Following a stint at an Internet startup, Kenneth Wright will rejoin the cable ranks on Nov. 13 as C-COR.net Corp.'s chief technology officer, reporting to company chairman and CEO David Woodle.
Wright, a 25-year cable-industry veteran, was most recently chief technical officer of Nashville-based 21e.net, a budding firm that is building a streaming platform for the delivery of entertainment and e-commerce over the Internet.
Prior to that, Wright had spent most of his career in the cable-operator realm. From 1995 through 1999, he was CTO of InterMedia Partners, an MSO now owned in part by AT & T Corp., Charter Communications Inc. and Insight Communications Co. Inc. Wright also served as director of technology at Jones Intercable Inc. from 1991 to 1995.
"This will mark the first time for me on the vendor side of the industry, but I'm anxious to see old friends again," Wright said.
According to Wright, his decision to move to C-COR.net was largely based on his new employer's strategy of diversifying to become and "end-to-end solutions provider" for cable operators.
Once known primarily as a manufacturer of cable amplifiers, C-COR.net has snapped up smaller companies to expand its technology portfolio. Wright pointed to three key C-COR.net acquisitions: fiber-optics vendor Silicon Valley Communications Inc.; WorldBridge Broadband Services Inc., an "outsource" company that provides cable operators with full-service construction and network management; and Convergence.com, a high-speed-data services vendor.
Those moves are starting to bear fruit. For example, Classic Communications Corp.recently hired C-COR.net's Worldbridge Technical Services Group to provide field engineering services to support the MSO's multistate digital-cable and high-speed-data efforts.
"When I looked at getting back into cable, there were a few opportunities presented to me, but I was also excited about the company's new chairman, David Woodle, who has set a strong vision for the company.
"I think they were smart in moving into those areas and not trying to start everything from scratch, but to buy existing companies who had products and marketshare and expertise," Wright added.
In his new role, Wright's onus will be to integrate C-COR.net's acquisitions and assemble them into a tidy package for cable operators. At the same time, Wright said he'd work closely with operators to identify trends in network architecture and services, and transfer that knowledge into product development.
A founding chairman of the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers' emergency alerting system committee, Wright has served on the National Cable Television Association's engineering committee, the FCC advisory committee on emergency alerting and Cable Television Laboratories Inc.'s enhanced services deployment and technical advisory committees.