SCTE-ISBE, MSOs Partner on ‘Adaptive Power Challenge’

With two $10K prizes at stake, contest seeks entries from inside and outside cable industry
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SCTE-ISBE has hooked up with Comcast and Liberty Global on a contest that will look both inside and outside the industry for new ideas and “breakthroughs” on how to manage energy across broadband networks.

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The contest, called the Adaptive Power Challenge, aims to spur development on new technologies and solutions that can help manage energy across broadband networks.

The contest will award winners in two categories – Established Enterprises (includes companies with 250 or more employees), and Breakthrough Organizations subs as labs, universities and startups. Each winner will get $10,000. Per the fine print, applicants must be 18 years or older. Applicants retain all rights to the documents submitted and all content.

There’s no fee to enter. An application deadline has been set for Friday, June 29. Organizers said the industry is particularly interested in solutions that address access networks and edge facilities, which represent between 73% to 83% of a cable operator’s energy consumption.

Entries will be evaluated in Q3 2018 by a panel of judges that includes Debbie Fitzgerald, principal architect at CableLabs; Mark Glaser, senior engineering, critical facilities engineering and operation at Cox Communications; Mark Hess, SVP of business and industry affairs at Comcast Cable; Sam Khola, director of sustainability at Liberty Global; Todd Musat, director, critical infrastructure service, Shaw Communications; and John Dolan, senior guideline specialist at Rogers Communications.

Finalists in each category will be announced September 12 at the SCTE-ISBE Standards Energy Management Systems Plenary in Louisville, Colo.

Six finalists will compete by presenting their solutions on Tuesday, Oct. 23 at the Cable-Tec Expo in Atlanta, with two winners to be announced on-site.

The presentation portion of the contest among the six finalists will use a Shark Tank-type format, noted Chris Bastian, SVP and CTO at SCTE-ISBE.

Winners will also be invited to MSO labs to work on ideas that, hopefully, develop into scalable solutions, he added.

The Adaptive Power Challenge ties into the SCTE-ISBE Energy 2020 program. The current goals are to reduce power consumption by 20% on a unit basis, reduce energy costs by 25% on a unit basis, and to reduce grid dependency by 5%.

Bastian said the current goals of the program, which hit its mid-point in 2017, are on track.

That work also has connections to the Adaptive Power Systems Interface Specification (APSIS), also known as SCTE 216, which aims to give MSOs a way to adjust power consumption on converged cable access platform (CCAP) devices during peak and non-peak periods.

RELATED: Comcast Tests ‘Turning the Knob’ on CCAPs

“The Adaptive Power System Interface Specification and other APSIS-related standards were created to give cable communications providers a universal framework for reduction of unnecessary energy usage,” Frank Sandoval, chair of the SCTE-ISBE Standards Program’s APSIS Working Group, said in a statement. “The Adaptive Power Challenge’s incentives are intended to encourage anyone with a creative energy idea to help us expedite innovative applications that can deliver real results for the broadband industry and the communities it serves.”

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