Dollars and sense: Comcast spends big on lobbying, NBC on 'development'

> Here are a couple of linked items. Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA), which is unabashedly attempting to make NBC Universal another horse in its stable, spent $3.82 million lobbying the government in the second quarter, an 18 percent increase from the same time last year. NBC, meanwhile, no doubt anticipating a big money infusion of its own from Comcast, is earmarking between $125 million and $150 million for new show development. This about doubles what the broadcaster spent last year when it thought Jay Leno would be a great prime time host.

> The FCC's vote on new rules for white space broadband spectrum use is an "act of desperation", according to New America Foundation's Sascha Meinrath, speaking to Broadband Reports.

> The FCC just can't seem to generate any good buzz, despite its best efforts. Former Commissioner Glen Robinson, now a member of the board of academic advisers at Free State Foundation, has written an opinion piece taking current FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski's "third way" regulatory plan apart, calling it a "transparently manipulative use of (forbearance authority) to design a new tailor-made form of regulation." Story.

> Now that Australia has finally greenlighted (greenlit?) a National Broadband Network (NBN) everyone wants to know when it will start in earnest, and, more importantly, who will be the first to get on board the broadband express. Story.

> And finally ... Columbus Communications, a broadband services provider in Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica (ya man!), Grenada and Curacao will use Sigma Systems' service management platform for its triple play services OSS infrastructure. News release.