The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) is undertaking work to provide symbol and related standards to help the industry more effectively leverage efficiencies inherent in the network maps used in Geographic Information Systems (GIS).

This new SCTE standards project is expected to address elements integral to today’s network mapping – features relating to network and structure; data attributes for each type of network element; and relationships between modeled elements. A defined set of Web services for data-exchange capabilities also will be considered.

“In the past, network maps were static maps that just told you what was where,” said Steve Oksala, SCTE’s VP, standards, in a statement. “But today’s cable operators are using this data in far more creative ways to provide better customer service at lower cost. The map, as part of an overall GIS, has become a key component in the overall service process.”

The initial meeting for the new standards for symbols and data project will be an open meeting in conjunction with SCTE Cable-Tec Expo 2009, in Denver.

“Cable operators today are doing far more complex things with network maps, and the standards need to keep up,” said Oksala.

Unlike paper maps of cable networks, new electronic databases and maps afford cable operators the opportunity using software to readily identify, track, chart, and analyze cable system trouble spots and inefficiencies.

SCTE has assigned this new project to its Interface Practices and In-Home Cabling Subcommittee (IPS). IPS is one of six standards-developing subcommittees under the SCTE Engineering Committee, which oversees the American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-accredited SCTE Standards Program.

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