Carrier Ethernet is picking up speed within the cable industry. In fact, there’s enough momentum behind it right now that Carrier Ethernet has warranted its own slate of events at the SCTE‘s Cable-Tec Expo.

The Carrier Ethernet Training Day that is held in conjunction by the SCTE and the Metro Ethernet Forum kicks off Expo on Tuesday, June 19, with a full day of sessions. Tom Staniec, VP Transport Network Engineering, Time Warner Cable, will start the day’s events with his keynote address.

"There are a couple of reasons," said Marv Nelson, SCTE’s vice president, professional development, of the SCTE’s decision to jointly host the training day with MEF. "One is there’s an increased interest by cable operators for providing business services. Part of that is finding ways to provide carrier-grade services over the Ethernet last mile or Ethernet transport. We’re also seeing more interest in the Metro Ethernet Forum and more contributions from cable operators into their (MEF’s) work. We need to get more information out there and raise awareness on what MEF certification is.

"The main point is understanding what another industry organization is trying to do around providing business services in a quality manner, and certainly MEF is already well down that road."

Cablevision‘s Optimum Lightpath was the first cable company to be certified by the Metro Ethernet Forum in April 2006. In December, Arris became the 100th MEF member, and currently there are more than 120 service providers and network equipment vendors from around the world in the organization. The surge in membership, new certifications and training opportunities are a few examples of the burgeoning relationship between the Metro Ethernet Forum and the cable industry.

"There is going to be a lot of material, some of which is about MEF in general and some that is specific to cable," said Louise Wasilewski, MEF’s co-chair of marketing. "There’s going to be a full day of material presented, and after that day it will posted on the MEF Web site."

The session "How and Why MSOs Become MEF Certified" will feature a strong panel that is scheduled to have Darren Wollner, Time Warner Cable; Brian Rose, Cox; and Glenn Calafati, Optimum Lightpath. "Considerations for Inter-Operator Services and DOCSIS Cable" will focus on how DOCSIS TDM and L2VPN could come into play when delivering Carrier Ethernet services across multiple operators’ footprints and will feature CableLabs‘ Charles Bergren on the panel.

The MEF is slated to make an announcement about the addition of several key new cable members to the organization on June 18 and will host a press conference in the SCTE Expo media room W209 B/C on June 20. – Mike Robuck

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