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Corny Technology: Welcome to Innovative Iowa

By Steven Shepard, Contributing Columnist

A couple of weeks ago I was in the bustling metropolis of Stanton, Iowa (population: 714), one of the most charming towns I have ever had the pleasure to visit. It is the home town of Mrs. Olson, the iconic figure in Folger’s Coffee commercials — which is why their water towers look so unique (see the photo insert below).

I was working with an independent telephone company client, one of about 1,300 in the U.S. — 250 of which are in Iowa. These independents are typically smaller phone companies, often family-owned, and almost always technologically-advanced.

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Aeneas Dodd-Noble 2011 LTE North America Award LTE Development by an Individual

By Jim O’Leary, Cisco Service Provider Mobility Solutions Marketing Manager

The leaves have turned color and are falling quickly here in New England, the days are getting shorter, and the end of 2011 is fast approaching. But one shining light that occurred last week at LTE North America in Dallas, Texas was Cisco Systems’ Consulting Engineer Aeneas Dodd-Noble receiving the LTE North America Award for Individual Contribution to LTE Development.  This industry recognition was a great acknowledgment of Aeneas’ dedication to working with Verizon Wireless on their LTE network development and deployment.  Aeneas noted that it is really recognition of his team and Cisco’s investment in our people, ingenuity, and leadership on intelligent LTE solutions.

Aeneas talks about LTE deployment at Verizon Wireless in the following video:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4y2U9QaXbGY
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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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Pioneers of The Network

In 1858, the USS Niagara departed from the town of Heart’s Content on Newfoundland’s Trinity Bay, to meet up with HMS Agamemnon somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.   The plan was to connect a cable that would enable telegraph communication between the continents.

I was puzzled when I first heard this story, thinking that in the days before GPS and satellite phones, wouldn’t it have been easier to just use one ship and avoid a mid-sea rendezvous?   Steve Shepard explains the logic in episode 2.

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Two Vendors – Us and Arris – Collaborating on Multi-Wavelength Management

By Mark Palazzo, VP and GM of Cisco’s Cable Access Business Unit

Here’s an important message from the Department of the Obvious: All along the world of networks, more capacity is needed. That’s especially true in the optical domain of the access/HFC plant, where work continues to multiplex more and more wavelengths together on a single piece of glass.

To date, operators tend to move traffic at or near the 1310 nm and 1550 nm wavelengths, to simultaneously transmit linear/broadcast as well as on-demand/narrowcast video streams on the access/HFC network.

As well, a lot of operators, and the vendor community that serves them, are considering the establishment of a full-spectrum, multi-wavelength plan for optical gear. It’s because we’re at this relatively early point that it’s critical to establish a common plan — because when wavelengths collide, bad stuff can happen.

At this week’s SCTE Cable-Tec Expo, two vendors in the optical equipment – our own Fernando Villarruel, and Venk Mutalik, VP/technology and strategy for Arris – will “leave their guns at the door,” so to speak, to co-deliver a paper and workshop about the importance of establishing a wavelength plan. Read More »

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