Three key observations from SCTE Cable-Tec 2017

Mike Serrano

With SCTE Cable-Tec 2017 in the rear view mirror, the bags unpacked, and the expense reports filed, it seems like a good time to sit down and pen some reflections from the event. Afterall, when over 10,000 cable professionals converge for a conference, one is bound to walk away with some distinct impressions.

To start, if there was one, the overarching impression would be that the Cable industry is vibrant! New technologies, services, and opportunities abound. The operators are testing, trialing, and deploying an array of products and services.

That said, there were three key areas where the next big… is taking place.

First, the access network continues to evolve. DOCSIS3.1 is the main driver providing even greater bandwidth to the consumer. But that does not stand alone. WiFi and mobility remain a top growth area for the cable industry. Most recently, the emergence of SD-WAN is an opportunity for operators to grow their presence in the business services market.

Second, the transformation of the cable operators is well underway. What I mean is that the Cable/MSO operators are quickly adopting virtualization and cloudification of their infrastructure to gain economies of scale and increase service flexibility and agility. It was obvious that today’s cable companies are not the same companies they were a generation ago.

Third, there was the ever present concern around cybersecurity. This was both from a DDoS perspective as well as from a threat of malware.  As with anyone who runs a network, a security breach remains a clear and present danger. Afterall, the cyber attacker needs to be correct only once, the operator needs to be correct all the time. As broadband network operators, the cable operators are targets of customer impacting cyberattacks.

Personally, I always find it interesting to see how much the cable industry progresses between our annual gatherings at CableTec. While I’m still amazed at the progress, I’m excited by the knowledge that the work we do here at NETSCOUT remains as invaluable and critical to their success as ever. Our portfolio of products provides service visibility, customer behavioral insight, and security that has made many of today’s services successful and will enable the success of tomorrow’s services and architectures. I can’t wait until we meet again in 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia.