional approaches.

These solutions from Aurora Networks allow cable operators to quickly and efficiently upgrade or extend their networks — a key consideration contained within their RUS loan applications.

"Those behind the RUS broadband loan effort want to expand the reach of this funding as much as possible, hoping the dollars put into the program go the extra mile for consumers who don't yet have access to advanced communications services," said Dahlquist.

"Our future-proof technologies provide cable operators with the ability to cost-effectively upgrade their networks while at the same time getting the service support they need to upgrade their infrastructure, all critical components for any operator applying for RUS dollars."

About Aurora Networks
Aurora Networks is evolving cable by focusing on innovative solutions that build future-proof networks to accommodate the cable subscriber services of today and tomorrow. Aurora Networks is the only pure-play optical transport solution provider that is focused solely on cable MSOs.

Using its proven understanding of cable networks, Aurora Networks delivers unique solutions - such as its Fiber Deep architecture and digital return technology - to address specific issues of the cable industry. A technology leader driven by innovation and industry-firsts, Aurora Networks enables leading MSOs across the globe to compete with a cost-effective, optimized launch pad for next-generation cable services.

Stimulating Broadband Tech: Lafayette Utilities System Selects MetaSwitch

LUS Fiber Deploys MetaSwitch Consumer VoIP Solution for First Municipal FTTH Project Serving an Entire Community in Louisiana

MarketWire via 09/29/09 HOUSTON, TX- MetaSwitch today announced that LUS Fiber will leverage MetaSwitch's Consumer Voice over IP (VoIP) solution to deliver to Lafayette, Louisiana, the state's first and only Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) network designed to serve an entire city.

Powered by MetaSwitch, LUS Fiber will be able to deliver voice communications services to more than 57,000 homes and businesses. This announcement underscores the ability of MetaSwitch to provide reliable, high-quality carrier IP communications solutions for advanced, next-generation networks.

MetaSwitch makes it possible for municipal service providers to deliver fiber optics in a passive optical network and provide carrier-class reliability, new services, and cost savings to its customers. By leveraging the industry-leading VoIP architecture from MetaSwitch, LUS Fiber has access to the open protocols and interfaces that will accommodate advanced services and meet the demands of its customers now and in future.

"Thanks to LUS Fiber and MetaSwitch, Lafayette is the first place in Louisiana to have municipal VoIP over FTTH available to the entire community," said Terry Huval, director of Lafayette Utilities System. The combination of ultra-fast broadband and cutting-edge telephony services provides the means to an improved quality of life and will create greater opportunities for economic development. In the future, MetaSwitch will allow us to increase flexibility and leverage our fiber assets to accelerate innovation and improve return on investment for our customers."

As a greenfield deployment, LUS Fiber will rely on MetaSwitch as its VoIP core to deliver voice services across the fiber network expected to span more than 83,500 glass miles. When the system is established in the coming months, LUS Fiber will feature interactive applications based on the MetaSphere application suite. MetaSphere will help LUS Fiber maximize network resources and anticipate new services and feature enhancements while delivering the high demand applications LUS Fiber customers require.

"We see no let-up in the trend for communities to take their economic development into their own hands, by deploying the latest broadband and telephony services," said Bob Harvey, vice president of sales at MetaSwitch. "The provision of 21st century telecommunications helps define successful communities just as good water, power and transportation have defined quality of life for decades. MetaSwitch is providing the backbone for many communities like Lafayette to build the network of the future that is not only faster and more economical but also simpler and smarter."

About MetaSwitch
MetaSwitch is a leading provider of carrier systems and software solutions that are powering the migration of communications networks to open, packet-based architectures. Hundreds of network operators worldwide depend on its Carrier Systems Division for reliable, scalable session control, media gateway and application/feature server solutions to enable compelling revenue-generating services.

Its Network Protocols Division, marketed under the Data Connection brand, develops high performance, portable software components that are integrated into the products of the world's leading communications equipment manufacturers.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Massachusetts Broadband Institute Issues Consulting RFP 09/28/09 The Massachusetts Broadband Institute (MBI) on September 22nd issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for General Consulting Services (No. 2010-MBI-01) to solicit responses from firms to prequalify to provide consulting services to support the goals, activities, and work products of the MBI.

According to the MBI's posted notice for the RFP, interested applicants must respond by October 20 to be considered for an award of any contract(s) responsive to the RFP.

In order to fulfill its mission, the MBI will be undertaking activities to:

1. Assess broadband penetration and access in Massachusetts.

2. Engage with stakeholders and broadband service providers.
3. Issue solicitations.
4. Develop broadband partnerships.
5. Apply for federal stimulus funds.
6. Make investments.
7. Monitor compliance and impacts of the MBI’s investments.

Companies may respond to one or more of the following categories defined in the RFP:

i. Broadband industry expertise.
ii. Information, research, and financial analysis
iii. Procurement development.
iv. Project management.
v. Community outreach and event planning.
vi. Geographic Information Systems.

View the solicitation and related documents here.

Key dates for the RFP cycle are:

September 22, 2009: RFP Issued

October 2, 2009: Deadline for all questions and clarification inquiries, preferably submitted via e-mail to

October 6, 2009: Deadline for all answers to Respondents questions.

October 20, 2009: Responses due by 3:00 p.m.

November 30, 2009: Deadline for Execution of Master Service Agreement

Friday, September 25, 2009

Rep. Matsui Introduces Bill to Expand Universal Service Fund

Office of Rep. Matsui via 09/24/09 Boston - Representative Doris O. Matsui (CA-05), a Member of the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet, of the full House Committee on Energy and Commerce yesterday introduced legislation to expand the Universal Service Fund’s (USF) Lifeline Assistance program for universal broadband adoption.

The bill, the Broadband Affordability Act of 2009 (full text via Library of Congress) directs the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to establish a broadband program that provides low-income Americans living in rural and urban areas with assistance in subscribing to affordable broadband internet service.

“To fully close the digital divide we must address the affordability of broadband services for lower-income households. Although these households may have some options for broadband access, they are underserved if none of these options are affordable,” said Congresswoman Matsui.

In California, an estimated 96 percent of California residences have access to broadband. However, barely more than half of Californians have adopted broadband at home. In most cases, adoption rates are associated with income as seen in recent data from the Public Policy Institute of California, which show that only 58 percent of Californians earning under $40,000 a year subscribed to dial-up or broadband at home. In contrast, 97 percent of those earning $80,000 or more a year subscribed to one of these services.

“It is clear that millions of Americans cannot afford broadband services,” Matsui expressed. “In today’s economic climate, more and more hardworking Americans simply cannot afford to pay up to $60 a month for broadband services. At a time when consumers need the internet more than ever to seek employment assistance, education, health care, and to manage their finances, the internet plays a vital role in our economy.”

Current California Lifeline enrollment is 2,079,385 households. 24,538 of those are Rep. Matsui’s Sacramento, California district. Under Matsui’s Broadband Affordability Act, each of these households would be eligible to participate in any newly-created broadband lifeline assistance program to receive discounted broadband services.

The Broadband Affordability Act is intended to model the assistance provided for basic telephone service under the FCC’s current Lifeline Assistance program, which is designed to ensure that quality telecommunications services are available to low-income customers at just, reasonable, and affordable rates. Rep. Matsui’s proposal would expand the USF Lifeline Assistance program to allow USF funds to be used to offer discounted internet service to lower-income consumers residing in urban and rural areas. Lifeline customers would simply receive a discount on their monthly broadband service bill.

Under the current program, there are stringent federal eligibility requirements that households have to meet to qualify for low income support. For instance, households would be eligible for Lifeline Assistance if he or she participate in one of the following programs: Federal Public House Assistance or Section 8; Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as Food Stamps; Low Income Energy Assistance Program; Medicaid; National School Lunch Program; Supplemental Security Income; and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. In addition, a household may be eligible if the household income is at or below 135% of the federal poverty guidelines.

“Moving forward, I believe it is critically important that we address affordability of internet access for all. My Broadband Affordability Act will truly help close the digital divide for millions of Americans. Now is the time to provide greater access to broadband services for all Americans, and this legislation directs broadband subscription discounts to the Americans who need it most," concluded Rep. Matsui.

Key Provisions of Rep. Doris Matsui’s “Broadband Affordability Act of 2009”:

* The bill directs the FCC to establish a broadband Lifeline Assistance program that provides low-income Americans living in rural and urban areas with assistance in subscribing to affordable broadband service.

* The proposal would also require the FCC, in calculating the amount of support, to routinely study the prevailing market price for service and the prevailing speed adopted by consumers of broadband service.

* The bill is technology neutral to promote competition from broadband service providers under the program.

* Directs the FCC to use the same eligibility criteria used under the Lifeline telephone service program for income eligible households to ensure internet service is available and affordable for eligible low-income households.

* To be eligible for the program, a household must meet federal low-income guidelines or qualify for one of a handful of social service programs, including food stamps, school lunch, or Medicaid.

Stimulating Broadband Tech: Zhone's MALC Platform Selected by CLEC AccessCom

AccessCom Cites Superior Platform Performance, Easy Service Expansion and Cost Efficiency in Selection Criteria -9/25/09 When telecom gear maker Zhone Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: ZHNE) isn't out marching under the banner of the strict enforcement of the Buy American language in the federal Recovery Act, it is actually making and selling equipment to broadband service providers.
The firm announced on September 23 that Louisiana-based competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC) AccessCom has selected Zhone's MALC integrated access platform for its network service expansion. AccessCom will initially roll out enhanced voice, ADSL2+, and high-speed EFM business services throughout its New Orleans and Bayou Region markets.

The MALC's any service/any slot design, paired with Zhone's feature-rich SLMS access operating system, not only give AccessCom easy entry into a broad range of new markets, but also provide AccessCom customers high-value services that are unavailable from any other carriers in the region.

"When we evaluated Zhone's offerings, particularly EFM, we felt that the cost and performance claims made by Zhone had to be too good to be true," said Jeff Giles, CEO for AccessCom. "After testing the platform we were convinced, and we've been consistently amazed by the flexibility, value and performance of the MALC."

"In addition to improving AccessCom's business service portfolio, the MALC platform will support their entry into residential markets through straightforward line card additions," said Steven Glapa, VP of product management and marketing for Zhone. "The MALC is the most power and space efficient multi-service platform on the market, making it ideal for co-location services."

AccessCom believes that the competitive advantage offered by Zhone's MALC enables it to exceed all known metrics for Wide Area Network (WAN) performance for large businesses, while also reducing the cost threshold for small businesses to obtain high bandwidth and state-of-the-art telephony solutions.

Beyond enhancing AccessCom's reach and product variety to businesses, Zhone's MALC enables true broadband connectivity to the residential market - as high as 20 Megabits over a single pair of copper wires, enough to accommodate 1-3 channels of HD video. This 6-20 Megabits transport, in conjunction with AccessCom's 675 Megabits GigE fiber optic ring will support AccessCom's longer-term plans to deploy IPTV services.

About AccessCom
AccessCom is a telecommunications service provider offering business class voice and data services. As a major facilities-based telephone company, housing two of the largest telecommunications switch and data centers in Louisiana, AccessCom provides businesses with traditional local and long distance telephone service as well as PRI, VoIP, and SIP trunk terminations. AccessCom has built a reputation for delivering its customers outstanding quality of service while maintaining some of the most competitive prices in the industry.

About Zhone Technologies - Access for a Converging World
Zhone Technologies, Inc. is a global leader in multi-service access solutions, serving more than 700 of the world's most innovative network operators. The company offers the industry's only fully-integrated portfolio of MSAP, FTTx, EFM and Wi-Fi access technologies, improving network agility and reducing the costs of delivering the full spectrum of access services, including residential and business broadband, VoIP, and High-Definition IPTV - over copper, fiber, and wireless.

Zhone is headquartered in California, and its MSAP products are all manufactured in the USA, in a facility that is emission, waste-water, and CFC free.

Broadband Stimulus Round I Applicants: The Public Broadcasting System 09/25/09 The single most detailed reporting on the entry into the broadband stimulus funding first round by affiliates of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) was published this week by, the "newspaper and website about public TV and radio in the United States."

While the broadband stim funding application for $22.8 million filed by the 22 stations comprising Florida Public Broadcasting, Inc. (online application summary) has been previously reported, the overall national strategy of PBS for community based broadband projects has not otherwise been described.

Written by Senior Editor Dru Sefton, the story itemizes all of the Round I funding applications submitted by PBS itself, for $8.7 Million (online application summary) and a plethora of its affiliates, several of which applied for funds individually.
Other station affiliates signed onto the PBS application as alliance partners.

PBS has, in turn, partnered with the Internet2 organization (University Corporation for Advanced Internet Development) for a $2.14 Million application, in the Sustainable Broadband Adoption Category, to connect the PBS network operations center (NOC) in Virgina to Internet2. This proposed network connection (online application summary) will allow the 62,000 anchor institutions connected to the Internet2 research and educational network (REN) to access digital libraries of PBS content, and engage in interactive programming.

Sefton reports that PBS plans to launch two new initiatives should it receive the requesting federal funding: PBS Broadband Communities, and Broadband Education Outreach.

Our Take:
We believe that the effort by PBS and its affiliates to enter into the community broadband arena is a positive development that holds the possibility of providing partial answers to some of the most difficult questions facing the U.S. in the entire broadband arena.

We can't think of a better group to frame models for sustainable broadband adoption, educational television in the broadband / IP enabled world, and non-commercial content for the burgeoning new world of high capacity research and educational networks (RENs) which connect to community anchor institutions across the nation..

We highly recommend Ms. Sefton's article in, as the best documentation published to date on what PBS is doing in the broadband realm. We do so irrespective of some of the wacky statements of a reputed "broadband advocate" talking about some imagined cultural divide between the community-based and for-profit entities applying for broadband stim funds. We don't get this "Woodstock vs. Altamont" thing being talked about at all.
Link to full story on

Access goals hitch ride at light speed

Pubcasters apply for stimulus grants to develop broadband

Fiber optics used in broadband transmissionPubcasters joined more than 2,000 first-round applicants racing to pitch their broadband dreams for funding from the telecom piece of the government’s stimulus outlay.

They’re volunteering for the Obama administration’s push to extend broadband access to unserved and underserved communities. Among bids from pubcasters:

PBS seeks $8.7 million for a Broadband Communities initiative to expand its Digital Learning Library for schools, encourage public use of its video portal and establish broadband education outreach.

Florida Public Broadcasting requests $22.8 million for a statewide high-speed HELPS......

Link to full story on

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Stimulating Broadband Tech: ARRIS Purchases Digeo, Inc. in Cash Transaction

Next Step in ARRIS IP Video Evolution

ARRIS Press Release via 09/23/09 -
Suwanee, GA - ARRIS Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ARRS) announced yesterday that it has agreed to purchase the assets of Digeo, Inc., including its intellectual property portfolio, for a cash purchase price of approximately $20 million.

The Digeo acquisition, along with the recently announced acquisition of EG Technology (EGT), provides ARRIS with substantial technical expertise in video networking and an innovative multimedia services delivery platform.

The engineering talent and intellectual property acquired as part of these transactions will be combined with ARRIS’ internal development efforts to accelerate the introduction of next-generation IP-based consumer video products and services. These new products will allow the Company’s customers to cost effectively integrate and distribute new forms of personalized multimedia content throughout the home.

ARRIS will continue to develop and market the current line of Digeo Digital Video Recorder (DVR) products, including Digeo’s Moxi Cable DVR and consumer HD DVR with its Emmy® award winning user interface. Moxi customers will continue to enjoy uninterrupted service and updates.

"Several years ago we laid out a strategy to establish ARRIS as a leader in video networking,” said Bob Stanzione, ARRIS Chairman and CEO. “Our strategy includes both organic development and strategic acquisitions. The Digeo acquisition, along with our acquisition of EGT last month, has enhanced our ability to aggressively pursue end to end video delivery initiatives.”

As a result of the Digeo transaction ARRIS will gain approximately 75 employees located in Kirkland, Washington. The addition of the Digeo engineering team will raise the Company’s research and development investment by approximately $3M per quarter. In addition to a highly talented work force and award-winning products and technology, ARRIS will acquire an extensive intellectual property portfolio in technologies including Digital Video Recording, Home Networking, E-Commerce, and Multimedia.

“As the global leader in broadband technology for the cable industry, ARRIS delivers the market position necessary to take the Moxi vision to the next level,” Said Greg Gudorf, Digeo CEO.

”ARRIS recognizes the value of adding Digeo’s highly-innovative technology to its portfolio, allowing the Company to integrate the Moxi line of products and services as core to its expansion into the digital home. Further, ARRIS recognizes the value Digeo’s highly-talented people bring to the equation. I am extremely pleased that the Digeo team will continue to drive the evolution of the Moxi platform.”
The transaction is expected to close early in the fourth quarter of 2009.

Conference Call and Webcast
An audio replay of yesterday's confer3ecne call announcing the acquisition is available via ARRIS Investor Relations.


ARRIS is a global communications technology company specializing in the design, engineering and supply of technology supporting triple- and quad-play broadband services for residential and business customers around the world. The company supplies broadband operators with the tools and platforms they need to deliver, reliable telephony, demand driven video, next-generation advertising and high-speed data services. ARRIS products expand and help grow network capacity with access and outside plant construction equipment, reliably deliver voice, video and data services and assure optimal service delivery for end customers.

Headquartered in Suwanee, Georgia, USA, ARRIS has R&D centers in Suwanee, Chicago, IL, Beaverton OR, Wallingford CT, State College, PA, Waltham, MA, Cork, Ireland and Shenzhen, China, and operates support and sales offices throughout the world.

About Digeo Digeo, Inc., a Paul Allen-backed company, provides premium home entertainment products including digital video recorders (DVR). The company's mission is to enable the best consumer experience in high-definition entertainment for the connected home. The company's flagship product - the Moxi® HD DVR with Emmy® award-winning menu and features - serves as the hub for whole-home distribution of digital entertainment.

The Moxi platform empowers consumers to discover, experience and share high definition media, including TV, movies, music, games, photographs and video. The Moxi HD DVR is available directly to consumers at or via Amazon at Moxi products are also available through cable providers, with nearly a half million units deployed to U.S. households to date. Digeo continues to innovate and provide Moxi solutions to the cable and IPTV industry, including the licensing of the Moxi platform and services to consumer electronics manufacturers and service providers.

Genachowski to Keynote at CTIA Show on 10/07

FCC Chairman Genachowski to Deliver Keynote Address at International CTIA Wireless I.T. & Entertainment 2009®
CTIA Press Release via 09/23/09 WASHINGTON, DCCTIA–The Wireless Association® announced yesterday that Federal Communications Chairman Julius Genachowski, will deliver a keynote address on the opening day of International CTIA WIRELESS I.T. & Entertainment 2009®.

The tradeshow and conference takes place October 7-9 at the San Diego Convention Center.

Chairman Genachowski was nominated by President Barack Obama and sworn into office in June of this year. He will share his insights on the wireless market with show attendees during his keynote address on Wednesday, October 7 at 9:30 a.m.

”We look forward to hearing Chairman Genachowski’s thoughts about the industry’s considerable investments and innovations during his keynote address,” said Steve Largent, president and CEO of CTIA–The Wireless Association.

“We are confident that when he sees first-hand the thousands of attendees and hundreds of exhibitors from around the world talking about the current and potential uses of wireless products and services – in such areas as healthcare, energy and transportation – he will be both impressed and inspired by the competitively-driven wireless industry.”

Genachowski’s confirmation as FCC Chairman returns him to the agency where, from 1994 until 1997, he served as Chief Counsel to FCC Chairman Reed Hundt, and, before that, as Special Counsel to then-FCC General Counsel (later Chairman) William Kennard.

Previously, he was a law clerk at the U.S. Supreme Court for Justice David Souter and Justice William J. Brennan, Jr. (ret.), and at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit for Chief Judge Abner Mikva. Genachowski also worked in Congress for then-U.S. Representative (now Senator) Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), and on the staff of the House select committee investigating the Iran-Contra Affair.

He also brings a range of experience from the private sector, including positions with LaunchBox Digital, Rock Creek Ventures and General Atlantic, where he worked to start, accelerate and invest in early- and mid-stage technology and other companies.

FCC to Update National Broadband Plan Progress at Meeting of 09/29 09/23/09 The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced yesterday that the majority of its next open public meeting "will feature presentations on the status of the Commission’s processes for development of a National Broadband Plan."

The Open Meeting on Tuesday, September 29, 2009, which is scheduled to commence at 1:00 pm in Room TW-C305, at 445 12th Street, S.W., Washington, D.C.

Audio/Video coverage of the meeting will be broadcast live with open captioning over the Internet from the FCC's Audio/Video Events web page here.

For a fee this meeting can be viewed live over George Mason University's Capitol Connection. The Capitol Connection also will carry the meeting live via the Internet, here.

Made In America: Telco Systems Receives USDA's RUS Acceptance

Company’s Total Access Solution Facilitates Projects Funded by the Broadband Stimulus Program
BUSINESS WIRE via 09/23/09 Telco Systems FOXBORO, Mass
. -Telco Systems announced today that its T5C-XG 10-Gigabit Ethernet aggregation switch and EdgeGate 483 FTTH gateway have been accepted for use in telecommunication projects funded by the United States Department of Agriculture's Rural Utilities Service (RUS).

The approvals enable service providers to single-source a managed access Active Ethernet fiber-based solution using Telco Systems’ family of carrier-class IP/Ethernet aggregation switch platforms and customer gateways for community broadband networks utilizing RUS loans and grants.

“This represents a significant step in easing the design of a total access solution for RUS-funded broadband networks,” stated Irit Gillath, vice president of VoIP product line management for Telco Systems. “Being able to quickly build a high-speed fiber access network will be especially important if being awarded funding from the current broadband stimulus program, which has a very tight schedule.”

The T5C 10GE switch offers the capacity of physically larger backbone switches at price points associated with enterprise switching, which makes it not only cost effective, but also the ideal solution in space-restricted wiring closets and racks. It is ideal for applications like video and voice services where reliability is critical, as it offers extended temperature hardening and a standards-based, sub 50msec switch recovery time for link or switch failure.

The EdgeGate 483 is an enhancement to the previously accepted EdgeGate 482. The EdgeGate 483 offers outdoor dual GigE and Fast Ethernet fiber uplinks to support ring and chain topologies of multiple units as well as eight Ethernet ports to support both data and video services for computers and TVs, and two analog voice ports which can connect to two separate telephone lines.

USDA Rural Development Telecommunications program offers many programs for financing rural America's telecommunications infrastructure, and is dedicated to increasing economic opportunity and improving the quality of life in rural communities.

he department has received $2.5 billion from the broadband stimulus package for broadband deployment in rural areas in the United States.
Further information on rural programs is available at a local USDA Rural Development office or by visiting USDA's Rural Development web site.

About Telco Systems Based in Foxboro, Massachusetts, Telco Systems is a leading provider of carrier-class transport and access solutions for IP and TDM networks for carrier, service provider and enterprise markets. Its suite of products includes solutions for Carrier Ethernet Access rings and demarcation, residential and enterprise VoIP, FTTx, SONET, TDM and T1 backhaul.

Founded in 1972, Telco Systems' focus is to maximize the power of their customers' networks by integrating transport, access and packet technologies onto industry-leading platforms that meet today and tomorrow's network demands.

Telco Systems is a wholly owned subsidiary of BATM Advanced Communications (LSE: BVC).

SkyTerra Communications, Inc. Announces Going-Private Transaction

Mobile Satellite Carrier Previously Applied for $37 Million in Broadband Stim Funds 09/23/09 SkyTerra Communications, Inc. (OTCBB: SKYT) this morning announced that it has entered into a definitive merger agreement for SkyTerra to be acquired by a new corporation formed and indirectly wholly-owned by two funds associated with Harbinger Capital Partners of New York.
SkyTerra stated in a press release of this morning that under the terms of the agreement, the new corporation will pay $5.00 in cash per share for each of SkyTerra's outstanding shares of common stock not held by Harbinger or its affiliates.

The purchase price represents a premium of approximately 56% over the average closing price of SkyTerra’s common stock for the thirty days ended September 22, 2009, the last day before the announcement of the proposed transaction.

The firm further states that Harbinger and its affiliates together hold approximately 48% of SkyTerra's outstanding voting common stock and approximately 49% of SkyTerra's voting and non-voting common stock combined. The transaction is the culmination of a thorough evaluation of SkyTerra's strategic alternatives by a special committee of SkyTerra's Board of Directors composed solely of independent directors.

Broadband Stimulus Round I Applicant
As we previously reported on August 24, SkyTerra, a provider of mobile satellite communications services (MSS), announced that it had applied for a then undisclosed amount of broadband stimulus funding for public safety applications.

At the time, the firm stated it had applied under, "NTIA’s Sustainable Adoption Program, part of the Broadband Technology Opportunities Stimulus Program, which seeks to provide funds that will increase broadband adoption in the United States. SkyTerra’s application will focus on increasing broadband adoption by the public safety community."

With the publishing, on September9, of the Round I application database by the two federal agencies administering the broadband stimulus program, it was disclosed that SkyTerra applied for $37 million in funding. The satellite carrier stated in its project description, "SkyTerra will develop and assist in deploying two different types of wireless handheld broadband equipment devices for public safety agencies and will conduct a multi-year awareness and training program. The devices will be the first to operate on both the 700 MHz public safety spectrum and on the L-band satellite spectrum used by many first responders."

The application database entry for the firm is here., with the carrier's separate executive summary of its application package here (download: .PDF).

Support resources for the Transaction
The special committee was assisted in its evaluation by its independent financial advisor, Morgan Stanley & Co., and counsel, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP. Harbinger was assisted by its financial advisor, UBS Investment Bank, and counsel, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP.
The merger agreement has been approved by the special committee as well as the full Board of Directors of SkyTerra.

The transaction is subject to approval by the holders of a majority of SkyTerra's outstanding voting common stock, and to regulatory approvals, including approval of the Federal Communications Commission, and other closing conditions.
It is anticipated that the transaction will be consummated in late 2009 or early 2010. Harbinger has agreed to vote its shares in favor of the merger. Since Harbinger has approximately 48% of the voting power of SkyTerra's voting common stock, approval of the merger by stockholders is virtually assured if Harbinger so votes in favor of the merger.

In connection with the proposed transaction, SkyTerra intends to file a proxy statement and other relevant materials with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"). Before making any voting decision with respect to the proposed transition, stockholders of SkyTerra are urged to read the definitive proxy statement when it becomes available and other relevant materials filed with the SEC because they contain and will contain important information about the proposed transaction.

The full press release, which includes information relative to the firm's filing of the proxy statement and further information for shareholders, is available here, or as a (download . PDF).

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Broadband Stimulus Round I Applicants: Siskiyou County, CA Applies for $23 Million

Marketwire via 09/22/09 - SACRAMENTO, CA Western Blue, Northern and Central California's experienced IT solution integrator, in a consortium with Siskiyou County, local firms, the Karuk Tribe, the College of the Siskiyous, national technology experts and the State of California announced a $23 million federal ARRA rural broadband stimulus bid.

In a public-private partnership, the Siskiyou County Broadband Consortium led by the Siskiyou County Economic Development Council submitted an application which includes requests for $12 million in "middle mile" funding, plus $10 million and $1 million for "last mile" and "a public computer center" respectively under the Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration's (NTIA) Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) and Department of Agriculture's Rural Utilities Service (RUS) Broadband Initiatives Program (BIP).

County supervisor Jim Cook applauded the Siskiyou County Economic Development Council's coordinated application for nearly $23 million dollars in federal stimulus funds to make lower cost broadband Internet connectivity a reality, enhancing service to schools, government organizations and communities throughout Siskiyou County, embarking on a path to stimulate economic opportunity and growth for this region.

he SCEDC has partnered with local businesses Root Automation and SnowCrest, the Karuk tribe and the College of the Siskiyou, along with Sacramento technology firm Western Blue, and microwave industry leader, Ericsson, Inc., plus the State of California to bring together a collaborative approach.

Jim Cook commented, "It has taken time to get traction on this issue and bring all the players together to build a strong county led team to address this issue. We are pleased to see this kind of collaboration and view it as a positive step towards a successful Siskiyou County future."

According to John Thomas Flynn, former chief information officer for the State of California and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and an advisor to the consortium, "California's world renowned natural beauty, while priceless, presents significant challenges to extending broadband connectivity. It is fitting that that this consortium is being led by Siskiyou County, with its beautiful yet rugged mountains, deserts, and other challenging terrain because it represents a rare opportunity where bridging the rural digital divide here, may be replicated anywhere."

Siskiyou County, geographically the 5th largest county in the state of California covering more than 6,347 square miles and larger than the state of Connecticut, is located in the northernmost section of California with a population of approximately 44,301 people, 21,947 households and 2,452 businesses. The county has 32 local k-12 schools and local education agencies which serve some 6,200 students, as well as a local community college.

The county also contains 96 institutions that support local, state and federal emergency, health and support services; as well as Tribes, and represents a strong anchor tenant base for the new network. At this time, there really is no middle mile service offering in the county for 100mbps or greater connections.

The Consortium will provide an open, middle mile broadband infrastructure that will allow internet service providers points of connectivity to broadband access. Focusing on the problem of enhancing the middle mile instead of the technology of fiber optics, the terrain of Siskiyou County will become an asset for hosting a microwave network instead of a hindrance to building a fiber network. Once complete, in a matter of months, not years as the microwave network infrastructure is already in place, this design and delivery method can be easily repeatable in other unserved or underserved regions of California as well as the nation.

The cornerstone of the Consortium's Middle Mile strategy is partnering with the State of California's Chief Information Officer, Teri Takai, who oversees the Public Safety Communications Division (PSCD). PSCD manages the State's 260 microwave towers, a number of which are located in Siskiyou County, and on which the state has agreed to lease tower space to allow deployment of microwave radios linking final mile providers in Siskiyou County and their customers to an existing carrier's terrestrial fiber backbone, a state-of-the-art high-capacity broadband fiber optic network with a major fiber route running directly through Siskiyou County.

The Siskiyou County Last Mile infrastructure project will deliver broadband services to end users in Siskiyou County in currently under/unserved areas in the central portion of the county. The limited availability that does exist in underserved areas currently costs on average more than double that charged in metropolitan areas. This new deployment means that 4,495 additional households will have access.

Finally, the community computing center project will provide access to broadband technology in 12 different locations throughout Siskiyou County communities by adding technology advisors and additional time availability in local libraries and free public Wi-Fi access in the city parks in the County Seat community of Yreka.

Siskiyou County's unemployment rate, consistently nearly double that of the state average, currently stands at 18.10%. This multistage broadband deployment has the potential to create over 1,000 jobs.

About Western Blue
Western Blue Corporation is one of the Western Region's most experienced IT solution integrators. Western Blue has helped countless public, private and nonprofit organizations implement technology solutions that speed and simplify their operations. Western Blue begins by determining each organization's unique needs and challenges, then designs and delivers integrated systems that align with its customer's business processes. Western Blue's technology expertise allows the company to integrate software, hardware and services into a hybrid solution that increases productivity while reducing expenses.

Stimulating Broadband Tech: PocketiNet Selects Aperto in Washington State

Network Uses Advanced 802.16d Technology to Bring Competitive High Bandwidth Broadband Services to Southeast Washington State

Aperto Blog via 09/22/09 MILPITAS, CA Aperto Networks, a WiMAX pioneer and technology leader, announced today that Washington State-based PocketiNet Communications has chosen PacketMAX fixed WiMAX products to build a region-wide WiMAX wireless broadband network in Southeast Washington, known as the Columbia Basin area.

The network went live in May of this year with launches in the Tri-Cities and Walla Walla markets after over one year of testing. Prior to PocketiNet’s launch of services, residents and business in the rural tri-State area had limited broadband choices, such as costly T1 lines.

PocketiNet plans to continue deploying the WiMax technology in other areas on its network in the upcoming year. PocketiNet selected the fixed version of the WiMAX standard because it was designed for high capacity and for supporting large coverage from a single cell with users running multiple applications, including real time services like voice, with a high quality of service (QoS).

Additionally, Aperto’s PacketMAX offered patent-pending WiMAX plus features that improve the wireless link and network QoS above the base standard.

“We’re pleased to offer this latest generation of WiMAX fixed wireless service to our region,” said PocketiNet president and founder Todd Brandenburg. “PocketiNet has always strived to provide innovative solutions and next-generation applications which equates to a better level of service to our customers and our testing showed that Aperto’s PacketMAX was more than up to the challenge.”

“PacketMAX is the result of our over 10 years and 20 patents of pioneering leadership in WiMAX,” said Brian Deutsch, CEO of Aperto Networks. “We are only able to attract quality broadband operators like PocketiNet because of our commitment to building the best and most versatile fixed WiMAX solution on the planet. And PocketiNet’s ability to close the business case with residential users proves the cost efficiency of PacketMAX.”

Aperto’s PacketMAX is available in both 802.16d and 802.16e variants, enabling customers to pick the version of solution that best meets their frequency and application needs.

PacketMAX also offers a powerful network management platform with advanced features for real-time monitoring and control of all network elements. PacketMAX consists of high performance, carrier-class base stations and a broad family of cost-effective subscriber units.

PacketMAX subscriber units are co-developed with and contract manufactured by Tranzeo Wireless Technologies (TSX:TZT).

About PocketiNet Communications
PocketiNet Communications, Inc is a regional Internet Service Provider servicing 14 communities throughout Eastern Washington and Northeast Oregon. The company delivers business class Internet and Wide Area Network solutions to business and enterprise customers as well as a host of value-added Internet services. PocketiNet has offices in Kennewick and Walla Walla, WA and was founded in 2000 with the mission of bringing advanced Internet solutions to rural communities.

About Aperto Networks
Aperto Networks helps service providers worldwide profitably deliver affordable wireless voice and broadband services by building the world’s most advanced fixed and mobile WiMAX Forum Certified base stations and subscriber units. Aperto fundamentally changes the economics of delivering voice and broadband services through IP-rich, point-to-point and point-to-multipoint networks, allowing carriers to offer a wider variety of services to more customers using less equipment. Its carrier-grade WiMAX technology offers industry-leading subscriber density, quality of service, ease of use, and reliability.

Aperto is a founding board member of the
WiMAX Forum®, as well as a founder and lead contributor to IEEE 802.16 and the ETSI-BRAN standards. Serving more than 400 customers in 90 countries, Aperto Networks is based in Milpitas, California.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Genachowski's Speech on Net Neutrality: Webcast Information 09/21/09 As has been widely reported this past weekend, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski will deliver a speech this morning at The Brookings Institution in Washington, DC. The event begins this morning, 09/21/09 at 10:00 am (ET).

Brookings has the speech, with discussion, via live webinar at: Brookings Events

The FCC this morning launched a new site: dedicated to the Commission's new net neutrality initiative.

The new site now has posted the full text of the Chairman's speech: here.

Multiple press reports state that the Chairman will be announcing the opening of a rulemaking by the Commission which seeks to set network neutrality rules for cable operators, telephone companies, and wireless providers.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Broadband Silo Busters: Southern Ohio Health Care Network

Fiber Network to Connect 120+ Health Care Facilities in Thirteen Southern Ohio Counties
Business Wire via 09/18/09 HICKORY, N.C.-- Corning Cable Systems LLC, part of Corning Incorporated’s (NYSE: GLW) Telecommunications segment, and Horizon Telcom announced the selection of Corning Cable Systems as the supplier of optical fiber cable for the Southern Ohio Health Care Network (SOHCN). The SOHCN project will connect 120+ health care facilities to a robust fiber optic network.

The connectivity will allow area providers to participate in telemedicine initiatives, progressive community health record projects, and the regional health information organization. Likewise, use of the network will enhance sustainability of rural medical practices, develop deeper collaboration among health care providers, and enhance emergency communications.

Nearly 60 to 75 percent of SOHCN’s 34-county area has no access to broadband, making the already difficult task of rural economic development even more challenging. Small business innovation, telemedicine, and distance learning opportunities remain out of reach for a region that includes the state’s 10 poorest counties and all of Appalachia Ohio’s at-risk and distressed counties.

This fiber optic technology from Corning Cable Systems and Horizon Telcom will serve communities in Adams, Athens, Fayette, Gallia, Highland, Jackson, Lawrence, Meigs, Pickaway, Pike, Ross, Scioto, and Vinton counties.
Through its authorized distribution channel, KGP Logistics, Corning Cable Systems will supply its best-in-class Enhanced ALTOS® gel-free optical fiber cables.

ALTOS gel-free cables are lightweight cables designed for duct and aerial installation, and provide industry-leading optical and mechanical performance over a wide temperature range.

In addition to an innovative portfolio of cable and hardware solutions, Corning Cable Systems was the chosen manufacturer based on many value-added components such as design support, deployment expertise, OSP cost-modeling tools, and formalized training classes. Horizon Telcom’s fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) deployments are already part of the Corning Connected Community™ Program, which is designed to support developers as they market homes with FTTH technology to home buyers.

“Corning is humbled by the opportunity to be part of a broadband expansion with the potential to improve health care services for so many people,” said Bernhard Deutsch, director of marketing and market development for Corning Cable Systems.

“We look forward to future collaborations with Horizon that connect communities of all kinds with state-of-the-art communication infrastructures.”
We're excited to have this opportunity to deploy Corning's top-quality fiber optic cable as the backbone of our new network,” said Bill McKell, Horizon CEO.

“This fiber optic network will virtually 'future-proof' these communities, allowing the businesses and organizations as well as the health care providers in each community to access state-of-the-art broadband services.
"As a leading national distributor in the telecommunications market, KGP Logistics is proud to provide the necessary equipment and services to make this meaningful deployment possible," said Desi O'Grady, vice-president-strategic markets, KGP Logistics.

About Corning Incorporated
Corning Incorporated is the world leader in specialty glass and ceramics. Drawing on more than 150 years of materials science and process engineering knowledge, Corning creates and makes keystone components that enable high-technology systems for consumer electronics, mobile emissions control, telecommunications and life sciences.

Our products include glass substrates for LCD televisions, computer monitors and laptops; ceramic substrates and filters for mobile emission control systems; optical fiber, cable, hardware & equipment for telecommunications networks; optical biosensors for drug discovery; and other advanced optics and specialty glass solutions for a number of industries including semiconductor, aerospace, defense, astronomy and metrology.

About Horizon
With corporate offices in Chillicothe, Ohio, Horizon Telcom is a leading broadband provider of advanced data services in eight southern Ohio counties. Utilizing its nearly 475-mile network of fiber optic cable, Horizon delivers reliable phone, digital cable TV, high-speed Internet, home and business security and monitoring to its residential and business customers. Horizon’s entrepreneurial heritage and long-standing commitment to remarkable customer care ensures its devotion to connecting the people and businesses of southern Ohio to their worlds through the delivery of cutting-edge broadband technology and proven telecommunication systems.

The Southern Ohio Health Care Network is a consortium of health care providers serving a population of two million across 34 rural counties. It covers 17,000 square miles of southeast Ohio.

The SOHCN was formed in 2007 through the collaboration of Adena Health System in Chillicothe, O’Bleness Health System in Athens and Holzer Health Systems in Gallipolis, as an effort to bring greater health care access to southern Ohio’s Appalachian counties.

Broadband Stimulus Round I Applicants: American Cable Assoc. Says Members Seek $1.3 Billion

Dozens of Small, Independent Cable Operators Apply For $1.3 Billion To Fund Last-Mile and Middle-Mile Broadband Projects In Both Unserved And Underserved Areas

American Cable Association via 09/18/09 PITTSBURGH - Dozens of American Cable Association members have applied for more than a billion dollars in grants and loans under the $7.2 billion federal broadband stimulus programming run by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration and the Rural Utilities Service.

"With decades of experience serving rural America, ACA members have now proven in their applications why they are ideal candidates to receive broadband stimulus dollars to help advance the goal of providing every American with affordable access to the Internet over state-of-the-art facilities," ACA President and CEO Matthew M. Polka said.

"ACA urges NTIA and RUS to recognize that ACA members have been reliable providers of advanced communications services in rural areas and represent the best of hope of extending broadband into the most economically and technically challenging areas in the country. We encourage the agencies to approve all of our members' applications."

In all, more than 83 small, independent cable companies applied for broadband stimulus funding for an array of last-mile and middle-mile projects totaling more than $1.3 billion.

Among the ACA members to seek funding were: NPG Cable; Wave Broadband; Boycom Cablevision; and NewWave Communications.

"Our company's applications to fund several last-mile projects will bring critical broadband infrastructure to unserved areas for the first time, and we expect they will spur economic growth and job creation," said Steve Friedman, who is ACA chairman and chief operating officer of Wave Broadband in Kirkland, Wash.

Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Congress authorized the NTIA and the RUS to distribute $7.2 billion in broadband grants and loans by the end of next September. In the first funding round, NTIA and RUS received about 2,200 applications seeking $28 billion in combined funding for broadband facilities as well as broadband awareness, training, support and construction of local computer centers.

"Although many ACA members applied for grants and loans, the turnout would have been greater if the federal government had not attached funding restrictions that made it more difficult for small cable companies to apply," Polka said.

"For instance, ACA members that didn't seek funding noted that the federal government's insistence on holding the first lien would have violated terms and conditions contained in many existing bank loan agreements, making applying for the program impossible. The 10-year prohibition on the sale of federally funded projects was also cited as a deterrent to participation by ACA members. We hope these onerous restrictions will be lifted before applications for the second round are due."

About the American Cable Association
Based in Pittsburgh, the American Cable Association is a trade organization representing more than 900 smaller and medium-sized, independent cable companies who provide broadband services for more than 7 million cable subscribers primarily located in rural and smaller suburban markets across America.

Through active participation in the regulatory and legislative process in Washington, D.C., ACA's members work together to advance the interests of their customers and ensure the future competitiveness and viability of their business.
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