CableLabs® Working Group Eyes Year 2000 Computer Software Issues
Louisville, Colorado, December 10, 1997—Cable Television Laboratories, Inc. (CableLabs®) is setting up a working group to address issues related to Year 2000 (Y2K) software problems that affect the cable industry.
CableLabs will serve as a clearinghouse, collecting information from members who have analyzed the software implications of equipment deployed in their systems. CableLabs will distribute this information related to both the extent of the Y2K implications of such software and, as they become known, the solutions that effectively address these problems. The working group will coordinate with the National Cable Television Association.
Y2K is a general term used by the computer industry to refer to computer hardware and software systems that store the calendar date using only two digits for the year portion of the date. In these systems, for example, the date December 10, 1997, would be represented by 12/10/97 instead of 12/10/1997. Three years from now, unless the problem is corrected, these same systems would display 12/10/00, which could be interpreted as 12/10/2000 or 12/10/1900, therefore causing a significant ambiguity in any calculations involving that date.
Patrick Vertovec, director of the Year 2000 Program Office at Jones Intercable in Denver, has agreed to serve as working group chair. Vertovec has been at Jones for almost two years, and has been a data processing professional for over 16 years. His credits also include a four-year stint at Time Warner Cable in Denver. Doug Semon, director of network operations at CableLabs, will be the staff liaison.
Preliminary investigations have indicated that addressing Y2K problems will require dealing with many vendors. Because of this, there will likely be some benefit to dividing up the effort among the working group members, thus avoiding a significant duplication of work.
CableLabs hopes to find about 12 representatives willing to serve as active members of this task force. "CableLabs goal is to benefit from participation by members who haves substantial experience in identifying, analyzing and developing solutions for Y2K software issues which reflect real-world experience in their systems," according to Semon.
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 additional web sites at www.cablenet.org and www.ebif.tv.
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