A.D. Little To Help Cable Data Services Specification Process
Los Angeles, CA, April 29, 1996—The MCNS Holdings group of leading North American cable companies and Cable Television Laboratories, Inc. (CableLabs) have selected the consulting firm Arthur D. Little, Inc., to assist in the creation of international specifications for data equipment for cable networks.
CableLabs, Rogers Cablesystems, Continental Cablevision and the MCNS members Tele-Communications Inc., Time Warner Cable, Comcast and Cox Communications, will work to establish these open specifications throughout 1996. Having open specifications will enable cable customers to efficiently connect to the Internet and to other on-line data services at high speed.
The ultimate goal of the process is to specify requirements for interfaces so that the consumer cable data equipment manufactured by various suppliers is interchangeable and may be sold at retail once the technology is more mature. These interfaces include such points as the link in the home between the cable data modem and the personal computer.
The open interface specifications process is important because it should benefit consumers by lowering prices for the devices called modems that are required in order for cable networks to carry data services. This process is intended to give consumers a wide selection of modems from which to choose because any supplier could build to the international standards.
The project team is soliciting input from all interested parties, including the supplier community. It is drafting the technical open specifications and is participating in the coordination of comments and finalization of the open specifications. Several specifications will be released for comment by mid-year and the intent is to complete the more complex open specifications as soon thereafter as possible.
Once open specifications are established, the cable companies will seek to have the appropriate bodies establish the open specifications as international standards. At this point, it is expected that equipment manufacturers will build products meeting these specifications and that many cable operators would use these specifications as a basis on which to purchase interoperable modems. This will bring broadband interconnections into homes around the world through massive, efficient deployment of cable data modems.
CableLabs is a research and development consortium of cable television system operators representing more than 85% of the cable subscribers in the United States, 70% of the subscribers in Canada, and between five and 10% of cable subscribers in Mexico. CableLabs plans and funds research and development projects that will help cable companies take advantage of future opportunities and meet future challenges in the telecommunications industry. It also transfers relevant technologies to member companies and to the industry. In addition, CableLabs acts as a clearinghouse to provide information on current and prospective technological developments that are of interest to the cable industry.
About CableLabs: Cable Television Laboratories (www.cablelabs.com) was founded in 1988 by members of the cable television industry. A non-profit research and development consortium, CableLabs delivers innovations that enable cable operators to be the providers of choice in their markets. Cable operators from around the world are members. CableLabs maintains web sites at www.cablelabs.com; www.packetcable.com; www.cablemodem.com; www.cablenet.org, and www.opencable.com.
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