Disney Takes the Wheel at Hulu
Also in today's roundup: AT&T's big network pledge, Arista's new 400G routers, SES demos 8K video and the US government moves more paper around.
AT&T will deploy a nationwide "true, high-speed Internet network" within the next three to five years, using a mix of fiber and 5G, CEO Randall Stephenson told an investment conference today. These comments marked an evolution of Stephenson's thoughts from January 2019, when he said during an earnings call that 5G would be a "true replacement opportunity" for fixed broadband services, wrote Light Reading's Mike Dano. (See AT&T Taking Broadband Nationwide in 3-5 Years via Fiber & 5G.)
The Walt Disney Co. and Comcast Corp. said Disney will immediately take operational control over Hulu and will pay at least $5.8 billion to NBCUniversal for its 33% share in the video-streaming service by January 2024 or beyond. This "put/call" agreement means either party -- Comcast or Disney -- can require NBCUniversal to make the sale to Disney for "fair market value," which will be assessed by independent experts. Disney has, however, guaranteed a sale price for Comcast that represents a "minimum total equity value of Hulu at that time of $27.5 billion," the company said in its press release. This deal gives operational control to Disney and also ensures that Hulu will continue to have access to NBCU content for a few years. (See Disney Takes Full Operational Control of Hulu .)
The US House of Representatives unanimously passed "Access Broadband," new legislation designed to increase access to broadband services, would establish the Office of Internet Connectivity and Growth within the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. This office would simplify access for small and midsize businesses and communities, potentially offering educational seminars and other resources. The legislation itself, written by Rep. Susan Brooks, R-Ind., and Rep. Paul Tonko, D-NY, is designed to help underserved areas get broadband and make it simpler for small businesses and local economic developers to get federal broadband resources -- such as those available from FCC and USDA.
Arista is unveiling second-generation 400G routers, and these are designed to meet the increased bandwidth needs of emerging technologies including 5G, edge, network functions virtualization and IoT, the company said. Instead of requiring service providers to deploy separate devices for networking, telemetry and security, operators can run everything on one router. (See Arista Ships Smarter 400G Routers.)
Disney & Comcast: Long-Term Partners
The House of Mouse and Comcast's sprawling conglomerate, including NBCUniversal, have a deal that crosses years and divisions.
SES kicked off its annual two-dayIndustry Days event in Luxembourg by demonstrating an 8K signal broadcast to a flat-screen TV with a built-in satellite receiver. The 8K content is broadcast via SES' ASTRA 28.2 degrees east orbital slot; Spin Digital encoded the high-quality 8K signals, SES provided the bandwidth to broadcast the signal and Samsung developed the 8K flat screen that directly received and decoded the signal. The TV soon will be available in Europe.
TI Sparkle has named Alessandro Pansa its new chairman. TI Sparkle, the international services arm of Telecom Italia, thinks Pansa's experience in the public sector will help the company address Italy's "golden power" legislation. This law allows the Italian government to exercise special powers in matters deemed to have a bearing on national security" and how it relates to issues such as 5G. And, one would imagine, fiber. (See Eurobites: Vodafone UK Names the 5G Day.)
Streaming in High-Def From Far Away
Samsung, Spin Digital and SES partnered to deliver 8K content via satellite.
— Alison Diana, Editor, Broadband World News. Follow us on Twitter or @alisoncdiana.