"You had to be there." I have said that line more than once when trying to retell a significant experience and not finding the right words to convey what happened. That’s how I felt about last week’s NXTComm, as several people asked how NXTcomm was and I found myself and, at least one other person, using the word robust to describe the activity on the show floor. I hadn’t been to this event , so I don’t have a great frame of reference. Still, I was surprised by the number of people on the show floor and was impressed with the quality of speakers and topics at the various co-located conferences. NXTcomm helped its own cause by forcing attendees to walk through the show floor to get the various panels. 

Battle of the Network CTOs?

Actually, the discourse between Mark Wegleitner, Chris Rice and Pieter Poll of Verizon, AT&T and Qwest was quite civil, although the approaches each of these companies is taking to providing video and deploying their networks are quite different. A common theme of Wegleitner Rice was that service is past launch and it is about executing and building upon the video platforms they already have. Rice suggested that many of the technical issues are beyond them and now it is about internal cultural issues and ensuring that they train enough technicians fast enough to meet demand.  Click here to read the rest of this article.  

Hand Waving at NXTcomm 2008                                     

ATIS sponsored an extremely interesting panel on television navigation at the NXTcomm conference. This panel went beyond the normal hand waving and showed the future is here in many ways. One of the most interesting applications of this panel is one where broadband could prove instrumental in providing medical rehabilitation. Click here to read the rest of the article.

Obscenity on ABC, Ads on PBS, H.R. 6320 – Regulation of BroadbandTV on the HorizonThis is one of the more tame screen shots from the espisode of "NYPD Blue" that cause the FCC to fine ABC broadcast stations.

The inspiration for this article was a decision a few months ago by the FCC to slap a huge fine on ABC Affiliates for violating obscenity rules in airing an episode of “NYPD”.   In years past, I would have been in the dark. Thanks to the power of Internet video, however, I was able to find a copy of the video within 30 seconds and view for myself what the FCC considered obscene.  The adjacent image is one of the more tame shots.  The point is, what was obscene on broadcast television does not violate FCC rules on broadband television; at least yet.  Click here to read the rest of the article and how the Markey Bill, H.R. 6320 points to a world where broadband television is regulated by the FCC.

Signs of the Video Times

Click here to the complete pictureThe signs of the changing video landscape were literally signs in the case of these photos I snapped yesterday. The demise of Bradley Video, a once strong independent video store in Silicon Valley, is an indication that the traditional brick and mortar approach to renting and selling videos is quickly being substituted for other means of delivery; whether via snail mail, electronic downloads or streaming. It is sad for the folks whose livelihoods depended on this business.  The impact goes beyond the owner and employees, as this particular store used to be a big advertiser in the sports section of the local newspaper.  Click here for the complete post.  

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Location Based Services by Alan J. Weissberger

Alan Weissberger outlines on a Yankee Group Telebriefing regarding Location Based Services. Click here to see his notes on this presentation. 

Just In – Schools Finding New Ways to Use Internet

One of the highlights of last year and my career was moderating a panel of youth at last year’s OPASTCO summer convention. One outcome of that panel was the importance of broadband to youth for both socialization and learning. A new report from Grunwald Associates suggests a blurring of the lines between school and home, even in low-income districts, thanks to broadband. The findings of the study suggest that online educational efforts can strengthen parent participation and provide a better educational basis. 

On a personal basis, I believe Grunwald’s thesis, as earlier this year, one of my son’s online friends was able to help answer a homework question that had my entire family stumped. If there were some way to tie in the school system to some of these online games, we could probably catapult past the traditional books and pencil approach to learning that is becoming increasingly archaic in the business world.     Roger Bindl running to swim or bike

People on the Move – Roger Bindl in Mankato

Roger Bindl trekked to Mankato Minnesota, home to independent telco, Hickory Teck to compete in a triathalon with his just graduated nephew and brothers. Roger was in the top 1/3rd of the 275 participants and third in his age group; good enough for a medal. He cleverly documented his experience using a combination of Google Maps, pictures and video. Click here to see the interactive map of his triumph in Mankato.      

The Korner – Memories of Alaska, Visions of Quebec City

You had to be there is what I suggest regarding last year’s OPASTCO Summer Convention in Alaska. I have to admit was a bit hesitant to make my fifth visit to our 49th State, as all my visits have been to Anchorage. I was wrong, however, as I forgot an important variable in travel and that is the people you are with can make a big difference in the overall experience. 

An image from the collage of scenes from OPASTCO 2007, as well as Roger Bindl's tour around Alaska.It was the interaction with the fellow attendees, as well as the young adults on the youth panel I moderated that made this event special. What really made this memorable was my week with Jacky and Roger Bindl. Their coordination and determination make ViodiTV possible. More importantly, I am able to live vicariously through them, as they took the following week and visited sites throughout Alaska. 

Roger put together this interesting video collage of events from the show and his further travels that took him to Valdez. I look forward to our next venture, next month in Quebec City at OPASTCO’s 2008 Summer Convention.  To watch the video, click here.

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