C9 at Expo, Pulling for the Little Guy

Call me sentimental, but sometimes I can't help but pull for the little guy. In this case, that fellow is Srini Kola, founder and CEO of C9 Networks.

Back in the day, the company had ambitions of becoming the next high-flying DOCSIS CMTS startup, following in the footsteps of BAS (acquired by ADC), RiverDelta (bought by Motorola) and Cadant (purchased by Arris). That dream dissolved with the telecom bubble, so C9 switched to plan B, bootstrapping a business in super low-cost CMTS products. Since I first met the ever-optimistic entrepreneur and engineer in 2002, Srini and C9 have been doing just that.

Targeting MDUs and small operators, C9 offers 1x1 and 1x4 "pizza-box" CMTS products with some nifty features, like integrated DHCP, TFTP and TOD server functionality for provisioning, plus support for remote configuration and management. Because C9 sells to, shall we say, a cost-conscious crowd, it's opted against paying the big bucks for CableLabs qualification testing. Customers don't seem to mind. For them, price sells.

At Cable-Tec Expo next week, C9 is introducing a new Advanced Cable Plant Monitoring System (ACPMS), which will support its DOCSIS products and those of other vendors. The system's capabilities include RF plant and power supply monitoring, CMTS and cable modem monitoring, and subscriber activation and deactivation functions.

Like the Energizer bunny, Srini keeps marching on, adding features to his products. If you're walking the show floor at a brisk pace in Denver, you may blow right by C9's tiny booth (#903) before Srini can pull you in for an enthusiastic demo. That often happens to me too.

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