SCTE’s SEMI project plans for greener pastures

Wed, 04/14/2010 - 8:45am
Mike Robuck

Cable industry professionals got down to the brass tacks last week on coming up with “green” initiatives for cable during the SCTE’s Smart Energy Management Initiative (SEMI) last week at the Comcast Center in Philadelphia.

The SEMI project was first announced in February as a follow-up and expansion on the SCTE’s Green Pavilion at last year’s Cable-Tec Expo in Denver.

Last week’s meeting at Comcast’s headquarters was the first SEMI forum of this year. During the one-day forum, more than 40 engineering and technical professionals discussed ways that operators and vendors could collaborate to develop and deploy near-term and long-term technological approaches that can reduce energy usage, yield significant cost savings and increase public goodwill for the industry. Topics included the planning of specific projects to holistic energy-efficiency modeling.

“Sustainability is a real business strategy,” said Bret Perkins, senior director of public policy for Comcast, the keynote speaker for the event. “For instance, companies that increase efficiencies and reduce waste in their business practices, including their supply chains, inevitably reduce their costs. The ability to put data behind their decisions is critical to making a business case for strategic sustainability.”

Highlights from the nine technical presentations included:

  • The value of developing a “green” strategy that involves all company sectors – including corporate, engineering/IT, marketing, customer care and regional units
  • The importance of working with vendors to address the large percentage of energy costs that are hidden in the supply chain
  • How heat generated by data centers can be stored in the ground for upwards of 12 months and can be used to heat adjacent offices during colder periods
  • A case study that showed how simply consolidating electricity expenses within a single utility enabled a mid-size cable system operator to reduce costs by 7.6 percent, or more than $700,000, in the first year alone
  • The ability of operators in the United States to reduce costs and consumption by 10 percent to 20 percent, or more, in the near term

Among the presenters were Dick Kirsche, director of digital set-top engineering at Comcast; Derek DiGiacomo, director of information systems at the SCTE; Dr. René Spée, consultant to Coppervale; Dave Picklesimer, distinguished member, technical staff at Alcatel-Lucent; Mark Welsko, director of mission critical infrastructure at Worldwide Environmental Services; John Elkins, technical consultant at Power and Telephone Supply; Howard Alderson, president of Alderson Engineering; and David Hall, manager of data center applications at CommScope.

More information on the SEMI program is available by writing to

More Broadband Direct 4/14/10:
•  Charter projects that Q1 revenue will be up 4.5%
•  SCTE's SEMI project plans for greener pastures
•  FCC defends spectrum plan before broadcasters
•  Qualcomm to let phones record mobile TV shows
•  AT&T to deploy HD-SDI switch to distribute video
•  FairPoint blames fire for Maine Internet outages
•  AT&T rebrands self, shelves ad spat with Verizon
•  iPad gets streaming video; global launch delayed
•  Intel's profit nearly quadruples, IT spending strong
•  Time Warner Cable CEO gets $15.8M compensation
•  Broadband Briefs for 04/14/10



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