Cable Tech

CableLabs cancels 4Front event due to COVID-19

CableLabs has canceled 4Front, a cross-industry event focused on areas such as gaming, AI, automotive, sustainability, healthcare and security, due to the ongoing spread of COVID-19.

The inaugural event was originally set to take place June 23-24 at the new Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center in Denver. CableLabs said it is making plans to host the event sometime in 2021, though it's not yet clear if the Gaylord will remain as the event's venue.

CableLabs had hoped to draw more than 1,500 to inaugural 4Front event.
CableLabs had hoped to draw more than 1,500 to inaugural 4Front event.

"Due to the global spread of the COVID-19 virus and efforts to maintain social distancing, 4Front is canceled as the health and safety of our attendees is our top priority," CableLabs said in a statement. "At this time we are working through the details for 4Front 2021 and will begin posting more information in the coming weeks."

4Front joins a growing list of industry events, including NAB, the RDK Americas Summit, the ACA Connects policy Summit, MWC Barcelona and Light Reading's own Cable Next-Gen Technologies & Strategies, that have either been cancelled outright or postponed until the second half of 2020 due to COVID-19.

CableLabs had hoped to draw north of 1,500 people to this year's event and had set an ambitious agenda of speakers with execs from the cable industry, including Tom Rutledge, CEO and chairman of Charter Communications and Michael Powell, president and CEO of the NCTA – The Internet & Television Association, as well as experts and leaders from outside the industry, including Jon Karafin, CEO and founder of Light Field Lab, and Ai Addyson-Zhang, founder of Classroom Without Walls.

As explained last year by CableLabs CEO and President Phil McKinney, the broader idea behind 4Front is to be "outward facing" and establish an event that involves not just the cable industry but multiple industries. CableLabs had stopped holding its own cable engineering-focused summer conferences to make room for 4Front.

"To have the impact on these futures, we need to come together and we need to collaborate," McKinney said then. "We're the host... We don't want [4Front] to come across as a CableLabs event."

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— Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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