CableLabs has cancelled next year’s annual Winter Conference and, in its place, will host an “Inform[ED]” conference in Lisbon, Portugal, multiple industry sources confirmed.
CableLabs declined to comment on the decision, but sources said the announcement was made last week at the CableLabs Winter Conference being held in Orlando, Fla.
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The fate of CableLabs Winter Conferences beyond 2018 is unknown, though some sources said it likely will not be back, as it will continue to be replaced by Inform[ED] events in Europe and other international destinations. However, sources said that CableLabs intends to continue with its annual Summer Conferences. The next CableLabs Summer Conference is scheduled to take place Aug. 6-9 in Keystone, Colo.
The topics of next year’s Inform[ED] conference in Portugal have not been announced, but the expectation is that they will apply a greater focus on technologies and trends affecting European cable operators. The next Inform[ED] conference, is set to take place April 12-13 in New York City, and focus on IoT Security and Connected Healthcare.
Strategically, CableLabs could be shifting away from the annual Winter Conferences, typically off-limits to the press, to more open Inform[ED] confabs in Europe in part to augment and maintain ties and relationships with the organization’s international constituents, including Altice, which opened its own R&D lab in Portugal last year, and is now a major U.S. player following the acquisitions of Suddenlink Communications and Cablevision Systems.
The shift in strategy also comes amid CableLabs's broader, more global focus. Cable Europe merged with CableLabs in 2013.