Award Winning Blog

Friday, May 11, 2007

Insights From the National Cable Show

I had the opportunity to attend the National Cable and Telecommunications annual convention in Las Vegas. This show offers me an opportunity to kick the tires of new technology and get a sense of where the industry is headed. It also helps me replenish the cache of swag I use as door prizes in my classes at Penn State.

Here are the key take aways I got from the show:

Cable can more easily enhance its broadband platform than telcos simply by bonding about 12 MHz to the existing 6MHz (one anbalog television channel) currently allocated for broadband. I saw how cable can offer best practices 120+ megabits per second throughput using the DOCSIS 3.0 standard. This confirms what a transitional and inferior technology the telcos offers with DSL.

In a quasi-public session I swear I heard a senior officer of a major cable Multiple System Operator mention that broadband offers margins in the 98% range.

Cable managers understand full well that consumers expect to have access to compelling content anytime, anywhere and via any device. The operators expect new content access opportunities to be "additive," i.e., leading to more consumption rather than cannibalizing revenue streams.

Cable executives believe it will be easier for them to generate positive cash flow from non-video markets than it will be for telcos to master the content business.

Having not visited Las Vegas in 10+ years I enjoyed the people watching even as I marveled at the tawdriness of the place.