Cable-Tec Expo Tries Something New

The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) says it will offer some new elements when thousands of cable's engineers descend on Denver for the 2009 Cable-Tec Expo, which runs Oct. 27-30.

Instead of serving as an individual show in the spring, as it has in years past, Cable-Tec Expo is now a fall occurrence and being consolidated with several other events in what's being dubbed Cable Connection - Fall. Among other events, the week will host the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing (CTAM) Summit, the Namic conference, the Walter Kaitz Foundation dinner, the annual Association of Cable Communicators (ACC) Forum, and The Cable Center Cable Hall of Fame ceremony.

So, anyone who intends to hit even half of those had better bring along some sensible shoes, a wad of cab fare, and a stock of Red Bull.

Green's the thing
Another big change at this year's Expo will be the addition of a "Cable Technology Spotlight." The first out of the shoot will focus on "energy efficient technology," which now means "green" to the cable and telecom worlds. (By the way, IPTV, wireless, and "intelligent networks" are among the topics already being considered for Expo's 2010 Cable Technology Spotlight.) (See SCTE Expo Going Green.)

"It is of material value…to the industry to put [green tech] in the spotlight," says SCTE president and CEO Mark Dzuban, who officially assumed the top spot at the Society on February 2. (See Dzuban's the Man.)

SCTE is hitting on that theme with a new "Green Pavilion" that will show off how cable's traditional vendors (and a few that are new to the MSO mix) can reduce power consumption using everything from solar-, wind-, and geothermal-aided technology, to the latest generation of fuel cells and hybrid vehicles.

It's coupling that with a "Green General Session" the morning of Friday, Oct. 30, that will pore over some of the energy-efficiency initiatives MSOs are studying or already undertaking. Execs from Rogers Communications Inc. (Toronto: RCI), Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC), Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), Suddenlink Communications , CableLabs , and the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) are already on board.

The notion here is not to view energy efficiency as a "tree-hugging" exercise, but one that "looks at how energy efficiency can save the bottom line," says Debra Swann, SCTE's VP of marketing and business development.

SCTE is also taking a different approach with its opening sessions. In years past, it would start off with a cable CEO "big picture" panel and then dive into a technology session with some of cable's top engineers and CTOs.

This time around, it's skipping the CEO stuff and diving right into the technology roundtable with Charter Communications Inc. CTO and EVP Marwan Fawaz; Rogers Cable SVP of engineering and networks Dermot J.A. O'Carroll; Bresnan Communications LLC VP of engineering and technology Pragash Pillai; and CableLabs president and CEO Paul Liao. (OK, so one CEO is on the panel.)

Following that, Comcast EVP of national engineering and technical operations (and Expo program committee chair) John Schanz will lead a discussion on "engineering the extensible network," focused on how MSOs can evolve their networks and back-office systems to handle the coming wave of converged services. In other words, we'll probably learn why the industry believes hybrid fiber/coax (HFC) ain't dead yet, folks.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

Interested in learning more on this topic? Then come to TelcoTV 2009, the telecom industry’s premier event for the exploration of a comprehensive entertainment convergence strategy, to be staged in Orlando, Fla., November 10-12. For more information, or to register, click here.

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