NCTA — The Internet & Television Association

Celebrating 30 Years of CableLabs and Its Contributions to Internet and TV

Celebrating 30 Years of CableLabs and Its Contributions to Internet and TV

technology and innovation

Did you know that approximately 500 million people use CableLabs technology on a daily basis? Thirty years ago, no one could have foreseen the significant impact that CableLabs would have on consumers, the industry, and companies worldwide. CableLabs was founded in 1988 as a collaborative research and development consortium working to execute cable technology projects and drive industry standards. Its collaborative approach uses an open model to create better technology. Since its start, the organization has been granted over 200 patents—a feat that takes a hefty team of dedicated and creative people to accomplish. 

Over the past three decades, CableLabs has been responsible for setting the industry up for success through driving industry standards that make it easier for manufacturers and operators to implement and answer the needs of their customers. For starters, the organization was instrumental in defining and pushing forward the video encoding standard, MPEG, which is used around the world. And of course, it was responsible for bringing DOCSIS to fruition, the standard that is used to provide internet access over a cable modem. Before DOCSIS, cable modems lacked the scale to make them affordable to most consumers. But DOCSIS brought down the price of cable modems, and its infrastructure allows manufacturers to produce faster modems that are compatible with any operator. In the last 18 years, nearly 2.3 billion DOCSIS modems have been shipped. 

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But the enormous impact that CableLabs has made all stems from the platform that it created to give different companies of all sizes and scale inside and outside of the industry the opportunity to come together for collaborative discussions. Many of the great ideas and innovations that have moved the TV and internet business forward have come from a CableLabs initiative or consultation. These meetings and exchanges of ideas now extend to other industries beyond cable, such as healthcare, IOT, and smart goods. The organization launched Kyrio and UpRamp, which were formed to further the impact of cable technology to millions of other people around the world. 

We are happy to pay tribute to this organization that has played a pivotal role in collaborating with America’s ISPs to bring more robust networks, technology and creations that give the internet, and its users, the power to solve some of society's biggest challenges.

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To learn more about CableLabs and its contributions in transforming connectivity and life as we know it, visit their 30th anniversary site: