CableLabs® Begins 'Service Locator' Project
Louisville, Colorado, September 23, 1999—Cable Television Laboratories, Inc. (CableLabs®) will create an Internet-based electronic commerce site to assist computer makers and retail partners in selling cable modems and other cable consumer equipment. This will benefit consumers by helping them determine the availability of advanced services in their neighborhoods when buying a new PC with a cable modem.
Known as the "service locator" for the cable industry, CableLabs will develop with its member companies a uniform, North American database of information provided by cable operators regarding the locations of the availability of high-speed Internet access services those operators are offering. A retailer querying the database will be linked to a separate database of the cable operator serving that location. The operator will control what information is shared with a retailer.
"This activity, directed through CableLabs, gives us the nationwide geographical coverage that is attractive to computer manufacturers. It gives them a way to better serve customers and to gain a marketing advantage by serving the high demand that is out there for high-speed modems," said Kevin Leddy, Time Warner Cable Senior Vice President of New Business Development who is heading the project for CableLabs members.
"We want to help the consumer make an informed retail purchase," said Carl Vogel, executive vice president & chief operating officer for Field Operations with AT&T Broadband & Internet Services. Vogel added, "If a consumer wants to buy a computer made by company X, that company's sales representative could use this database to advise the customer on the availability, to provide that customer with high-speed Internet access in his cable system."
"CableLabs encourages all its members to provide their geographic service area data so that we may truly provide a database that crosses municipal boundaries," said CableLabs Senior Vice President of Strategic Planning, Dr. David Reed, who is the internal project leader. "This is the only site that will have broad support from the cable industry, which will insure timely and accurate information," he added.
Brad Dusto, Senior Vice President of Engineering Operations for Comcast Cable Communications, noted that the locator project could help consumers hook-up to many other cable services offered through retail channels beyond high-speed Internet access services, such as digital video. "If a customer wanted to buy an OpenCable device through a retailer, for example, the retailer could check the service locator and in three to five seconds be able to make sure the service is available in the customer's neighborhood. It's that simple," Dusto said.
"CableLabs has a lot more detail work to do to get this project off the ground, but with our cooperation and industry support, I see this service in place for direct use by our customers soon," said Stephen Silva, Senior Vice President of Corporate Development and Technology for Charter Communications.
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.
CableLabs® is a registered trademark of Cable Television Laboratories, Inc. Other CableLabs marks are listed at http://www.cablelabs.com/certqual/trademarks. All other marks are the property of their respective owners.