It’s been an impressive few decades for cable, hasn’t it? Over the past 20 years, we’ve seen broadband grow from an experiment to a vital link between our customers and the world. We’ve gone toe-to-toe with the telecom industry to deliver voice services to the home. And we’ve seen TV break free from the bounds of linear to “anywhere, anytime” viewing.
Looking back on the first SCTE Cable-Tec Expo 30 years ago, it’s hard to recall what the industry was like at that time. The “Big Three” broadcast networks still held sway. CNN and ESPN were in their infancy. And advances in cable technology meant — more than anything else — improving the availability and quality of video services. So much has changed since then.
Throughout cable’s growth, SCTE and Cable-Tec Expo have played critical roles — training engineering professionals, developing standards and best practices, and accelerating time to market for the industry. As the doors open on this 30th anniversary Expo, there are ample indicators of how the organization’s evolution continues to meet industry needs.
Emphasis on educating the entire workforce pyramid: From the keynote conversation between NCTA CEO and FCC chairman Michael Powell and Cox EVP and CTO Kevin Hart to panels , Expo is complementing its technical training with insights from the industry’s leading strategic thinkers.
Increased international presence: SCTE’s role as the preferred provider of training resources and standards development continues to grow beyond North America. Representatives from 69 countries contributed to a 3% international attendance increase last year, and the International Breakfast continues to grow as a meeting forum.
Driving deployment of new technologies: Workshops will focus on hot-button solutions for next-decade service delivery with deeper dives into IPv6, DOCSIS 3.1, Big Data and others.
Promoting business continuity: With the expanded focus of the SCTE Energy Management Program, Expo will feature a Tuesday luncheon on lessons learned from Superstorm Sandy by Brian Allen, chief of security at Time Warner Cable; a special session on network availability standards; and an exhibit of disaster recovery vehicles in SCTE Central .
One thing that hasn’t changed over the past 30 years has been Expo’s promotion of knowledge sharing across the industry. By bringing together the full spectrum of engineering and operations professionals, the event opens the door to an essential element of innovation.
We’ve come a long way as an industry, but as long as we work collaboratively to ensure the resources we need in the future, there’s no doubt in my mind that the best is yet to come.
Mark Dzuban is president and CEO of the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers.