Top Tech Trends of SCTE 2011: Broadband Bonanza
by Leslie Ellis // November 21 2011
ATLANTA–No shortage of data and deep-dive at the recent SCTE Cable-Tec Expo, held here the week before Thanksgiving. In no particular order, the highlights from my notes:
Objects that need or want an Internet connection will number 15 billion, worldwide, by 2015; Comcast alone anticipates that more than 250 million IP-connected things will hang off its cable modems within the same timeframe. That means PCs, laptops, and tablets, yes, but things like refrigerators, and the machine-to-machine scene.
Speaking of refrigerators: Samsung’s Eric Anderson said during an Expo general session that people are using the Internet part of its connected fridges for 1.6 hours per day, on average. No really: Apps like weather and Pandora top the list.
As for machine-to-machine, and talk about things getting chatty: Your smart phone receives something like 1,200 maintenance pings per day from your carrier, for “keep alive” activities, as well as to track state – online or not; keeping streaming activites smooth, as you move from one cell tower footprint to another.
Put it all together: Broadband capacity is going to need a lot of attention for the next bit of … forever. That’s why “CCAP” – tech-speak for “Cable Converged Access Platform” – was also high on the to-do list at Expo, as a way to collapse costs out of broadband gear at a rate hopefully faster than the unprecedented growth broadband usage.
As for all that growth: In hallway discussions, engineers are already mulling whether there needs to be some kind of Energy Star-ish program, for apps and bandwidth usage. The thinking is that just as you don’t leave the water running after you’ve brushed your teeth, nor would you knowingly use an app that chews up bandwidth.
Why send a 5 Mbps video image upstream from your home monitoring camera, if a 500 kbps version was available, and the end result was the same?
All in: It’s a broadband bonanza out there. The good news is, your tech brothers and sisters are all over it.
This column originally appeared in the Platforms section of Multichannel News.