Make Cable-Tec a Collaborative Affair


Next month, I’m headed
to New Orleans for the Society
of Cable Telecommunications
Engineers Cable-Tec Expo. Yep,
that’s what is says on the SCTE
website, on the SCTE postcards
and on all the rest of the
SCTE advertising.

But the reality is that as much
as the show will bear the SCTE
brand, we’re viewing it more
and more as a collaborative

As cable expands into new
market areas and our vendor
partners create new tools to
meet the needs of operators
and programmers, Cable-Tec
Expo remains the place where
problems and problem solvers
meet for the industry. What’s
notable about next month’s
show in the Big Easy is the way
we’re expanding the scope of
those encounters beyond the
show floor and educational

Over the years, a variety of
organizations have evolved to
meet specific needs of cable and
the people who have driven the
industry’s success. My goal is to
leverage the shared resources of
our brethren in the industry to
create the best possible value
for our members.

So while the SCTE brand tops
the marquee, the collaborative
spirit of our event will leave
room for other sets of initials.
We’re working with Women In
Cable Telecommunications to
present the Women in Technology
Award at our Awards Luncheon.
Our friends at CableLabs
are demonstrating their contributions
to the industry in a 600-
square-foot exhibit on the show
floor. And we’re continually
seeking ways to integrate the
expertise of the Cable & Telecommunications
for Marketing and other industry

Make no mistake about it:
Technology and the accomplishments
of our vendor partners
remain the raisons d’etre
for Cable-Tec Expo. Under the
leadership of Cox Communications’
Jay Rolls and SCTE’s
own Marv Nelson, our 2010
program committee has put
together an outstanding program
that is designed to help
all of us understand where the
industry is headed and how
Internet-protocol technologies
and advanced home-networking
solutions can help us
meet the needs of the digital

A who’s who of cable technologists
— including Time
Warner Cable executive vice
president Mike Hayashi, Comcast
senior vice president Steve
Reynolds and thought leaders
from such companies as Cisco
Systems, Motorola, NDS and
Accenture — will set the stage
in the opening sessions.

In the days that follow,
workshops featuring some of
the brightest minds in our industry
will address such topics
as Content Delivery Networks,
DOCSIS 3.0, 3D Video and
Energy Management. And
throughout the event, those
discussions will become “real”
on the show floor, a smorgasbord
of technology that will
include smart energy and networked
home pavilions and
scores of innovative companies.
But as powerful as our technology
content is, it’s only a
part of the industry’s bigger
picture. Let’s face it: If all engineers
do is engineer and all
marketers do is market, each
group is seeing the industry
through a limited frame of reference
that restricts the ability
of everyone to maximize their
creativity. It’s often the intersection
of disciplines that promotes
new thinking and helps
build value for operators, programmers
and — most importantly
— cable subscribers.

Some years ago, when cable
telephony was still getting out
of the starting gate, I was honored
to have been invited to
give a tutorial on the topic at
the CTAM Summit. It struck me
then, as the wheels were spinning
in the heads of Summit attendees,
that these exchanges of
ideas were exactly what the industry
would need to gain the
greatest return on its technology

With the coalescing of industry
events around spring
and fall “Cable Connections,”
that’s precisely what is happening.
Whether it’s with WICT
and CableLabs next month in
New Orleans, in conjunction
with NCTA and CableLabs at
the Spring Technical Forum,
or with CTAM in the future, the
mission is the same — to work
together towards the accomplishment
of common objectives
and goals.

So if you’re headed to SCTE
Cable-Tec Expo next month,
please take time to hear what
our association partners have
to say.

In the end, our ability to listen
to one another will enable
us to identify both the problems
we face and the solutions we
need to ensure that our industry
remains the best at meeting
the entertainment and telecommunications
needs of its customers.

Mark Dzuban is president and
CEO of the Society of Cable Telecommunications