Is budget season finally over? I’d hope so. Some engineers on the operator side of this industry seem to be spending about three months on the projections and spreadsheets needed to map out the next year. That tedious exercise happens alongside the regular duties of running technical operations. And to some extent, planning never stops—nor should it—which can be a distraction.
  For anyone who must keep thinking ahead, this month’s cover story on options for optimizing and expanding plant capacity makes good grist for the brain. The analysis of eight options for a greenfield scenario—from HFC node-plus-six amps to fiber-to-the-premises—on page 20 is especially worth a look. Laggards no more As for business services, the focus of our other two features, two quick points. First, although operators are at different points on this curve—with Cox Business Services and Time Warner Cable pushing ahead on large enterprise and government contracts—it’s become harder to name anyone as a laggard. Many independent operators have opportunistic streaks that work well in this space, and Comcast (once a definite laggard) for the second year in a row has achieved a top Internet access customer satisfaction ranking among small and medium businesses, according to a recent Yankee Group survey. Second, if the two articles here on hosted and managed services leave you wanting more, consider attending the SCTE’s Business Services Symposium in Chicago on Oct. 17 and 18. The technology and opportunity are aligning, and the schedule for this event looks auspicious. Finally, a correction. Last month, I referred to The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More, a book by Chris (not Jim) Anderson. Sorry for the confusion. Jonathan Tombes

The Daily


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