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Texas Lone Star Network Rolls Out 100G

We talked about Texas Lone Star Network (TLSN) about two years ago when they upgraded their network with Cisco ASR 9000 Series routers. Since then the company, a consortium of 40 Rural Telecommunications Carriers in Texas has expanded quickly, growing from 3000 lit miles of fiber to over 6225 miles and now providing services next door in New Mexico. Their Cisco-based IP and DWDM fiber network offers wavelength, Ethernet, and SONET services to its consortium company members, along with national carriers, wireless providers, regional cable TV operators, colleges and the federal government.

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With bandwidth forecasts continuing to expand they’ve recently made the leap to 100G, adding Cisco’s coherent nLightTM 100G technology to their existing ROADM-based network. TLSN installed Cisco 40G in the network two years ago.  For TLSN the ability to easily deploy 100G without the need to re-engineer the network or install new fiber is critical to their business. This will support growing customer demand for multiple 10G service on-demand. One service TLSN offers which they call “TLSN Texas Waves®” bundles multiple 10G or 2.5G optical wavelengths together. This solution has been well received as an ideal alternative to service providers faced with the high cost of a dark fiber IRU, maintenance and DWDM electronics. With the coherent optical upgrade they’re now well positioned to offer 40G and 100G wavelengths. Read More »

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IPAM is Essential to Network Management

By Tim Rooney, Director, Product Management, BT Diamond IP

The discipline of network management has long offered technical and business benefits to organizations with the centralization of the monitoring, control, and provisioning of distributed network elements such as routers and application or services databases. These benefits include holistic management of a network from a centralized point where appropriate resources can be leveraged for troubleshooting, resolution, and escalation. The centralized “top down” approach also lends itself well to supporting structured network change control procedures.

It’s a small leap to consider DNS and DHCP servers as network elements in need of network management within an IP network, as they provide critical enabling services to clients or subscribers. While not in-band or on the data path for user IP traffic like traditional network elements, DNS and DHCP servers provide foundational services required to make such in-band data paths possible and usable, including automated IP address assignment and simpler IP application navigation.

But one cannot manage Read More »

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Cisco’s TV Technology Footprint Spans Nearly 300 Million Homes

chowj-300x400By Joe Chow, VP & GM, Connected Devices Business Unit, Cisco

Headsup: Worldwide, Cisco’s TV technologies are present in nearly 300 million homes. Three. Hundred. Million. Homes! As my kids would say: Get. Out! That means that nearly a quarter of the homes on planet Earth are watching TV powered by Cisco – pretty amazing, right?

For us, it’s a very big deal, because it makes us the market share leader in set-top boxes. It took a long time to get here. We’re very happy, and grateful, to the 150 service providers and media companies who chose us for the television services they deliver.

One of the reasons for the introduction of the set-top box, dating back to the analog boxes of yore, is to secure television programming from theft. On the condition that you’re a subscriber, you get access to multichannel video. That, and channel expansion beyond channel three (which was as high as early television sets could go) gave Read More »

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The Top Six Things to Ask a Prospective DRM Provider

With over 25 years’ experience in content protection and over 250M VideoGuard secured devices, we at Cisco know a thing or two about security. We are harnessing this knowledge to further develop VideoGuard DRM, an open, comprehensive solution built to meet the Pay TV provider’s unique needs.

For that reason, we’ve compiled our Top Six List of Things To Ask a Prospective DRM Provider.

  1. Is it capable of multi-platform protection? Some solutions may protect video on IP-based screens, like tablets, laptops and smart phones. Others may protect video running on traditional digital set-tops, built for QAM/MPEG-2 transport. The ideal solution bridges legacy and new, offering integrated security and seamless cross-device experience.
  2. How widely is it deployed? If so, ask for details. To how many client devices and on Read More »

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Behind the Scenes of Cloud DVR

In the three months that passed between this year’s Cable Show, in Washington, D.C., and this week’s IBC conference, in Amsterdam, one thing is certain: Cloud DVR. It’s on.

Comcast started the buzz, with its X2 platform. Ever since, we’ve seen a surge of interest in cloud DVR from service providers around the globe.  Directionally, it’s gone from “that sounds interesting, let’s keep an eye on it,” to “we need to do this — let’s get a proof of concept going.”

That’s all good news for us, of course, and seems a good reason to share a few observations we’ve made along the way, as cloud DVR services go to market.

One: Linear parity matters, especially for advertising. If ever you want to create an instant imbroglio, tell the people in the ad sales department that the new service – cloud DVR, in this case – doesn’t provide linear parity. Put another way: Support for basic ad zones is a table stake, when it comes to cloud DVR.

So: Putting DVR services in Read More »

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