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Cable Officials Prep for Greater Competition

Despite their boasts about possessing the superior broadband platform, cable executives are definitely running scared these days. That message came through quite clearly at the SCTE's Emerging Technologies conference in Huntington Beach, CA last week. Cable officials, consultants and tech vendors warned that the phone companies, in spite of several false starts over the past two decades, really are committed to overcoming cable in the video market this time around. Plus, they said, the telcos may finally have the means to carry out their long-stated ambitions. For instance, David Reed, executive vice president and chief strategy officer of CableLabs, said the regional Bells seem deadly serious about using a mix of advanced DSL systems, costly fiber network builds and IPTV technology to beat cable at its own video game. While he doesn't view video-over-DSL as a "disruptive" economic force, he thinks the phone companies will try to seize the technological edge and protect their core voice business with IPTV and all-fiber networks. "The emergence of IPTV is certain, although the timing and exact [business] model are not," he said.
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