Verizon, Comcast double team AT&T in Bay Area battle

The country’s largest mobile operator and largest cable provider bringing their “quadruple play” service to San Francisco and the Bay Area, jointly marketing Comcast residential TV and broadband and Verizon mobile service. In the process, they’re poking a needle in the eye of mutual enemy AT&T.

Nation’s first Super Wi-Fi network arrives

New Hanover County in North Carolina became the first county in the United States to deploy a Super Wi-Fi network, but the real question is will it also be the last? The technology is not as healthy as the pomp and circumstance surrounding the launch indicates.

Congress, please don’t kill white spaces

The spectrum bill that passed the House last night will make any technologist weep. I know the tech community is upset over the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), but this bill represents a somewhat geekier threat–killing more unlicensed spectrum.

Vid-Biz: Kutcher, Streaming Costs, Limelight

Kutcher Bringing Punk’d-esque Show to Ustream; star’s Katalyst Media will live-stream people getting tricked and embarrassed. (TechCrunch)
What Does it Cost to Stream Video? In light of metered broadband discussions, Saul Hansell at the NYT breaks down the local network and bandwidth costs associated with delivering video. (Bits Blog) Elsewhere, Dan Rayburn has tracked down some of Level 3’s customers, including Netflix, FOX, Yahoo and others. (The Business of Online Video)
Limelight Expands into Mobile; beta of the CDN’s mobile video service was used for March Madness iPhone app and reportedly being used for Major League Baseball’s iPhone app. (Contentinople)
Qik Integrates Facebook Connect; new features include the ability to instantly upload live-streamed videos to the social network. (Qik Blog)
ZillionTV Chooses Verimatrix for Content Security; VOD startup deploys Verimatrix’s encryption and authentication platform. (Multichannel News) Zillion also chose Inlet for encoding. (release)
A Digital TV Feature You Can’t Get; under ATSC guidelines, digital TV sets have the ability to offer dual streams of audio for broadcasts, but no manufacturer has included the decoding equipment to enable it. (Gadgetwise)
BBC iPlayer to Turn on HD; streams and downloads of some programs like Doctor Who and Dragon’s Den to stream in high-definition. (BBC)

FCC Giving 80 Markets Extra DTV Love

With the big switch from analog to all-digital TV just six months away, the FCC has identified 80 TV markets that will get a little extra attention and outreach from the commission prior to the transition. During a press conference today, FCC chairman Kevin Martin said all markets in which more than 100,000 households or at least 15 percent of households rely solely on over-the-air transmission will get a visit from the FCC.

Markets on the list include San Francisco, Denver and New York City (see the full list here (PDF)). During the cross-country tour, FCC folk will hold town halls, workshops or roundtable discussions and press outreach to talk about the upcoming digital TV switch. Martin didn’t talk about the cost of the outreach program, but did note that it was possible thanks to a $12 million in education funding recently given by Congress.

On February 17, 2009, TV stations across the country will shut off their analog broadcasting and switch to digital. Televisions not equipped with a digital tuner won’t be able to receive signals (no TV!). In May, a Nielsen study showed that 9.4 million households or about 10 million people were completely unready for the switch. An early testbed for the digital switch will happen in Wilmington, N.C., on September 8.