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CableLabs opens doors on San Fran facility

Mon, 11/21/2011 - 2:27pm
Mike Robuck

CableLabs employees will be better able to rub elbows with software developers, venture capitalists and other high-tech entities with the opening of its new office in San Francisco, which CableLabs announced this morning.

"As cable services evolve from those based on traditional cable-specific technologies to those that are open and software-based, the cable industry has increasing synergy with innovation initiatives that are not traditionally associated with cable, including Internet applications such as social networking, gaming and more," said Glenn Britt, chairman and CEO of Time Warner Cable and chairman of the CableLabs board of directors. "The new CableLabs San Francisco office will enhance the cable industry's position in an epicenter for technology innovation and is expected to facilitate the development of new partnerships that lead to the cultivation of new technologies."

Comcast senior vice president of engineering John Carney, who is on loan to CableLabs through next year, is helping with the establishment of the office and is leading programs related to the new facility.

Working in tandem with Carney is CableLabs' senior vice president of technology development Jean-François Mulé, who will lead the San Francisco office's technical staff in support of these and other CableLabs programs.

CableLabs said it expects to add software engineers and technology specialists to its new office through the remainder of the year and into 2012. The San Francisco office will also work hand in hand with CableLabs' Louisville, Colo., headquarters on IP communications and broadband application technologies.

"Comcast is excited that CableLabs' new San Francisco CableLabs office is extending cable's reach into the innovation communities of the West Coast," said Comcast CTO Tony Werner, who chairs the CableLabs Technology Advisory Committee. "This CableLabs initiative is an excellent complement to Comcast's own innovation and investment initiatives in that area."

When CableLabs was founded by cable operators in 1988, the Denver area was the unofficial "cable capital" of the industry, thanks to its central location, but with the demise of TCI and other cable-related businesses, cable has shifted its focus to other areas, while technology innovation has blossomed in the Bay Area.

CableLabs' San Francisco office is located at 180 Montgomery St., which is a high-rise building in the city's financial district. The Bay Area is home to companies such as Google and Facebook, and CableLabs hopes to tap into that talent with its new office.

Last month, CableLabs announced that President and CEO Paul Liao opted to not renew his contract. It was under Liao's tenure that the San Francisco office was first proposed and then implemented.

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