The Value Is From the Members #TIS17

“This really reminds me of what the cable industry used to be,” states Matt Polka, president and CEO of the American Cable Association in the above video. Polka’s comment points to a time when the cable television industry was young and consisted of thousands of small operators building networks from scratch. Conferences in those days were exciting meet-ups where cable entrepreneurs could share best practices and ideas for advancing their rudimentary networks.

The spirit of those early days was in the air at TIS17 (The Independent Show, 2017) , as it brought together hundreds of operators of all sizes from hamlets small and large throughout the U.S and beyond. A recurring conversation Viodi had with various attendees is the number of times operators have rebuilt their networks to keep up with the evolving demand from video to broadband and now to symmetrical gigabit broadband.

Former FCC Commissioner and current NCTA president and CEO, Michael Powell contrasted broadband networks to other legacy infrastructures, such as water/sewage, bridges and roads and electricity distribution, that haven’t always kept up with maintenance needs and the demands of growth. He posited that the light-touch regulation (e.g. his four Internet Freedom Rules) was a major factor in broadband networks’ continuing performance improvement. He emphasized that Title II rules “punish success” and are not the right way to achieve the goal of maintaining an open Internet.

And a robust Internet is critical for meeting the coming changes that on-demand, machine learning and autonomy will enable, said TIS17 keynote speaker, Shelly Palmer. This will be a new world, where things think for themselves. This will greatly leverage the average human’s physical and mental abilities and will present opportunities for operators to improve efficiency.

Rich Fickle, president and CEO of NCTC, indicates that NCTC will be having more frequent and more hands-on meetings that address the evolving technology landscape and resulting changes in the operators’ respective markets. An example of this new direction is the regional program that NCTC initiated to improve collaboration, both with ideas and, potentially, network connections. This is exactly the kind of grassroots approach that served original cable operators so well decades ago when the industry was still relatively young.

Stay tuned for more coverage of TIS17

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