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Volume 12, Number 18, May 18, 2009 - Avail Media and TVN Entertainment Announce Merger

Industry Events

Free Webcast:
The Broadband Stimulus and Beyond (June 3)

 

OSHA Seminar (June 4-5)

 

Regional Meetings (July-Oct)

 

TelcoTV 2009 (Nov 10-12): Call for Topic/Session Proposals

 

The Marketplace

 

Femtocells and Wireless Substitution: 2009 Prospects

 

DTV Transition Q&A for Telcos

 

Log On, Link Up and Learn

 

 

 

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Log On, Link Up and Learn. Join NTCA’s Tech Community!
As you well know, the telecom industry is evolving at an increasingly fast pace. Rural telecom professionals need to maintain access lines and trouble-shoot existing issues, while also developing new, cutting-edge technologies. Learn new strategies to manage the chaos and keep up with industry trends. Join NTCA's Tech Community today and utilize one of your best assets – your peers. Visit http://tech.ntca.org to learn more.


Volume 12, Number 18, May 18, 2009

Avail Media and TVN Entertainment Announce Merger

Frontier to Buy Verizon's Lines in 14 States

Clearwire Selects Cisco as WiMAX Vendor

AT&T Tests Ruckus for In-Home Video Wiring

...And last but not least, our video of the week


Avail Media and TVN Entertainment Announce Merger

Video-on-demand (VoD) provider TVN Entertainment Corp. announced today that it is merging with IPTV content aggregator Avail Media. The new entity promises to provide an end-to-end, multi-platform video distribution service for cable and telephone companies.

Existing Avail backers Columbia Capital, Novak Biddle Venture Partners, Valhalla Partners, Pioneer Ventures plus the National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative (NRTC) are investing in the new entity "to create a scalable and extensible platform enabling delivery of next generation video distribution services," the companies said. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Avail CEO Ramu Potarazu, who was BroadStream's chief earlier and also was president of Intelsat, will head the new company that combines Avail and TVN.

MultiChannel News noted that it remains to be seen whether the new entity will focus on IPTV distribution considering Avail has not yet turned a profit and TVN currently is cash-flow positive.

Read TVN's release.


Frontier to Buy Verizon's Lines in 14 States

In an attempt to sharpen its focus on wireless and broadband businesses, Verizon Communications announced last week that it would divest its local wireline operations in 14 states and that those operations will be acquired by Frontier Communications.

Frontier will acquire approximately 4.8 million access lines, including all of Verizon's local wireline operating territories in Arizona, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin. In addition, the transaction will include a small number of Verizon's exchanges in California, including those bordering Arizona, Nevada and Oregon.

The transaction will create the largest pure rural communications services provider and the nation’s fifth largest incumbent local exchange carrier (ILEC) with more than 7 million access lines, 8.6 million voice and broadband connections and 16,000 employees in 27 states.

"This transaction is an attractive way to add value through a special distribution to our shareholders," Ivan Seidenberg, Verizon's chairman and chief executive officer, said in a statement announcing the spinoff.

"Longer term, this transaction is part of our multiyear effort to transform our growth profile and asset base to focus on wireless, FiOS fiber-optic services and other broadband development, and global IP," he continued.

Maggie Wilderotter, Frontier's chairman and chief executive officer, called the deal a "transformational transaction." She noted, " We are confident that we can dramatically accelerate the penetration of broadband in these new markets. We know that broadband is a catalyst for a healthy local economy and job growth."

The all stock transaction is valued at approximately $8.6 billion, which includes debt. Under the terms of the agreement, the acquired operations will be spun off in a new entity, which will be immediately merged into Frontier. Verizon shareholders will receive approximately $5.3 billion of Frontier common stock in the merger, giving them a stake of about 68% in the combined company.

The boards of directors of both companies have approved the transaction, which is expected to close in 12 months. Analysts, however, are noting that the deal will receive intense regulatory scrutiny.

Read Verizon's press release.
View Frontier's press release.


Clearwire Selects Cisco as WiMAX Vendor

Clearwire Corp. has selected Cisco as its key supplier to Clearwire’s nationwide WiMAX network. Cisco will provide IP infrastructure network devices for Clearwire's 4G network.

Clearwire currently provides mobile WiMAX services in Baltimore, Md., and in Portland, Ore., and plans to bring its CLEAR 4G service to more than 80 markets across the United States by the end of 2010.

"Clearwire's ecosystem of partners, coupled with our all-IP next-generation network, will deliver a true mobile broadband experience," said Ned Hooper, senior vice president, corporate development and consumer of Cisco. "In addition, incorporating WiMAX into our products will help enable people to move freely throughout the United States, while maintaining continuous connectivity to personalized applications and services."

Clearwire says that it has now "selected and is in the process of the testing and certification of a Cisco IP NGN architecture that includes Cisco 7600 Series Internet routers, Cisco ONS 15454 and Cisco ONS 15310 platforms, Cisco ASA Firewalls, and the Cisco Service and Application Module for IP (SAMI) Home Agent."

Cisco, meanwhile, is now in the process of developing WiMax devices for the "consumer, small office or home office (SOHO), and small- and medium-sized business (SMB) markets." The first of these is expected sometime later in 2009.

Analysts are noting that this deal signals Cisco’s increasing confidence in the emerging 4G technology, and could lead to additional WiMAX device commitments from Cisco and its competitors.

Read Cisco's release.
Unstrung breaks it down.
For more on Clearwire's 4G plans, see the May 12, 2008 issue.


AT&T Tests Ruckus for In-Home Video Wiring

According to widespread media reports, AT&T is planning to test Ruckus Wireless technology in its U-verse TV homes in an attempt to improve video quality and HD distribution.

Currently, AT&T utilizes coaxial cable to distribute video signals within the home. However, existing coax cable is often deteriorating or improperly installed, and installing new wiring is a time-consuming task. The Ruckus Wireless gear is designed to save time on installations by pushing signals through 802.11n wireless connections.

The new Ruckus MediaFlex 7000 is designed to handle HDTV and, says the company, can handle up to 50 Mbit/s throughput for streaming video throughout a typical 2,500 to 3,000 sq. ft. home. The device manual says it can support up to six MPEG-4 HDTV IPTV streams running at 10 Mbit/s each.

Read the Light Reading article.
Learn more about Ruckus Wireless.


And, last but not least, our video of the week: Stand by Me by Playing for Change.

Have you recently seen a funny, entertaining or informational video? "The New Edge" would love to hear from you. Please send your suggestions for the next "video of the week" to jward@ntca.org and your video might be featured in an upcoming issue.


Tech Forums


The Marketplace

Femtocells and Wireless Substitution: 2009 Prospects
2008 was hyped as the year of the femtocell, billed as the next big thing in fixed-mobile convergence (FMC). Industry analysts predicted widespread market roll out. It’s clear this goal was not achieved.Where do we stand now? Will the technology ever come to fruition? How should a traditional landline provider respond to this competitive threat? Read the ePaper to learn more.

DTV Transition Q&A for Telcos - Updated with Delay Info!
NTCA has prepared a question and answer document for telco customer service representatives to use to address customer calls about the digital television transition. The document features explanations for a broad range of typical questions. Also, this information piece may be used by telcos for posting on your Web site or in your upcoming newsletters. NTCA encourages you to use this downloadable document for your efforts to educate customers about the upcoming changes to DTV. If you have any questions, please contact Steve Fravel at 703-351-2012.

Log On, Link Up and Learn. Join NTCA’s Tech Community
As you well know, the telecom industry is evolving at an increasingly fast pace. Rural telecom professionals need to maintain access lines and trouble-shoot existing issues, while also developing new, cutting-edge technologies. Learn new strategies to manage the chaos and keep up with industry trends. Join NTCA's Tech Community today and utilize one of your best assets – your peers. Visit http://tech.ntca.org to learn more.


Industry Events

Free Webcast: The Broadband Stimulus and Beyond (June 3)
The Rural Broadband Stimulus is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for carriers of all sizes to build a broadband network for the future. Billions of dollars will be available through the the RUS and NTIA for carriers of under-served and un-served markets. How do we design propose, and implement a successful project for leveraging the stimulus funds? Attend a free webcsat, sponsored by Cascadeo Corp., June 3, at 2:00 p.m EDT to learn more. This webcast is open to all members. There is no cost to participate, and no pre-registration is required. Simply visit the Web site, to join the webcast! Learn more.

OSHA Seminar (June 4-5)
Join NTCA June 4-5 at the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel - Chicago O'Hare Airport located in Shiller Park, Ill. for this OSHA seminar. Topics will cover telecommunications-specific compliance, OSHA inspections and citations, record keeping requirements, emergency action, hazard communications, and more. Learn how to manage and maintain effective safety programs. Register.

Regional Meetings (July-Oct)
Register today to take advantage of an affordable two-day meeting, close to home. The 2009 Regional Meetings will offer resources and training on "Finding Opportunities in Tough Economic Times." Understand the outlook and trends of the economy to unlock business opportunities for your telco with noted economist Dr. Seifried. Key topics also will include product positioning tactics, application-layer services, important federal initiatives and cooperative business practices. Find more details on your region's meeting and registration here.

TelcoTV 2009 (Nov 10-12): Call for Topic/Session Proposals
TelcoTV's Call for Papers is now open! We invite you to become part of our growing ecosystem by submitting a proposal to speak at this year's conference, November 10-12, 2009, in Orlando, Fl. We are expecting an enthusiastic audience of telecom service providers, ranging from the smallest cooperative to Fortune 50 companies like Verizon and AT&T. They will all be looking to our speakers to provide them meaningful insight and analysis into the evolving world of entertainment convergence. Are you up to that challenge? If so, please submit your proposal. Submissions are due by June 22 at 11:59 p.m. EDT. For more information, visit the Web site.

 

 

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