Each business vertical has its own needs.

In announcements last week from Comcast about speed boosts for small-to-medium business (SMB) customers and from Cox Business about its MEF-14 certification, for instance, both MSOs referred to requirements of health care providers.

As an example of a metro Ethernet, the Cox announcement pointed to its MedNet, a private IP network in Hampton Roads, VA, that links doctors’ offices with clinics and hospitals in the area. In this case, the network is engineered to exceed MEF specifications, partly in recognition of the sensitivity of the information being transmitted.

For its part, the Comcast announcement included three examples of business files needing a burst of downstream throughput: software service packs, PowerPoint presentations and digital X-rays.

Another important item on the medical IT agenda is the category of picture archiving and communications systems (PACS), as mentioned in this related CT Reports article. Hotels, continued Other verticals lean upon the cable industry’s traditional aptitude for brokering content deals. In that light, the Cox Business/Hospitality Network last week announced that it has agreed with National Lampoon to deliver on-demand content from the comedy production company to more 80,000 Las Vegas guest rooms.

In Las Vegas, Lampoon-style humor is a vertical need all its own. More conventional infrastructure requirements include the kind discussed in this Cox deal with Trump International or in this message from Rob Hughes, senior cable solutions manager for Nortel:

"A great example showing how Nortel’s enterprise products complement the existing services offered by cable companies to address the hospitality segment can be found at one of the largest hotel/casinos in Las Vegas."

While the unnamed cable operator provided high-speed data, Nortel added an enterprise solution "that enabled the hotel to enhance the guest experience and create new revenue generating services." Hughes indicated that use of color (maybe neon?) screens on the IP phone allowed the hotel to advertise restaurants, coming attractions and other services.

How best to meet the hotel market is open to discussion, a recent contribution being this cover story for April, "Cable and Hotels," by Glen Hardin, senior director, video systems, for Time Warner Cable’s Advanced Technology Group. One of Hardin’s takeaways: Hoteliers should be wary of proprietary HDTV technology.

– Jonathan Tombes Read more news and analysis on Communications Technology‘s Web site at http://www.cable360.net/ct/news/.

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