The Homeland Security Department has announced a plan to send text messages to mobile phones, TVs, the Internet and other mediums as part of a revamped emergency alert program. Tests of the new system have been going on in the Washington area since October 2004, and the program expanded to 23 public TV stations nationwide this year. The first region to get a wide-scale deployment will be the Gulf Coast area, which was hit hard by hurricanes in 2005.
The Tennessee Regulatory Authority has given the go-ahead, without additional conditions, to AT&T Inc.'s $67 billion acquisition of BellSouth. The TRA is one of 18 state and several federal agencies that is reviewing the terms of the deal, which will create the nation's biggest telecom company and largest provider of broadband.
While viral video site YouTube still commands the eyeballs, a new breed of video site is offering amateur filmmakers a piece of the action in the form of advertising revenue sharing: Revver, Blip.TV, Eefoof and others don't pay their contributors a lot in real dollars, but they do offer as much as 50% of the revenue generated by video, text and banner advertising on pages that contain their content.
Defying conventional wisdom, HDNet founder Mark Cuban said broadband video will never displace TV as the primary source of entertainment and news. "Broadband is old news," Cuban said. "It'll be a little bit faster, a little bit prettier and there will be a few more features. But there's never going to be a hugely successful broadband program."
AT&T Inc. is using its free, branded music site, Blue Room, which recently screened a live webcast from the sold out 2006 Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, to re-establish itself as more than just a company offering specific services. "We're not just a communications company but a communications and entertainment company," said David Banks, director of Blue Room for AT&T.