The term 'interoperability' denotes a concept quite familiar to the computer and communications industries. Interoperability is the concept of systems working together for the purpose of transparent exchange of information. It is a very difficult thing to accomplish and is full of both technical problems and political pitfalls. The computer and communications industries have learned, with great pain, that interoperability must be addressed at several different levels to be effective. The Cable industry is about to come face to face with these issues as it tries to implement a broadband network to the home.
This paper will explore the essential elements of interoperabi/ity and outline some of the essential requirements to stimulate debate in the cable industry. It presents some of Intel's findings in developing systems for cable that are open to interconnect with other systems and will cover those areas considered most crucial to the achievement of interoperability in interactive cable.