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In a sign of the times, Broadcom is seeking the sale of its baseband business the chips that provide connectivity in cellular phones and modems. This is a win for competitors who have integrated baseband products like Qualcomm, but it’s also a signal that Broadcom would rather focus on wireless technologies like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi that are becoming embedded in more and more devices. The mobile revolution won’t be built on cellular, and as the chip industry becomes more challenging Broadcom wants to focus its R&D where it might count for more.

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comcast-TWC
The New York Times may not get network neutrality, but it certainly sees the dangers of consolidating the nation’s largest and third largest broadband providers. The venerable paper came out against the proposed merger of Time Warner Cable and Comcast in an editorial Tuesday that argued, “By buying Time Warner Cable, Comcast would become a gatekeeper over what consumers watch, read and listen to. The company would have more power to compel Internet content companies…to pay Comcast for better access to its broadband network.” We agree. This merger is all about broadband and it’s a problem.

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Austin

Austin, the home of three future gigabit networks from Google (residents can’t sign up for it yet); AT&T (currently limited in the deployment area and limited to 300 Mbps speeds) and Grande Communications (gigabit offered in limited areas) is getting a speed boost from its incumbent cable provider, Time Warner Cable. Residents will see their speeds hit up to 300 Mbps starting June 3. Everyone gets a boost, with 15 Mbps subscribers hitting 50 Mbps and those on the 100 Mbps plan getting a 300 Mbps upgrade at no extra charge. The upgrades represent a $60 million investment by TWC in Austin.

In Brief

Indiegogo, crowdfundingIndiegogo, the crowdfunding marketplace popular with hardware projects, has added some celebrity investors including Sir. Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Group, to its $40 million round announced in January. Other well-known names include Pay Pal Founder Max Levchin; Maynard Webb, the chairman of Yahoo; Tim Draper, the founding partner at Draper Fisher Jurvetson; and Dawn Lepore, the former chairman and CEO of Drugstore.com. The are the people behind some big name consumer brands. Perhaps they can help Indiegogo expand to a broader audience.

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