SCTE Member Since 2003 Title: Chief Architect Cable, BigBand Networks Broadband Background:Prior to joining BigBand Networks earlier this year, Jones served as chief architect for YAS Broadband. He also is credited with helping to develop both the CableLabs DOCSIS and CableHome specifications. Do you plan to stay involved in development of CableLabs specifications? Definitely. CableLabs plays an important role in the development of technical specifications for the North American cable industry. Some of those specifications are adopted in other parts of the world, making the involvement all the more rewarding not only on a personal level but also for BigBand. I challenge more people to participate at CableLabs and learn for themselves what it takes and how rewarding it can be. For example, in 2005 when CableLabs put the call out to participate in DOCSIS 3.0, it was answered by a significant number of the folks who had worked on DOCSIS 2.0 back in 2001. And many of those people had been working on the project since DOCSIS 1.0 back in 1997. Even as the years pass, as companies come and go, as promotions are earned, etc., these people see the value and the rewards of continuing to be a part of a CableLabs project. Of course, there are new people every time, too, and they help energize and challenge the group as the new solutions are developed. Whether an old project or a new project, it’s both fun and challenging and requires individuals with a wide range of skills. Any particular achievements in the spec/standards arena that you’re most proud to be associated with? I will always remember my first technical contribution to a DOCSIS specification, the DOCSIS CMTRI. It’s understandable if a reader has not heard of it, as the CMTRI is the Cable Modem Telephony Return Interface specification. At the beginning of the DOCSIS project, there was a fair amount of one-way cable plant, and the availability of a telephone- return DOCSIS modem was important to several operators. The suppliers were seeking a technical solution for how a telephone-return cable modem would interact with the CMTS DHCP relay agent, so I decided to figure out a way to make it work. At the time, I did not know what a DHCP relay agent was or how it should work, but saw this as an opportunity to both learn more about IP networking and to become a contributor to DOCSIS. I might add that I developed the solution in my hotel room one evening during the 1996 Western Cable Show. Rather than being out and about in Anaheim, I chose to study technical documents. After a late night at the keyboard, I submitted the proposal to the technical working group and waited. I can’t tell you the relief and the pride I felt when the solution was deemed workable and was accepted. At the time the CMTRI product was deployed, there was a furious focus on activating the HFC return path, so the need for CMTRI rapidly faded into obscurity, but I had made my first significant contribution, and it’s something I will always remember. I believe this was my induction into the cable Geek-O-Sphere, and I’ve never looked back. What interested you most about the BigBand opportunity? Services convergence. BigBand Networks offers both video and data products, and I look forward to contributing to the next generation of product that merges these into a converged services platform. Since 2000, I’ve been part of a group of folks in the industry that first preached the benefits of convergence and now are working on solutions. Joining the team at BigBand lets me work on that headend/hub platform that will allow operators to offer converged services to their customers. How would you describe the technical areas you cover in your new job? I would describe them as very broad and wide reaching. I am fortunate to be reporting to Ran Oz, the CTO of BigBand, and in this position I will be involved in all aspects of the technologies used by BigBand. I’m excited. My focus will be applying these technologies to address the services needs of the cable operators. Is capacity/bandwidth the biggest constraint facing cable networks? This reminds me of the old question about if the glass is half empty or half full, but the engineer simply seeing the glass as twice as big as it needs to be. There is more than one way to add capacity to a cable network, and the challenge for BigBand is to create products that provide value based on the services an operator wants to offer. BigBand has very talented and creative people who have a proven track record for innovating solutions that have value. We pioneered many of the techniques, and we understand the needs of the operators, and we will continue to be their partners to offer solutions. What do you see as the biggest driver of technical change for operators over the next three years? Delivering content and services when and where consumers want them. Both content owners and service providers are experimenting with new business models to offer more personalized services to more different kinds of devices than ever before. While the consumers don’t necessarily care about the underlying technologies, they are influencing everything from the low level processing and algorithms to the higher level management and operations infrastructures of the service providers. New business models and new services will keep cable on the forefront for years to come.