While many technologists were packing for Mobile World Congress, members of the National Cable Television Cooperative spent a busy week at the organization's Winter Education Conference (WEC) in Phoenix.
National Cable Television Cooperative Inc. (NCTC) represents the interests of more than 850 cable companies across the US and provides members with access to programming networks and technology companies and products.
WEC is an annual conference bringing together independent cable operators, consultants and technology vendors. The New IP topped the WEC’s agenda and New IP solutions were on display in the expo. Food and drink were plentiful, as were discussions on network evolution, competitive challenges and opportunities.
While independent cable operators are happy be fast followers and to let the big guys go first, according to comments some panelists made, simultaneously, operators are charging ahead with faster and faster broadband that leverages HFC and fiber to match insatiable demand.
More specifically, Ken Paker, vice president of Network Services and CTO at TDS Telecom
, continues to see 40% to 50% growth of bandwidth consumption and, more importantly, the ratio of peak bandwidth usage versus non-peak is growing (where once it was 5:1, now it is 10:1). That ratio is what drives CAPEX for broadband infrastructure and outside plant, he said.
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DOCSIS 3.1 gear and virtualized software (NFV and SDN) are coming for these operators, but the outside plant doesn’t benefit from Moore’s Law and service providers must be very careful about investment decisions, executives cautioned.
In a commercial services panel, hosted by Heavy Reading’s own Alan Breznick, panelists from Atlantic Broadband , Cable One Inc. , Wave Broadband , and
Vyve Broadband stated that there is no better return on capital than the commercial enablement strategy. It’s a wide open market, a green field if you will, and those providers just kicking off these services see between 30% and 40% quarterly growth, and incremental annual revenue contributions of between 10% and 18% of total revenue for MSOs. Serving the SMB is still the foundation of growth, with slow but steady velocity scaling up-market to larger enterprises. Hosted voice is a huge driver and opportunity, propelling much of the sales funnel growth.
Here are some of the event's highlights, captured in pictures. Click on the first image to view the slideshow.
Welcome to Phoenix
— Kevin Mitchell, Vice President, Marketing, Alianza, special to The New IP