Cable operators are prepared to match Verizon, BellSouth, SBC and other RBOCs stride for stride when the telcos let loose their fiber-to-the-home networks, speakers at CableLabs’ NY briefing said. Adelphia CTO Marwan Fawaz said operators are well positioned to launch advanced services as pungent and appealing as the telcos’ offerings. "IPTV is not a monopoly for them," he said. "We can do it as well, and there’s no reason we can’t deploy the same opportunities." Still, Comcast strategic planning svp Mark Coblitz is taking the RBOCs "extraordinarily seriously," but promises his MSO will "do all the things we need to do to compete." A counterpunch is increasing high-speed modem transmission speeds to 100 megabits, using DOCSIS 3.0 standard equipment. That would let MSOs offer more applications in the peer-to-peer arena, including movie and music downloading, Fawaz said. Time Warner Cable hopes to adopt all digital or simultrans within 24-36 months, yet advanced engineering svp Mike Hayashi didn’t provide much detail beyond that. Charter’s all-digital effort is advancing, evp Wayne Davis said. It "wants to deploy a full-feature, low-cost digital set-top to the 60% of our subs who don’t have one;" that should be doable in a few years. — Coblitz urged cable to encourage more technology and content investment from venture capitalists and angels. VCs "don’t understand [cable]…we’re not like the telcos," he said. "There’s real value in the VC community investing in these new technologies we’re using, and we must find ways to educate them." — Simon Applebaum

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ESPN will present a Monday Night Football MegaCast on Sept 21 at 8:15pm, celebrating the NFL in Las Vegas. The matchup between the Saints and Raiders will be simulcast across ABC , and ESPN Deportes will have

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