Here’s a multi-million dollar question: Will the cost of CMTS core functionality drop anywhere nearly as fast as demand for throughput is expected to rise?

Not likely. Thus the elegant – and nonproprietary – proposal from Motorola Data Networking Architect Michael Patrick to sidestep the expensive "hair-pin" turn that burgeoning volumes of IP traffic would otherwise need to take around the modular cable modem termination system (M-CMTS).

Patrick – and others – have been circulating this idea for months, but he formalized it in a paper prepared for this year’s SCTE Conference on Emerging Technologies. At the same event, Time Warner Cable Senior Director of Video Systems Glen Hardin offered another clean-cut solution, namely: letting customers use their PCs as a way around the on-demand user-interface bottleneck.

There could be a trend at work here. Call it a move away from complexity and toward Occam’s razor, the principle that all things being equal, the simplest solution is usually the best one.

Hardin and Patrick aren’t alone in bracing for a lot more video. It’s the premise of Bob Scheffler’s timely discussion of King Content.

And yet another connection in this issue with Patrick: His five-to-seven year projections presume a 750 homes-passed node. Nothing smaller. Is node segmentation reaching a point of diminishing returns? Maybe so.

Finally, a reminder from Ken Eckenroth that minding the basics, in this case, measuring CLI, doesn’t mean neglecting new technologies, such as global positioning systems.

As for Eckenroth’s question of rifle or shotgun, one more inside note: whereas I point my 50-year-old Remington Sportsman 58 toward moving targets, our Managing Editor Ron Hendrickson, formerly a U.S. Marine infantryman, aims his even older M1 at stationary six-inch X-rings 600 yards away.

Keep in mind, if you ever consider contributing to us, that our managing editor takes the notion of deadlines rather literally. Jonathan Tombes
Editor
jtombes@accessintel.com

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