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SCTE and CableLabs Set to Merge

CableLabs
(Image credit: CableLabs)

Signaling another level of consolidation for the cable industry, its two biggest engineering trade groups are on the path to merging.

SCTE-ISBE and CableLabs have signed a letter of intent and appear well on the way to combining forces by Dec. 10. 

CableLabs president and CEO Phil McKinney

CableLabs president and CEO Phil McKinney (Image credit: CableLabs)

CableLabs, established in 1988, is a research and development consortium backed by the big, consolidated operator giants of the U.S. and Canadian cable industries. Its members have already voted unanimously to pursue the tie-up.

The 51-year-old Society of Cable Technology Engineers, and its European sibling, the International Society of Broadband Experts, are currently conducting a vote among the combined trade group’s membership to approve the merger. The threshold is a two-thirds vote, with at least 5% of the membership body voting. 

The SCTE-ISBE, which said no cutbacks in staff or programming was expected at either organization, has outlined its vision for the merger on this landing page

At the heart of the messaging is “10G,” the catch-all buzzword the cable industry has attached to its effort to develop next-generation broadband technologies capable of warding off the wireless industry’s fixed 5G threat. 

“With the commitment to 10G in mind, the transaction will represent the industry’s ongoing efforts to deliver to consumers new innovations and services which will meet changing consumer needs and support the future expansion of broadband deployment,” the trade group tells its members. 

As outlined in a press conference conducted Tuesday by CableLabs, Mark Dzuban would remain president and CEO of SCTE-ISBE, which would function as a subsidiary of CableLabs, headed by president and CEO Phil McKinney.