Commission Affirms Commitment to Combat Rural Call Completion Problems
Thu, 20 Nov 2014 10:46:11 -0500
The Federal Communications Commission’s experiment exploring how to expand robust broadband in rural America in the most cost-effective way has attracted almost 600 project bids from 181 applicants, representing nearly $885 million worth of projects.
In total, the 181 applicants proposed to serve over 76,000 census blocks in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. In the coming weeks, staff will identify the provisionally winning bidders, who then will be required to submit information demonstrating their financial and technical ability to participate in the $100 million experiment. Finalists that are able to meet financial, technical and other regulatory requirements could launch their experiments as early as spring 2015.
The FCC’s rural broadband experiments will inform the agency’s broader effort to expand rural broadband through its Connect America Fund. They will also inform the FCC’s efforts to ensure that consumers everywhere can benefit from the sweeping technological advances occurring now in the communications industry, while preserving consumer protection, competition, universal service and access to emergency services during these transitions.
Bidders included a diverse group of entities, including competitive providers, electric utilities, wireless internet service providers, and others.
The $100 million available for the experiments is divided into three groups as follows:
- $75 million to test competitive interest in building networks that are capable of delivering 100 Mbps downloads and 25 Mbps uploads (far in excess of the current Connect America Fund standard of 4/1) for the same or lower amounts of support than will be offered to incumbent carriers in Phase II of Connect America
- $15 million to test interest in delivering service at 10/1 speeds in high cost areas
- $10 million for 10/1 service in areas that are extremely costly to serve.
NewTek Names Scott Gentry VP of Worldwide Marketing Communications
Wed, 19 Nov 2014 10:39:36 -0500
Scott Gentry has joined newTek as vice president of worldwide marketing communications with responsibilities for corporate and product positioning, branding and identity, public relations, and ensuring continued customer and worldwide growth in market position.
“Our goal at NewTek is to revolutionize the way that people create video. With new products like TalkShow and TriCaster Mini we plan on expanding the momentum we already have with live production, streaming and replay,” said Dr. Andrew Cross, NewTek president and CTO. “Scott’s background and experience in the media and professional video industry make him ideally suited to lead NewTek’s growth strategy in the year ahead and into the future.”
Prior to joining NewTek, Gentry was founder and CEO of ProVideo Coalition and held a range of executive-level positions in the media industry including DV Magazine, Film & Video, CableWorld, CableFax, and AV Video. He was show director for DV Expo and a founder of StudioDaily.com. His relationship with NewTek started over 25 years ago with the Video Toaster at his automotive-focused production company. He has also worked for ABC Sports, “All My Children,” and the NFL New York Jets and New York Giants.
“Video production, distribution and consumption are increasing at historic rates and NewTek has long been at the center of enabling creative story tellers to do things they didn’t realize they were capable of,” said Gentry. “Whether it’s providing cost-effective alternatives to traditional broadcasters or delivering broadcast-quality capabilities to a new generation of video producers, it’s an exciting time to be joining NewTek and be a part of that great story.”
CEA Applauds White House, USTR, Chinese Leadership on Advancing ITA
Tue, 18 Nov 2014 10:34:03 -0500
The following statement is attributed to Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), on the Information Technology Agreement (ITA) expansion as Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders announce a breakthrough in Beijing.
“It took hard work, and compromise on all sides, but today's announcement from Beijing on a breakthrough on the ITA marks a major path forward. President Obama, Ambassadors Froman and Punke, and their team at USTR have worked tirelessly over the past week to find a way forward. We commend the Chinese hosts of APEC and leadership in Beijing for reaching a mutually acceptable path forward to continuing, and swiftly concluding, ITA discussions in Geneva.
"Today's breakthrough offers not only a strong deliverable for APEC leaders, but also a chance to advance the success of the World Trade Organization itself."
The ITA has not been updated since its creation 17 years ago. An expanded ITA could remove tariffs on an estimated additional $800 billion in information and communication technology trade globally. Updating the ITA to include modern tech products is vital to assuring the agreement’s many benefits extend to consumers worldwide.
The Innovation Movement unites those who believe innovation is critical to American global leadership and economic growth, supporting public policies that encourage and advance American business and shore up our economy for future generations. To learn more about the campaign and how to join us, visit declareinnovation.com.
NEP Retrieves Stolen Sweetwater Pacific Trailer; Tractor Still Missing
Mon, 17 Nov 2014 11:54:21 -0500
According to NEP Broadcasting, the mobile-production provider has recovered the trailer of a 48-ft. mobile unit that went missing in Miami last week. It was in town support DIRECTV’s production of The Rich Eisen Show, which was onsite for last night’s Thursday Night Football game between the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium.
According to Mike Werteen, co-president, US Mobile Units, NEP Broadcasting, the trailer of the multimillion-dollar Sweetwater Pacific is believed to be intact, and initial inspections show that all the gear onboard appears to be unaffected. The front tractor has not yet been found, and the people responsible are still at large. An open investigation is under way by the Miami-Dade Police Department.
The unit went missing from the parking lot of the Courtyard by Marriott Miami Lakes Tuesday night sometime between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. The trailer was found by police approximately 20 miles from the hotel.
Shortly after it was discovered that the truck was missing, NEP began planning for an alternative mobile unit. It was able to enlist the help of Mobile TV Group to help cover the event. MTVG’s 33HDX, the truck that typically covers Miami Heat home games, was available and followed through with the production of The Rich Eisen Show.
“When the truck was found, there was an obvious sense of relief,” says Werteen. “But what really blew me away was the reminder that there’s so many competitors in the sports-production community but nobody wants to see a show be impacted. When this kind of situation happens, there’s a network of calls and communications that go out, and everyone we reached out to wanted to know what they could do to help.”
“We feel terrible about the whole situation; it’s very upsetting to everyone in the mobile industry when something like this occurs,” says Philip Garvin, GM/founder, Mobile TV Group. “We will do anything for any of our colleagues when this happens. There are always going to be emergencies, so it’s extremely important that we help each other.”
He adds that the established lines of communication between the industry’s directors of operations play a key role in helping when a scenario like the Sweetwater Pacific theft occurs.
“The directors of operations of all the mobile companies talk all the time and help each other on an almost daily basis,” he explains. “Although the industry is extremely competitive, it is also extremely collaborative. We heard about this pretty early on, and it just so happened that we had a truck open that day, so we were able to help them out.”
SES Receives License to Operate Satellite in Brazillian Orbital Position
Fri, 14 Nov 2014 14:27:29 -0500
SES announced that ANATEL, the Brazilian National Telecommunications Agency, has approved the NSS-806 satellite for use at the 48 degree West orbital position recently awarded at auction to SES. The satellite will provide capacity for Brazil and Latin America.
“The use of NSS-806 in the Brazilian and Latin American markets demonstrates SES´s commitment to the region. Although we have up to 4 years to start providing capacity from that position, we are now ready to begin supplying our customers and partners with capacity, thereby expanding opportunities in the region,” said Jurandir Pitsch, director of SES DTH do Brasil.
NSS-806 provides C-band and Ku-band capacity and has 28 transponders available for use in Brazil. Together with SES-6, located at 40.5 degrees West, and SES-10, which is under construction and will in the future occupy the 67 degrees West position, NSS-806 will enable television broadcasters to launch new HD and Ultra-HD channels, for example, or allow telecom operators to improve mobile phone signals in remote areas.
“The demand for capacity in Latin America remains strong and SES is fully committed to meeting that demand. The use of NSS-806 in Brazil will allow our customers to improve their services in Brazil and the other countries covered by the satellite,” said Pitsch.
To expand the reception of signals, SES has initiated an antenna program for Brazilian cable operators, providing free antennas and know-how to those who are interested.
“We believe this new orbital position will be an excellent alternative for regional video distribution and signifies added value for cable operators, since most satellites serving this market already have a very high fill rate,” concluded Pitsch.