BBWN Bites: Comcast to Invest $175M in Access Network Virtualization
Also today, FirstLight acquires cabling construction firm; WarnerMedia gives new OTT video service a name and revised timeframe; BT victorious and Luxembourg provider shines light on dark fiber.
Comcast will pay $175 million for a four-year enterprise license for Harmonic's cable access network virtualization solution, CableOS, Light Reading reported on July 9. LR Senior Editor Jeff Baumgartner cites an 8-K document that Harmonic filed that shows Comcast will shell out $50 million in licensing fees this year. The move, wrote Baumgartner, ties into the MSO's broader intent to virtualize Comcast's entire HFC access network. (See Comcast Commits Millions to Harmonic's 'CableOS' Platform.)
FirstLight, which uses its 15,000-plus miles of fiber network to deliver dark fiber, Internet, data center and other services to carriers and enterprises within the Northeast, today announced its acquisition of Todd Cable Construction. The move supports FirstLight's "significant investments" to expand its fiber footprint, said Kurt Van Wagenen, FirstLight president and CEO. Having construction talent inhouse versus contracting these skills allows the provider to more easily build out its network, he said. Terms were not disclosed.
WarnerMedia named its new direct-to-consumer, OTT service HBO Max and expects to debut the offering in spring 2020 with about 10,000 hours of content. That's a delay from the previous plan of Q4 2019. HBO Max -- a mashup of HBO and Cinemax premium services -- will include movies, TV shows and new content from WarnerMedia brands, plus outlets like New Line, DC Entertainment, CNN, TNT, TBS, truTV, Turner Classic Movies and The CW. Pricing (not shared by WarnerMedia) could be a tad higher than HBO Now's current monthly cost of $12.99, The Wall Street Journal reported.
TalkTalk was in the wrong when an ad claimed "You won't get a better Wi-Fi signal from any of the other big providers," according to the UK's Advertising Standards Authority ruling in favor of plaintiff BT. The testing TalkTalk used for its smart-home WiFi router was atypical and misleading since it only used one house rather than multiple, repeatable testing, according to ASA, which sought advice from Ofcom.
POST Luxembourg deployed ADVA's ALM fiber monitoring solution to oversee critical sections of its dark fiber network to enhance both operational efficiency and service availability, the vendor said on Tuesday. The European operator is receiving info that allows it to immediately find and respond to any faults, thereby reducing repairs, enhancing services and fostering sustainability by cutting truck rolls and repair attempts.
Testing Smart-Home Claims
Connected homes demand reliable, quality WiFi and that's a differentiator for competitors like BT and TalkTalk, a dispute leading to truth-in-advertising claims.
— Alison Diana, Editor, Broadband World News. Follow us on Twitter or @alisoncdiana.
Here's where you can find episode links for 'The Divide,' Light Reading's podcast series featuring conversations with broadband providers and policymakers working to close the digital divide.
As we have for the past two years, Light Reading will present our Cable Next-Gen Europe conference as a free digital symposium on June 21.
Charter has sparked RDOF work in all 24 states where it won bids. The cable op booked about $19 million in RDOF revenues in Q1, and expects to have about $9 million per month come in over the next ten years.
As we have for the past two years, Light Reading will stage the Cable Next-Gen Technologies & Strategies conference as a free digital event over two half-days in mid-March.
Launch of 2-Gig and 5-Gig FTTP tiers in 70-plus markets puts more pressure on cable ops to enhance their existing DOCSIS 3.1 network or accelerate their upgrade activity centered on the new DOCSIS 4.0 specs.