Dave Fellows, co-founder and CTO of Layer3TV, joined the Energy 2020 program to be the initiative’s chief scientist. The former Comcast CTO is currently chair of the SCTE Data Standards Subcommittee, which focuses on data, voice and networking standards. Priorities include connecting the outputs of the 9 Energy 2020 Working Groups to ensure alignment with the vision of the Energy 2020 Steering Committee and Core Team, he told us. “Our goal is to make Layer3 TV the greenest cable company in the world, and we believe there is great importance in helping our industry as a whole to develop technologies that place energy and the environment on equal footings with bandwidth and other valuable network resources,” he said.
The key is to align suppliers and operators. On the operator side, that means “co-developing standards and making compliance with Energy 2020 standards a requirement in any future equipment purchase orders.” For vendors, “we need their involvement as members of the SCTE Standards group, and we need them to integrate those standards into more efficient equipment that has the competitive advantage of a lower total cost of ownership over the product’s lifetime,” Fellows said. Layer3 execs have been tight-lipped about what the company’s service will look like. The company calls itself “a next generation cable provider.”
Meanwhile, Liberty Global evp/CTO Balan Nair, who was named co-chair of the 2020 program in Jan, touched on the initiative during a presentation at SCTE-Tuck Executive Leadership Program at Dartmouth last week. “Every amplifier, every hub, every node—everything’s power fed, and we have stuff in the ground that was designed and built many, many years ago. I’m not saying that people did anything wrong, other than the fact that it’s inefficient, and it usually didn’t matter when prices were two to three cents a kilowatt hour. Prices are now 10, 15 cents depending on where you’re at, and suddenly this is becoming a bigger, bigger part of our cost, our operational expense,” he said. “So there are two reasons for us collectively to worry about it: One, there’s a social responsibility part—we owe a lot to the communities that we serve and we need to be good corporate citizens. And second, this is cost that’s going to be a runaway. So we have this thing, a project, called Energy 2020, which means that in 2020 energy costs are going to be completely out of whack.”