10G and Smart Cities Ready to Take the Spotlight at the Cable-Tec Expo
The annual SCTE•ISBE Cable-Tec Expo kicks off tomorrow in New Orleans, as thousands of cable engineers and technology experts gather to experience the combination of thought leadership and engineering innovation that the event is known for. As the largest and premiere trade show in the Americas, the expo also marks the end of a special year for the organization as it celebrated its 50th anniversary of bringing technical leadership and professional development to the industry. In an earlier interview this past summer with NCTA, SCTE•ISBE President & CEO Mark Dzuban shared his thoughts on how the engineering profession continues to evolve as technologies advance and customer needs change, and about how Cable-Tec Expo plays a crucial role in not just showcasing the future of technology and broadband, but in moving new ideas forward in the cable ecosystem.
Check out a few snippets from the conversation with Dzuban below about why Cable-Tec Expo is so instrumental to the future of the industry, and a few things to pay extra attention to from this year's exciting lineup.
What makes the Cable-Tec Expo stand apart from other conventions in the industry?
MD: The framework of what we focus on at Expo is applied science. That's a key word—applied science. From the opening session, to the content, to our vendors, everything presented is applied science whether it's around operations, tools, hardware, or communications. There might be futuristic products displayed, but those products are generally on a roadmap, which means they are not purely visionary. There is actually a roadmap to build them in time. Think of applied science like this: You can have ideas forever. But you have to be able to implement, build, and operate [these ideas]. That's where the business gains it revenue, and how to best compete in the marketplace. We look at [applied science] as playing a very prominent role in the ecosystem. It's through applied science that you can then deploy and operate networks, and support the individuals and manufacturers who build and operate that equipment.
What are the big industry issues on the agenda this year?
MD: What's important to the success of our industry is what's relevant. So from an SCTE•ISBE perspective, the hot topic this year is 10G. This show centers around the implementation of 10G and the notion of what it will take to get that done. There will also be examples of how the capabilities of cable 10G networks will enable powerful new technologies to transform fields like business and biomedicine. The preconference and general session will feature leaders from Comcast, Charter, Cox, Intel, CableLabs, to name a few, as well as Dean Kamen, one of the world's foremost innovators, and a top executive from FedEx who will share what the future of package deliveries might look like with the help of 10G. NCTA President & CEO Michael Powell will also provide an "inside-the-beltway" perspective around the issue.
Smart cities will also be a big deal. We're looking at the combining of not just architectural designs, but how communications participate in architectural designs and city planning. And also IOT, which people don't realize is driving the initiation of a program called aging-in-place and how communications can be a part of life extension technology. These pieces also come together to include telemedicine, diagnostics, analytics, outpatient care, etc. There are all kind of things we'll be discussing around the IOT smart cities concept and how it applies to improving quality of life moving forward.
What's next for Cable-Tec Expo in the coming years?
MD: We're looking forward to a very successful Expo. It's all part of our 10-year plan to continue to drive value and innovation in the industry. Once we get through New Orleans this year, Expo goes to Denver and Atlanta over the next two years as the beginning of a regular rotation between those cities, which have the most significant bases of resident cable operations and engineering folks. We've also scheduled a year each in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. For the next 10 years, we've determined that ergonomically, this plan [for Expo] is the best way to drive the growth of applied science in our industry.