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.
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.
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.
On Jan. 23, Broadband World News hosts a Calix-sponsored webinar that explores several ways CSPs can enhance customer experience and find new business opportunities to avoid devolving into a speed race where nobody wins, not even the customer.
The lack of an accurate broadband map means states and counties are tackling this issue themselves – and sometimes finding big disparities in the data – before spending their residents' money on deploying infrastructure.
Next year many operators must decide whether to invest more in HFC or go all-in to fiber, pick their PON and choose their managed-WiFi path, writes analyst Dan Grossman, who also recommends providers bundle managed WiFi and analytics to best serve residential subscribers -- and operators' own businesses.
Public-private partnerships, investor interest, self-help in rural areas and incumbents' return set the scene for a busy year of broadband deployment in the US countryside in 2020, writes Analyst Dan Grossman.
It wasn't long ago that TV was ranked by subscribers as the most important service in the bundle provided by their communications service provider (CSP). Recent research indicates that for nearly three quarters of subscribers, broadband is now the most important service. Broadcast TV is the most important service to only 15% of North American consumers, replaced by OTT video streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney+. In addition, many different competitors are moving aggressively to stake a claim in consumers' homes.
In 2020, CSPs need to fight back by transforming their business models, which are becoming more reliant on a single source of revenue: fixed broadband services.
This webinar will focus on helping CSPs transform their business models by placing a firm focus on delivering a sensational subscriber experience and by offering compelling new services that generate value for subscribers. These actions will reinforce the CSP's strategic position in the home network and position themselves for growth in the next decade.
Key topics include:
Being the first to market with WiFi 6 technology, in response to consumer purchases of new devices over the holidays;
Having the insights needed to proactively resolve issues, often before your subscribers even know that there are issues;
Providing help desk agents with the visibility they need to resolve common subscriber issues more quickly;
Delivering a mobile app, in response to consumer demands for the ability to do some things themselves, rather than having to call technical support; and
Addressing consumer concerns around device security, privacy and control with enhanced security and parental controls.
In this insightful Light Reading radio show, Kurt Raaflaub, Head of Strategic Solutions Marketing, will outline the key service provider challenges, deployment considerations, next-gen Gigabit technologies, and service models to win market share in the rapidly growing MDU market.