TELECOMMUNICATIONS

FCC Stands Firm on VOIP 911 Deadline

Despite congressional pressure, the Federal Communications Commission stuck to its deadline that Internet phone providers must give customers enhanced 911 service by yesterday or risk punishment. Under FCC rules, providers had to ensure their subscribers could call 911 and be connected to the appropriate emergency response center with their location and phone number automatically transmitted.

Members of Congress, including the chairmen of the influential House and Senate commerce committees, which handle telecom legislation, had asked FCC Chairman Kevin J. Martin, left, to relax the rules on the companies.

"At this stage we are focused on the compliance filings that are due from the providers tonight," said FCC spokesman David H. Fiske, alluding to letters that voice over Internet protocol firms such as Vonage Holdings had to send the FCC detailing efforts to meet the requirements. He declined to comment on what steps, if any, the FCC might take to enforce its rules. Punishments could include fines.

TELEVISION

TiVo Plans Search Tool for Ads

TiVo, whose digital video recorders became popular because they let users skip commercials, is planning to offer a way for viewers to search for specific ads.

Customers will be able to pick categories, such as automotive or travel, and view related advertisements, TiVo said in a statement. It is working with ad agencies including Interpublic Media, part of Interpublic Group, to develop the service, which starts next year.

CONTRACTS

Orbital Sciences to Build Satellite for NASA

Orbital Sciences of Dulles said it will design, develop and manufacture a new demonstration satellite for NASA in a program valued at more than $50 million. The satellite, called Space Technology 8, or ST8, is expected to be launched in early 2009, and the demonstration mission is to last seven months.

The company said it will build the spacecraft, integrate the experiments with the satellite platform, conduct testing, integrate and test the satellite with the launch vehicle, plan the mission's launch operations, and provide post-launch support.

Compiled from staff and news service reports.