SCTE Member since 1991 Title: Director of Engineering and Construction, Comcast Seattle Broadband Background: Bristol entered the cable industry as a line tech with Comcast in 1987. He currently oversees Comcast Seattle’s construction and engineering teams, and his system won CT’s System of the Year Award for 2006. He is also president of the Broadband GIS Forum and president of the Mount Rainier SCTE Chapter. Congrats on the recognition your chapter received at Expo. What explains your group’s success? Two years ago Steve Taber (my VP) made it one of my business goals to revitalize the Mt. Rainier chapter. In the past when we were AT&T, participation in the SCTE was not encouraged; however, once we became Comcast that all changed. This gave me an opportunity to get involved and make a difference. Not only was I elected to the board, but my management team was also elected with Steve Hiatt as VP, Dan Wherry as treasurer and Marci Wherry as secretary. With our team on the board, along with our other board members, we have been able to really focus on providing value to our local members, which has helped the chapter to thrive. Ultimately, the long-term success will be gauged by the participation of all the MSOs in the areas based on the value that is provided. We are very focused on providing quality training in a time where training is vital in our industry. The GIS Forum also met at Expo. What was on your agenda and how did the meeting go? The Broadband GIS Forum ( is a consortium of currently 150 members both vendors and MSOs that are involved with some type of GIS technology. Our agenda this year was focused on three specific areas: Need, Application and Implementation. CableLabs’ Jennifer Cistola, VP of Go2Broadband, spoke on the need in the industry for better addressing information, the presentation including specifics about an experiment we worked with CableLabs. We were able to show a 300 percent improvement on sales orders from Go2Broadband, along with identifying 36,000 new addresses that we were able to build into our billing system, which have culminated in over 1,800 new subscribers after six months of tracking. That is over $1.5 million in new revenue. The application portion was covered by both ESRI and MapInfo in regards to tools and applications that can be used to aid MSOs on identifying new and potential commercial locations for MSOs to market to. The Implementation was a presentation from Adelphia’s James Pierce on their business plan and trials and tribulations from their GIS project. How did you become interested in GIS technologies? It really started from a need on the engineering side. I knew the power of what the electronic (AutoCAD) maps could provide in relation to accurate BOMs and, more importantly, outside plant asset tracking. However, with the lack of standards and consistency in the industry, it was impossible to get any benefit from an electronic map other than a great picture. Patrick O’Hare at the time funded an experiment under AT&T with my group, which is how we started @Mapp. From there I became passionate about what we could get out of GIS for our industry. I’m proud to say that the GIS technologies that we now use with tools such as AutoCAD, Spatial Info, and Oracle, we have been able to track and prove the addition of over 10,000 new subscribers in the Seattle market with a net positive cash base in excess of $8.6 million in revenue. That is something to get passionate about. Where does this industry-wide initiative now stand? As a forum, we have decided it is time to shift our focus on the marketing side. We need to get better at demonstrating to the marketing folks the potential revenue generation that can come from GIS technologies. From an engineering standpoint, there are countless benefits to utilizing quality and accurate data in a GIS format, but it is much easier to seek funding when you are talking about revenue rather than cost savings and efficiency gains at the budget table. The cost savings and efficiency gains are becoming the quality byproduct of GIS, and let me tell you, we are doing some amazing things with that byproduct. What is your role in the Comcast Seattle market? My group is broken out into four primary areas of focus: (1) outside plant engineering and construction, which involves all design specs, documentation, and oversight of construction practices and capital, related to the HFC plant; (2) fiber engineering and construction, which involves the construction practices and oversight of all fiber in the Washington market; (3) CAD/GIS, which includes the implementation of new GIS technologies as well as the maintenance and oversight of the existing – this group also oversees our advanced platforms like job tracking, which control 100 percent of our construction activity within the market; and (4) database integrity. We are probably one of a few areas where the engineering group owns the house records in the billing system. This allows us to focus on building and maintaining the best homes passed records possible, which gives marketing the best possible data to target and generate new subs and revenue. What do you think accounts for this system’s exceptional tech-ops metrics? Without a doubt, we are benefiting the ring architecture that our VP Steve Taber led into this market. I truly believe that we have one of the best-architected systems in place today. That, along with a completely rebuilt HFC plant, definitely plays an important role. After that, it’s all in the people – when you have great people, you can do great things, and under Steve Taber’s leadership it appears that we are truly doing some great things. Of course, I would like to think that good data and GIS have played a small roll in our success.

The Daily


Mediacom, West Des Moines Settle

The West Des Moines City Council on Tuesday night approved a settlement with Mediacom resolving the operator’s lawsuit over the city’s construction of a $50 million conduit network.

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