The cable industry provides millions of jobs across a myriad of disciplines. This week cable engineers take the spotlight.
Cable engineers span the full gamut when it comes to bringing Americans the connectivity they need and demand. “Cable used to be just used for watching TV shows, but today’s network is supporting all types of internet traffic including people who work from home, home monitoring, and commercial traffic to business in addition to telephony and security services," explained Dean Stoneback, senior director of engineering and standards at SCTE•ISBE. Whether it's a technician, an operations supervisor, or a network manager, every role is integral to giving communities across the country the ability to not just connect online, but to seamlessly use multiple internet-enabled devices at once, or to download movies or exchange large files with colleagues and friends.
Engineers within the industry are both office-based and tasked with overseeing operations as well as more hands-on and customer-facing. The crux of these jobs involves ensuring that the network's security and performance are operating at top levels. This means that these employees are constantly monitoring the system's performance, troubleshooting, and upgrading the tools for internet and television users.
“Higher level engineers don’t generally meet the customer face-to-face, but they are tasked with designing, implementing and maintaining a network with 24x7 reliability,” said Stoneback. Meanwhile, the installers and field technicians have to talk with customers at their homes. “This is a very unique skill set, requiring not only technical expertise but also strong social skills as they interact with customers who are probably nervous about what the employee is doing in their home and desire the job to be done quickly and accurately, while having everything work perfectly when the job is done."
Then there are the video programming engineers, those in charge of ensuring that video content reaches customers on their TVs, phones and devices, and software engineers who work on the complex custom code needed to deliver services, who are also very integral to the process.
A lot goes into maintaining and evolving the cable experience for the millions and millions of users that benefit from connectivity every day. Engineers take on the responsibility of crafting an experience that has the speed, quality and capacity needed to stay ahead of consumer demand.