RUS broadband funding facing challenges; Starz profit drops

More cable news from across the Web:

> According to a new Politico report, the Rural Utilities Service's broadband initiative has produced mixed results: half of the projects funded through the program have failed to draw all the money available to them, and a large number of existing projects may have to forfeit their funds if they don't meet their deadlines. Multichannel News article

> Starz profit in the second quarter fell by 10 percent. Variety article

> According to a new survey, operators and broadcasters are moving to support hybrid OTT business models. CED article

> Comcast's contract with the city of Colorado Springs is set to expire, and the city is holding meetings on the topic. KKTV article

> European pay-TV provider Sky reported a 5 percent increase in revenues. Variety article

> Microsoft will continue to add TV functions and other entertainment offerings to its Xbox. Verge article

Telecom News

> Level 3 Communications' EVP and CFO, Sunit Patel, maintains that as AT&T and Verizon focus more of their attention on wireless and entertainment, the company will benefit as it pursues new growth opportunities in the enterprise services space. Article

> Calix says that since service providers are still in the process of choosing how much money they will accept from the second phase of the FCC's Connect America Fund, it won't begin to see real revenue benefits until sometime next year. Article

Online Video News

> AOL is boosting its programmatic advertising strategy, announcing that it has added video to its premium ad platform with five formats available to advertisers. Meanwhile, Yahoo said that its integrated marketing play with Honda saw big results in terms of viewers' brand awareness. Article

> Multicultural linear OTT service YipTV, faced with an increasing amount of competition from other over-the-top streaming services like Sling TV, opened up 17 of its linear channels to new subscribers, who can access the preview lineup for free when they sign up for the service. Article

 Installer News

> Verizon Wireless is having difficulty deploying small cells in urban areas because of backhaul and site acquisition challenges, according to Wells Fargo analyst J. Davis Hebert. Article

> The city of San Leandro, Calif., is debuting a new municipal Wi-Fi network that will be free to users. Article

European Wireless News

> Microsoft has conceded defeat to Apple and Google in the smartphone market with the launch of Windows 10, its latest operating system (OS), according to IHS Technology analyst Ian Fogg. Article

Wireless News

> Verizon is jumping into the smart utility market with the launch of a platform that it is marketing to energy utilities with an "as-a-service" model that will help them modernize their infrastructure. Article

> The number of tablets with mobile data subscriptions will basically double over the next few years to more than 200 million, according to a new report from research firm Strategy Analytics. Article

And finally… Michael Wolf: "Everyone saying TV is dead is referring to linear, but I consider OTT and mobile TV "TV".  Delivery formats/mechanisms change, but still TV."