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The July 31, 2002 Issue Provided by System Dynamics Inc.
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Heard on the Net

News about People and Companies Influencing The Broadband Home

People News

Stephen Burke, currently President of Comcast Cable, has been announced as the head of AT&T Comcast subsequent to the merger, expected in 4Q2002. The six division managers reporting to Burke were also named. ( )

Michael Collette has been named CEO of Ucentric. He was formerly Senior VP of Marketing and Business Development at OpenTV. ( )

Matt Desch has been named CEO of Telcordia. He was previously president of Nortel's Global Service Providers division. ( )

Peter D. Martin has been named VP of Engineering at Bermai and Eric Cheong was appointed Sales VP. Martin was previously with Cirrus Logic and Cheong was at Marvell Semiconductor. ( )

Richard Prodan has been named VP and Chief Scientist at Broadcom Corp. He was previously with Terayon Communications. ( )

Charles Snell has been named VP, Manufacturing at Cedar Point Communications. Snell was previously with Cratos Networks. ( )

Mike Zafirovski has been named President and COO at Motorola, following the move of Ed Breen to Tyco as CEO. Zafirovski was previously president of Motorola’s Personal Communications Sector. ( )

Company News


IP Unity is acquiring silicon vendor EmpowerTel Networks. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. ( ) ( )

Liberate Technologies is acquiring Sigma Systems Group, which provides service management solutions to MSOs. Liberate will purchase all outstanding shares of Sigma Systems for approximately $62 million in cash. ( ) ( )

RedWire Broadband, an in-building broadband service provider, purchased the assets of IntelliSpace Southern California, Inc. ( )

Wificom, a French wireless broadband software company, and Micsom, a Finnish software provider for Wi-Fi access, announced plans to merge. The merged company, to be called Wificom Technologies, awaits competition authority approval. ( ) ( )


Alopa Networks, a provider of broadband subscriber solutions and OSS applications, has closed $8.5 million of a Series C financing tranche as part of a $12.5 million total investment. ( )

Aurora Networks, a developer of advanced optical transport systems for broadband cable networks has received $30 million in third round financing. ( )

Bermai Inc., a chipset technology developer for the 802.11 wireless platform, received an additional $5 million in Series A funding; this brings its total first round funding to just over $20 million. ( )

Continuum Photonics closed its series B financing round with just over $14 million. ( )

Integra Telecom raised $22 million from its shareholder and bank groups. ( )

Internet Photonics has closed $31 million in third round funding. ( )

NexTone Communications, a provider of VolP software for service providers, has raised $3.5 million. ( )

Pictos Technologies, a provider of digital imaging products, announced its launch, along with a $17 million round of funding. The company resulted from the merger of Zing Network and the digital imaging business of Conexant Systems. ( )

SpaceBridge Semiconductor, a broadband wireless semiconductor developer, received $21 million Cdn (US$13.9 million). ( )

Synad, a developer of wireless local-area network chip technology, raised $20.7 million in its second round of funding. ( )

--Other News

Ambient Corporation, a development stage company, and Consolidated Edison of New York, Inc., (Con Edison) jointly announced successful results concluding one phase of demonstrating Ambient's Power Line Communications architecture on Con Edison's overhead electric distribution system. Ambient's proprietary coupler and network components are deployed on Con Edison's Medium and Low Voltage lines, constructing an end-to-end network in a live environment. ( ) ( )

Bristol Virginia Utilities, a municipal utility in Virginia, is deploying a new all-optical network using Alcatel's Fiber-to-the-User (FTTU) technology. The system will deliver broadband to customers alongside traditional utility and electrical services and will enable four active phone lines, high speed Internet access and video services. ( ) ( )

Cogency Semiconductor has introduced its single-chip Ethernet to HomePlug bridge for powerline networking. The chip integrates the Ethernet MAC, bridging and HomePlug MAC/PHY functions (see article below). ( )

Comcast Corporation announced additional vendors for its primary line Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) deployment. Comcast has been a leading proponent of VoIP and the industry is watching its vendor selections and awaiting its early rollout results. ( )

Eagle Broadband has been selected to provide its set-tops to MOTEC (a member of the Belgian M-TEC group) for its video conferencing project for retirement communities. The project is funded by the European Union (EU) and focuses on retirement communities centered around clinics or hospitals. The program addresses both medical security and preventing social isolation of the elderly in retirement communities. ( ) ( )

EarthLink reported the addition of 72,000 net broadband subscribers during 2Q02. They have been aggressively focused on broadband and have been losing dial-up subscribers; broadband services revenues represent over 17 percent of EarthLink's total revenue. This contrasts with widespread criticism of AOL which has seemed much more focused on preserving its large dial-up base than on expansion into broadband. ( ) ( )

The Euro-DOCSIS Certification Board granted its first Euro-DOCSIS 1.1 certification to Toshiba's PCX2500 cable modem. ARRIS's Cadant C4 CMTS received Euro-DOCSIS 1.1 Qualification. ( ) ( ) ( )

Pacific Century Cyberworks (PCCW) is shutting down its four-year-old interactive TV venture. ( )

Phonex Broadband has introduced its NeverWire 14, HomePlug 1.0-compliant device. The product, consisting of a modem-sized box with a power plug and a RJ-45 Ethernet jack, lets users leverage existing power lines to create a home network via unused bandwidth in standard home electrical wiring. See our HomePlug article below . ( )

RealNetworks announced its Helix open source platform and community for creating digital media products and applications for any format, operating system or device. The RealNetworks Public Source License (RPSL) is being submitted to the Open Source Initiative for certification and initial source code for the Helix Community will be available within 90 days. Real's own new product, called the Universal Server, allows one server to stream Real's technology, Microsoft files, Apple Computer's QuickTime, and others. ( ) ( )

StarBand has launched high-speed satellite Internet service for consumer and small office customers in Puerto Rico; it is the first satellite-delivered Internet provider officially launching service on the island. Starband also launched in the three U.S. Virgin Islands.( )

XtremeSpectrum Inc. demonstrated its new Trinity chipset, a UWB wireless semiconductor solution targetted for applications in the consumer connectivity market, broadcasting six MPEG2 video streams to separate flat panel displays simultaneously across the room. ( )

--Industry Organizations

The Ethernet in the First Mile Alliance (EFMA) said the IEEE 802.3ah EFM Task Force has reached consensus on a complete set of baseline technical proposals that will provide the foundation of the Ethernet in the First Mile (EFM) standard. The IEEE 802.3ah EFM Task Force is chartered with developing the IEEE EFM standard and is part of the IEEE 802.3 Working Group, which is responsible for the development of all Ethernet standards. Three subscriber access network topologies and physical layers will be supported: point to point copper over the existing copper plant at speeds of at least 10 Mbps up to at least 750 m; point to point optical fiber over a single fiber at a speed of 1000 Mbps up to at least 10 km; and point to multipoint fiber at a speed of 1000 Mbps up to at least 10 km. ( )

The Positively Broadband Campaign is a coalition of companies and trade associations committed to fostering US demand for broadband services. Supporters include AT&T, Best Buy, CapNet, CompTIA, Corning, Dell Computer, Educause, Information Technology Association of America (ITAA), Kodak and Siemens. They have published a white paper and have now issued a call for government and industry in the US to make e-work via broadband a key priority. ( )


US: The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has released summary statistics of its latest data on the deployment of high-speed connections to the Internet in the United States. The information includes data as of December 31, 2001. Here are some highlights.

  • High-speed lines connecting homes and businesses to the Internet increased by 33% during the second half of 2001, from 9.6 million to 12.8 million lines.
  • Of the 12.8 million high-speed lines in service at the end of 2001, 11 million served residential and small business subscribers, a 41% increase from the 7.8 million residential and small business high-speed lines reported six months earlier.
  • About 7.4 million of the high-speed lines were advanced services lines that provide services at speeds exceeding 200 kilobits per second (kbps) in both directions, an increase of 25% during the second half of 2001.
  • At the end of 2001, the presence of high-speed service subscribers was reported in all fifty states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands, and in 79% of the nation’s zip codes.
  • ADSL lines in service increased by 47% during the second half of 2001, from nearly 2.7 million to over 3.9 million lines; cable modem connections increased by 36% during the final six months of 2001, from 5.2 million to 7.1 million lines.

Details are available at ( )