A priority this year for Maggie Bellville, vp and member of Hitachi Consulting’ s US Communications, Media & Entertainment industry exec team, is to help cable ops deploy energy efficient standards. With most cable operator power consumption identified in the edge and outside plant, industry initiatives like the SCTE -led Energy 2020 program have outlined energy specifications, benchmarks and requirements that will shape the industry’s energy efficiency strategy. Every operator is at a different stage deploying new energy solutions and the framework around energy savings, said Bellville, former evp and COO of Charter. “There are a lot of pilots and tests going on” around solar power, cooling, lighting and data center energy savings, she said. “We try to bring them (operators) together and find the best practices,” she said. In addition to more energy trials and pilots, Bellville predicted 2016 will see major milestones on energy savings. “We have all agreed that we are at a point where we have to start bringing in real results,” she said.
This year will also see DOCSIS 3.1 trials and perhaps even limited deployment. “As operators transition to DOCSIS 3.1, we see a real opportunity for them to look at energy solutions,” according to Bellville. The physical plant is the biggest user and sometimes waste of energy. As ops plan their infrastructure upgrades, they can implement energy efficient solutions at the same time, she said. “You can kill two birds with one stone.” And enhancements to the DOCSIS protocols mean 3.1 will feature increased cable modem energy efficiency, according to CableLabs. Bellville said another service gaining traction this year will be WiFi, especially community WiFi. The ability to turn home gateways into public hotspots connects consumers outside of their home. The technology can potentially enable cable to compete with cellular providers, Bellville said. Despite competition from SVOD and OTT providers, 2015 seemed to be a better year for cable in terms of sub adds. While the top 9 cable companies lost approx 345K video subs last year, the result was much better than the 1.22mln subs lost in 2014. In fact, the losses were the fewest in any year since 2006. Bellville credited the improvement to more compelling cable programming and consumers’ demand for reliable services that connect them securely and across platforms.
Bellville will be honored with the Inspiration Award at the 57th Genii Awards presented on May 5th by the Alliance for Women in Media, Southern California. She was recognized for her efforts in mentoring other women in the industry. Former Genii winner, and former pres of the ABC-Disney Television Group, Anne Sweeney, will present the award to Bellville, her longtime friend.