IT spending by SMBs rises; Minerva Networks surpasses 200 IPTV deployments

> Spending on IT products and services by SMBs (small to medium businesses) is expected to reach $444 billion this year, eWeek reports, exhibiting a CAGR of 8.2 percent--a nice jump from the 5.2 percent rate recorded in 2009. Story.

> Minerva Networks has passed 200 IPTV deployments internationally, the company reports, adding that its iTVManager middleware platform is allowing operators to launch next generation television services like HDTV, PVR, whole home DVR, widgets and games at lower cost. News release.

> Satellite broadband provider Spacenet has been awarded a $7.5 million grant by the RUS (Rural Utilities Service) to provide broadband service to unserved areas of Alaska and Hawaii. This enables Spacenet to offer an entry-level package to subscribers in those markets of no money down and a $50 monthly service fee, equipment and installation included. News release.

> The number of viewers watching broadcast TV over the Internet has doubled in the past year, a study from Altman Vilandrie & Company says. While that hasn't yet translated into massive cord-cutting--only 3 percent of 18 to 34-year-olds have actually cancelled cable service--25 percent "have seriously considered dropping subscription TV service." News release.

> Xelerated is sampling its AX family of programmable Ethernet switches and is releasing a range of software, development tools and a reference design kit for hardware to help Fiber to the X (FTTX) system vendors reduce development time. News release.

> The acquisition of Israel-based service assurance provider TTI Telecom by TEOCO Corporation is complete, the company announced Monday. TEOCO, which provides revenue management solutions, is gaining valuable expertise in LTE and 4G service assurance through the purchase. News release.

> Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) is promoting from within this week: the company announced that Vivek Mohan, previously country head for its India market, is now Head-Global Services division. Munish Seth is taking over Mohan's former position. News release.

> Hosted IP PBX and cloud communications provider Telesphere has named Tempe, Ariz. based Concierge Communications its top producing partner for 2009. News release.

And finally... Pay TV and the cord-cutting dilemma have caught the attention of the New York Times, which published an overview of recent studies and concerns that cable moguls have (or claim they don't have) about the sea change in viewing habits. Story.