The NCTA’s Vanguard Award for Science and Technology honors people who have played a significant role in product improvement, as well as in the design and development of engineering techniques.
JR Walden has 20 years of experience with cable and 27 with the Internet. Walden founded Mediacom Communications’s Internet business with his first broadband deployment in early 1997. Following a series of acquisitions, upgrades and interconnects, he launched full DOCSIS broadband service across Mediacom beginning in 1999. In 2001 and 2002 he led the team migrating broadband services from the failing ISP Channel and @Home partnerships, respectively. In 2002, Walden received Mediacom’s Chairman’s Award, the company’s highest recognition. In 2004, he led the technical team developing and deploying Mediacom’s voice-over-Internet protocol-based telephone service, which successfully launched in 2005. He also led the formation of Media com’s first technical support center, network operation center, data center and lab facilities.
As chief technology officer, Walden now runs Mediacom’s technology and engineering, including video, Internet, phone and enterprise products. He leads a team of more than 200 engineers, software developers and network operators responsible for video engineering, operational support systems, network operations, video operations, software development and lab teams. Walden continues to break new ground, positioning Mediacom as a national leader in the rollout of 1 Gigabit-per-second Internet service.
“The Vanguard Award for Science & Technology is not only a tremendous individual honor, but a true testament to the pioneering work Mediacom has done to bring advanced broadband services to smaller cities and towns across America,” Walden said. “I am incredibly proud to be a part of this year’s class of esteemed individuals and to join the ranks of so many amazing Vanguard Award winners that came before me, including Mediacom’s own Rocco Commisso, John Pascarelli and Tapan Dandnaik.”
Walden began his career with the U.S. Department of Defense in military research, where he was introduced to mainframes, supercomputers and the Internet. He spent two years working on missile guidance technology and three additional years on fuse concept development and 3D imaging technology. Later, while working for defense contractors Comarco and Science Application International, he became involved with and ultimately managed an early municipal dialup Internet business.