SCTE member since 1981 Title: Senior Vice President Engineering/CTO, Cox Communications Broadband Background: Bowick joined Cox in 1998 as VP of Technology Development. Prior to joining Cox, he served as group VP of Technology and CTO for Jones Intercable. He also served as VP of Engineering for Scientific Atlanta. After serving on the Cable-Tec Expo Subcommittee in the past, Bowick was the Expo Program Committee Chairman for the 2006 Expo that was held last month in Denver. What were your impressions of the show; did anything new catch your eye? I think one of the key themes that emerged, and I tried to showcase in my presentation up front, was the power of our HFC networks. When I hopped off the stage and listened to the CEO panel, the CEO panel really honed in on that particular area: the fact that we do have the winning network, and it’s a very powerful network. The CTO panel picked it up, on the show floor you could see it, and you could see it in the booths. The things that were on the show floor that I think backed all of that up was that there were a lot of HFC architecture, fiber deeper solutions as we take fiber deeper into our networks to expand bandwidth into fewer and fewer homes. There were a lot of things like that. There were a lot of wireless solutions out there showing the trend for fixed mobile convergence and the quad play. We’re all diving into that, so that was a big part of both the floor and the expo workshops. SDV solutions were highlighted by several vendors, and there were also some bandwidth enhancing solutions. There were several vendors out there showing their advanced codecs for digital video applications. And another thing that was highlighted that we felt very strongly about in the program subcommittee was bringing to the forefront the focus on commercial services. There were a lot of T-1 over DOCSIS solutions and Ethernet solutions out there. We also tried to showcase OpenCable and OCAP because we have a deadline looming in front of us next year, and all of us are rapidly paddling to get there, so with the SCTE focus for Expo being the next 18 to 24 months, this was a good time to get that group focused on the issues. You mentioned in your opening address that the engineers will be the ones who will enable key new products and services. How does Cox help them do a better job? One of our areas of focus at Cox as we roll out new products and services is training and training of the front line employees who are going to be dealing with this on a day- to-day basis. It’s not just training that we provide internally as we roll out these new products, but also opening up the whole range of possible training activities that the SCTE has to offer and that other outside training facilities have to offer our technical people. Bandwidth constraints seemed to be on everyone’s minds at Expo. What’s the next step for the cable industry and Cox? We’ve been thinking about this a lot and have done a lot of work in that regard. We’ve got a lot of tools available to us including advanced modulation, 256-QAM, node splits, service group reductions. All of this we’re doing in an ongoing, business-as-usual basis. SDV is on the horizon; I would hope this year we’ll have a couple of sites that we’ll trial SDV in with the hope of rolling that out more ubiquitously in the 2007 time frame if the trials go well this year. So that’s another bandwidth enhancing technique that we’re using. I think it’s looking promising. We’re also rolling out digital simulcast, which is not a bandwidth enhancing technique, but it certainly provides our customers with full digital quality. It consumes six or seven channels, but that’s OK—it puts us in a good position for the future. We’re looking at other bandwidth enhancements, going out to 860 and the like. Was the bandwidth constraints concern at the show over-hyped? I don’t know that there’s that much concern about it. Short term, it’s an issue that we all face. I don’t like the term necessarily that it was over-hyped. I think the CTOs in the industry understand the issue, and we have the tools necessary at our disposal to ensure that we don’t get into trouble and that we will in fact have the winning network for the future. What advice do you have for your successor as chairperson next year? (Advance Newhouse’s Nomi Bergman, executive vice president strategy/development.) Nomi will do a great job. My advice would be to pull together a very diverse team that has an extreme interest in pulling off the best possible program for Expo 2007. If you can do that, you’re going to have great success. Rely on those people and the SCTE, those who work at SCTE full time, and you can’t go wrong. What was your takeaway after being chairman this year for Expo? I can tell you that it’s a lot of work. But if they’re (the chairperson) able to rely on their program team, the subcommittee, and like I said the office staff of SCTE, they can really make it just a delight. Then you go to the show and see it all come together; it’s sort of a proud moment for everybody. I thought it was a wonderful experience. Any final thoughts on this year’s Expo? My impression was that the show turned out to be better than expected. I’ve heard the attendance numbers were up, year over year, which is a good thing. In this industry climate with all of the consolidation that’s going on, I’m impressed that it was up. I thought it was a very upbeat show.

The Daily


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