The American Cable Association has asked the Federal Communications Commission to take into account natural disasters such as Hurricane Florence when assessing whether broadband deployment is moving along in a timely fashion. "The Commission should exclude storm-damaged regions from its overall deployment findings as it did in its previous report, while reporting separately on progress to restore broadband availability in such regions," the ACA wrote regarding the agency's Sec. 706 review.
The Weather Channel plans to boost the use of technology innovations such as Immersed Mixed Reality and to expand internationally, says Byron Allen, who bought the network in March. One of its Hurricane Florence segments depicted a virtual 10-foot wall of water, drawing 16.2 million views on Twitter.
Comcast subscribers can now use the X1 set-top box to start the process of purchasing concert tickets and can get presale access to the tickets. Those who do so receive a code through text messaging to finish the purchase.
Verizon is promoting its 5G Ultra-Wideband future in a "Firsts" campaign that harks back to the carrier's role in historic moments of the wireless industry. In the spots, vintage video from the 1980s evolves into previews of the 5G future.
BuzzFeed News will shutter most of its podcast production in favor of a move into longer-form original video content similar to shows it has made for Netflix, Twitter and Facebook. "We've decided to move to a production model that is more like our TV projects," BuzzFeed's Shani Hilton told employees.
AT&T will open more than 1,000 stores in the next 18 months, including 100 pop-up shops in apartment buildings and other sites in New York, San Francisco and other cities. Among them is a store opening Friday in a Seattle coffee shop.
Now that the Music Modernization Act is making progress in Washington, being passed by the Senate on Tuesday, the royalty fee fight related to AM/FM radio airplay could soon come back into focus. The National Association of Broadcasters is engaged in informal talks with the music industry in attempts to reach a compromise, with NAB President Gordon Smith saying, "There's room for common ground and a settlement of the disputes between us and the performance community."
Charter Senior Vice President Craig Cowden during a Mobile World Congress Americas session touted the benefits of the 3.7-4.2 gigahertz band. This spectrum has enough bandwidth to be used for 5G and will also serve as a potential way to add capacity to rural broadband, Cowden said.
The Music Modernization Act has been approved by unanimous vote in the US Senate. If, as expected, the bill clears the House of Representatives and is signed by President Donald Trump, it will require the Justice Department to inform Congress 90 days before it begins terminating antitrust consent decrees imposed upon BMI and Ascap. Additionally, royalty fees will have to be paid for pre-1972 recordings played online. MMA is strongly backed by the songwriting community, including artists Paul McCartney and Maren Morris. NAB President Gordon Smith hailed passage of the bill, citing the importance of the consent decree amendment. "These decrees are essential to a functioning music marketplace, and any action to terminate them will now be preceded by appropriate Congressional oversight to protect the interests of songwriters, licensees, and consumers of music," Smith said.
CBS Producer Susan Zirinsky could be the top internal candidate to take over as chief of "60 Minutes," some staffers say. Zirinsky oversees "48 Hours," and her work on documentaries and specials could make her a good replacement for the role left vacant with the departure of Jeff Fager.