This year's CableNET exhibit will step beyond
interoperable cable modems to more of a three-way focus on CableLabs' critical
projects: OpenCable, PacketCable and DOCSIS cable modems.That was the message from Cable
Television Laboratories Inc. and the California Cable Television Association last week, as
both gear up for the Western Show in December -- now less than six weeks away.
Already, CableNET -- the six-year-old technological
clearinghouse of the Anaheim, Calif., conference -- is prompting higher-than-anticipated
preregistration levels, said C.J. Hirschfield, vice president of industry affairs for the
Early registrations "are way above last year's
levels, with a lot more coming in from Silicon Valley" than in the past, Hirschfield
said. She declined to quantify the boost, saying that it's still a bit too early.
But it's not too soon to get started on the wearying
process of making equipment from 60 different vendors work together, in many cases
-- said Mike Schwartz, senior vice president of corporate communications for CableLabs.
Two CableLabs staffers will head to Anaheim this week to get started.
The two-man team will spend the next six weeks at the
Anaheim-area headend of Century Communications Corp., which donates space and staff to the
CableNET event each year, Schwartz said.
This year's CableNET will be bigger, too. Schwartz
said space for CableNET was bumped up from 6,000 square feet to 8,000 this year, and as
many as 60 vendors are anticipated, up from 45 last year.
"This year, the focus is on interoperability,"
Schwartz said of CableNET '98, which will operate under a "plug-and-play"
While DOCSIS (Data Over Cable Service/Interoperability
Specification, a standard) cable modems took the lead interoperability role in past
CableNETs, "this year will also have a PacketCable section and an area for companies
developing software tools and features that parallel the OpenCable project," Schwartz
PacketCable is a CableLabs program focused on identifying
Internet protocol-based applications, such as IP telephony, which will run on advanced
cable modems or advanced set-tops with built-in cable modems. Similarly, OpenCable is
focused on defining protocols for advanced digital set-tops that interoperate with one
"Never before has there been a demonstration of such
powerful companies in the telecommunications marketplace, working together in an
integrated exhibit like this year's CableNET," said Richard Green, president and
CEO of CableLabs.
Spencer Kaitz, president of the CCTA, said he
"continues to be amazed" at what is accomplished each year at CableNET, and he
"continues to be enthused by the wide array of new cable technologies and enhanced
services that consumers are about to receive."
The 60 companies in this year's CableNET will display
their interconnected wares on roughly 90 pedestals. Participating companies, by category,
Cable modems and related headend gear:
Broadcom Corp., Cisco Systems Inc., Com21 Inc., Daewoo Electronics Co. Ltd., General
Instrument Corp., Hayes Corp., Hybrid Networks Inc., Libit Signal Processing, Lucent
Technologies, Motorola Inc., Nortel/Bay Networks Inc., Phasecom Inc., Samsung
Telecommunications America Inc., 3Com Corp., Toshiba America Consumer Products and Zenith
IP-telephony software and hardware: Ascend
Communications (with Hybrid Networks), Bellcore, 8x8 Inc., e-Net Inc., Ericsson Inc.,
NetSpeak Corp., VideoServer Inc., Vienna Systems Corp. and VocalTec Communications Ltd.
Other high-speed-data applications: Arepa
Inc., Intel Corp., MediaOne Labs, PanAmSat Corp., Torrent Networking Technologies and
Advanced digital set-tops and applications:
Equator Technologies Inc., GI, MatchLogic Inc., Scientific-Atlanta Inc. and a six-company
team consisting of C-Cube Microsystems Inc., Divicom Corp., MoreCom, Pioneer New Media
Technologies, 3Com and Zenith
Video-on-demand: Diva Systems Corp.,
Intertainer Inc. and SeaChange International Inc.
Other digital services and applications:
CableData, ICTV Inc., Philips Consumer Electronics Co., Spyglass Inc. and TeraLogic Inc.
Hirschfield said the technology mix will attract several
industry and nonindustry heavyweights to the Western Show, as well as congressional and
Federal Communications Commission officials.