Hard Questions for the Broadband Stimulus Program

The government is spending $7.2 billion to bring broadband to underserved and unserved Americans as part of the stimulus bill. However, the first grant allocations raise several questions about missing data, missing money and whether or not the government can spend the money before its deadline.

The Time Warner Cable-News Corp. Fistfight

As power shifts between content owners and cable providers, content owners are gaining ground since they have a second pipe into homes. But cable still has the audiences and cachet with advertisers. So if Time Warner Cable and News Corp. continue their fight, both will lose.

The Small Cable Co. Squeeze

Service providers appear ready to rebel against content companies, in particular against the cost involved with providing an end subscriber 500 channels of television as part of a pay-TV package. Among them is Gustavo Prilick, CEO of the small cable provider Broadstripe.

eBay Introduces Bargain-Hunting Deals App for the iPhone

The biggest shopping day of the year for Americans is this Friday, the dreaded Black Friday, and people are in a consuming mood. At the same time, economic pressures have folks watching what they spend. eBay today introduced a new app that capitalizes on both those impulses, called Deals.

Deals shares a lot of the functionality of the more full featured eBay mobile app, but it specifically targets eBay’s daily deals, and any zero bid items that have less than four hours remaining in their auction times, with no reserve price and free or fixed rate shipping, and a total price that includes shipping costs. In other words, with the deals the app presents, you pay exactly the price listed. Read More about eBay Introduces Bargain-Hunting Deals App for the iPhone

@comcastcares Dishes on His Top Twitter Apps

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Om and Frank Eliason of Comcast


Om and I met Wednesday night with Frank Eliason of Comcast (s cmcsa), better known as the person behind @comcastcares. Eliason is a genuinely cool guy who started out as the person solely responsible for handling Comcast complaints on Twitter, and who now has a staff of 10. Each day, he and his staff look over some 10,000 blog posts, handle countless tweets — and then seek to do something about any problems.
Since he’s such a Twitter power user, I asked him what his favorite applications for the micromessaging site were. Read More about @comcastcares Dishes on His Top Twitter Apps

NewTeeVee Live: Get Ready for the Boxee Box

Avner Ronen

Avner Ronen

Boxee announced at NewTeeVee Live today that it will integrate its open-source media center software into a new consumer electronics device that will allow a user to watch online video in the living room without the trouble of connecting his PC to a TV.
Boxee CEO Avner Ronen said that when the company first released the alpha version of its software earlier this year, it was approached by CE manufacturers, some who wanted to add the Boxee software to their existing devices and some who wanted to create a dedicated Boxee device.
Ronen said that its first partnership with a CE company will produce a dedicated Boxee box slated for release in 2010. By introducing a dedicated Boxee device, the company will find itself competing with other standalone over-the-top video devices from manufacturers like Roku and Vudu. Read More about NewTeeVee Live: Get Ready for the Boxee Box

P4P May Be Coming to a Network Near You

[qi:051]   Several Internet service providers in the U.S. and around the world (including a large Chinese ISP) are currently implementing P4P technologies on their networks to help alleviate congestion caused by peer-to-peer files, and they will soon be joined by other ISPs doing the same. Indeed, P4P efforts that were showcased in August 2008 are taking on more relevance as broadband demand escalates and the FCC tries to regulate the principles by which carriers can deal with congestion on their networks. Read More about P4P May Be Coming to a Network Near You

Sprint Flips the WiMAX Switch in Chicago

[qi:gigaom_icon_WiMax] Sprint (s s) continued to move ahead with its WiMAX rollout, flipping the switch in Chicago, three markets in Texas (Dallas/Fort Worth, San Antonio and Austin), and several in North Carolina. The move is in line with Sprint’s previously announced 4G rollout plans with Clearwire (s clwr) and Comcast (s cmcsa) and follows last week’s launch of Clearwire service in Philadelphia. Look for Sprint to continue following in the footsteps of Clearwire and Comcast in the next few months as it steps up its WiMAX deployment nationwide.

Why Your Broadband Meter Is Running Late

[qi:gigaom_icon_routers] As ISPs have introduced capped or metered broadband, the one element that’s been missing is the meter. Over at my old hometown newspaper, the Houston Chronicle, columnist Dwight Silverman points out that Comcast’s meter still isn’t ready, but is being tested in the homes of its employees. I chatted with Charlie Douglas, a Comcast (s cmcsa) spokesman, about this issue last week, and was told that the problem is that not only does a meter need to be part of the modem or router itself, but it has to work with the multiple routers, end computers and other devices that may feed off the network. And it needs to be easy to use. All of which requires a lot of testing. Read More about Why Your Broadband Meter Is Running Late