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Simplifying Cable Plant Operations with SDN and DOCSIS 3.1

Igor-DayenGuest Blog by Igor Dayen, SP Product and Solutions Marketing

Carriers are continually challenged to deliver on the customer experience. One of the benefits of Cisco’s cBR-8 Evolved CCAP is the built-in telemetry, programmability, and DOCSIS 3.1 support of the platform. This makes it ideal for gigabit-speed access applications that demand both an automated and optimized cable access network.

With Software Defined Networking the cable operator can read information from the cable plant, make necessary decisions and then push an update back into the network. They can then decide on how conservative or how aggressive they want to be on adjusting the plant performance. Other tools such as a health check monitor that will validate performance, record a variety of statistics, and alert users when it sees something that is not a norm.
In addition, there are applications that enable management functions. Functions that today require human intervention can take place automatically – simplifying network operations and maximizing the customer experience.

Today, cable operators have an opportunity to Read More »

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Join the SCTE IP Challenge – Perspective from Last Year’s Winner, Jamie Griffin

The SCTE IP Challenge haIMG_9141 copys become an event that I look forward to each year. I have participated for 2 years now and plan to return for a third at this year’s Cable-Tec Expo in New Orleans. It’s a great opportunity to test your own skills, meet industry colleagues, and enjoy some friendly competition.

The SCTE Expo itself is a great show and always leaves me with a feeling of renewed enthusiasm. The show floor is a great place to identify new equipment or technologies that could have a meaningful impact on your system. However, for me, the technical workshops are the most important events. In these sessions you get to hear real world experiences from technical leaders in the field, learn from successful and less-than-successful technology deployments, and get a great sense of where the industry as a whole is headed for the coming year.

The IP Challenge itself begins several months before the SCTE Expo with two rounds of online qualifiers. The questions in the qualifying rounds can be difficult and often require some research. However, the challenge isn’t necessarily clearing the board, the toughest part is catching all the bonuses and tokens. By the end of a full week you can develop a Pavlovian response to any change in the all-important bonus box.

Although the questions at the finals are Read More »

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It’s Time to Play the SCTE IP Challenge!

Harris-Steve_GrayThis is a partner perspective guest blog contributed by Steve Harris, Senior Director, Advanced Network Technologies.

If the category is “SCTE Cable-Tec Expo® Highlights” and the answer is “The SCTE IP Challenge,” then the question is obvious:  “What major Cable-Tec Expo event gets underway next week?”

While Cable-Tec Expo is a few months beyond the horizon, the SCTE IP Challenge – the event that gives cable engineering and operations professionals the chance to demonstrate their mastery of IP technology – is coming up fast.  The start date for virtual qualifying rounds?  That’s an easy one, Alex:  June 1.


Sponsored once again by Cisco, the SCTE IP Challenge has become a signature event on the Cable-Tec Expo agenda.  Here’s the opportunity for those contestants who are SCTE members and work for a cable MSO: if they’re among the top eight scorers in the two virtual qualifying rounds – June 1-7 and July 13-19 – they win a free pass to SCTE Cable-Tec Expo 2014 in Denver, where they can compete in the semifinals and finals.  Before a live audience Read More »

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The SCTE IP Challenge is back! Are you ready?

By Steve Harris, Senior Director, Advanced Network Technologies

How prepared are you for the future of cable telecommunications? You’ll have a chance to find out with the return of the SCTE IP Challenge over the next few weeks.

With the support of our friends at Cisco Systems, the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers has brought back the challenge in a bigger and better way to help test knowledge and heighten understanding of the Internet Protocol (IP) technologies that will shape our industry in the years to come.

To get involved – see below for the cool prizes you can win – there are three things Read More »

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Cable Technologists: Thanks For a Great SCTE Cable-Tec Expo!

To the 10,000 or so of you who joined us in Atlanta this week for the annual Society of Cable Telecommunication Engineers Expo – thanks for participating in what was one of the more high-energy, momentous Expos we’ve seen in decades. Wow! What a great one this year.

Starting with the ending, really: On the last afternoon of the show, Steve Callahan, Senior Network Engineer for Time Warner Carolinas, earned the grand prize at the first annual “IP Challenge.” (It wasn’t explicitly because he had fans with handheld signs in the audience [see photo to the left] – Steve really did perform the series of router configurations with alacrity and grace – but it didn’t hurt.
Our overall Cable-Tec Expo 2011 observations: While in years past, engineering to-do lists and intentions were overshadowed by doom-and-gloom predictions of cord-cutters, over-the-top video interlopers, and similar perceived calamity, this year’s Expo attendees were in full-tilt “let’s build it” mode.  The over-arching sentiment was that it’s time to auger in and get fully immersed in this overall transition to IP video. To that we say: Bring it!

In our booth, the two main areas of interest were the nuts-and-bolts details of how to get to “TV Anywhere,” as well as the key architectural elements that will enable the all-IP transition. Watch an unofficial “coffee clutch” video interview between our Mark Palazzo, VP/GM, Cable Access Business Unit, and industry technology columnist Leslie Ellis, about SCTE Expo trends. Read More »

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