Post Office Delivers Solution For Mediacom Mail Dilemma

When a company relocates its headquarters, it usually focuses on securing land, financing, architects and engineers. It doesn’t usually give a second thought to mail delivery.

But that became a concern for cable operator Mediacom Communications, which officially unveils its new 110,000-square-foot headquarters in Blooming Grove, N.Y., next month.

The $35 million facility, on a hilltop in Orange County about 50 miles north of New York, is in one of those murky areas on the U.S. postal map.

The U.S. Postal Service initially assigned Mediacom a post office in Chester, N.Y., about six miles from the new headquarters. Had it been assigned a Blooming Grove address, someone would have to trek the seven miles over to that post office to collect the mail, because that location only houses P.O. boxes. That would be a logistical nightmare, considering the volume of mail received by a 300-employee operation.

Still, Mediacom chairman and CEO Rocco Commisso, who has owned the land where the new building sits for more than a decade, really wanted a Blooming Grove address, not a Chester address. Plug Chester, N.Y., into mapping software and you’ll be directed to a place several miles from the actual headquarters building.

Mediacom also hopes its new offices, visible from heavily traveled Route 17, will draw other high-tech companies to Blooming Grove.

Group vice president of legal and public affairs Tom Larsen said a post-office employee had a smart suggestion. “She asked me if I had ever heard of Research Triangle [Park] in North Carolina. She said, ‘That’s just a made-up name. What if we just let you guys make up a name and use the Chester ZIP code?’ ”

Thus, on June 19, 2013, Mediacom Park, N.Y., 10918, was born.

The new address is fully compatible with mapping software — type “Mediacom Park, N.Y.,” into Google Maps, and you will get door-to-door directions.

As a bonus, “It’s kind of cool to be able to say you work at Mediacom Park,” Larsen said.

DOCSIS Milestone Reminds Us Cable Used to Be Just TV

With cable voice and data services now representing millions of subscribers and annual revenue in the billions of dollars, it’s sometimes strange to think that cable was once a onetrick, video-only industry.

Here’s some news that offers some perspective on just how long it has been: DOCSIS, the CableLabs specs that serve as the foundation for cable’s broadband and voice-over-Internet protocol services, is about to reach a notable milestone: certification wave 100.

At last check, CableLabs has not posted the results from CW 100, but we’re keeping our eyes peeled. It should be any day now.

For the uninitiated, CableLabs conducts these tests to ensure that modems and cable modem termination systems interoperate and adhere to the specifications. Modems must be deemed CableLabs-certified before they can be sold at retail.

So, while we’re reminiscing about a milestone in the wonky-yet-important aspect of certification testing, we present some key moments from DOCSIS days of yore:

• December 1996: CableLabs adopts DOCSIS, an acronym for “Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification,” as a working project name (marketers are still cringing).

• November 1997: Industry formalized the DOCSIS modem certification plan.

• Official certification is well underway in 1998, but CableLabs doesn’t award certification to the first DOCSIS 1.0 products until March 1999, when Thomson (now Technicolor) and Toshiba (now out of the DOCSIS business) hit the mark for modems, while Cisco Systems becomes the first to obtain 1.0 qualification for a CMTS.

The Wire heard that some engineers from the early days of DOCSIS had planned a reunion to celebrate CW 100, but the broadband stars apparently did not quite align. So, the next round is on us.

Here’s to the next 100.

— Jeff Baumgartner

Census Bureau Says These Forms Are Way Overdue

The U.S. Census Bureau wants to remind cable operators — and lots of other businesses for that matter — that the 2012 Economic Census forms it mailed last fall are overdue.

Actually, the forms are long overdue (Feb. 12 was the deadline), but the bureau was being nice about it.

The forms are sent every five years to a representative sample of businesses across geographies and locations. The bureau points out that trade groups use the information for planning and reports, and the government relies on it for planning purposes.

“For those businesses that have responded to the Economic Census, we thank you; for those businesses that were mailed a form but have not yet responded to this mandatory survey, we urge you to do so as soon as possible,” the bureau told The Wire in an email.

After initially scrambling to search for our Economic Census Form (whatever that is), we realized it actually was a request that we light a little Wire fire under our readership. Consider your goose cooked if you have been sitting on the form.

— John Eggerton