Skip to main content

Todd Spangler’s Journal: Day One

Welcome to Orlando, Fla., host to some 52 million sweaty tourists from around the world each year. This week, the muggy city will open its portals to about 10,000 cable engineers, technologists and assorted hangers-on.

The convo, of course, is the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers’ Cable-Tec Expo 2007, the theme of which this year is: Delivering Today’s Brightest Engineering Solutions. (Warning: staring directly into a red-hot CMTS may cause temporary blindness!)

Hot on the broadband beat this year (drum roll, please) are strategies for migrating to Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification 3.0., a.k.a. “wideband” cable-modem technology, a moniker that’s been kicking around for a while but gained currency thanks to the demo from Comcast’s Brian Roberts at last month’s Cable Show. DOCSIS 3.0 just doesn’t roll off the tongue in the same way.

Besides new cable-modem gear, expect to hear a lot of noise about switched digital video. Scientific Atlanta will be pumping its new(ish) Universal Session Resource Manager, which supports either VOD or SDV streams over the same QAM.

BigBand Networks and Imagine Communications will also be shilling their SDV wares, at booths that are shouting distance from each other -- though their lawyers presumably are staying away from the Orlando humidity.

Meanwhile, Scientific Atlanta, along with papa Cisco, is also propounding a wireless outdoor mesh solution for operators, with a Wi-Fi access point that has a built-in DOCSIS interface. Will cable go metro wireless? We’ll see.

In any case, we’re told that the gear should hold up through the 90-plus degree, 87%-plus humidity days without melting.