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Radio Currents Online - Dec 22 - Dec 28, 2003
Radio technology news updated as it happens.
FCC Releases Data on High-Speed Services For Internet Access
Washington, D.C.- Dec 22, 2003 - The FCC has released summary
statistics of its latest data on the deployment of high-speed
connections to the Internet in the United States. Facilities-based
service providers file data with the FCC on the amount of high-speed
connections in service twice a year.
For reporting purposes, high-speed lines are defined as those that provide services at speeds exceeding 200kb/s in at least one direction, while advanced services lines are those that provide services at speeds exceeding 200kb/s in both directions.
High-speed lines connecting homes and businesses to the Internet increased by 18 percent during the first half of 2003, from 19.9 million to 23.5 million lines, compared to a 23 percent increase, from 16.2 million to 19.9 million lines, during the second half of 2002. For the full 12 month period ending June 30, 2003, high-speed lines increased by 45 percent.
Of the 23.5 million high-speed lines in service, 20.6 million served residential and small business subscribers, a 19 percent increase from the 17.4 million residential and small business high-speed lines reported six months earlier. For the full 12 month period ending June 30, 2003, high-speed lines for residential and small business subscribers increased by 48 percent.
Advanced Services Lines
Of the 23.5 million high-speed lines, 16.3 million provided advanced services, i.e., services at speeds exceeding 200kb/s in both directions. Advanced services lines increased 32 percent during the first half of 2003, from 12.4 million to 16.3 million lines. For the full 12 month period ending June 30, 2003, advanced services lines of all technology types increased by 56 percent.
About 14.3 million of the 16.3 million advanced services lines served residential and small business subscribers.
High-speed connections in service over asymmetric digital subscriber line (ADSL) technologies increased by 19 percent during the first half of 2003, from 6.5 million to 7.7 million lines, compared to a 27 percent increase, from over 5.1 million to 6.5 million lines, during the preceding six months. For the full 12 month period ending June 30, 2003, high-speed ADSL increased by 50 percent.
High-speed coaxial cable connections (cable modem service) increased by 20 percent during the first six months of 2003, from 11.4 million to 13.7 million lines, compared to a 24 percent increase, from 9.2 million to 11.4 million lines, during the second half of 2002. For the full 12 month period ending June 30, 2003, high-speed cable modem connections increased by 49 percent.
Among advanced services lines, ADSL lines increased by 16 percent during the first six months of 2003, compared to a 43 percent increase for cable modem service. During the preceding six-month period, the rate of growth ofADSL (18%) was slightly lower than cable modem service (22%). For the full 12 month period ending June 30, 2003, advanced services lines – service lines provided in excess of 200 kb/s in both directions - for ADSL increased by 37 percent and cable modem connections increased by 75 percent.
The summary statistics released also include state-by-state, population density, and household income information, ranked by zip codes. As additional information becomes available, it will be routinely posted on the Commission’s Internet site. The report can be downloaded from the FCC-State Link Internet site at www.fcc.gov/wcb/stats.
DRM Expects Big Year in 2004
Geneva - Dec 23, 2003 – In recent years, Digital Radio
Mondiale’s Commercial Committee has been actively engaged in
assembling coalitions of broadcasters, network operators, regulators,
manufacturers and retailers in key markets, in preparation for
DRM’s commercial launch. DRM national coalitions are firmly
established in several countries, with industry experts meeting on a
regular basis to coordinate the various angles of DRM’s
The DRM Consortium formed in 1998 when a group of broadcasters and manufacturers joined forces to create a universal, digital system (also called DRM) for the AM broadcasting bands below 30MHz. Since then, DRM has expanded into an international consortium of more than 70 broadcasters, manufacturers, network operators, research institutions, broadcasting unions and regulatory bodies. Since DRM’s debut in June, more than 50 broadcasters have started transmitting their daily, weekly or periodic DRM programs.
In France, national electronics retailers engage in DRM launch planning sessions with national and international broadcasters. In Germany, the national group led by Commercial Committee Vice Chairman Michael Pilath has launched its own German-language website, www.drm-national.de, which is linked to DRM’s existing English-language website at www.drm.org. DRM’s national group in Spain has expanded, and has made significant progress in introducing DRM into national political platforms.
In December 2003, Russia announced that it has chosen DRM for its digital test transmissions project on short-wave. The project, which extends through December 2005, was authorized by Russia’s State Commission on Radio Frequencies on Dec. 1. The test results will be presented to the commission in early 2006, with authorization for the implementation of Russia’s DRM network expected.
China is currently testing DRM for its future domestic and international use. In August, DRM and the World DAB Forum announced their cooperation. This collaboration paves the way for DRM- and DAB-capable receivers in the near future. Sony has committed to help expand the markets for digital radio in Europe, pledging its active support in the commercial sectors of DRM and the World DAB Forum.
In November 2003, DRM had a strong presence at the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union and All India Radio (ABU-AIR) Regional Symposium on Digital Radio in New Delhi. Symposium attendees also had the opportunity to hear a variety of DRM short-wave transmissions, sent live into the studios of AIR.
The commercial launch of a variety of Digital Radio Mondiale products will begin in 2004. The first product to be delivered in the New Year will be Mayah’s DRM2010 receiver, developed along with DRM member Coding Technologies and Chinese manufacturer Himalaya.
The DRM2010 is a second-generation DRM receiver. It is expected to hit the marketplace in early 2004. The receiver also receives analog signals for medium-wave/AM, long-wave, short-wave and FM. More information and order forms can be found at www.mayah.com/drm.
ISPs Protected from Identifying Music Downloaders
Washington - Dec 19, 2003 - A federal appeals court ruled that the
recording industry can't force Internet providers to identify music
downloaders. The move is viewed by some to be a major setback to the
industry's anti-piracy campaign. While the ruling does not legalize
distribution of copyrighted songs over the Internet, it makes it more
costly for the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) to
track the efforts and subsequently sue those who swap music
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia overturned a trial judge's decision to enforce copyright subpoenas, one of the most effective tools used by the recording industry. The subpoena power was established by a law passed before the explosive growth of swapping music online.
The appeals court said the 1998 copyright law doesn't cover popular file-sharing networks used by tens of millions of Americans to download songs. The law "betrays no awareness whatsoever that Internet users might be able directly to exchange files containing copyrighted works," the court wrote.
The judges sympathized with the recording industry, which has cited declining profits, noting that "stakes are large." But they said it was not the role of courts to rewrite the 1998 law, "no matter how damaging" the practice of swapping has become to the music industry or threatens to become to the motion picture and software industries.
NPR Distribution Implements New Scheduling Software
Washington - Dec 22, 2003 - On Oct. 30, 2003, NPR Distribution transitioned to a new scheduling system, Scheduall and Schedulink, to replace its previous homegrown scheduling system. While many of the changes will be internal to NPR distribution, the greater efficiency of the new system is designed to improve the quality of the services the groups provides to its customers. The Scheduall system was chosen because of its scheduling capabilities for live program streams in the NPR Content Depot.
Spacewise Takes New Name
Phoenix - Dec 24, 2003 - After nearly nine years as Spacewise
Broadcast Furniture, the company has decided to rename itself to better
identify its place in filling needs of furniture systems for markets
extending beyond broadcast radio. The company has expanded to include
offerings for television production control rooms, video editing
furniture and recording industry studios.
The company's new name -- Spacewise Studio Furniture -- allows Spacewise to market into all the above markets. The new name identifies and highlights specifically what it does.
The company's contact info remains the same:
Cody Joins FCC Chairman Powell's Staff as Media Advisor
Washington - Dec 19, 2003 - FCC Chairman Michael Powell has
appointed Jon Cody as his legal advisor to handle media and broadband
issues. Since coming to the FCC in 2001, Cody has been an
attorney-advisor in the Office of Strategic Planning, serving as a
special policy advisor to the chairman.
Previously, Cody was an associate at the law firm Mintz Levin Cohen Ferris Glovsky & Popeo in Washington, DC. He earned his J.D. from the Catholic University’s Columbus School of Law, and his B.A. from Alfred University.
Nullsoft Releases Winamp 5.0
San Francisco - Dec 19, 2003 - The popular audio and video file player Winamp has received an upgrade. Two versions are available, a Winamp Free and Winamp Pro. More info is available at the Winamp site at www.winamp.com.
IBOC Receivers to Debut at 2004 International CES
Columbia, MD - Dec 22, 2003 - Ibiquity Digital and its major
industry partners including Texas Instruments, Phillips, Kenwood, JVC
and Panasonic, will introduce the first commercially available IBOC
radio receivers during the 2004 International Consumer Electronics Show
(CES 2004). Ibiquity's branded IBOC technology, called HD Radio, will
also introduce of a number of new services designed to transform the
radio broadcasting industry for the digital era. These services include
interactive features supporting the on-demand delivery of audio and
data programming, automated store-and-recall capabilities and
NPR’s Tomorrow Radio project, a Supplemental Audio Programming
(SAP) service that will allow two programs to be broadcast on the same
During CES 2004, manufacturers such Alpine, Delphi, Fujitsu/Eclipse, Harman Kardon, JVC, Kenwood, Onkyo, Panasonic, Sanyo and Visteon will showcase a variety of IBOC receivers, some of which will be commercially available in 2004. Simultaneously, the first IBOC tuner, a Kenwood KTC-HR100, will hit store shelves with stations in more than 100 markets.
The formal event will take place at CES 2004, Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2004, from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Ibiquity Digital booth, #4619
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