CableLabs, SCTE·ISBE plan merger

Nov. 10, 2020
Pending final approval of a shared Letter of Intent, SCTE/ISBE is to become a subsidiary of CableLabs on January 1, 2021.

The two giants in the cable MSO space, CableLabs and SCTE·ISBE, say the organizations have agreed to merge via an official Letter of Intent. In a phone briefing for members of the media, representatives for the two organizations announced that, if SCTE·ISBE members approve the agreement in a vote scheduled to conclude December 10, 2020, SCTE·ISBE will become a subsidiary of CableLabs on January 1, 2021.

The two groups have worked closely together for some time, noted CableLabs President and CEO Phil McKinney and SCTE·ISBE President and CEO Mark Dzuban, during yesterday afternoon's call. The merger will accelerate the pace at which new standards and technology achieve commercialization and widespread deployment, predicted McKinney.

"The main driver for the merger is to increase collaboration between CableLabs and SCTE," said McKinney. "The scale of the overall industry, and its pace, is not slowing down. We felt that bringing the two organizations together would really enhance the [broadband] industry's alignment, and the pace at which we can go from the science-side of the industry to the deployment and operations-side."

Dzuban predicted a near-term emphasis in the partners' collaboration on advancing 10G and the industry’s efforts to support symmetrical 10-Gbps broadband services, particularly via hybrid fiber/coax (HFC) infrastructure. A combined organization will give CableLabs more direct access to the vendor community while supporting SCTE·ISBE’s efforts to expand its reach internationally, McKinney added.

"With CableLabs, we have a pretty significant international footprint, and SCTE has been expanding their international footprint," said McKinney. "We think this [merger] will accelerate that role, and also it leverages the vendor relationships. CableLabs and the vendors have always been trying to find ways to better partner, align, and collaborate. SCTE has a very robust engagement with the vendor community and an expanded vendor community beyond what even CableLabs engages with, that brings a huge amount of value. It's also about economies of scale, with the the investment of time and dollars from the industry and to be able to get those dollars applied to the work of both organizations."

McKinney noted that the CableLabs board of directors, comprised of the 14 CEOs of largest cable operators in the world, plus the four members of the company's executive committee, which includes Comcast, Charter, Cox and Rogers in Canada, all voted unanimously in support of the Letter of Intent for combining CableLabs with SCTE.

The activities, senior leaderships, and branding of the respective organizations aren’t expected to change. CableLabs members will gain SCTE·ISBE membership as part of the CableLabs dues payment, although SCTE·ISBE will continue to offer membership to those unaffiliated with its potential new parent.

As a result of the merger, it is expected that CableLabs will take a more active hand in the programming for SCTE·ISBE’s flagship Cable-Tec Expo event, continuing a trend that has seen that group focusing less on its own events in favor of supporting SCTE’s annual conference and exposition. However, CableLabs appears to want to continue its 4Front event, which was cancelled this year due to the pandemic.

The boards of the two organizations have approved the agreement. A page on the SCTE·ISBE website will be created to offer members information on the proposed merger as well as the opportunity to vote for or against it. SCTE/ISBE president and CEO Dzuban noted that the merger action is seen as crucial, in order for both organizations "to get to the next level to compete in the marketplace."

"I know Phil and I are thinking about the [Cable Tec Expo] in its next form with 104 international attendees -- we think this can be a significant opportunity for both of us in the future," concluded SCTE's Dzuban.

Sponsored Recommendations

Coherent Routing and Optical Transport – Getting Under the Covers

April 11, 2024
Join us as we delve into the symbiotic relationship between IPoDWDM and cutting-edge optical transport innovations, revolutionizing the landscape of data transmission.

Data Center Network Advances

April 2, 2024
Lightwave’s latest on-topic eBook, which AFL and Henkel sponsor, will address advances in data center technology. The eBook looks at various topics, ranging...

Supporting 5G with Fiber

April 12, 2023
Network operators continue their 5G coverage expansion – which means they also continue to roll out fiber to support such initiatives. The articles in this Lightwave On ...

FTTx Deployment Strategies

March 29, 2023
Cable operators continue to deploy fiber in their networks at anincreasing rate. As fiber grows in importance, proper choices regardinghow to best fit fiber to the home together...