CableLabs Eyes Tech-Management Shift

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Denver -- An upper-level management shuffle will accompany
Cable Television Laboratories Inc.'s plans to begin integrating its
cable-modem-interoperability initiative with the PacketCable voice- and video-over-cable
project.

PacketCable director David Bukovinsky has been promoted to
the new position of vice president of broadband services, in charge of the combined
modem-PacketCable effort.

Over the rest of this year, Rouzbeh Yassini -- the
cable-modem pioneer who has headed the Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification
project -- will transfer management of DOCSIS to Bukovinsky with an eye toward shifting
all day-to-day management of the project Jan. 1.

CableLabs, the industry's research and development
consortium, has been considering such a shift since earlier this year, when it began
finalizing the second-generation DOCSIS 1.1 specifications, enhancing the current 1.0
version with features supporting such advanced services as cable telephony.

Over time, DOCSIS 1.1 and later products would look
increasingly like PacketCable-type services, which will utilize packet-communications
networks to provide telephony, videoconferencing and other services over cable and the
Internet.

"Since most of the DOCSIS 1.1 requirements came from
work in PacketCable, there's a natural shift toward merging them because over the
long term, they become a single technology," Bukovinsky said.

"Once you get the DOCSIS physical layer established
and you get the MAC [media-access control] layer pinned down, the more advanced services
are more at the level PacketCable is operating under," he added.

Once management of DOCSIS shifts to Bukovinsky, Yassini
will continue working with CableLabs as an "executive advisor" on technology
issues.

Although he has become the person most singularly
identified with DOCSIS, Yassini has been expected at some point to return to his
entrepreneurial roots, especially once DOCSIS development reached a point that he
considered successful.

CableLabs so far has certified 11 major vendors'
modems as interoperable with DOCSIS-compliant headends -- a key facet of the
industry's plans to boost high-speed-data services by making cable modems a retail
consumer-electronics item.

"[A total of] 11 certified cable modems and the DOCSIS
1.1 product, which is targeted for certification in the second quarter of 2000, are the
fundamental technologies on which PacketCable will ride," Yassini said in a prepared
statement. "The evolution of these technologies will best be managed under one
leadership."

CableLabs also announced several other promotions in
conjunction with the DOCSIS-PacketCable plans. Ed Miller, a project director in
PacketCable, was named to head that initiative, managing its overall specification and
testing work and reporting to Bukovinsky.

Terry Shaw, a project director of systems development in
the strategic-assessments group, becomes a senior advisor on network systems in that
group, heading projects examining network management and performance, as well as
network-interfacing issues between cable and the growing in-home-network business.

And Maria Stachelek, project director for systems and
software in PacketCable, will now work with the PacketCable and DOCSIS groups to address a
common approach for provisioning and managing devices that provide both high-speed-data
and advanced multimedia services.

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