BBH Report Home Page
November 14, 2001 Provided by System Dynamics Inc.

Heard on the Net

News about People and Companies influencing The Broadband Home

People News

Patrick Bennett has been named senior VP of sales at Covad Communications. Bennett was previously at Tessco Technologies. ( )

Ed Breen has been named president and COO of Motorola, Inc. effective year-end. He has been EVP and president of the company's Network Sector since Motorola and General Instrument merged. ( )

Chris Brightman is starting work for Network Associates in the UK after leaving his previous job at Telcordia. ( )

Kenton Chow has been named EVP and CFO of Catena Networks. He was previously with Sun. ( )

Wil Cochran has been named president and CEO of Atreus Systems. Cochran had been co-founder of OnPREM Networks which was sold to Copper Mountain, where he served as GM of its MTU Division. ( )

Jim Farmery is leaving Terayon to join a UK government development agency for the Yorkshire and Humber Region in a business development role for digital industries.

Michael P. Foley was named President and CEO of Alopa Networks. He was previously President of Excite@Home-Canada. ( )

David Hunter, previously one of the founding directors of rival Thus, has been appointed to the new post of product development director at Fibernet; he will direct creation of new services for the company's wholesale DSL business. ( )

Kent Libbey has become VP of marketing for iVast Inc. Kent was previously at Excite@Home. ( )

Steve Marlowe was promoted to Director of Engineering for Pace Micro Technology Americas cable operations. ( )

Mark McKeown of Two Way TV Ltd is relocating from London to become vice president of Content for Two Way TV (US). ( )

George Merrick was appointed president and CEO of Com21. He was previously CEO of Advanced Rendering Technology Ltd. ( )

Thomas Moyes has been named CFO and senior VP at Liberty Livewire Networks. He was previously CFO of Veon, which was acquired by Philips Electronics. ( )

Bill O'Shea has been appointed president of Lucent Technologies Bell Labs; he will also continue as Lucent's EVP of strategy and marketing. Jeff Jaffe will report to O'Shea and become President of Bell Labs Research and Advanced Technologies; before joining Lucent, he held research and management positions with IBM. ( )

Pagoo opened a Strategic Technology Center and has hired Phil Hoster, Paul Jones, and Jean-Francois Catz to work with CTO and co-founder, Sylvain Dufour. Prior to joining Pagoo, Hoster and Jones were with Cisco and Catz was with 8x8. ( )

Cynthia Ringo, former CEO of CopperCom, has joined Blueprint Ventures as general partner. ( )

William Schleyer was named CEO of AT&T Broadband replacing Dan Somers. Schleyer is a former MediaOne Group/Continental Cable executive, as are David Fellows who was appointed CTO and Ron Cooper who becomes COO. ( )

Stephen Silva was promoted to executive VP and CTO of Charter Communications. He was previously senior VP of corporate development and technology. ( )

Catharine Trebnick has been hired as Senior VP of Marketing at CPLANE. She was previously the founder of Technology Marketing Strategies. ( )

Carl Vogel was named president and CEO of Charter Communications. He was previously senior VP of Liberty Media Corp. and CEO of Liberty Satellite and Technology. ( )

Ann Zeichner has joined Blueprint Ventures as venture partner. Ann was previously VP of sales and marketing at NorthPoint Communications. ( )

(Please email to report a change in your position.)

Company News


Aastra Technologies Ltd. is purchasing the Lucent Technologies Digital Video business. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. ( ) ( )

Aerie Networks is acquiring the Ricochet wireless broadband network assets and intellectual property for $8.25 million from bankrupt Metricom . Aerie plans to reactivate the 17 metropolitan markets initially deployed by Metricom. ( )

EarthLink has acquired Cidco Inc. for $5 million. The acquisition adds about 120,000 subscribers to EarthLink's base and enables its Internet service through home devices. ( )

Echostar is buying Hughes Electronics Corp from GM for $25.8 billion, creating the second-largest pay TV service in the US. They will have about 16.7 million subscribers, 17 percent of the U.S. pay-TV market and over 90 percent of satellite TV services for US homes. The combined company would use the EchoStar name and adopt the DIRECTV brand for its services and related products. The deal is subject to regulatory clearance. ( ) ( ) ( )

Juniper Networks is buying Pacific Broadband Communications for about $200 million in stock. The acquisition enables Juniper to reach out from its core backbone presence and allow it a bigger role in delivering broadband services over cable. ( ) ( )

Liberty Media Corp. announced that pending antitrust approval it will buy the assets of TeleColumbus, Germany's third largest MSO, from Deutsche Bank AG. Although terms were not disclosed because the agreement is nonbinding, reports from Merrill Lynch and Lehman Brothers value the deal at approximately $700 million, or $500 per subscriber, based on Liberty acquiring 1.4 million of TeleColumbus' 2.2 million subscribers. Deutsche Bank will receive a 12% stake in Liberty Kabel Deutschland GmbH, a subsidiary aggregating Liberty's German cable operations. ( ) ( )

MobileStar Network has struck a deal to sell most of its assets to VoiceStream Wireless, a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom, which agreed to invest as much as $2.5 million to enable MobileStar's high-speed wireless Internet access network to resume operations until the deal is completed. MobileStar has operated Wi-Fi networks in hotels, airports and coffee houses. It has had a high profile among wireless service providers through its contract with Starbucks, for which it equipped 700 outlets. ( ) ( ) ( )

NetRatings Inc. has agreed to purchase Jupiter Media Metrix in a transaction valued at $71.2 million. ( ) ( )

Occam Networks, a broadband loop carrier access equipment supplier, has entered into a merger agreement with Accelerated Networks. The combined companies will be called Occam Networks. ( )

Scientific-Atlanta is purchasing BarcoNet NV, a provider of digital transmission solutions for broadband networks in Europe and Asia. The deal is valued at approximately USD154 million. ( ) ( )

Uniden America Corporation has acquired the assets and intellectual property of Broadband Gateways. Uniden has plans to start releasing a series of broadband products for cable and DSL, based on BBG's Evolo home gateway technology, in mid-2002. ( ) ( )

Wind River Systems bought Next Level Communications Telenetworks business unit for an undisclosed amount. Telenetworks employees will be hired by Wind River. ( ) ( )


2Wire announced the completion of its latest round of financing totaling $61 million, with co-lead investors Technology Crossover Ventures and Oak Investment Partners. ( ) ( ) ( )

Acme Packet raised $16 million in a second round of funding led by Menlo Ventures. ( ) ( )

IntelliSpace announced that it has secured $70 million in funding with the close of its Series B round. ( )

Ikanos Communications, Inc., a developer of next-generation broadband silicon solutions, has raised $5.1 million in its second round of Series C funding. ( )

Legend Silicon announced its second round of financing to extend its technology and product development in China. ( )

Neoteris Inc. received $5 million in funding. The networking security firm has appointed Jim Clark as its chairman. ( )

NxtWave Communications has secured $12.5 million in venture funding. ( )

PacketFront Sweden AB has received series A financing from London-based European Equity Partners (EEP). ( ) ( )

--Other News

AT&T Wireless is closing its fixed wireless business, dubbed "Project Angel", taking a US$1.3-billion write-down. The service reportedly had 47,000 users but was an AT&T corporate initiative and not strategic for the newly-separated AT&T Wireless operation. ( )

Cedar Point Communications, a new company with an impressive advisory board, is creating Cable Media Switching Systems, a category of headend equipment for cable operators to offer telephony services. Their products are based on the PacketCable architecture and are intended to address both economic and reliability problems faced by MSOs in rolling out telephony services rapidly. ( )

MSO Charter Communications will deploy Microsoft's interactive television software in a million homes. It said it would use the technology to create a premium service package including VOD and digital video clips. ( ) ( )

Excite@Home travails continued over the past month, including temporarily stopping taking new customers for its cable-modem service, then striking deals to resume new customer provisioning by affected cable affiliates pre-paying to fund new customer provisioning. AT&T's bid to buy out @Home for $307 million has faced opposition from both shareholders and bondholders in bankruptcy court. @Home is facing a December 4th date for the auction of its assets, putting pressure on AT&T to make a better offer. Meanwhile Excite@Home reached a deal to sell, for $10 million. putting the Excite portal in the control of iWon. ( ) ( ) ( )

The Home Phoneline Networking Alliance (HomePNA) released the market requirements document for the HomePNA 3.0 specification to its members. The alliance says the spec will be optimized for performance, enabling broadband entertainment, voice, multi-PC file and Internet sharing applications without disrupting phone service and while delivering QoS at a throughput rate of up to 100 Mbps. The HomePNA technical committee will review submitted proposals before announcing the final 3.0 specification which is scheduled to be finalized and ready for release in Q4 of 2002. ( )

InnoMedia announced its MTA 3300 Multimedia Terminal Adapter for broadband service providers. The standalone device can hook up to any access device to deliver IP voice across cable, ADSL, wireless local loop, FTTH or satellite broadband IP access networks. ( )

Intel announced availability of its new suite of wireless networking products based on the next-generation IEEE 802.11a standard, which transmits information five times as fast as the current 802.11b version. The base station will support both standards. ( )

The Nikkei English News Service reports that eight companies, led by Internet Initiative Japan Inc. (IIJ), Cisco Systems KK and Oracle Corp. Japan , announced that they have built a new broadband system for content distribution. The companies have begun field tests, and expect to launch services in April 2002. Other involved companies are EMC Japan KK, Itochu Techno-Science, Sun Microsystems KK, Sony and H-P Japan Ltd. ( )

Intertainer Inc. and Microsoft announced the availability of Intertainer's VOD subscription service in 35 markets. The subscription service is called FirstPass, and gives users unlimited access to content for $7.99 a month. Additional fees apply for pay-per-view offerings of full-length feature films. ( ) ( )

Into Networks and RealNetworks announced that new streaming broadband games such as Driver, Centipede and Monopoly are available for RealArcade, the Internet game service. The site is enabled by Into Networks' software technology and enables consumers to play CD-ROM-quality games and to rent popular software titles. ( ) ( ) ( )

Jungo Software Technologies and software developer Gatespace have jointly designed an open services residential gateway. ( ) ( )

Lumenati has announced a broadband "residential digital media center" set-top that can view any kind of Internet content, from MP3 to VOD, via broadband. ( )

Microsoft and Samsung signed a deal in Korea covering co-development of home/entertainment appliances. Microsoft's contribution will be Media Player and eHome technologies, while Samsung will produce the associated consumer electronics. ( ) ( )

Microsoft kicked off their multi-million dollar marketing campaign for Windows XP in NY, impacting all phases of the broadband home. Those who attended BBH Fall 2001 had already previewed some of the products and demos shown in NY, like those from Lumenati and SONICblue. The latter's ReplayTV 4000 DVR enables users to have multiple recording units that communicate and share files with each other in the home and over the Internet. ( ) ( ) ( )

NTL has launched a less expensive consumer version of its cable modem service costing 14.99 pounds ($21.70) a month for 128 Kbps speeds, about the same price as many ISPs charge for their unmetered 56 Kbps dialup services. NTL is also bundling the cable modem service on its "Triple Play" offering costing 29.99 pounds ($43.40) a month for 128 Kbps Internet access, a phone line and basic cable services. ( )

NTT is reported by Reuters to be investing $219 million in NTT Broadband Initiative, its high-speed Internet subsidiary, in order to prepare for a rollout of broadband Internet services. NTT reportedly created another subsidiary earlier this year to deliver content for high-speed broadband access. ( ) ( )

OpenTV has launched its iTV e-mail application with DIRECTV Latin America. DIRECTV Mail is initially expected to be available to more than 400,000 subscribers in Venezuela and Brazil, and to subscribers in other regions of Latin America between the fourth quarter of 2001 and the second quarter of 2002. The e-mail service is part of DIRECTV's Interactive service, which launched last year in Brazil and recently in Venezuela. ( ) ( )

Scientific-Atlanta has completed an agreement with Pacific Broadband Communications, giving S-A exclusive marketing and distribution rights in North America and non-exclusive rights worldwide to Pacific Broadband's Kodiak CMTS. ( ) ( )

SBC plans to slow the build-out of its high-speed network, "Project Pronto," by halting deployment in smaller, less-dense cities and suburban areas around larger markets. ( )

SONICblue announced an agreement to license its ReplayTV digital video recording software technology to Matsushita Kotobuki Electronics Industries, Ltd. (MKE). In other news, shortly after previewing its ReplayTV 4000 DVR at the XP launch, it was sued by Walt Disney, Viacom and GE, seeking to stop SONICblue from shipping the DVR. They claim that ReplayTV 4000's ability to let users automatically delete commercials and send digital copies of shows over the Internet will hurt their revenues, and letting viewers send stored programs to others infringes their copyrights. ( ) ( )

Sony and AOL Time Warner have agreed to collaborate on development of networking devices for broadband connected homes. They intend to develop gateway technologies linking different devices and sharing entertainment content and an Internet browser compatible with Sony's networked consumer electronic devices. The announcement contained few specifics, and analysts noted its proximity to the upcoming Microsoft Xbox debut. ( ) ( ) and have partnered to distribute a digital music subscription service. Named Rhapsody, the service is oriented toward broadband subscribers and offers online radio, on-demand music playback, contextual music information and user recommendations. ( ) ( )

Sprint is taking a US$1 billion charge to shut down its integrated voice-and-broadband ION service and is also closing off new broadband wireless subscribers. Sprint says it is not abandoning MMDS altogether and will continue providing fixed wireless service to existing customers. They indicate they are waiting for additional progress on second-generation MMDS technology. ( )

Telecom Italia's fixed telephony and Internet division, TI Wireline, announced it will invest GBP3.2bn over the next three years, reserving up to GBP1.6bn for broadband deployment. The company's Imagenio project has suffered delays, but says it has signed up 75,000 clients in three months for its 256 Kbps ADSL. ( )

Terayon has launched Imedia Semiconductor, an independent semiconductor business which will design, manufacture and sell advanced broadband silicon and software systems to enable cable-equipment manufacturers to build products for near symmetric voice, video and data broadband services. ( ) ( )

Videotron has launched their TV-based iLLICO Internet services including email, Web browsing, chat, and local content in Quebec. It is available first to subscribers already using Scientific-Atlanta Explorer digital set-tops. Over the last year Videotron has been taken over by media giant Quebecor so much of the interactive TV portal content has been adopted from existing Quebecor sites. Videotron charges an extra C$10 (E7) a month for the services. ( ) ( )

WideOpenWest launched a long distance voice service over broadband via a joint deal with Gemini Voice Solutions. The WideOpenTelephone service will deploy with WOW's rollout of broadband Internet and digital cable to Denver metro markets. It is WOW's first launch in a residential market and charges $35 a month for 1,000 minutes of intrastate and state-to-state calling. Customers will use the RBOC for local service. ( ) ( )

WINfirst, a Fiber-to-the-home provider, launched broadband service to customers in Sacramento. It will provide cable TV, telephone and 10 Mbps Internet access to each home as part of its bundled services. ( )

--Public Policy

The Telecommunications Industry Association 's president Matthew Flanigan has requested that President Bush appoint a "broadband czar". The czar is proposed as part of a nine-point national broadband policy plan that includes such things as technology-neutral tax credits to all service providers to extend broadband connectivity to residential customers, relief for operators of FCC unbundling requirements covering new broadband network elements; allocation of more spectrum for next generation wireless services; and support for local government financial incentives to broadband network builders. ( )

...This Month's Smiles:

Don't discount the value of sewers in the high tech world. CityNet Telecommunications says it has finished constructing its inaugural last-mile broadband access network, through the sewers of Albuquerque, N.M. CityNet's strategy is to exploit the lack of fiber connectivity between densely populated urban areas and local metro area fiber networks. And by the way, old postal tubes are good too -- Fastweb is using them in Rome. ( )

We've said before that the specifics of broadband applications may vary by region. Although head-to-head interactive games are interesting, we wonder how successful something called Fruity4some, the new TWO WAY TV game on NTL, would be in the US. Players can "pick their favourite fruity character" and place them on a grid to get four fruits in a row. We'll stay in touch with our friends at Two Way TV to find out if this is a big hit in the UK. ( )

And finally, if video conferencing still isn't as good as being there, you might want to try teleportation. Teleportec's new "teleporters" transmit holographic images of people over high-speed circuits. So if you don't want to travel to give that speech at a conference, Teleportec can project your life-size image onto the podium where you are supposed to speak, allowing you to see the audience remotely and communicate with them interactively. ( )