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Cable-Tec Expo: The Hot List

There’s going to be a bunch of big discussions going on in The Big Easy this week as cable’s brightest minds converge for the industry’s annual tech-fest.

And once again the event will offer session and workshops spanning key industry initiatives and topics that are important now and will be soon, including DOCSIS 3.1, cybersecurity, the virtualization of the network (and CPE), and the opportunities and challenges of WiFi.

It’s impossible for one person to see and hear it all, so here we present what’s on our hot list for the week (all times Central Time). Also, to keep up with news and announcements from the show, please visit the Multichannel NewsSCTE Cable-Tec Expo micro-site. 


If you are in town before the show officially gets off the ground on Wednesday, you’ll want to catch what you can of Tuesday’s all-day pre-show conference symposium on cybersecurity (Room 294), a topic that has global importance that also extends well outside the cable industry.

Don’t Miss: The 9:15 a.m. keynote from John N. Stewart, senior vice president, chief security and trust officer for  Cisco Systems.

The Big Picture

For a look at how some of the industry’s top execs view the competitive landscape and a look on the horizon on how cable must continue to change and evolve to handle it, Wednesday’s General Session (New Orleans Theater) will fit the bill as execs discuss broadband network investment, energy management, the connected home and business services.

That session, starting at 8:30 a.m., will be led by moderator Pat Esser, president of Cox Communications, who will be joined by: Balan Nair, EVP and CTO, Liberty Global (and the show’s program committee chair); Nomi Bergman, president of Bright House Networks; Phil McKinney, president and CEO of CableLabs; and John Schanz, EVP and chief network officer of Comcast Cable.

Energy 2020 Update

Energy conservation is a front-burner initiative now, taking the form of the SCTE Energy 2020 project. Gear up for important update on the initiative’s progress during a 90-minute session that gets underway Thursday at 11 a.m in Room 283.

Workshops (200-level rooms)


While fiber-to-the-premises represents the long-term future, the foreseeable path for multi-gigabit services is expected to travel the path of DOCSIS 3.1, an emerging platform that will be spotlighted throughout the week.

Don’s Miss:

DOCSIS 3.1 Readiness: To 1 Gig and Beyond

Tuesday, Oct. 13 at 2p.m.

Featuring: Jeffrey J. Howe of Arris (moderator), joined by Al Ruth, product line manager at JDSU (now Viavi); and Jorge Salinger, vice president, access architecture, Comcast.

DOCSIS 3.1 & IP Video Traffic Engineering: How to Squeeze 10 Pounds of Stuff Into a 5 Pound Bag

Tuesday, Oct. 13 at 3:15 p.m.

Featuring: Mike Latino, VP, service infrastructure and delivery, Cox (moderator); John Downey, consulting network engineer, Cisco; and Dr. Sean McCarthy, fellow, Arris.

DOCSIS  3.1 Upstream Optimizations: Going Up?    

Friday, Oct. 16 at 2 p.m.

Featuring: Dr. Tom Cloonan, CTO – network solutions, Arris (moderator);  Dr. Ayham Al-Banna, engineering fellow, CTO office – network solutions, Arris; and

Paul D. Brooks, chief architect, access networks and technology, Time Warner Cable.

Load Up on Downloading

While the FCC has not yet announced whether it would pursue new rules that would succeed the CableCard, the commission has eagerly sought potential downloadable alternatives to help spark a robust retail market for set-tops. This week offers a valuable opportunity to get up to speed on some of cable’s top pursuits in this area.

Don’t miss: Beefing up Security with DCAS       

Thursday, Oct. 15 at 10:45 a.m.

Featuring: Ralph Brown, CTO, CableLabs (moderator); Dr. James Alexander, senior director, video engineering, Charter Communications; and Edmond Shapiro, video solutions architect, Cisco.

Video’s Cloudy Present…Future

Have you heard of the “cloud”? Everything’s going there, including video.

Don’t Miss: Moving Set-Top Functions to the Cloud       

Thursday, Oct. 15 at 9:30 a.m.

Featuring: Marwan Fawaz, partner, Sarepta Advisors (moderator); Neill Kipp, distinguished engineer, Comcast VIPER; and Dr. Raj Nair, CTO, Mediaroom Reach, Ericsson.

Waxing Wireless

Can WiFi, cable’s go-to technology for wireless, coexist in harmony with emerging LTE-Unlicensed technologies? The LTE-U camp says yes, and we have the proof, while the cable camp says no, and we have the proof too. The truth falls somewhere in the middle.

Don’t miss: Potential Applications for LTE-U or LAA (License Assisted Access)     

Tuesday, Oct. 13 at 2 p.m.

Featuring:  Tim Burke, VP, strategic technology, Liberty Global (moderator); and Belal Hamzeh, director-network technology, CableLabs; and Sudhir B. Pattar, Ph.D. candidate, Rutgers University.

Distributed CCAP

While centralized, monolithic architectures have dominated cable’s broadband era, there’s a big movement now toward more efficient, distributed networks as MSOs go with high-density converged cable access platforms. But there’s a big debate on which approach is best.

Don’t Miss: Distributed CCAP Architectures: Breaking Up Is Hard to Do

Thursday, Oct. 15 at 9:30 a.m.

Featuring: Ken Wright, technology advisor, Wright Solutions (moderator); Dr. Tom Cloonan, CTO – network solutions, Arris; and John Chapman, fellow, and CTO of Cisco’s cable business unit.


Now that the American Registry for Internet Numbers confirmed that the free pool for IPv4 addresses has run dry, there’s going to be a refocus on IPv6 and its virtually unlimited pool of addresses.

Don’t Miss: Core IP Peering and IPv6

Wednesday, Oct. 14 at 10:45 a.m.

Featuring Kevin McElearney, SVP, network engineering, Comcast (moderator); John Jason Brzozowski, fellow and chief architect, IPv6, Comcast; and Mark Goodwin, IP engineer, Cox.