SCTE member since 2002 Title : Vice President of Strategy and Product Marketing for Subscriber Networks, Scientific-Atlanta. Broadband Background : Prior to joining Scientific-Atlanta, Davies worked as a senior associate with Booz Allen & Hamilton, where he focused on corporate and operations strategy. His prior work experience also includes system engineering and product development at technology companies. What does this Cisco deal offer for set-tops on the cable side? As you know, on the cable side there’s this migration toward next-generation network architecture. There are a lot of pieces in that: OCAP, switched digital broadcast, advanced codecs, advanced DOCSIS, next generation on demand initiatives, and down to the set-top level, a lot of those pieces really trickle down into a next-gen platform. We’ve announced that we have several set-tops in development targeted toward that space. But in addition to that, as the set-top starts to evolve to become more than just a DVR, or more than just an HD set-top, it becomes an end device that fits more into this connected home environment, providing media center or media gateway kinds of capabilities. We’ve demonstrated and prototyped at recent trade shows, connecting to other devices in the home—whether that’s a PC or a portable device, providing a much richer content experience, beyond broadcast and on-demand content, to content that may be delivered over IP networks, and over a home PC, like music, photos and video. What this combination really does is provides our customers with a much more robust set of products and capabilities to really be able to deliver on that vision. We’ve heard that the set-top group at S-A working on the IPTV side has seen a lot activity. Could you elaborate? On the telco side, as well as internationally, they’re realizing the importance of video within their bundle, extending voice and data businesses and delivering video for the triple play, if not quadruple with wireless. The strategic importance is video in that offering. We’ve been getting a tremendous amount of interest and RFPs, with much coming from international customers who are looking for established product solutions. One of the key synergies in this combination is the strength that Cisco brings, particularly in service providers outside of the United States where Scientific-Atlanta is not quite as strong. In the current issue of Communications Technology, an engineer from Thomson argues that there is a pressing need for standards in the IPTV arena. Would you agree? Clearly in that segment, we’re migrating more toward open standards. However, you have to be a little bit careful there because what you’re talking about is actually integration of content on a common network that supports voice, video and data. You have this growing number of interconnected devices that are part of a network, and on top of all that, you have applications and services that are running on those devices on the converged networks. So having a service provider that can deliver your product solution that pulls all those pieces together, and does it in a way that reduces complexity for you as a service provider, is really why we believe that we’re going to be very well-positioned going forward to speak to that business. Cisco will have all of those pieces, that integrated bundle, to deliver to customers. Are we talking integration, or is there a place for formal standards? Well, if you take a DSL video solution—an ADSL 2+ with 24 or 25 Mbps per home, for example—and you connect an IP set-top to that network, it can start delivering HDTV with advanced codecs and a strong data solution, connected through a residential gateway product managing that content. Then in the network, you have routers that are managing that delivery of on-demand content, and on top of that, there is the explosion of content delivered to that network. Well, managing the flow of content alone, independent of the integration of IP services, is a tremendous challenge. I think that delivering more and more of those pieces of that integrated network is what will reduce the complexity for our customers and will ultimately allow them to deliver more services and more content to their customers.