Internet of Things Dynamics: Opportunities and Challenges for Broadband Network Operators (2018)

By Tim Johnson, Alpha Technologies; Arun Ravisankar, Comcast; J. Clarke Stevens, Shaw Communications; Chris Bastian, SCTE-ISBE

Cable network operators are always looking for ways to add services for their customers, especially so since the 1990s. To name a few: Data over cable, then voice, then DVR evolving to nDVR, were added to the service bundle. More recently home monitoring and security services have also been offered by many operators.

The Internet of Things is loosely defined as Internet-connected sensors in homes, businesses and public spaces, as well as the data analytics monitoring of those sensors back in the data center. With the Internet of Things, there is an opportunity to rapidly open up entirely new service opportunities that can differentiate cable network operators from their competition. However, the primary challenge will be to smoothly install, operate and integrate these new services with the operator’s existing service bundle.

Cable network operators are uniquely positioned to offer IoT services to new and existing customers.

They have four characteristics that industry start-ups and OTT service providers covet: * Existing service location in millions of homes, businesses, and public spaces * High speed and reliable network connectivity * Power for sensors and gateways * An existing and localized/in-market fleet of fulfillment technicians

Cable network operators have a well-established presence in the home including cable modems, home gateways, set top boxes, Wi-Fi extenders and home security hubs, however the evolution to new services- such as connected healthcare, and smart homes – will require new devices and sensors, as well as increased care to ensure the highest network performance while preventing security breaches.

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