A memorable expression from my first editor, a pugnacious Australian diplomat of the realist school, sometimes comes to mind when deciding whether or not to accept an article.

The article in question at the time was yet another critique of wasteful foreign assistance. "Isn’t this like beating a dead horse?" one of my associates asked.

"No, a horse isn’t dead until it’s dead," he replied. So we ran it.

The application of that saying to the topic I have in mind — CMTS bypass — is imperfect. We’re trying neither to kill nor champion the idea. But the discussion, which we have encouraged, has gone on for a while.

At the risk of overkill, we’ve published another take on the matter in this month’s Bullpen column. And head’s up: Next month we have yet another cable IPTV article, this time the personal views of a rising star at a progressive MSO "north of the border."

Cost structures?

By some accounts, the bypass idea already is turning on the question of respectively downward sloping cost curves of edge QAM vs. core CMTS components. Money talks, after all.

Cost structures, however, can differ. Headend economics vary with density of subscribers. So smaller operators, many of whom are gathering under the auspices of the NCTC and ACA in late July in Grapevine, TX, for the Independent Show, may have their own views.

At the same time, some independents — with an eye more on exit strategy than independence — prefer to follow the larger MSOs. That takes us back to the evaluation of declining cost curves at corporate headquarters. Yes, this debate goes round and round.

Next month’s article may bring some clarity, at least on a high level. See you then, and until then, online at www.cable360.net/ct.

Jonathan Tombes

The Daily


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