SCTE's Top Tech Trends: Broadband Bonanza


ATLANTA - No shortage of data and deep-dive 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.

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