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With DOCSIS 3.1 rollout momentum growing, fiber buildouts accelerating and Remote PHY deployments starting, cable operators are prepping their networks for multi-gigabit broadband speeds, more advanced video services and next-gen wireless capabilities. These moves are allowing them to keep up with aggressive, fiber-happy rivals like Verizon, AT&T, Google Fiber and CenturyLink and expand their rule of the US broadband market. But, faced with mounting bandwidth pressures and the growing assault on their core pay-TV business by OTT providers, operators still face major competitive challenges on both the broadband and video fronts. In this big-picture outlook, we explore the competitive context for cable's latest tech initiatives.
Now that they have begun rolling out DOCSIS 3.1 en masse, cable operators are staking their claim in the gigabit market with the ability to offer top download speeds of up to 10 Gbps and top upload speeds of at least 1 Gbps. At the same time, they are looking to the future with plans to craft a Full Duplex DOCSIS spec that would enable them to deliver symmetrical speeds as high as 10 Gbps over the same spectrum. Yet Full Duplex, which requires deep fiber builds and more RF spectrum, raises key technical, operational and financial issues. Just how far can cable ride the DOCSIS train? What lessons have been learned from D3.1? Our experts tackle the issues.
Even as they step up their deployments of integrated CCAP chassis, cable operators are pursuing distributed access architecture (DAA) options for shifting legacy headend functions to the access network and expanding the capacity of that network for new, more advanced services. In this session, cable technologists will discuss their latest Remote PHY, Remote MAC/PHY, Remote CCAP and Remote OLT moves, as well as address the impact that DOCSIS 3.1, WiFi, Fiber Deep, 5G and other new technologies will have on the last mile of tomorrow.
Taking a break from the morning's heavy tech sessions, this panel will look at what's wrong with the traditional pay-TV business model, why cord-cutting keeps rising and what cable operators must do to stay in the game. Experts will discuss various options, including embracing IP video, deploying cloud-based services, integrating OTT content, offering skinny bundles, targeting college viewers and upgrading user interfaces.
Despite a relative late start, cable is now staking out its own turf in the software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) space, even leading the way in such aspects as the virtualization of access networks. Now that CableLabs has identified three new components of next-gen cable networks – service orchestrator, NFV orchestrator and master SDN controller – engineers are developing the interfaces and standards to make cable virtual network functions (VNFs) a reality. But much more remains to be done. This panel will assess the market's current state and look at what comes next.
Stung by years of criticism for poor customer service, the cable industry is now shifting its focus to the customer experience. As part of that big shift, cablecos are turning to artificial intelligence (AI) and automation to improve service, including network management, daily operations and the customer experience. Rather than just focusing on better service appointment times and customer service calls, providers are moving towards automated operations that enable technicians to proactively manage network functions and give customers greater ability to self-manage their services. This panel will look at how cable operators are applying AI disciplines in increasingly varied ways, the obstacles they’re encountering and the solutions they’re developing.
For the past twelve years, the Rocky Mountain Cable Association (RMCA) and the University of Denver’s Daniels College of Business have partnered to run a Cable Apprentice Competition for graduate students. Working in teams of three and competing for a cash prize of $4,500, these MBA students craft proposed products, services or strategies to help the cable industry boost its image and revenues. In a Cable Next-Gen Tech first, we will have the three finalist teams in this year’s competition present their ideas and then vote for our favorite.
*Winner of Cable Apprentice Competition Announced