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RDK Americas Summit canceled over coronavirus concerns

Citing an "abundance of caution" over the continued threat of the new coronavirus (COVID-19), RDK Management announced it has canceled the 2020 RDK Americas Summit, an event originally set for March 10 at the new Comcast Technology Center in Philadelphia.

"The safety and well-being of our community is paramount," RDK Management stated in a message posted on the RDK Central website and distributed Wednesday afternoon via email to registered attendees for a private event that's closed to the press. "We hope you understand. We would like to thank our sponsors, our speakers, and everyone who had registered for their contributions to make the RDK Summit successful."

RDK Management alerted attendees via email and a posting on its website.
RDK Management alerted attendees via email and a posting on its website.

The decision to cancel the RDK Americas Summit follows similar moves by other industry events. Mobile World Congress, an event that usually draws a large international audience, canceled this year's confab set for Barcelona. Organizers for The Optical Fiber Conference (OFC) said its annual networking trade show, set for March 8 in San Diego, is still on despite decisions by some exhibitors and participants to pull out over concerns about the spread of COVID-19. The National Association of Broadcasters announced last week that its annual event, set for April 18-22 in Las Vegas, is set to take place as planned, although the organization is closely monitoring COVID-19 and stressed it will be prepared to devote necessary resources to ensure a safe and productive NAB Show.

RDK event was to cover roadmaps, GPON plans
RDK Management, a joint venture of Comcast, Charter Communications and Liberty Global, manages the Reference Design Kit (RDK), an open source software platform for set-top boxes, video clients and broadband gateways. In addition to support from dozens of chipmakers and device manufacturers and suppliers, RDK has been adopted or is in the process of being rolled out by several service providers around the globe, including Comcast, Cox Communications, Liberty Global, Portugal's NOS and NOWO; J:COM (Japan), Melita (Malta), Germany's Vodafone and Tele Columbus, and Canada's Rogers, Shaw Communications and Videotron.

Next month's event was slated to cover the 2020 roadmap for RDK, provide an update on the broader RDK community and offer new details about specific programs or technologies linked to the open source platform, including voice control and an emerging flavor of RDK-B for GPON networks.

Scheduled speakers included Marcio Avillez, SVP, business development, Cujo AI; Albert Dahan, co-founder and CTO of Metrological; Steve Heeb, president and GM, RDK Management; Matt Zelesko, CTO, Comcast; and Pieter Vervoort, VP, entertainment products, Liberty Global.

"This year was on track to be our most well-attended event with more than 450 attendees, including operators and community members from across Asia, North America, South America, and Europe," RDK Management continued in its statement. "In recent days, many of our registered attendees began expressing concerns about the event, and we took their views and other factors into consideration."

RDK Management noted that it will provide a public update on the global progress of the technology and that it remains "optimistic" that its community will be able to reconvene at the RDK European Summit, currently scheduled for September.

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— Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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