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Updated 7/27/2010

Broadband Library: Two Sides to Every Story: Summer 2009 (June)

Broadband Library is distributed quarterly to all members of the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE). Beginning in early 2007, our column "Two Sides to Every Story" has used opposing pages to present contrasting viewpoints on a cable/telecom industry topic.

Our columns in the Summer 2009 issue focused on forecasting the future of cable technologies and services. The issue theme was "Transitioning to the Future: Remembering Our Past", so we looked at a planning project we did for a mid-size MSO more than a decade ago.

In The Future … As Expected, Sandy described our 1997 assignment "to help the senior executives plan the technology migration and strategy to carry the MSO into the twenty-first century" with a fifteen year time horizon. She concluded "Looking back at the plan, it seems like we envisioned the future we have arrived at today. It included high speed data that was much faster and with much more capacity, VOD, IP telephony, business services, the need for a digital migration plan and analog reclamation, OpenCable and tiered pricing."

In You’re Ignoring the Timing and Surprises, Dave agreed that "many of our key assumptions have proven correct" but says "we were right about some of today’s services—but wildly off on the timing. ... Probably the biggest shortfall in our plan was the amount of revenue we anticipated from the SOHO market. ... How about our misjudgment of how long it would take OpenCable to get to the market?" He also mentions "the things that came out of left field" such as "video streaming and peer-to-peer networking," PVRs and Wi-Fi.

Next: Our columns in the Fall 2009 issue discussed the role of technology in consumer’s lives.