Skip to main content

SCTE’s Top Tech Trends:Broadband Bonanza

ATLANTA —No shortage
of data and deepdive
at the recent
SCTE Cable-Tec Expo,
held here the week
before Thanksgiving.
In no particular order,
the highlights from
my notes:

Objects that need
or want an Internet connection will
number 15 billion worldwide by 2015;
Comcast alone anticipates that more
than 250 million Internet protocolconnected
things will hang off its cable
modems within the same timeframe.
That means not just PCs, laptops and
tablets, but things like refrigerators and
the machine-to-machine scene.

Speaking of refrigerators: Samsung’s
Eric Anderson said during an
Expo general session that people are
using the Internet part of its connected
fridges for 1.6 hours per day on average.
No, really: Apps like weather and
Pandora top the list.

As for machine-to-machine and talk
about things getting chatty: Your smartphone
receives something like 1,200
maintenance pings per day from your carrier,
for “keep alive” activities, as well as
to track state — online or not; keeping
streaming activites smooth as you move
from one cell-tower footprint to another.

Put it all together: Broadband capacity
is going to need a lot of attention
for the next bit of … forever. That’s why
“CCAP” — tech-speak for “Converged
Cable Access Platform” — was also
high on the to-do list at Expo, as a way
to collapse costs out of broadband gear
at a rate hopefully faster than the unprecedented
growth broadband usage.

As for all that growth: In hallway discussions,
engineers are already mulling
whether there needs to be some
kind of Energy Star-type program for
apps and bandwidth usage.

All in: It’s a broadband bonanza out
there. The good news is, your tech
brothers and sisters are all over it.

Stumped by gibberish? Visit Leslie Ellis