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April 27, 2015

Technology & Devices

How Spectrum Sharing Will Lead to Better Wi-Fi

April 27, 2015

Hardly 15 years old, Wi-Fi technology has become the connective tissue binding our digital lifestyles. It was developed from the scrap heap of wireless spectrum to become one of the most critical technologies of our day. In fact, Wi-Fi carries more data than any other medium – more than 12,000 petabytes per month.

The cable industry has invested heavily in Wi-Fi to extend the consumer broadband experience well beyond the home. We’ve built over 300,000 publicly accessible hotspots and worked hard to push the technical possibilities of home and outdoor broadband. But the frequencies currently used to power today’sWi-Fi have become overcrowded and need room to expand to keep pace with exploding consumer demand.

That’s why as a nation, we need to make more spectrum available for unlicensed use so that Wi-Fi can grow – and the fastest way to do that is to find new bands where Wi-Fi can share with existing technologies. By increasing the amount of spectrum that Wi-Fi can share, our spectrum supply can keep pace with the tremendous growth in Wi-Fi usage and jump-start a new generation of Wi-Fi that can reach speeds of up to a gigabit per second.

Recently, policymakers have taken positive steps forward to encourage efforts that would open up new spectrum for Wi-Fi use. U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee leaders said they will initiate talks to yield greater spectrum sharing in the 5.9 GHz band, that was allocated over 15 years ago for vehicle communications. While this technology is important, auto manufacturers have yet developed a commercial product despite millions in government subsidies, which means that today, while there are neither auto nor Wi-Fi technologies in the band, is the perfect moment to rethink how these frequencies can be best utilized and shared and to develop a true win-win solution.

In a bipartisan joint statement, FCC Commissioners Jessica Rosenworcel and Mike O’Rielly said, “More than a decade and a half after this spectrum was set aside for vehicle and roadside systems, we agree it is time to take a modern look at the possibilities for wireless services in these airwaves, to allow a broader range of uses. We believe by taking steps right now, we can support automobile safety, increase spectrum for Wi-Fi, and grow our wireless economy.”

To move the ball downfield, we believe it is time for both autos and Wi-Fi to roll up our sleeves and do the engineering work needed to make spectrum sharing a reality. With consumer demand and bandwidth intensive applications skyrocketing, we need to work now to keep Wi-Fi growing for all. And as our technology needs expand, finding ways to maximize this inherently limited resource will be increasingly important. That’s why its time for both autos and W-Fi to agree on how to share the road . Fortunately, Wi-Fi can do just that.

INTX: The Internet & Television Expo

A TV and Internet Mashup: What You Will See at INTX 2015


April 24, 2015

Collaborators. Competitors. Frenemies.  That’s who will be featuring at the upcoming inaugural INTX: The Internet & Television Expo in Chicago May 5 – 7. They will be speaking on panels, chatting at parties, passing in hallways and most importantly, on full display in a new Marketplace setting on the INTX floor.

Next week, exhibits are going up, signage and displays are being hung, Imagine Park is being built, and McCormick Place is getting ready for thousands of show goers. The front doors of INTX open in only ten days so we wanted to give you an overview of what to expect when you arrive.

The Marketplace

Featuring global companies and brands in entertainment, technology and telecom, the #intx2015 Marketplace will be a larger-than-life expo at the exciting intersection of TV and the Internet. The INTX Marketplace is a re-imagined showfloor with new features and plenty of opportunity to experience the new services that are making headlines every day.


As you make your way around the Marketplace, traditional aisles between booths have been transformed into themed boulevards and expressways that guide you to the related INTX Intersection. These Intersections – there are five of them across the floor – really are the focal points of the Marketplace. Themed Internet of Things, TV Everywhere, Navigation, Streaming, and Gaming, the Intersections will be interactive, educational and visually stunning representations of the major themes facing our industry today. You’ll find everything from virtual reality to Vimeo and Sling TV to TiVo among the dozens of products on display.

Imagine Park

Imagine Park will be front and center inside the INTX Marketplace and serves as the live events stage will feature discussions with technologists, presentations about strategies and several demos of new services throughout the Expo. It’s also a place to grab some food, recharge your device and enjoy a comfortable seat. Steps away from Imagine Park is Tek Stadium, showcasing the coolest tech our industry is working with, hosted by CableLabs and featuring dozens of companies.


Startup Showcase

Located steps away from Imagine Park, the Start-Up Showcase will house local Chicago start-ups along with the tech incubators they are currently staged in. Stop by and see their latest products and services and also meet the finalists from the INTXHACK – the live 24-hour developers challenge taking place in conjunction with INTX.


For a closer look at the INTX show floor, check out this interactive map.


Industry News

Celebrate Earth Day by Watching TV


April 22, 2015

Happy Earth Day! People everywhere are finding ways to make cities greener, fight climate change, and support renewable energy solutions. And in the wonderful world of technology, building and upgrading devices with energy conservation in mind is just as important.

The cable industry views energy efficiency as a strategic imperative that is good for our business and good for our customers. Two years ago, along with energy advocacy groups, we established the voluntary set-top box energy conservation agreement, or VA. The VA works to cut energy use in the 90 million American homes with cable’s video technology. So far, the VA has saved American consumers $168 million in energy bills, and represents a savings of nearly 842,000 metric tons of CO2 per year. By 2017, these new standards will improve set-top box efficiency by up to 45 percent and rack up more than $1 billion in consumer energy savings annually.

Additionally, last summer, the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers and CableLabs joined forces to create a new collaborative industry venture called Energy 2020. This program brings together the collective vision and technology expertise of cable operators and vendors to accomplish goals that include reducing power consumption and energy costs, optimizing technical facilities and datacenters and establishing new partnerships that will improve hardware development.

In addition to cable set-top boxes, many other entertainment devices and consumer electronics are surprisingly very energy efficient and some of the greenest devices in the home. Take a look at the chart below.


Smartphones, laptops, videogame consoles, set-top boxes, and televisions are the most efficient electronics in the household. CEA reports that residential consumer electronics consume just 12 percent of total residential electricity and 4.5 percent of total US electricity.

Check out CEA’s Energy Calculator to calculate your energy usage based on devices and electronics in your house.

INTX: The Internet & Television Expo

Chief Executives and FCC Leaders Take the Stage at INTX 2015


April 20, 2015

We’re exactly two weeks from the start of INTX: The Internet & Television Expo and the speakers and sessions are almost final. Today, we’re thrilled to reveal the latest, and quite impressive, group of speakers for the Wednesday General Session and Wednesday INTX Talks.

First, a panel of chief executives from leading national and international cable operators will be featured. The panel will be hosted by CNBC’s Julia Boorstin and include James Dolan, Chief Executive Officer, Cablevision Systems Corporation; Pat Esser, President, Cox Communications; Michael Fries, President & CEO, Liberty Global; and Tom Rutledge, President & CEO, Charter Communications.

A second panel discussion with some of the most creative and inspiring minds in the TV content business will follow. Those on stage will include Matt Blank, Chairman & CEO, Showtime Networks; John Landgraf, Chief Executive Officer, FX Networks; & FX Productions and Josh Sapan, President & CEO, AMC Networks Inc.

Tech policy will also be featured at INTX as the entire FCC leadership will be participating. Chairman Wheeler will be giving a keynote address to open the Wednesday General Session. Later that afternoon, at the brand new INTX Talks: Conversations & Perspectives we’ll hear from Commissioners Clyburn, O’Rielly, Pai and Rosenworcel, on the current issues facing the ever-changing communications and media world.

We are adding more speakers and session details every day, so check the INTX website for the very latest. And we’ll be sharing more information via @intxNCTA, the event hashtag: #intx2015, and this blog on a regular basis.

We hope to see you in Chicago!


April 16, 2015

Broadband & Internet

How Broadband Competition is Really Technology Competition

April 16, 2015

On’s Broadband By the Numbers page, we show that 88 percent of Americans have access to at least two wired Internet service providers and 98 percent have access to at least two mobile wireless providers. Not to mention 97 percent have access to at least three mobile providers. These are impressive stats, but only tell part of…

Public Policy

Why We Are Appealing The FCC’s Title II Decision


April 14, 2015

Today, NCTA filed a Petition for Review of the FCC’s February 26, 2015 order which reclassified broadband Internet service as a public utility, or telecommunications service, under Title II of the Communications Act. We filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. So why are we appealing? It has nothing to do…

John Solit


April 10, 2015

Industry News

Gigasphere: The Technology Behind Gigabit Broadband


April 10, 2015

Recently we announced “Gigasphere,” the new consumer-facing name representing DOCSIS 3.1 technology. DOCSIS 3.1 is the technology specifications developed by CableLabs that enables broadband speeds up to 10 gigabits per second, reduces network delays due to congestion, and improves cable modem energy efficiency. For something so impressive, it certainly deserves a better name than DOCSIS…