The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers is throwing its weight behind developing symbol and related standards for network maps used in Geographic Information Systems (GIS).

The SCTE said this new SCTE Standards Program project was designed to address elements that are integral to network mapping – features relating to network and structure, data attributes for each type of network element and relationships between modeled elements. In addition, a defined set of Web services for data-exchange capabilities will also be considered.

“In the past, network maps were static maps that just told you what was where,” said Steve Oksala, the SCTE’s vice president of standards. “But today’s cable operators are using this data in far more creative ways to provide better customer service at lower cost. The map, as part of an overall GIS, has become a key component in the overall service process.”

The first meeting for the new standards for symbols and data project will be an open meeting at this month’s SCTE Cable-Tec Expo 2009. The standards meeting will be from 9 to 11 a.m. on Oct. 29 in the Colorado Convention Center in Denver. The SCTE said the kick-off meeting is open to all interested parties. Subsequent meetings will be restricted to members of the SCTE Standards Program.

Previously, the SCTE developed ANSI/SCTE 87-1, Graphic Symbols For Cable Systems Part 1: HFC Symbols, which gained approval as an SCTE standard in February 2003. However, the SCTE said the standard was designed for a cable world focused on construction projects, with CAD systems used for simple mapping.

“Cable operators today are doing far more complex things with network maps, and the standards need to keep up,” said Oksala.

The SCTE assigned this new project to its Interface Practices and In-Home Cabling Subcommittee (IPS). IPS is one of six standards-developing subcommittees under the SCTE Engineering Committee, which oversees the American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-accredited SCTE Standards Program.

More Broadband Direct 10/07/09:
•  Blog: Despite economy, RCN Metro Optical finding sweet spot
•  Telco, DBS kicking cable butt in customer satisfaction
•  Comcast's digital upgrade continues in Bay area
•  SCTE to develop GIS standards
•  AT&T to expand Internet calling services on iPhone
•  Sprint, Virgin Mobile agree to settle lawsuits
•  Flo TV goes solo
•  Ciena bids $521M for Nortel business units
•  BroadSoft to buy Packet Island
•  Sigma Designs adds new home control chip
•  Sales of digital STBs in North America cool; China heats up
•  Report: Home networks the next opportunity
•  Broadband Briefs for 10/07/09