DOCSIS celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2015. To commemorate this industry milestone, Larry Satkowiak, former President and CEO of The Cable Center, gathered CableLabs veterans Robert Cruickshank III, Thomas Moore, and Brian Reilly to chronicle their work together on the DOCSIS development process in the early 1990s, leading up to the deployment of cable modems and two-way broadband communications at speeds nobody had seen before. Cruickshank also discusses the lessons learned from the telephone companies’ development of ISDN and the importance of standardized equipment specifications and interoperability.
The Story of DOCSIS. Short for Digital Over Cable Service Interface Specification, DOCSIS is the international standard for high-speed internet connectivity. In creating DOCSIS, CableLabs, its cable operator members and technology vendor partners, bridged the worlds of cable and digital networking that cleared the path for some of the most innovative ideas and applications in the history of communications – including YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.
Leslie Ellis is one of cable’s leading technology journalists and advisors. She got her start writing manuals for an advertising insertion technology company and quickly graduated to writing and editing for top industry publications CED and Multichannel News and for analyst and publisher Paul Kagan. Today, as President of Ellis Edits, she is in high demand moderating panels, speaking at conferences and continuously writing about the always-changing and complex world of cable technology in a way that makes it easy for everyone to understand.
From the early days of building headends, to the inventions that changed society, cable’s technologists have been at the forefront of today’s connected world. Hear stories from Louis Williamson, retired senior fellow engineer at Time Warner Cable, Leslie Ellis, a leading cable technology journalists and advisor, and Mike LaJoie, former EVP and CTP of Time Warner Cable.
Sheila Nevins’s educational background was in English literature and theater. But she found herself drawn to television, and to telling the extraordinary stories of ordinary people. After her early career working for several employers including the US Information Agency, PBS, CBS and Time-Life Films, Nevins found her home at HBO in 1979, where she was hired as the fledgling pay network’s first director of documentaries and given the freedom to produce them with her own unique approach to storytelling. Almost forty years and more than 500 films later, as President of HBO Documentary Films, Nevins is still flourishing, with a body of work that has earned scores of Emmys, Oscars and Peabodys. This interview was taped in July 2001.
Women Trailblazers. This podcast features three women who broke through the traditionally male-dominated cable business. Not only did they shatter gender barriers, these women served as advocates and mentors for both men and women throughout their careers. Today we’ll hear insights from Sheila Nevins, president of HBO documentary films. She has produced over one thousand documentary films for HBO and is one of the most influential people in documentary filmmaking. You’ll also hear from Colleen Abdoulah, CEO/President of Wide Open West (WOW!) and Anne Sweeney, former co-chair of Disney Media. Together they are responsible for inspiring hundreds, if not thousands, to enter the cable industry, rise through the ranks and make their own contribution to the cable industry.
Back in the early days of cable distribution in the 1950s, and of satellite-delivered network programming in the 1970s, it took a certain type of businessperson to not just survive, but thrive under such harsh conditions. It took brilliant vision, a high risk tolerance and dogged tenacity. It also took an absolute, personal belief in cable’s potential to forever change television and communications and the roles they came to play in our society.
Cable Cowboys and American Entrepreneurs. Back in the early days of cable distribution in the 1950s, and of satellite-delivered network programming in the 1970s, it took a certain type of businessperson to not just survive, but thrive under such harsh conditions. It took brilliant vision, a high risk tolerance and dogged tenacity. It also took an absolute, personal belief in cable’s potential to forever change television and communications and the roles they came to play in our society.
The six industry leaders featured this week are all prime examples of individuals who put it all on the line to build, shape and grow the cable business, and today, their influence is still strongly felt throughout the world.