Despite regulatory, financial and competitive challenges, the consensus in San Antonio from the CEO session at Cable-Tec Expo was that cable’s better positioned than telcos or DBS to meet the demand for broadband products and services. Time Warner Cable’s chief Glenn Britt, Cisco’s John Chambers and Arris’ Robert Stanzione argued that cable’s HFC technology offers greater bandwidth, flexibility and efficiencies than the technical systems of the industry’s two chief rivals, especially as cable moves toward an IP-based infrastructure. A notoriously cautious bunch, cable ops are becoming more aggressive in pursuing market opportunities, they said, citing VOD, HD, DVR, VoIP and commercial services. "I feel better about the cable industry than I have ever before," Britt said. "We’re going to have a lot of fun and make a lot of money." They were particularly bullish on voice, with Stanzione whacking projections that cable will sign 20mln VoIP subs over the next few years, "that’s actually conservative, based on what Cox is doing with CSR technology and what Glenn and others are doing with VoIP," he said. Britt said major MSOs are talking to potential partners about integrating wireless and VoIP services in a larger phone bundle and exploring Wi-Fi for voice signals inside the home. "We’re actively engaged in conversations." Britt joined the chorus urging improved customer service and reiterated a call not to engage in price wars with DSL providers. "The key for us competitively is to not become a commodity," he said. "I’d much rather have products and services that they don’t have."

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FCC Seeks Comment on NAB NextGen Petition

The FCC Media Bureau is seeking comment on NAB’s petition regarding the treatment of multicast streams under the NexGen TV local simulcasting rules.

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