Cable360AM — News briefing for Tuesday, Oct. 23 »

Charter Communications has been affected by the wildfires raging in Malibu, CA, with company spokesman Craig Watson telling the Malibu Times "over 90%" of its local customers have been impacted by the damage to Charter’s major fiberoptic node in the area. Cox Communications in San Diego said last night the "vast majority" of its customers "are up and operational." More than half a million SoCal residents have been evacuated, reports CNN.

Charter also announced it’s adding full-length Cantonese, Hindi and Spanish-language movies, TV episodes and clips (provided by Sivoo, which will refresh the broadband titles monthly) on Charter.net. And its Birmingham, AL, division will add Fox Business Network and 10 additional digital and HD channels next month, reports the Birmingham News. Its new high-def nets are FSN and Fox Sports South HD; MTV HD; A&E HD; History HD; The Movie Channel HD; and on digital, American Life TV, BabyFirst TV, The Sportsman Channel, Fine Living and TV One.

Comcast‘s "we’re delaying, not blocking" peer-to-peer traffic snarl continues with a Comcast.net exec telling New York Times writer Brad Stone, on background, about the company’s bandwidth management policy. Stone’s conclusion: Comcast has a "major public relations problem on its hands. In the absence of a transparent explanation about what the company does to disadvantage certain applications in the name of managing traffic on its network, anecdotal reports and conspiracy theories are filling the vacuum." While virtually every U.S. cable operator employs traffic management solutions (such as Sandvine’s) that few, if any, customers know about, the Los Angeles Times also raps Comcast for implementing bandwidth management "secretly and unpredictably." [More: CNET | PC Magazine | Daily Tech | IP Democracy]

AT&T is still investigating Sunday’s nation-wide system outage that hit its 33 U-verse TV markets. Spokesperson Destiny Belknap tells the San Antonio Express-News, "we don’t expect it to happen again." The company this morning reported 126,000 U-verse subscribers on Sept. 30, up from 51,000 three month earlier, and 2.1 million total video subscribers in the 3rd quarter including bundled satellite customers. The company also reported in its third quarter earnings release it’s installing up to 10,000 U-verse customers a week. AT&T’s high speed Internet connections, including DSL, U-verse high speed Internet and satellite broadband services, increased by 499,000 in the 3rd quarter to reach 13.8 million, up 2.2 million or 18.6% in the previous 12 months.

EchoStar is talking up ViP-TV, its new IP-based service that transports more than 300 TV channels, at this week’s TelcoTV conference in Atlanta; more details here.

Verizon has a major announcement at 2pm ET, when it will unveil "a groundbreaking new FiOS Internet service … a first for U.S consumers on a mass scale." Update: its big news — FiOS high-speed customers will start seeing 20/20, meaning 20 Mbps "symmetrical" speeds for FiOS Internet users starting today in NY/NJ/CT, offering the same speed for uploads and downloads. Reuters has more.

Verizon is also building a regional video hub in south central Pennsylvania to expand FiOS TV across the state, and expanded its FiOS TV rollout around NYC to the Westchester County city of Peekskill, the Rockland County village of Hillburn and the Long Island village of Head of the Harbor. Braintree, MA, also received FiOS TV this week.

Mediacom was voted "cable operator most likely to feel the pain of not carrying Big Ten Network" as college baskeball season approaches in November, by Pali Research analyst Rich Greenfield. In a note to clients this morning, Greenfield points to the 14-16 of the 18 University of Iowa men’s basketball Big Ten conference games that will be exclusive to DirecTV– and Dish-carried BTN this season, a worry for new B&C hall of famer Rocco Commisso & Co. because "Iowa accounts for about 460,000 of Mediacom subscribers, or almost 35% of its total subs, [while] over 55% of its total 1.34mm subs (in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, and Minnesota) are in so-called Big Ten states."

Cisco is acquiring WiMax enabler Navini Networks for $330 million in a deal announced this morning, marking its 124th acquisition. Meanwhile, Sprint Nextel acting CEO Paul Saleh tells USA Today‘s Leslie Cauley he’s committed to WiMax because "this is where the market is going."

Movielink is offering free downloads of select episodes of The Sopranos while parent company Blockbuster is offering $10 off Sopranos DVD box set purchases in a promotion with HBO Video touting today’s DVD release of the series’ final episodes.

NAMIC announced the participants in its 2007/08 executive leadership development program.



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