Time Warner Cable engineers took an innovative approach to a new hub in Summerville, S.C., by grouping services together into pods.

The new hub cost $850,000 to complete and is the second largest to be built in South Carolina by Time Warner Cable. Traditionally, cable operators have separated digital video equipment and high-speed data equipment in different areas of the same building. The pod design grouped services together in the same location at the site. Time Warner Cable designed each pod in the hub to service 12,000 subscribers, and in Summerville, there are three pods that serve a total of about 35,000 customers.

Time Warner Cable started the wiring on the new hub about six months ago and cut customers over a month ago. By putting the services into groupings, Time Warner Cable has a reproducible design that can be easily upgraded when more subscribers come on board.

If Time Warner Cable added 12,000 more subscribers in the area, it can drop in new racks and add new wiring to serve that number of customers. The goal was to have a design that could be used over and over again with lasers, video and high-speed narrowcast services. According to a Time Warner Cable spokesman, the hub design also enhances its ability to augment and troubleshoot edge equipment.

At the new hub site, video-on-demand and switched digital video are sharing the same QAM platform and are now managed as one narrowcast resource. Time Warner Cable was able to reduce the RF combining and fan-out associated with building up QAM pools and then create a narrowcast for the transmitters.

The end result is a flexible design for Time Warner Cable that can be easily replicated. With Converged Cable Access Platform (CCAP) products not becoming widely available until next year, the hub isn’t a CCAP implementation, but it will work well with the CCAP gear once it is available.

With the coastal area of South Carolina being one of the state’s fastest-growing areas, Time Warner Cable said that it became clear that technology had outgrown the old site. In addition to serving traditional cable customers out of this new site, because of the upgraded technology and engineering, Time Warner Cable Business Class will also utilize the new hub to service its growing base of small- to mid-size businesses, as well as its larger enterprise customers.

Time Warner Cable provides triple-play services to more than 2.1 million residential and business customers. It serves more than 400 cities and towns across North and South Carolina.