It’s a busy spring. Some of you may already be heading to the SCTE chapter leadership conference that begins tomorrow (Wednesday) in Phoenix. Some of you will be converging at the NCTA National Show that opens in Atlanta on Sunday. Meanwhile, the Ohio Valley, Emerald Coast, and Greater Chicago chapters have each scheduled vendor days events for next week. The Mid-South and Razorback & Ozark Mountain chapters follow suit the next week. For more chapter details, visit this calendar page on the SCTE Web site: http://www.scte.org/calendar/categoryeventlist.cfm?month=4&year=2006&c ategoryid=6 Whether this is too much activity is a question that surfaced on the SCTE-List last week. One quick answer is that there would have been less overlap had Hurricane Katrina not forced the NCTA’s hand. On the other hand, if the National Show were being held in New Orleans in May, as originally planned, there would still be complaints that it is too close to CableTec Expo in June. Katrina and technology Time and money being limited, these kinds of conflicts will endure. For our part, we at CT (along with our sister publications CableFAX Daily and CableWorld) are preparing to attend the National Show, about which two points are in order. First, as mentioned above, the NCTA had to scramble this year. "It was a tough, tough, tough challenge," said NCTA SVP Industry Affairs Barbara York. "Moving the show on a dime is like moving an ocean liner." York credits the city of Atlanta for exceptional assistance in helping the NCTA make the accelerated shift from New Orleans to Atlanta. She also said that Comcast, which serves metro Atlanta market, was quick to provide additional services to enable an already "state of the art" convention center to better meet the demands of a tech-heavy show. The second point is just that: The National Show hosts plenty of technology. And that’s not only on the floor, but also throughout the event’s sessions. "We had a lot of depth in (this year’s) papers," said Dan Pike, CTO of GCI Cable and Entertainment, who once again chaired the blue-ribbon committee that chose this year’s formal technical papers. "We are always pleased to be able to put this book forward because it does serve as the archival reference for the entire industry," Pike said. (For a list of the papers that will comprise this year’s NCTA "Technical Papers," see the "Profile" column to the right.) Pike himself will be moderating the session on large-scale networks. As in previous years, his introductory remarks promise to touch upon relevant historical and local themes. We’ll offer details in next week’s Pipeline. Forty footnotes and two CEOs As one example of high-caliber research into timely topics, he points to the paper co-authored by Professor Jim Martin of Clemson University and CableLabs’ Dr. Terry Shaw on the relationship between peer-to-peer protocol BitTorrent and VoIP on a cable network. "This is extraordinary work; some six tables, nine figures, 40 scholarly references," Pike said. There is more for technophiles than the formal papers. "From year to year … technology and advanced technology continue to grow both in interest and in participation on the show floor and in sessions," said the NCTA’s York. She said CableLabs’ CableNET floor exhibit has captured much of that focus. One clear example she offered was the Monday general session, which features the presidents/CEOs of two technology vendor companies (Motorola and Cisco Systems) vs. one MSO (Comcast) one partner service provider (Sprint Nextel) and one content provider (Walt Disney). – Jonathan Tombes

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