Kelly’s Back in Cable, with Start-Up Arroyo

After Kim Kelly left her job as chief operating officer of Insight Communications Co. Inc. 10 months ago, her next job almost was in Iraq, helping the new government to establish free elections.

Instead, she’s decided to become CEO of a start-up technology provider pitching new applications to the cable industry.

Presumably being chief executive at Arroyo Video Solutions Inc. -- a Silicon Valley firm that has drawn $13 million in capital from Comcast Corp., Time Warner Inc. and other private investors -- will be a lot safer than the Iraq job might have been.

But Kelly said there’s still a bit of a culture shock, going from the top operating job at a top-10 cable company to top job at a would-be cable vendor that doesn’t have any revenue yet.

Arroyo’s first product, she added, is essentially a video-on-demand server based on such off-the-shelf components as an Intel Corp. computer.

But Kelly stressed repeatedly that Arroyo is about much more than VOD servers. “I wouldn’t be here if it was a VOD vendor,” she said.

“What it is really is a network architecture,” she added, based on open standards -- an approach that worked well for cable with the Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification standard that underlies the cable-modem business, the industry’s mainstay profit producer.

Arroyo’s platform also could support the kind of “networked [personal video recorder]” system, with a full array of programs stored at the headend, which Time Warner tried to achieve with Mystro, Kelly said.

For more on Arroyo and Kim Kelly, please see Kent Gibbons’ story on page one of Monday’s issue of Multichannel News.

Matt Stump contributed to this report.