Current Configurations And Field Installations Of Multiple Service Communications Systems (1983)

By Robert V .C. Dickinson, E-COM Corporation

Slowly but surely, CATV facilities are being employed to carry new revenue-producing, non-entertainment services. While businesses are developing slowly, many believe that a large portion of the cable operator's revenue in the future will be provided by non-entertainment services. There have been quite a number of test projects and commercial efforts instituted where two-way cable transmission has been employed.

There are over 50 operational security, fire and burglar alarm systems on cable according to the January, 1983 NCTA Cable Enhanced Services Guide. These systems are largely residential in nature. Other systems addressing the residential market include energy management (utility meter reading and load shedding) and a range of videotex services including home banking and shopping plus informational services. Institutional networks have been established on both conventional CATV systems and private systems where all types of data are carried, ranging from energy management and status monitoring to extensive interconnection of computers and computer peripherals. All in all, there has been a good deal of activity and experience gained in utilizing the cable to develop new revenues and, in the process, serve the community. It is the purpose of this paper to briefly describe selected examples and to philosophize a bit upon the techniques and controls necessary to effectively and efficiently utilize cable networks for carriage of two-way non-entertainment services.

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