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SCTE Cable-Tec Expo: The Hot List

This year’s Cable-Tec Expo in the Mile High City will be flush with big picture-focused opening sessions and drill-it-down engineering workshops that will cover the gamut when it comes to what is important in the here-and-now and what’s on the horizon, but coming up fast.

That means the show will be covering everything from cable’s Internet-protocol video migration, the emergence of DOCSIS 3.1, the industry’s evolving WiFi strategies, cable’s energy-management initiatives, making sense of the so-called “Internet of Things,” and everything in between.

Unless you have a time machine tucked away in your back pocket, it’ll be impossible to be everywhere at once and not miss any of the important technology beats. We’ve spent some time poring over what’s on tap in Denver and have boiled down some of the sessions and workshops that will be on our hit list.


There’s plenty from which to choose from on DOCSIS 3.1, the budding platform that is promising to deliver wide-scale multi-gigabit capacities without having to pull fiber all the way to the premises.

There will be plenty of nuts and bolts to chew on Monday (Sept. 22) during the pre-show DOCSIS 3.1 and Wireless symposium, but this one is shaping up to be an important, sure-fire hit:

1 p.m-1:30 p.m.: “DOCSIS 3.1 Current Status and Schedule,” with Jorge Salinger of Comcast Cable; and Belal Hamzeh of CableLabs.

Other DOCSIS 3.1-facing sessions on the dance card:

Tuesday, Sept. 23 at 9:45 a.m.: “Peeling Back the Layers of DOCSIS 3.1” (Room 108), moderated by Ralph Brown of CableLabs, with Richard Prodan of Broadcom, and Ayham Al-Banna of Arris.

Wednesday, Sept. 24 at 10:45 a.m.: “DOCSIS 3.1: Making It Real” (Room 108), moderated by Jorge Salinger of Comcast, with Dan Torbet of Arris, and Patricio Latini of Intraway.

And, putting aside the D3.1 future for a moment, let’s not forget about cable’s skinny upstream. This session promises to show how the industry is going to help the upstream pack on a few necessary pounds:

Thursday, Sept. 25 at 12:45 p.m. (Room 108): “Expanding The DOCSIS Upstream” (Room 108), moderated by George Hart of Rogers Communications, with John (Jack) Moran III Futurewei Technologies (Huawei), and Paul Brooks of Time Warner Cable.


In the home or out on the network, WiFi is rapidly becoming a key weapon in cable’s arsenal. But it’s not all about feeds and speeds. Here are some sessions that will hit several of the bases:

Monday, Sept. 22 at 9:15 a.m. (Symposium): “Carrier Grade WiFi,” with Mark Poletti, CableLabs.

Monday, Sept. 22 at 10:45 a.m. (Symposium): “Community WiFi,” with Vivek Ganti, CableLabs.

Thursday, Sept. 25 at 12:45 p.m. (Room 102): “WiFi: The Quest dor Quality” (Room 102), moderated by Raymond Celona of Comcast, with Todd Smith of Comcast and Charles Cheevers of Arris.

Thursday, Sept. 25 at 2 p.m. (Room 102): “WiFi In The Connected Home,” moderated by Chris Albano of Comcast, with Chris Cholas of TWC and John Anderson of Fluke Networks.

Making Sense of SDN, NFV and the Internet of Things

Software-defined networking and network functional virtualization are keys to the future of telecom networks, but what are the benefits and potential pitfalls, and how is cable poised to take advantage of these trends. And why does cable care about the Internet of Things? These sessions will provide some answers:

Monday, Sept. 22 at 2 p.m. (Room 201): “Application of SDN and NFV in the Service Provider Delivery Network,” moderated by Bruce McClelland of Arris, with Adam Dunstan of Active Broadband Networks, and Alon Bernstein of Cisco Systems.

Tuesday, Sept. 23 at 9:45 a.m. (Room 102): “Cable’s Internet of Everything,”moderated by Mark Francisco of Comcast, with Mark Tubinis of Savant Systems.

Putting RDK And DevOps In The Picture

This year’s event is placing an emphasis on the “DevOps” model and the Reference Design Kit (RDK) for IP-capable devices. This session will mash them together:

Wednesday, Sept. 24 at 10:45 a.m.: “Putting DevOps Into Practice: The RDK Model” (Room 201), Moderated by Leslie Ellis of Ellis Edits, a Multichannel News contributor, with Labeeb Ismail of Comcast, Bill Warga of Liberty Global and Matt Zelesko of TWC.

Wednesday, Sept. 24

Ultra HD/4K

Sure, we’re still in the hype-filled days of 4K as set prices are still high and there’s not much content available in the format yet, but there are indications that Ultra HD is poised to become a hot format, rather than another flame-out that will remind everyone of 3DTV.

Tuesday, Sept. 23 at 11 a.m. (Room 203): “Ultra HD, HEVC and HDR Video From The Programmers’ Perspective,”moderated by Gregg Grigaitis of Suddenlink Communications, with Kirk Baker of Technicolor and Satoru Wajiki of the Japan Cable and Telecommunications Association.

The Big Picture

While workshops take a mind-melting, deep dive into key engineering topics, it’s still good to take a step back and try to see forest from the trees. For that, don’t miss the general sessions, and a special one assembled for cable’s ambitious energy management initiatives. 

Tuesday, Sept 23 at 8 a.m.  (Bellco Theater), following a keynote from Cisco’s Rob Lloyd, we’ll put our heads into the “cloud” to hear the forecast on apps and infrastructure with moderator Tony Werner of Comcast (and this year’s program committee chair), and Mark Muehl of Comcast, Geoff Arnold of Cisco, and Nick Barcet of eNovance/Red Hat.

Wednesday, Sept. 24 at 8 a.m. (Bellco Theater), and speaking of big picture, here’s one that will offer a global-sized snapshot, as Werner talks tech (and ops) Mike Fries, president and CEO of Liberty Global.

Wednesday, Sept. 24 at 1 p.m. (Room 103): “Energy 2020”: Comcast’s John Schanz (keynoter), with session moderator Theresa Hennesy of Comcast, Ivan Lamoureux of Suddenlink Communications, Simpson Cumba of Comcast, Derek DiGiacomo of SCTE, John Dolan of Rogers Communications, and Dan Cooper of TWC.