Goodbyes are always hard. Memories of the good times and the bad fill your mind, making you both regret missed opportunities and cherish triumphs. Saying goodbye to The Western Show is no exception. For nearly four decades, The Western Show has tantalized us with sneak peeks at new technologies. But after 36 years, it’s closing its doors. But before we say farewell, let’s reminisce a bit. High-speed data is clearly one of Western’s triumphs. For 11 years, the show has hosted CableLab’s CableNET pavilion. This year is no exception. Some 40 vendors are in this year’s pavilion. It’s hard to imagine that just six years ago, the Multimedia Cable Network System (MCNS) coalition was the buzz of the show floor, with seven vendors pledging support for high-speed data interoperability. MCNS with CableLabs as a partner, penned the now widely adopted Data Over Cable Interface Specification (DOCSIS).Today, more than 400 devices have been certified/qualified for DOCSIS. Other triumphs? Video-on-demand (VOD)—touted at many a Western Show—is now a reality, but other interactive applications lag. And what about telephony? Other than Cox, most cable operators have yet to embrace telephony in a major way. And a few vendors touting VoIP solutions at past shows have gone the way of Western itself. But before we say “goodbye,” the California Cable & Telecommunications Association has lined up a list of luminaries designed to make this farewell show unforgettable. Glenn Britt, Time Warner; Brian Roberts, Comcast; Bill Schleyer, Adelphia; James Robbins, Cox; Tom Rutledge, CableVision; and Carl Vogel, Charter all will make their predictions for the future at the opening general session. Communications Technology’s editors hope to see you at the sessions and on the exhibit floor as we say “goodbye” to Western. Jennifer Whalen
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