TAMPA, Fla. -- Top engineers from Time Warner Cable and Comcast Cable, and an individual who was an influential voice for the cable industry for the better part of two decades, were honored Wednesday here at the SCTE Conference on Emerging Technologies annual awards luncheon.
The Polaris Award, the grandfather of the ET Awards, was bestowed posthumously on Roger Brown, the former publisher and editorial director of CED magazine, who passed away in October after a courageous battle against cancer. Brown was key in helping to get the Polaris off the ground when it was first awarded to Tom Staniec in 1993.
Roger Brown is the 13th person to be honored with the Polaris, an award that recognizes those who have helped to "light the way" toward a deeper industry understanding of the strategic benefits of optical fiber. Roger's wife, Birdy, accepted the award Wednesday on his behalf.
"Roger would be very humbled to receive this award," she said.
CommScope, the sponsor of the Polaris, donated $5,000 to the Roger Brown Family Fund. "The importance and significance of fiber's role and the subsequent creation of one of cable's greatest tools - HFC - were never lost on Roger," said Jim Hughes, CommScope's executive VP, global broadband sales & marketing.
Mike Coral, the director of network operations for Time Warner Cable -South Carolina, won the Star of Integrity Award, which recognizes an individual who played a primary role in the introduction of advanced broadband services. C-COR Inc. sponsors the award.
Coral, who joined TWC in the early 1990s and now runs headend and network operations, has spearheaded a centralized network for the operator's S.C. division, streamlining and paving the way for everything from digital cable, to video-on-demand, high-definition and even caller ID. He also directed the launch of "Compass," a TV-based interactive services portal that supports applications such as Start Over, a new service that allows viewers to restart programs in progress.
Taking home the IP Innovator Award (sponsored by Cisco Systems) was John Leddy, vice president of network and transport engineering for Comcast Cable.
Leddy was recognized for his important role with the MSO's Regional Area Network (RAN), a cost-cutting platform that gives Comcast the ability to carry voice, video and data services over a common IP infrastructure. The work included the development of integrated optics for IP routers populating the network.
Earlier in the day, SCTE formally recognized D. Quincy Johnson as its "Young Engineer of the Year," an award sponsored by SCTE, Multichannel News and Scientific-Atlanta. Johnson, the director of technical operations for Turner Broadcasting System Inc.'s Network Operations Division, was, among his other accomplishments, recognized for leading the design of a facility in South America for an initial 12-channel network origination and distribution system for Turner's networks for the region, reaching out to Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela and Mexico.