May 2006 Issue Got news, quotes or photos of people in the broadband cable engineering community? Send it to email@example.com for possible inclusion on this page in future issues. People Charter Names Fawaz CTO Marwan Fawaz, the former chief technology officer with Adelphia, has been appointed as Charter Communications’ EVP and CTO. Fawaz, who will start his new job after the close of the Adelphia sale, will take over for Wayne Davis, who is leaving Charter for personal reasons. Fawaz has more than 20 years of experience in the broadband communications industry, including a previous stint as regional VP of operations of Charter Communications’ Northwest region. BigBand Hires Jones BigBand Networks appointed Doug Jones to chief architect, cable. He brings more than 20 years of industry experience, including significant contributions to DOCSIS and CableHome. In Memoriam: Ken Bagwell Former President and CEO of Storer Communications Kenneth Bagwell died in March. A founding member of C-SPAN and member of numerous advisory boards, Bagwell got his first job as a messenger boy at a Phoenix radio station in 1944. Letters CT’s Pipeline recently asked readers for their horror stories about equipment damaged in the field, and the readers responded in spades. CT will be following up with more of these stories in the June issue. Expensive Wheel Chocks In 1997, two senior headend technicians who worked for me arrived at the master headend site in separate vehicles at about the same time. One fellow stopped first, opened the door and released his seatbelt; the seatbelt buckle clipped his Nextel radio, which was attached to his waist belt, on the way by. This caused the Nextel radio to become a short-range flying object. The radio had just hit the ground as the other technician brought his vehicle to a stop. The radio nicely placed itself under the front left tire, causing the radio to act as a wheel chock. The radio … err, wheel chock … displayed a rather low coefficient of friction since it caused the wheel to stop rotating while allowing the vehicle to slide forward one extra foot. The radio was a complete write-off. The formerly rectangular unit had been forced into an interesting but completely useless trapezoidal shape, the keypad and display were heavily abraded, and the battery pack—which was now permanently crimped to the trapezoid—overheated and emitted a foul, acrid smoked for a few minutes. I think these radios were about $2,000 at the time. The moral of the story is that portable two-way radios and cell phones make rather expensive and underperforming wheel chocks. Brian K. Holmes IBI Group Snapshots CT Publisher Jerry Gunderson announces the winners of the Broadband Leader’s Retreat golf tournament to participants, who relax after 18 holes in Phoenix; BLR attendees placing bets at casino night. The NCTA National Show in Atlanta saw attendance down (15,5000 from 17,000) but vendors up (360 from 340) this year over last. Rogers Cable SVP Network Engineering and Operations Dermot O’Carroll with attendees at the SCTE Ontario chapter technical meeting in February, an event which drew more than 100 SCTE members.