SCTE Hires DOCSIS Developer To Be Its First CTO

The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers -- as part an increased focus on Internet Protocol networking -- has tapped broadband expert Daniel Howard to be the association's first chief technology officer.

Howard was CTO of Digital Furnace, a startup that developed software to boost DOCSIS upstream capacity that was acquired by Broadcom in 2000. He co-authored CableLabs' DOCSIS 1.1 and 2.0 specifications, and at Broadcom was a lead developer on the company's primary DOCSIS 3.0 patent.

Most recently Howard was CTO of VQLink, a developer of digital video quality measurement and monitoring technology. Before that he was a broadband systems architect with Motorola, and prior to that was president and CEO of interactive TV startup Quadrock Communications.

At SCTE, he will be responsible educational initiatives focusing on cable's IP delivery that will help the industry reduce costs and optimize network performance. Howard reports to SCTE president and CEO Mark Dzuban.

"Daniel Howard is really leading the ability to create IP-centric content... to help define those areas that we should support on an ongoing basis," Dzuban said.

SCTE considered about 200 candidates for the job. Dzuban noted that executives at several member companies, including Comcast CTO Tony Werner and Time Warner Cable CTO Mike LaJoie, were closely involved in Howard's selection. "It was not me sitting with a bunch of resumes and a red pencil," Dzuban said.

In a prepared statement, Werner commented: "Daniel Howard's diverse background and experience will accelerate SCTE's ability to drive new programs for the benefit of the entire industry. We believe he'll bring fresh perspectives that will enhance SCTE's continued efforts to provide leadership as the IP evolution continues."

Prior to co-founding Digital Furnace in 1998, Howard spent eight years as senior research engineer at the Georgia Tech Research Institute's Broadband Telecom Center. He created and taught a graduate class at Georgia Tech on cable telecommunications technology and has been a consultant for the Atlanta Public Schools system on classroom thin-client computer architectures.

"What makes me particularly well suited to do this sort of thing is, I've been involved with DOCSIS from the beginning," Howard said. "Now the cable industry is moving toward IP-centric architectures from HFC [hybrid fiber-coax]."

Howard, who officially started on Monday, will remain based in Atlanta for now. SCTE's headquarters is in Exton, Pa.

SCTE initiated the CTO search earlier this year. The search was conducted by Dean Madison of T.D. Madison & Associates, an executive headhunter based in Virginia Beach, Va.