The 2011 class of Pacesetter Award recipients represent innovators in a number of endeavors crucial to the competitive viability of cable operators around the world, including business services, optical networking and multi-screen delivery.
Multi-Screen Video Technology
The recipient of the first Pacesetter ever given for Multi-Screen Video Technology is the multi-screen video team at Virgin Media, one of the very first operators to implement a multi-screen delivery system.
The Virgin Media Player, an online and mobile TV service, was launched during the middle of 2010, offering an impressively rich catalog of titles with thousands of hours of content.
Virgin Media may be unique in its deployment of a multitude of access models and product bundling options. The company is continuing to evolve the service with the adoption of new DRM technologies, unlocking new content providers and setting a framework for migration to HTTP Adaptive Streaming.
The service runs on SeaChange International’s multi-screen technology and managed service infrastructure.
The Multi-Screen Video Technology Pacesetter is sponsored by SeaChange.
The Pacesetter in the category of Advanced Architectures is bestowed upon Roger Hughes, senior engineer of Armstrong Cable, for proving the value of RF over glass (RFoG) in rural applications.
When first popularized, RFoG was used largely in greenfields, serving new housing communities. Hughes recognized that fiber’s low-loss characteristic made the architecture ideal for rural applications, as well. Employing Aurora Networks’ VHub and RFoG technology, Hughes demonstrated that a rural carrier like Armstrong could expand its fiber network to economically reach new subscribers.
“Once the architecture and proof-of-concept for a fiber-to-thehome RFoG network was complete, Roger took the architectural concept and turned it into a very cost-effective, easily deployable network. He continues to drive down costs, enabling us to push our network to smaller home-passed rural areas. We’re very proud of his hard work and accomplishments,” said Mike Giobbi, CTO at Armstrong.
The Advanced Architectures Pacesetter is sponsored by Aurora.
Innovative Network Engineering
In the category of Innovative Network Engineering, Melody Rock, manager of optical systems at Shaw Cablesystems, is recognized for devising and implementing a network architecture that will support Shaw’s goal to dramatically increase bandwidth connectivity speeds to its customers.
To meet the 10x increase, Shaw carefully considered capex and opex considerations balanced against performance and reliability requirements. The result was one of the largest single deployments of 40G optical transport circuits in Canada, based on equipment from Fujitsu.
The Innovative Network Engineering Pacesetter is sponsored by Fujitsu.
Test & Measurement
Suddenlink’s corporate field operations manager, Mark Hood, is the recipient of the Test & Measurement Pacesetter.
The entire industry has had to emphasize quality of service (QoS) and quality of experience (QoE), while at the same time strive to improve operating efficiencies. The common element to both concerns is a smooth-running network, and that’s the purview of test and measurement.
Hood championed the use of an integrated test system, the VeEx CX350, that tests both cable TV and DOCSIS network elements to support home certification, reporting and an onboard dispatch system. The combination has improved the efficiency of Suddenlink’s network maintenance.
The Test & Measurement Pacesetter is sponsored by VeEx.
The recipient of the Pacesetter for Business Services is Lisa Papageorgiou, who is the director of marketing for Comcast Business Services.
Lisa has been pivotal to the success of Comcast’s business services, bringing momentum and innovation to Comcast’s ERate program, aimed at the education market, and its health care marketing initiative for the medical market. She was cited for her drive and enthusiasm, moving both projects at an expedited pace.
Comcast is relying on Ethernet systems supplied by Ciena.
The Business Services Pacesetter is sponsored by Ciena.
CED’s very own
The 2011 SCTE Excellence in Standards Award was bestowed on Jeffrey Krauss, president of Telecommunications & Technology Policy and a regular columnist with CED.
Krauss was cited for having chaired the drafting groups for a number of standards, including SCTE 28, SCTE 128, SCTE 157 and SCTE 40. Krauss also participates in SCTE DVS groups dealing with audio loudness and advanced audio coding.
Krauss told a parable of industry participants arguing over the review of a standard, with a newcomer to the subject making a suggestion and getting ignored.
“The moral is: The real work is done in drafting groups. If you have something to contribute at ballot time, it’s too late.”
Krauss commended CableLabs and the NCTA for their work coordinating standards.
“Standards can create winners and losers,” Krauss reminded. “They can be very important to your business.”