Forum: Home-Net Gains for Cable

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New York -- Cable is in great position to reap revenue from home networking,
but only if the industry doesn't clash with other technology factions over how
home networks should operate, a Consumer Electronics Association representative
asserted during a forum here Wednesday.

'Cable has the tremendous opportunity, because of the immense bandwidth
that's there...and MSOs are the critical piece in the market. They're the video
delivery medium everyone expects to get from a home network,' said Bill Rose,
chairman of CEA's home networking committee.

But if different factions attempt different home-network construction and
operation strategies, 'no one wins,' Rose said. 'If we figure out how to share
this market, we'll all win.'

One scenario Rose proposed at Kagan Seminars Inc.'s Digital Household Summit:
CE companies tackle the hardware and infrastructure, while MSOs sell content and
services in harmony with application developers.

Comcast -- doing home-networking field trials since early 2002 -- appeared
willing to consider that course.

Steve Craddock, senior vice president of new media development there, called
on cable to focus on providing services. 'We're not looking at selling smart
home [tech] to people. We'd rather sell them smart services,' he said.

'In order to cross the chasm to mass-market adoption of home networks, we
must sell services and solutions to people. Those services must operate under a
common framework: interface with provisioning, high performance and service
quality, be secure, interoperable and upgradable--'and be so dirt simple.'

Craddock predicted it would take two years for cohesive home-networking
standards to be adopted by cable and other industries affected by the

'But you'll see a lot of working stuff before then,' he