The SCTE’s Canadian Summit in Toronto (Feb 3-4) reminded attendees of the diversity of engineering strategies that persist amidst a consolidated operator landscape.

Consolidation has impacted the event schedule in Canada, as it has in the United States. Three years ago, the Canadian Cable Telecommunications Association, which had hosted an annual show, closed its doors.

That left the Canadian Cable Systems Alliance, an eastern consortium of smaller operators analogous to the National Cable Television Cooperative in the United States, and the British Columbia-based CommTech Show to fill the wide continent.

Into this space stepped the SCTE, choosing Toronto with good reason. The Ontario Chapter of the SCTE is the larger of the two Canadian chapters (Newfoundland-based Terra Nova being the other). And not coincidentally, Toronto-based Rogers Communications, the largest MSO in the country, passes 3.6 million homes in the greater Toronto area.

Rogers was well-represented at the event: From Rogers SVP Engineering and Network Operations Dermot O’Carroll, who served as the Summit’s program chair, drawing an impressive roster of engineering executives, to the red vans and trucks that dotted the snowy parking lot outside the Toronto Congress Center.

"Ted hated blue," said one Rogers engineer, when asked about the color. Whether or not a corporate myth, that anecdote about Ted – Ted Rogers, who died two months ago – calls to mind the force of the founder’s character, and the imprint he left in Toronto and across the continent. (For more, click here.)

While consolidated, not all Canadian operators sport red. Joining O’Carroll on the opening panel were Steve Irvine, director of Internet engineering and operations at Eastlink; Daniel Proulx, SVP Engineering, Videotron; and Dennis Steiger, VP Engineering, Shaw Cablesystems.

More on their diverse views and strategies to come next week.

– Jonathan Tombes

Read more news and analysis on Communications Technology‘s Web site at

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