Before we Start Over with a New Year, here’s a Look Back at 2012 through the prism of CED’s Broadband 50, which is now 12 years old. We have scoured the cable world to come up with the people, stories and trends that were the most meaningful.
For Cequel Communications Holdings, doing business as Suddenlink, 2012 was the occasion of a remarkably simultaneous culmination of several multi-year efforts. These efforts included both engineering and business aspects, which ultimately amplified each other.
In this age, with every point in the distribution line being threaded through and through with IP-based technologies, it is important to consider the near-, mid- and long-term future of the MPEG video transport architecture this industry invented and built.
LRG: The 13 largest MVPDs lost about 53,500 net additional video subscribers in Q3 2012; TDG Research: 13 percent of broadband subscribers do not subscribe to cable-like pay-TV services; Ericsson: Approximately 40 percent of all phones sold in Q3 2012 were smartphones; and IIA: Broadband-enabled savings increased nearly $1,200 per American household from last year.
Albert Einstein said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Last year, I predicted that somebody might finally do something interesting with tru2way. Would studiously ignoring tru2way be considered “something interesting”? Judges? OK then, 2013.
It was only six years ago that Netflix, then known mainly as a mail-order distributor of DVD movies, launched a novel streaming video service it called, blandly enough, the “instant watching” feature – later to be rebranded “Watch Instantly.” The rest is, of course, history.
Most MSOs deployed 12 fibers to each node in the 1990s, as the cost difference from a two-fiber cable to a larger-count cable was the difference of pennies. This forward-thinking attitude is now paying dividends. There are a multitude of different options for MSOs to leverage their existing assets.
In the weeks after Superstorm Sandy ravaged the Mid-Atlantic region, cable was a whirlwind of activity. Engineering crews worked tirelessly to ensure that critical facilities were up and running and that key telecommunications services would be quickly restored.
The Federal Communications Commission has begun a new proceeding on delivery of emergency information to blind and sight-impaired viewers. The FCC seems to be aware of the practical problem noted above, but it’s not making much progress in dealing with it.
TV’s user interface (UI) – combining navigation, search, discovery and more – is as sophisticated a product as the TV industry has. But it doesn’t by a long shot get viewers literally everywhere they might want to go. “Disaster” might be too strong a word for TV’s UI, but whatever the appropriate description is, the difference is a matter only of degree.
There were plenty of buzz-worthy topics during the most recent edition of the SCTE Cable-Tec Expo, but the official debut of the DOCSIS 3.1 specification made the biggest splash in Orlando outside of Sea World. A panel provided some insights on DOCSIS 3.1.
Tier 2 and Tier 3 service providers remain squeezed by circumstances. Some are scraping up the wherewithal to build infrastructure supporting new services. Meanwhile, equipment vendors continue to devise solutions sized and priced appropriately for the market.
Managed service providers, telcos, MSOs and satellite broadcasters alike are facing intense competition from over-the-top service providers such as Netflix and Hulu. These new market entrants are rapidly building their subscriber base by providing premium video and video-on-demand services on any device.
Every year, we all get treated to a country-by-country breakdown of average broadband speeds. In recent years, several traditional economic powerhouses find themselves somewhere down in the middle of the rankings. This is a group of countries used to being leaders, so lagging in any way tends to chafe.
In cable, the cable modem and the television converter loom large as signatures of technological advancement. But industry historians point to a far less notorious device as the innovation that propelled the industry from its tenuous origins to an echelon reserved for the truly game-changing. It was a signal meter.