On Aug. 7, the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers Standards Program will reach a major milestone—the 10th anniversary of its accreditation by the American National Standards Institute as an official American Standards Developing Organization. On March 30, we were notified that SCTE had successfully passed its second ANSI five-year audit. How did we get there? A standards program was discussed as early as 1982, but it was not until 1989, under the leadership of Tom Elliot, that the program was established. There was one technical subcommittee, the Interface Practices Subcommittee (IPS), which is still a key part of the SCTE Standards Program. Participation was open to anyone with an interest in cable standards, and there were no fees. By 1995, there were subcommittees on Design and Construction and Maintenance Practices (later combined into the Construction and Management Subcommittee, CMS, which was disbanded in May 2003) and Material Management and Inventory (MMI, disbanded in 2002). The Emergency Broadcast Subcommittee, established in late 1991, became the Emergency Alert Subcommittee (EAS) and continues today. In 1993, the SCTE Board of Directors agreed to seek ANSI accreditation, and the application was submitted in 1994. Accreditation was granted Aug. 7, 1995. The first standard to receive ANSI approval (in December 1996) was the "`F’ Port (Female Outdoor) Physical Dimensions," then designated as IPS SP 400 and now as SCTE 01. Following ANSI accreditation, the program continued to expand. The Data Standards (DSS) and Digital Video (DVS) subcommittees held their first meetings in June 1996. The Hybrid Management Sub-layer Subcommittee (HMS) was formed in 1998, the Cable Applications Platform Subcommittee (CAP) in 2000. By the end of 2000, there were 12 SCTE standards, seven approved by ANSI. However, the program needed to expand. A formal organizational membership program with dues was established in January 2001. By the end of 2001, the program had 110 members and had approved a total of 52 standards, 30 of them ANSI approved. SCTE’s 100th standard was approved in February 2003, and as of May 2005, there were 146 standards, 143 approved by ANSI. The membership is now 136, with more than 200 projects in various stages of development. SCTE also went international. SCTE received official recognition from the International Telecommunication Union in August 2000, signed a cooperation agreement with the European Telecommunications Standards Institute in 2001, and established the Chairman’s International Advisory Committee in 2002. SCTE 25-1, 25-2 and 25-3 were approved as international standards by the International Electrotechnical Commission in 2003. SCTE also has been an active member of the U.S. Technical Advisory Group to IEC Technical Committee 100 since 2002 and joined the TAG for Technical Subcommittee 46A in 2005. The first 10 years of ANSI accreditation have been characterized by a steady and growing commitment to the cable industry. As the industry has grown and changed, the standards program has kept pace. Over the next 10 years, the program will see new technologies, new architectures and new applications and will continue to provide standards services in a way that will be effective for the cable industry and satisfactory to ANSI. Steve Oksala is SCTE vice president, Standards. Reach him at soksala@scte.org.

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