Expo returns to Atlanta with a transformed industry in its sights

It’s been only five years since SCTE•ISBE Cable-Tec Expo last was in Atlanta, but that’s a lifetime in cable telecommunications these days. As our industry converges yet again on the Georgia World Congress Center, the changes that have been wrought are nothing short of staggering.

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Mark Dzuban

A glance at the Expo program shows the differences. The DOCSIS 3.1 service that was still on the horizon when we met five years ago is predicted to be in 90% of U.S. households by the end of the year. In its place, we are looking at such essential new subjects as the connected ecosystem, the promise of new applications for our broadband networks and the looming importance of security.

I’m a big fan of the “What got you here won’t get you there” philosophy of Marshall Goldsmith, the best-selling author who was previously was a highlight of our SCTE•ISBE-Tuck Executive Leadership Program. Nowhere is that more true than in cable technology, where the sands of technology seem to shift almost from day to day. A key mission of SCTE•ISBE Cable-Tec Expo is to anticipate those changes and to ensure that our industry stays abreast of them.

As SCTE•ISBE approaches its 50th anniversary next year, some of the most exciting developments have been in the past decade. While we’ve upped our game in general as a hub of knowledge sharing, thought leadership and standards during that time, the metamorphosis is particularly evident in the makeup of Cable-Tec Expo.

More Speakers, More Workshops

Thanks to the leadership of two of the industry’s brightest stars — our keynoter, Cox president Pat Esser, and our program chair, Cox executive VP and chief product and technology officer Kevin Hart — we’re welcoming you to an event that is better than ever. Expo 2018 is setting records for workshop speakers (104) and workshops (48) and hosting preconference and closing day sessions on next-generation architectures, enabling us to address in greater depth the topic that are key to our industry’s success now and in the future.

Here’s what else to look for over the next several days:

A powerful Opening General Session featuring Pat and Kevin, CableLabs futurist Dr. Bernardo Huberman and a first-ever panel featuring NCTA’s Michael Powell, CableLabs’ Phil McKinney and me speaking with Comcast’s Tony Werner about how our organizations are partnering to take the industry into the future;

Insightful Innovation Theater presentations featuring successful C-level executives from cable and Silicon Valley who will address such topics as the challenges and opportunities faces by small and mid-size operators, next-generation learning protocols, strategies for women in the C-suite and more;

An exhibit floor where the hundreds of vendors who fuel the industry’s technology excellence are demonstrating products and solutions that are paving the way for the industry’s continued growth in the years to come; and

Our CORTEX Lounge — also on the show floor — that is showing how SCTE•ISBE is working with operators, vendors and world class educators to create products that can guide cable careers and strength the link between training and ROI.

Expo’s 2018 theme is “Vision of the Future,” and no one embodies that topic more than our Annual Awards Luncheon speaker on Wednesday. Vernice “FlyGirl” Armour, America’s first African-American female combat pilot, will talk about how her career vision and her willingness to “get gutsy, lead gutsy” paved the way for her success.

International Crossroads

What’s our vision for the future of SCTE•ISBE Cable-Tec Expo? As the largest cable telecommunications trade event in the Americas, it already has become a nexus for national and international industry collaboration. In recent years, Expo has become a forum for the sharing of knowledge by a wide variety of groups, including the American Cable Association, The Cable Center, CableLabs, the Cable TV Pioneers, NCTA–The Internet & Cable Association, the National Cable Television Cooperative, Women in Cable & Telecommunications and others.

As we look toward our 50th anniversary and Expo 2019 next Sept. 30-Oct. 3 in New Orleans, we will be implementing a plan designed to ensure the long term success of Expo with one goal in mind: to continue to help the industry move the needle on technology and business results in the years ahead. 

Mark Dzuban is president and CEO of the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers/ International Society of Broadband Experts.

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