In the wake of tornadoes and floods that ravaged parts of the U.S. in recent months, the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers announced it will expand its energy management program to develop planning guidelines for ensuring the availability of power in the event of natural and man-made disasters.
The original goal of the assocation's Smart Energy Management Initiative, introduced last year, was to help MSOs reduce energy consumption and costs.
At the SCTE's semiannual SEMI Forum earlier this week, held at the Bellingham, Wash., headquarters of Alpha Technologies, participants agreed to broaden the focus of the program to include emergency preparedness and disaster recovery planning that provide for continued operational readiness for both the network and its technical and operational workforces.
"World events have demonstrated clearly this year the impact that natural and man-made events can have on the critical infrastructures that are needed for day-to-day services," SCTE president and CEO Mark Dzuban said. "As cable's service portfolio has grown to include data, voice and now mobile services, it has become more important than ever for operators to have the resources in place to ensure both service continuity and revenue continuity when incidents occur."
Under the broadened purview, SEMI will identify needs for such disasters as earthquakes, fire, floods, hurricanes and tornadoes, as well as events such as terror attacks and blackouts. In each case, the participants will define benchmarks and strategies for preventing service interruption, rapid restoration of service and ensuring the availability and safety of the workforce in adverse conditions.
Cable operators already have plans covering how they prepare for and respond to disasters. According to SCTE, SEMI's focus on disaster readiness will provide a way to share best practices for different scenarios.
"While vulnerability to disasters varies from system to system, there are ‘best practices' for service availability that can benefit the entire industry," Dan Cooper, senior director of technical operations for Time Warner Cable and chairman of the SCTE Standards Program's Sustainability Management Subcommittee, said in a statement.
The spring SEMI Forum was attended by engineering and operations professionals from the cable operator and vendor communities.
Presentations included: "Alternative Fuels for Fleet," by the U.S. Department of Energy; "Fuel Cell Success," by Rogers Cable Systems; "Tier III Green Datacenter," by BendBroadband; "LED Lighting," by LED Savings Solution; "Demand Response Strategy," by EnerNOC; "Utility Rate Case Study," by Coppervale; "dB-to-Watt Trade-Offs in HFC Migration," by Motorola Mobility; as well as presentations from Colt Recycling and Alpha Technologies, respectively. Alpha Technologies is the SCTE SEMI Program sponsor.
The next SEMI Forum will be held Sept. 14 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, and hosted by CommScope.