Last month, the Dallas Cowboys Stadium, home to “America’s Team,” was the venue for a gathering of broadband engineering executives to discuss America’s new game of sorts—sustainability.

The Fall 2011 SEMI (Smart Energy Management Initiative) from the Society of Cable Telecommunication Engineers met in Dallas, Texas on September 14 to discuss a broad array of topics. Some topics were current, others were future leaning, but all of them centered on energy management, sustainability and the direction that broadband providers are planning to head as we look toward a “greener” future.

The SEMI team understands that enduring change must start with the smallest of components. During some of the early presentations, chipsets and their capabilities related to energy provisioning and efficiency were discussed. Some of these capabilities are not fully ready or utilized, but their future impact will be meaningful.

In an effort to discuss solutions that are currently available and can make an immediate impact, presentations were given related to high-density edge QAM (quadrature amplitude modulation) and the significant power and operating expenditures savings it avails, as well as RFoG (Radio Frequency over Glass), the fully passive answer to hybrid fiber coax (HFC) networks. The benefits of RFoG were touted by an operator who has embraced and proven the technology over several years.

CommScope offers an RFoG solution, as well as the highest density edge QAM solution on the market. Both of these solutions can help reduce a multi-system operators’ (MSOs’) energy consumption, improve reliability and drive enhanced bandwidth—a true trifecta.

Operator presentations also revealed how serious the MSO community is about sustainability initiatives. From painstaking maintenance protocols aimed at squeezing the most performance and reliability out of generators to broad sustainability efforts including initiatives for alternative energy, recycling and community action, MSO presenters were showing us a future that can be greener indeed.

America’s new game? To the SCTE and the SEMI, this isn’t a game at all. It is as real as it gets.

How were you involved in the SEMI event and what are you doing regarding energy manangement?

About the Author

Mark Alrutz

Mark Alrutz is the vice president of global service providers in the FAE organization for CommScope. He is responsible for technical solution sales, applications engineering, pre- and post-sales technical support, and customer training. Mr. Alrutz received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and master of science degree  in management from Georgia Tech. He has been an active SCTE member since 1996. He also participates on the SCTE Interface Practices Subcommittee and the Energy 2020 program. Mr. Alrutz holds numerous U.S. patents and has been published in several industry trade magazines.


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2 comments for "Sustainability...Could It Be America’s New Game?"
Robert Riggsby

Hi Mark, Also keep in mind the Add-Tap system reduces the need for both trouble shooting and truck rolls for basic on/off servicing. This significantly reduces green house gases in systems that have locations with high churn. This is another Solution we have that fits the model of being a good steward to our environment. Thanks Robert

Mark Alrutz

Thanks Robert. You raise a key point here, that the indirect impact of systems, or the reliability of systems, can be the reduction of costly truck rolls. Each trip avoided can be $100 to the bottom line and a nice reduction in carbon!

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