BBH Report Home Page
April 2, 2002 Provided by System Dynamics Inc.

Heard on the Net

News about People and Companies Influencing The Broadband Home


People News

Lennart Broers has been named sales director for Sigma Systems newly opened Benelux office. He was previously with Daleen Technologies. ( www.sigma-systems.com )

David Brown has become VP, Business Development at Tiaris, Inc. He was previously at DSB Consulting. ( www.tiaris.com )

Daniel Cohen has been appointed Director of Gallery IP Telephony's Europe, Middle East and Africa Business Development (EMEA). Previously he was with GTS. ( www.g-ipt.com )

Michael C. Crowley has been appointed VP and CIO at Avaya Inc. Crowley had been CIO for Campbell Soup Co. ( www.avaya.com )

James Hamilton was promoted to president of Efficient Networks Inc. Siemens acquired Efficient in April 2001. ( www.efficient.com )

Allen Preece has been appointed CFO of Sigma Systems. Allen was previously CFO for Norigen Communications. ( www.sigma-systems.com )

Michael Pritz has been named president and CEO at Jedai Broadband Networks Inc. He was previously at Clarent Corp. Jedai has also added James Walsh, formerly from Motorola, as VP of Business Development and Richard Graber, formerly of ViaGate, as VP of Engineering and Operations. ( www.jedai.com )

Michael J. Pohl was been named CEO of nCUBE Corp. He has been the company's president since 1999. nCUBE also promoted Kyle Christensen to VP of finance and named Clinton Tripodi, previously at Pacific Broadband Communications, as VP of workplace resources. ( www.ncube.com )

Stan Sands has been named VP of corporate sales NDS Group plc. He was previously with Micromuse. ( www.nds.com )

Donna Thomas has been named senior VP of sales and marketing at Incanta. She had been at Discovery Networks. Stuart Lipson was added as senior VP of business development. ( www.incanta.com )

(Please email people@bb-home.com to report a change in your position.)


Company News

--Acquisitions

180 Telecommunications of Aurora, Ontario is buying Viasource Communications in a transaction valued at about $60 million. The deal still needs to be approved by the bankruptcy court. ( www.viasource.net )

Advanced Fibre Communications acquired AccessLan Communications. AFC, which was an investor in AccessLan, will buy outstanding shares for approximately $43 million in cash and will assume approximately $4 million in liabilities. ( www.afc.com ) ( www.accesslan.com )

Digeo, the ITV company founded by Paul Allen, is acquiring Moxi Digital. Financial details were not disclosed. Digeo CEO Jim Billmaier will become CEO of the new company. Moxi CEO Rita Brogley will become EVP of business development and marketing. ( www.digeo.com ) ( www.moxi.com )

GoldPocket Interactive, an ITV company, has acquired Mixed Signals ITV Professional Services Group. ( www.goldpocket.com )

Netopia has acquired privately-held DoBox, Inc., a provider of broadband gateway parental control, content filtering, and family firewall software. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. ( www.netopia.com )

--Funding

Editors' Note: Now that the first quarter of 2002 has closed, VentureWire figures show that venture capital investment has decreased for the seventh consecutive quarter. Silicon Valley continued to be the region that attracted the most venture capital, with New York and Boston nearly tied for second place. ( www.venturewire.com )

Bermai, a developer of integrated semiconductor systems for indoor wireless LAN and outdoor fixed access applications, announced itself and $15 million in first round of funding. Mobius Venture Capital, Blueprint Ventures, and Advanced Technology Ventures (ATV) co-led the round. ( www.bermai.com )

City Signal Communications (CSC), a provider of metropolitan dark fiber networks in selected U.S. markets, closed a $17 million third-round equity investment. ( www.citysignal.com )

Equipe Communications raised $40 million in its third round of funding. ( www.equipecom.com )

Gatespace has received additional funding from its current owners, and is acquiring the e-services venture from Ericsson Business Innovation. During 2001, Gatespace extended its offering to add management and service provisioning products, as well as complete solutions for broadband operators and telematics system developers. ( www.gatespace.com ) ( www.ericsson.com )

Magis Networks, Inc. announced that SANYO Semiconductor Corporation is the latest strategic investor to join Magis' current round of funding. ( www.magisnetworks.com )

N2 Broadband has obtained $10 million in additional financing. ( www.n2broadband.com )

Pelago Networks has secured $32 million in new financing, bringing Pelago's total funding to just under $50 million. ( www.pelagonet.com )

Polaris Networks, which develops optical transport switching systems, has raised $52 million in its Series B round of financing. ( www.polarisnetworks.com )

Radiance Technologies has closed a $13.4 million Series B financing round. They also unveiled their first product and made public a strategic partnership with TiVo. ( www.radiance.com )

Thirdspace has raised $16 million in a second round of funding from Alcatel and Concurrent Computer Corporation. Concurrent and Thirdspace have also formed an alliance to jointly develop and market an integrated system to enable broadband telecommunications carriers to provide broadcast television, iTV and VOD services to subscribers on DSL transport networks. ( www.thirdspace.tv ) ( www.ccur.com )

Trinity Convergence Inc. announced a $3.1 million round of funding. ( www.trinityconvergence.com )

Verance, a provider of tools and broadcast verification services to track, manage, and enhance the use of media content, said it received $13 million in its third round of funding. ( www.verance.com )

Wave7 Optics Inc. has gotten $3 M from Mellon Ventures in their second round of financing, bringing their Series B total to $23 million. The company is developing a high-bandwidth, optical access system for last-mile connectivity. ( www.wave7optics.com )

Wayport, a provider of Wi-Fi wireless and wired high-speed Internet service to business travelers, has secured $15 million in venture funding. ( www.wayport.com )

--Other News

2Wire has introduced the 2Wire OfficePortal for the SOHO market. It has a slot for Wi-Fi (802.11b) networking, an optional ADSL modem and HPNA interface, a 4-port 10/100 Ethernet switch, a firewall, NAT and a browser based interface for managing the office network. ( www.2Wire.com )

@Security Broadband Corp. has announced that both Comcast Cable and Cox Communications will launch their SafeVillage security systems. The systems allow customers to remotely view their homes and interact with people there via video and audio using their cable modems. ( www.atsecurity.net )

ANT Limited, IBM, InterActual Technologies, OpenGlobe and Wind River have demonstrated DVD technology for playing enhanced movie content. The collaboration will enable studios and manufacturers to create advanced consumer platforms and content, providing new opportunities to bring enhanced DVD into the living room. ( www.antlimited.com ) ( www.chips.ibm.com ) ( www.interactual.com ) ( www.OpenGlobe.net )( www.windriver.com )

ARRIS and Comcast Cable announced that ARRIS will provide its Cadant C4 CMTS for Comcast's ongoing Voice over PacketCable trial in its Detroit, Michigan system and will evaluate broader deployment of it when the trial concludes in April. The trial, which began in 4Q01, provides primary-line residential voice services over IP and interfaces these markets through existing circuit switches to the PSTN through a voice gateway. ( www.arrisi.com ) ( www.comcast.com )

ARRIS also announced availability of Touchstone Telephony Port, an outdoor network interface unit with embedded multimedia terminal adapter (MTA), integrated DOCSIS 1.1 cable modem that supports up to four VoIP lines, a 10/100 BaseT Ethernet port, HomePNA 2.0, battery backup and remote power status monitoring. Arris was also selected by newcomer Altrio, a California broadband communications provider. to supply their complete end-to-end voice and high-speed data solution.( www.arrisi.com ) ( www.altrio.net )

AT&T Corp. announced trials of new streaming capabilities for its Internet-based content delivery network that will help media and entertainment companies deliver pay-per-view and subscription-based Web services to Internet users. ( www.att.com )

BT is cutting prices of its wholesale home user broadband package. Starting April 1, the price will be cut from 25 (US$35.35) plus VAT for self-installed broadband to 14.75 ($20.85) a month. The package is currently offered by about 200 ISPs in the UK. BT's retail ISP, BT openworld, announced it would cut its monthly charge on April 1 to 29.99 (US$42.50) from 39.99 (US$56.70). Competitor Freeserve will do the same. ( www.bt.com ) ( www.freeserve.com )

CableLabs has completed the first of a set of specifications to create a common approach to handling descriptive data, called metadata, associated with on-demand video events. Goals for this common approach are reduced operating and encoding costs and increased ease of integration with program guides and other existing infrastructure. CableLabs formed a royalty-free Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) pool signed by contributors to the spec. ( www.cablelabs.com/metadata )

Cablelabs recently certified 12 more DOCSIS 1.1 cable modems and qualified two cable modem termination systems (CMTS) in its third 1.1 wave; there are now 21 DOCSIS 1.1 certified cable modems and 4 qualified CMTSs. In addition, CableLabs has certified 203 DOCSIS 1.0 cable modems and 26 CMTSs. ( www.cablelabs.com )

Comcast is moving toward opening to multiple ISPs by agreeing with NetZero and Juno owner United Online to offer high-speed Internet services on Comcast cable systems in Nashville and Indianapolis. As Comcast and AT&T Broadband seek US federal approval to combine, they have committed to offer consumers a choice of high-speed ISPs via cable lines, according to recent FCC filings. ( www.comcast.com ) ( www.unitedonline.net )

e-BOX has been formed jointly by Pioneer, Sharp, National Semiconductor, Sigma Designs, CMC Magnetics, iVAST and Modern VideoFilm to collaborate on developing an MPEG-4 based technology solution for advanced broadband services. Comcast has agreed to define the architectural requirements for the MPEG-4 technology for VOD and ITV from e-BOX and will also test the initial production systems in the field early next year. ( www.e-box.jp )( www.pioneer.co.jp ) ( www.sharp-world.com ) ( www.national.com ) ( www.sigmadesigns.com ) ( cmc.taiwanet.com ) ( www.ivast.com ) ( www.mvfinc.com ) ( www.comcast.com )

Imedia Semiconductor Corp., a Terayon subsidiary, has launched its second-generation line of cable modem processors, based on DOCSIS 2.0. Their IM6030 is the first chip in this product line and is in Terayon's DOCSIS 1.1 certified TJ 715 cable modem. ( www.imedia.com ) ( www.terayon.com )

Intertainer launched Demand E.S.P., a services platform providing cable operators, broadband providers and content owners with modules for managing, programming, distributing and tracking on-demand content. Aliant Telecom of Canada is Intertainer's first Demand E.S.P. client. ( www.intertainer.com ) ( www.aliant.ca )

Orca Interactive Ltd. has signed a distribution agreement with Mitsui & Co., Ltd. to pre-purchase Orca's software licenses for the RiGHTv(TM) software enabling broadband interactive television and video on-demand over FTTH, CATV and xDSL lines. It will distribute the products in Japan. ( www.orcainteractive.com ) ( www.mitsui.co.jp/tkabz/english/index.htm )

Sonera of Finland and Telia of Sweden announced plans to merge. The headquarters for the combined company will be Stockholm. The deal creates the leading telecommunications group in the Nordic and Baltic regions and opens the door for further partners to join them. ( www.sonera.com ) ( www.telia.com )

Satellite broadband continues to be launched in places where operators need to fill voids.

  • BT launched 2 business-oriented packages: a single user version at 59.99 per month and a four-user version at 109.99 per month. The service is 512kbps downstream and 256kbps upstream. ( www.bt.co.uk )
  • In India, Bharti Broadband Networks Ltd, has launched satellite-based broadband Internet access service in conjunction with Gilat Satellite Networks. ( www.gilat.com )
  • StarBand, founded by Gilat, has also launched its Small Office service. It incorporates network-sharing software enabling up to five office users, virtual private network (VPN) capability, static IP addressses, business web pages and e-mail accounts. The monthly service prices are $129.99 and $169.99 for the three-seat and five-seat services respectively. ( www.starband.com )

Telefonica, Spain's biggest telco, has received government permission to switch from rolling out cable TV in Spain to creating a nationwide ADSL network, according to reports from Cahners. ( www.telefonica.com/home_eng.html )

Telefonica CTC Chile is running an interactive TV trial using a platform from Minerva Networks. Participants have access to live TV, video on demand (VOD) and Internet access. Information gathered in the trial will be used to refine plans for a full-scale deployment later this year. ( www.telefonicadechile.cl ) ( www.minervanetworks.com )

Telewest, Britain's second-largest cable TV operator, is set to be taken over by its banks and bondholders, reports The Observer. Its share price fell signficantly over the last 18 months. John Malone's Liberty Media, a 25 per cent owner of Telewest, is expected to play a major role in the restructuring. Telewest's larger rival, NTL, is also ailing and is talking to its lenders about completing a debt-for-equity swap by the end of 2002. ( www.telewest.co.uk ) ( www.ntl.com )

Telstra, Australia's largest phone and Internet company, launched three new TV-style broadband channels featuring entertainment, popular science and sports programming, exclusively to its broadband subscribers. The content developer is Beyond Online Ltd. ( www.telstra.com ) ( www.beyond.com.au )

TiVo Inc. is raising its monthly subscriber price on April 2nd from $9.95 to $12.95. ( www.tivo.com )

--Interactive TV entering the major leagues?

Back in December we wrote about the Bandies, a mini-Hollywood-style event during the Western Cable Show which recognizes excellence in interactive content. Bill Niemeyer reported in his newsletter that ITV is moving up to the major leagues. The Board of Governors of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences will be awarding an Emmy for interactive television as part of this year's awards. The final entry deadline is April 26. ( www.emmys.com/awards/ )

--Public Policy/Regulatory News/Legal

Australia: Australia's dominant telco Telstra is in line for fines of up to 1 million Australian dollars ($530,500) per day, after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) formally invoked a "competition notice" over the issue of access to digital subscriber line (DSL) broadband services. ( www.telstra.com )

Netherlands: A Dutch appeals court ruling in the case between Internet software company KaZaA and Dutch music rights organization Buma Stemra overturned a November decision in favor of the music industry. They ruled that KaZaA was not liable for any individuals' abuse of its software. The defense was built partly around a 1984 U.S. Supreme Court ruling which said manufacturers of video recorders are not liable if consumers use their products to abuse copyrights. ( www.kazaa.com )

US: The Federal Communications Commission re-organization went into effect on March 25th. ( www.fcc.gov/fcc_reform )

The US House passed the Tauzin Dingell bill but it faces lots of opposition in the Senate. Reactions ranged from "This policy change is sorely needed" (Tom Tauke, RBOC Verizon) and "long-overdue deregulatory measure" (Lauren J. Belvin, RBOC Qwest) to "vote was a victory for special interests over the public interest" (Mark Cooper, Consumer Federation of America) and "marks a sad day in the short history of competition in telecommunications service" (the Association of Communications Enterprises).

The FCC declared that cable modem service is interstate "information service" and said Internet delivered over cable isn't subject to common carrier regulation that requires unbundling. As an "information service", it is also not subject to local cable franchise fees. The Commission also issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to seek comment on what rules do and should apply to the service.