BBH Report Home Page
November 6, 2002 Provided by System Dynamics Inc.

Heard on the Net

News about People and Companies Influencing The Broadband Home


People News

Meredith Flynn-Ripley has been appointed president and CEO of Stargus Inc., a provider of cable network management solutions. She was previously the President and CEO of Into Networks and before that was with Road Runner. ( www.stargus.com )

Tim Fritzley has joined Microsoft TV as VP for sales and service. He was previously president and CEO of CEON Corp. ( www.microsoft.com/tv )

Rami Hadar has been appointed CEO of Native Networks, a provider of Metro Ethernet technology for optical access networks. Prior to joining Native Networks, Hadar was co-founder of Ensemble Communications. ( www.nativenetworks.com )

Ian Jefferson is back at Terayon after his previous position at Diva. ( www.terayon.com )

Irv Kalick has been promoted to president and CEO of MetaTV. Kalick was previously MetaTV's EVP of sales and business development. ( www.metatv.com )

Ferris Peery has joined Cedar Point as EVP, Worldwide Sales. Peery was previously at Motorola Broadband Communications. ( www.cedarpointcom.com )

Bailey Shewchuk has been named VP of Sales and Sales Support and Gregg Blodgett has been named CFO at MidStream Technologies. ( www.midstream.com )


Company News

--Acquisitions

DSL.net has acquired the network assets and subscriber lines of bankrupt Network Access Solutions for $17 million. ( www.dsl.net )

RF Micro Devices has acquired Resonext Communications, a privately held company developing chip sets for 802.11 technologies, for $133 million in stock. ( www.rfmd.com ) ( www.resonext.com )

Tut Systems has signed a definitive agreement with Tektronix, Inc. to acquire its VideoTele.com subsidiary. VideoTele.com provides digital video headends to deliver digital television over DSL and other broadband-based networks. The transaction value is estimated to be approximately $7 million. ( www.tutsystems.com ) ( www.tektronix.com ) (www.videotele.com )

--Funding

airBand Communications, Inc., a Dallas-based broadband services company, has has raised an additional $10 million round of financing led by original investors. ( www.airband.com )

BitBand Inc., a provider of Video and Audio on Demand solutions for broadband IP networks, closed its second round of investment, in the initial amount of $5.25 million. ( www.bitband.com )

DragonWave, a provider of broadband wireless networking products, has raised CAD 13.2 million in its third round of financing. ( www.dragonwaveinc.com )

Ecast Inc., which delivers and manages pay-per-play digital entertainment content to out-of-home venues, has obtained $14 million in equity funding. ( www.ecastinc.com )

Lantern Communications, a provider of optical technology for metropolitan area networks, received commitments for up to $10 million from existing investors for its third round of funding. ( www.lanterncom.com )

Netrake, a provider of Session Controllers for IP networks, secured $20 million in its third round of funding. ( www.netrake.com )

Nomadix, a provider of enabling software and hardware for high-speed Internet access for wireless networks, raised an additional $7 million in its Series D round bringing the total round to $16 million. ( www.nomadix.com )

Sand Video, Inc. announced the closing of $8 million of private equity financing. Sand Video is a fabless semiconductor manufacturer building real-time video compression technology based on the emerging H.264/MPEG-4 part 10 video compression standard. ( www.sandvideo.com )

--Other News

America Online launched its latest software package, AOL 8.0, and later in October Microsoft launched its new MSN 8. AOL is finally going after broadband customers with some new features exclusively for high-speed subscribers. ( www.aol.com ) ( www.msn.com )

AT&T asked the FCC for a declaratory ruling that its phone-to-phone IP telephony services were exempt from access charges assessed on traditional circuit-switched long distance calls. ( www.att.com ) ( www.fcc.gov )

Cablelabs has announced that its CableNET showcase at BroadbandPlus (The New Western Show) will include about 60 broadband demonstrations in this year’s exhibit. The participating companies are listed at http://www.cablelabs.org/news/pr/2002/02_pr_cablenet02_pr1_101402.html . ( www.cablelabs.org )

Dolby is addressing the growing trend toward using PCs for personal entertainment through its "Dolby in PC" initiative. ( www.dolby.com )

Everywhere! Broadband, a new UK ISP, has announced plans to launch a satellite-based high-speed service in partnership with Eutelsat. They are preparing to roll out the service throughout the UK. The price is slated to be £19.95 per month, including VAT. ( www.everywherebroadband.com )

Ikanos Communications introduced its SmartLeap 8800 A/VDSL chipset integrating VDSL-DMT, ADSL-DMT, and Ethernet in the First Mile (EFM) in a single programmable silicon solution. It allows equipment vendors to build a single line card supporting multiple broadband service options and also provides on-chip QoS. ( www.ikanos.com )

iPass Inc. announced that they will introduce usage-based pricing for Ethernet and Wi-Fi (802.11b) Internet connectivity. The new pricing plan takes effect November 15, 2002 and will charge users by the minute for broadband connectivity instead of the current fixed fee for each twenty-four hour period of service. ( www.ipass.com )

Listen.com has launched Rhapsody 2.0 which allows CD-burning. Subscribers to the $9.95 per month, "All Access" subscription are able to burn tracks for an additional $.99 per track, on a pay-as-you-go basis. Only selected tracks which have a red "burn icon" are available for burning. In other news Verizon Online was the latest service provider to sign a deal with Listen.com to bring their Rhapsody music application to Verizon's DSL users. ( www.listen.com ) ( www.verizon.com )

Main.net Communications Ltd., a provider of power line communications (PLC) broadband access network solutions, announced that ABB has joined Power PLUS Communications (PPC) as shareholder and strategic partner. PPC, a joint venture between Main.net and MVV Energie AG, the leading German multi-utility company, markets Main.net's PLUS system in Germany and Austria. ABB's subsidiary, ABB New Venture GmbH, has taken over 14 percent of PPC's shares with cash and additional assets investments. ( www.mainnet-plc.com ) ( www.abb.com )

Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd. (Panasonic) and Microsoft have co-developed a new technology to improve interoperability for digital media content between PCs and consumer electronics devices such as CD players, car stereos and living room DVD devices. The technology is called HighM.A.T., which stands for High-performance Media Access Technology. CDs created using the HighM.A.T. technology will be fully compatible with existing devices that play back recordable disc media. Panasonic, Microsoft and Fuji Photo Film Co. Ltd. (Fujifilm) will adopt this new technology for use in their future products. The HighM.A.T. specification is available for licensing. ( www.panasonic.co.jp/global/top.html ) ( www.microsoft.com ) ( www.HighMAT.com )

Microsoft has announced that 10 U.S. and three Canadian broadband service providers will be the first to support the Microsoft "Xbox Compatible" program for Xbox Live. The service launches in the US and Canada on Nov. 15. Broadband service providers include Bell Canada, BellSouth Corp., Charter Communications Inc., Comcast Corp., Cox Communications Inc., EarthLink Inc., MSN, Qwest Communications, Rogers Cable Inc., SBC Communications Inc., TELUS Corp., Time Warner Cable’s Road Runner service and Verizon Communications. ( www.microsoft.com )

Panasonic and CableLabs announced that Panasonic is the first major television manufacturer to sign a POD-Host Interface License Agreement (PHILA) with the cable industry. The agreement enables Panasonic to develop, manufacture and market digital televisions (DTV's) that will be able to directly receive High Definition (HDTV) and other digital programs via cable, including premium services, wherever they are available in the U.S. Such a DTV can be connected by cable subscribers directly to their digital cable service without the requirement for a set top box. ( www.panasonic.com ) ( www.cablelabs.com )

Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) announced plans to introduce its online PlayStation 2 European Broadband Network in spring 2003. In the UK the broadband gaming pack retail price will be £44.99. It will enable PS 2 owners with broadband internet access to access online multiplayer games. ( www.scee.com )

T-Mobile will provide high-speed wireless Internet access to passengers traveling on American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines. Over the next year, T-Mobile plans to add its Wi-Fi HotSpot service to roughly 100 of the airlines' most frequented clubs and lounges. T-Mobile offers a variety of service plans, from pay-as-you-go at as little as $2.99 to unlimited national plans for $49.99 a month. ( www.t-mobile.com )

Vitis Technologies announced software-based MPEG2 technology providing ad and animated logo insertion and bit rate shaping in the MPEG2 compressed domain, running on of-the-shelf DSPs. The technology is targeted as a method for providing advertising overlaid on TV video, to circumvent the ad skipping capabilities of PVRs. ( www.vitistech.com )

Wanadoo, the French ISP, has introduced new tiered broadband Internet plans for consumers. Its low end is eXtense 128k flat rate service at €30 per month. Other services include the eXtense 512k service, which costs €45.42 per month; the eXtense 1024k which costs €80 a month and a small business/ SOHO service called "eXtense Pro". ( www.wanadoo.com )

--Industry Organizations

The HomePlug Powerline Alliance announced plans for the next version of its technical specification, called HomePlug AV, designed to support distribution of data and multi-stream entertainment including High Definition television (HDTV) and Standard Definition television (SDTV) throughout the home. When finalized, HomePlug AV integrated circuits will connect a variety of PC and home entertainment devices including satellite and cable set top boxes, personal video recorders, and flat panel monitors. The new specification is expected to be completed in 18 to 24 months, with integrated circuits and consumer products available thereafter. In a recent conversation, HomePlug President Tom Reed indicated that field trials are included in that timeframe. ( www.homeplug.org )

The TV Linux Alliance announced the availability of specification version 0.8. The alliance is a consortium of digital media technology suppliers established to define a standards-based Linux environment for the digital set-top terminal market. This initial spec provides developers with basic functionality for tuner level and device definitions, and standardized application programming interface (API) functions for those devices. Future specification versions will define APIs for additional digital media functionality. The group's founders include ATI Technologies, Broadcom, Conexant, Motorola, STMicroelectronics, Sun Microsystems and TiVo, among others. ( www.tvlinuxalliance.com )

The ZigBee Alliance has been formed to create and develop a new, very low cost, very low power, two-way wireless communications standard. The promoting company members are Invensys, Motorola, Mitsubishi and Philips. Target devices include home and building automation, PC peripherals, industrial controls, and toys and games. ( www.zigbee.org )

--Reports

The US Department of Commerce issued a report in late September called "Understanding Broadband Demand: A Review of Critical Issues" which can be found at http://www.ta.doc.gov/reports/TechPolicy/Broadband_020921.htm