Radio Currents Online - Dec 22 - Dec 28, 2003

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Radio Currents Online - Dec 22 - Dec 28, 2003

Dec 1, 2003 12:00 PM

Radio technology news updated as it happens.

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FCC Releases Data onHigh-Speed Services For Internet Access

Washington, D.C.- Dec 22, 2003 - The FCC has released summarystatistics of its latest data on the deployment of high-speedconnections to the Internet in the United States. Facilities-basedservice providers file data with the FCC on the amount of high-speedconnections in service twice a year.

For reporting purposes, high-speed lines are defined as those thatprovide services at speeds exceeding 200kb/s in at least one direction,while advanced services lines are those that provide services at speedsexceeding 200kb/s in both directions.

High-Speed Lines

  • High-speed lines connecting homes and businesses to the Internetincreased by 18 percent during the first half of 2003, from 19.9million to 23.5 million lines, compared to a 23 percent increase, from16.2 million to 19.9 million lines, during the second half of 2002. Forthe full 12 month period ending June 30, 2003, high-speed linesincreased by 45 percent.
  • Of the 23.5 million high-speed lines in service, 20.6 million servedresidential and small business subscribers, a 19 percent increase fromthe 17.4 million residential and small business high-speed linesreported six months earlier. For the full 12 month period ending June30, 2003, high-speed lines for residential and small businesssubscribers increased by 48 percent.

    Advanced Services Lines
  • Of the 23.5 million high-speed lines, 16.3 million provided advancedservices, i.e., services at speeds exceeding 200kb/s in bothdirections. Advanced services lines increased 32 percent during thefirst half of 2003, from 12.4 million to 16.3 million lines. For thefull 12 month period ending June 30, 2003, advanced services lines ofall technology types increased by 56 percent.
  • About 14.3 million of the 16.3 million advanced services linesserved residential and small business subscribers.

    Technology Type
  • High-speed connections in service over asymmetric digital subscriberline (ADSL) technologies increased by 19 percent during the first halfof 2003, from 6.5 million to 7.7 million lines, compared to a 27percent increase, from over 5.1 million to 6.5 million lines, duringthe 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) increasedby 20 percent during the first six months of 2003, from 11.4 million to13.7 million lines, compared to a 24 percent increase, from 9.2 millionto 11.4 million lines, during the second half of 2002. For the full 12month period ending June 30, 2003, high-speed cable modem connectionsincreased by 49 percent.
  • Among advanced services lines, ADSL lines increased by 16 percentduring the first six months of 2003, compared to a 43 percent increasefor cable modem service. During the preceding six-month period, therate of growth ofADSL (18%) was slightly lower than cable modem service(22%). For the full 12 month period ending June 30, 2003, advancedservices lines � service lines provided in excess of 200 kb/s inboth directions - for ADSL increased by 37 percent and cable modemconnections increased by 75 percent.

    The summary statistics released also include state-by-state, populationdensity, and household income information, ranked by zip codes. Asadditional information becomes available, it will be routinely postedon the Commission�s Internet site. The report can be downloadedfrom 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 RadioMondiale�s Commercial Committee has been actively engaged inassembling coalitions of broadcasters, network operators, regulators,manufacturers and retailers in key markets, in preparation forDRM�s commercial launch. DRM national coalitions are firmlyestablished in several countries, with industry experts meeting on aregular basis to coordinate the various angles of DRM�scommercial rollout.

The DRM Consortium formed in 1998 when a group of broadcasters andmanufacturers joined forces to create a universal, digital system (alsocalled DRM) for the AM broadcasting bands below 30MHz. Since then, DRMhas expanded into an international consortium of more than 70broadcasters, manufacturers, network operators, research institutions,broadcasting unions and regulatory bodies. Since DRM�s debut inJune, more than 50 broadcasters have started transmitting their daily,weekly or periodic DRM programs.

In France, national electronics retailers engage in DRM launch planningsessions with national and international broadcasters. In Germany, thenational group led by Commercial Committee Vice Chairman Michael Pilathhas launched its own German-language website, www.drm-national.de, which is linked to DRM�sexisting English-language website at www.drm.org. DRM�s national group in Spain hasexpanded, and has made significant progress in introducing DRM intonational political platforms.

In December 2003, Russia announced that it has chosen DRM for itsdigital test transmissions project on short-wave. The project, whichextends through December 2005, was authorized by Russia�s StateCommission on Radio Frequencies on Dec. 1. The test results will bepresented to the commission in early 2006, with authorization for theimplementation of Russia�s DRM network expected.

China is currently testing DRM for its future domestic andinternational use. In August, DRM and the World DAB Forum announcedtheir cooperation. This collaboration paves the way for DRM- andDAB-capable receivers in the near future. Sony has committed to helpexpand the markets for digital radio in Europe, pledging its activesupport in the commercial sectors of DRM and the World DAB Forum.

In November 2003, DRM had a strong presence at the Asia-PacificBroadcasting Union and All India Radio (ABU-AIR) Regional Symposium onDigital Radio in New Delhi. Symposium attendees also had theopportunity to hear a variety of DRM short-wave transmissions, sentlive into the studios of AIR.

The commercial launch of a variety of Digital Radio Mondiale productswill begin in 2004. The first product to be delivered in the New Yearwill be Mayah�s DRM2010 receiver, developed along with DRM memberCoding Technologies and Chinese manufacturer Himalaya.

The DRM2010 is a second-generation DRM receiver. It is expected to hitthe marketplace in early 2004. The receiver also receives analogsignals for medium-wave/AM, long-wave, short-wave and FM. Moreinformation and order forms can be found at www.mayah.com/drm.

ISPs Protected from Identifying MusicDownloaders

Washington - Dec 19, 2003 - A federal appeals court ruled that therecording industry can't force Internet providers to identify musicdownloaders. The move is viewed by some to be a major setback to theindustry's anti-piracy campaign. While the ruling does not legalizedistribution of copyrighted songs over the Internet, it makes it morecostly for the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) totrack the efforts and subsequently sue those who swap musiconline.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia overturned atrial judge's decision to enforce copyright subpoenas, one of the mosteffective tools used by the recording industry. The subpoena power wasestablished by a law passed before the explosive growth of swappingmusic online.

The appeals court said the 1998 copyright law doesn't cover popularfile-sharing networks used by tens of millions of Americans to downloadsongs. The law "betrays no awareness whatsoever that Internet usersmight be able directly to exchange files containing copyrighted works,"the court wrote.

The judges sympathized with the recording industry, which has citeddeclining profits, noting that "stakes are large." But they said it wasnot the role of courts to rewrite the 1998 law, "no matter howdamaging" the practice of swapping has become to the music industry orthreatens to become to the motion picture and software industries.

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Business

NPR Distribution Implements NewScheduling Software

Washington - Dec 22, 2003 - On Oct. 30, 2003, NPR Distributiontransitioned to a new scheduling system, Scheduall and Schedulink, toreplace its previous homegrown scheduling system. While many of thechanges will be internal to NPR distribution, the greater efficiency ofthe new system is designed to improve the quality of the services thegroups provides to its customers. The Scheduall system was chosenbecause of its scheduling capabilities for live program streams in theNPR Content Depot.

Spacewise Takes New Name

Phoenix - Dec 24, 2003 - After nearly nine years as SpacewiseBroadcast Furniture, the company has decided to rename itself to betteridentify its place in filling needs of furniture systems for marketsextending beyond broadcast radio. The company has expanded to includeofferings for television production control rooms, video editingfurniture and recording industry studios.

The company's new name -- Spacewise Studio Furniture -- allowsSpacewise to market into all the above markets. The new name identifiesand highlights specifically what it does.

The company's contact info remains the same:

phone 480-704-9385
fax 480-704-6149
e-mail sales@spacewise.com
www.spacewise.com

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People

Cody Joins FCC Chairman Powell'sStaff as Media Advisor

Washington - Dec 19, 2003 - FCC Chairman Michael Powell hasappointed Jon Cody as his legal advisor to handle media and broadbandissues. Since coming to the FCC in 2001, Cody has been anattorney-advisor in the Office of Strategic Planning, serving as aspecial policy advisor to the chairman.

Previously, Cody was an associate at the law firm Mintz Levin CohenFerris Glovsky & Popeo in Washington, DC. He earned his J.D. fromthe Catholic University�s Columbus School of Law, and his B.A.from Alfred University.

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Internet Watch

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Products

Nullsoft Releases Winamp5.0

San Francisco - Dec 19, 2003 - The popular audio and video fileplayer Winamp has received an upgrade. Two versions are available, aWinamp Free and Winamp Pro. More info is available at the Winamp siteat www.winamp.com.

IBOC Receivers to Debut at 2004International CES

Columbia, MD - Dec 22, 2003 - Ibiquity Digital and its majorindustry partners including Texas Instruments, Phillips, Kenwood, JVCand Panasonic, will introduce the first commercially available IBOCradio receivers during the 2004 International Consumer Electronics Show(CES 2004). Ibiquity's branded IBOC technology, called HD Radio, willalso introduce of a number of new services designed to transform theradio broadcasting industry for the digital era. These services includeinteractive features supporting the on-demand delivery of audio anddata programming, automated store-and-recall capabilities andNPR�s Tomorrow Radio project, a Supplemental Audio Programming(SAP) service that will allow two programs to be broadcast on the samechannel.

During CES 2004, manufacturers such Alpine, Delphi, Fujitsu/Eclipse,Harman Kardon, JVC, Kenwood, Onkyo, Panasonic, Sanyo and Visteon willshowcase a variety of IBOC receivers, some of which will becommercially available in 2004. Simultaneously, the first IBOC tuner, aKenwood KTC-HR100, will hit store shelves with stations in more than100 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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